The calendar may still say February but our nursery has had tomato starts for a week and people are gobbling them up. It's one way I mark the advent of spring -- when we start the summer vegetable season. As they say, it's all downhill from here. Thus the title: vegging out. But it also occurred to me that that title could also be interpreted in its more usual way and that gardens are a great place to veg out. No texts or phone calls; no one grabbing your time; no bills to pay. Just "free" time (to paraphrase Chet Baker) to "get lost." So hooray for those stolen moments (or hours).
Here are more photos from my spring garden.
Sparaxis variety. I call this my creme soda sparaxis. It's from a bag of mixed colors and this one has proved to be a regular. I love the way the narrow black outlines the yellow center.
Halimium. This relative of the rock rose is such a pretty color. It's budding up right now and I think this year will be the best ever.
Moraea villosa. This S. African bulb, nicknamed Peacock moraea, might be the most beautiful flower I've ever grown. Unlike some moraeas that can be temperamental, this one is quite sturdy.
I don't really need an excuse to photograph one of my favorite Mimulus but it just so happened that a ladybug was perched on the lower lip of this Jeff's Tangerine.
For a plant that I nearly killed, this Justicia brandegeeana has bounced back in spectacular fashion. Turns out it just wanted more sun (most justicias want some shade).
Speaking of close-to-croaking, I was worried that my Bouvardia was headed there but it's rebounded. I can't get it to bush out with healthy foliage. But it's back to blooming and looking perky.
Not the best shot I know but I had to show off my new Ornamental quince (Chaenomeles). This one is called 'Fuji' and it sports the loveliest orangish-red blooms.
Speaking of flowering quince, my well established Kurokoji is back to blooming. It has especially large flowers and there's nothing quite like its blood red color.
Though I brought home my Luculia for its sensationally fragrant flowers, here the sun illuminating its soft pink flowers gives them a lovely aura.
Pelargonium crispum 'Variegated Golden Lemon.' I'll admit, I used to be a 'geranium snob.' They're so common that I shunned them. But I've slowly become aware of so many cool ones and this crispum is not only fantastically crinkled but it has a heavenly fragrance.
Camellia reticulata 'Francie L. Variegated.' Whew, that's a mouthful! But the flowers are worth it and if the size of the first ones, coming on a small plant, are any indication, this plant is going to be spectacular when it matures.
I wasn't entirely successful with this shot -- I was trying to also catch its reflection in the window behind -- but I still love the way the golden color kind of explodes out of the darkness, almost as if this Kerria flower was the source of the light.
Nandina domestica. Though this Heavenly bamboo is thought of as a utilitarian shrub, I find them quite beautiful. Here it's putting out coppery new growth that is a visual delight.
This spider moved too quickly for me to get him completely in focus. But it does give me a chance to remind everyone that spiders are our friends. They gobble up unwanted insects in our gardens plus they're kind of pretty.
Babiana stricta. This pinkish-purple variety is always one of the first bulbs to bloom in my garden and this patch keeps getting bigger each year. Oh and for those who think that the common name -- Baboon flower -- is poetic license, nope, baboons in S. Africa do actually eat these plants. So, if you look out in your garden at twilight one night and you see a hairy ape-like creature ...