The sun may not be here to stay but it has really spurred all kinds of action in our local gardens. The question is - who's winning, the flowers or the weeds? I've been diligent in removing the latter so things are looking good.
Now is the time to amend your soil, adding compost and other soil amendments, and top dressing beds with bark mulch. We may not need the latter as much for preserving moisture but its ability to block or slow down weeds is much appreciated.
Well, as is usually the case this time of year, a picture is worth a thousand words so here are recent photos of my garden.
Clematis Belle of Woking. This lovely double form clematis is one of the earliest to bloom in my garden. The flowers start out green then 'age' to this pale lavender.
Agapetes serpens. Most of you know this unusual shrub. It's rightly renowned for its papery dangling flowers but did you know this plant also features a prominent, gnarled caudex (fat trunk)?
Passiflora parritae x tarminiana
'Oaklandia.' With this flower it's all about the petal color, as its corona is simplicity itself. My specimen has scrambled up into my apple tree.
Sphaeralcea munroana. This low growing, spreading species is perfect for cascading over a low rock wall, as it's doing here. So far it has proved the most vigorous of the Sphaeralcea species in my garden. And yes, the 'alcea' in the genus name is a tipoff to it being a mallow family member.
Five finger fern. This California native is one tough customer. I cut it to the ground every winter and it rebounds nice and full each spring.
This six pack of dwarf orange snapdragons has been wildly successful, smothering the pot in orange and yellow flowers.
My Leucospermum Veldfire is thriving again this year, especially with all the rain.
My ever evolving Walkway bed, which I should probably rename the Bulb Bed for the myriad variety of bulbs planted there, is now featuring Dutch iris, ornamental onions and Sparaxis. Lilies are on their way, as are Gloriosas. Already done are Crocus, Ipheions and Freesias.
Some newly planted Nemesias are adding color to the Sun King bed.
This Spanish motif wall art piece is a new addition to my garden.
The fiery red new growth on my Acer Beni Maiko is still evident. Soon the leaves will mature to a darker green before acquiring the fall red tones before the leaves drop.
The view looking south, up the walkway from the back yard towards the front. That's a new black, metal arch that was just located a week ago.
Tulipa chrysantha 'Taco.' This new Lady tulip, a species tulip that is perennial, offers up charming yellow and red flowers.
Viburnum opulus. My snowball viburnum's flowers are gradually beginning to acquire more of the white color they're famous for. Viburnums leaf out in a hurry, then flower quickly, as if their life depended upon it. That's often the modus operandi for certain deciduous shrubs, trying to take advantage of favorable conditions in spring to attract pollinators.
Echium 'Blue Bedder.' Want bees in your garden but don't have the space for a perennial Echium (or want to wait two years for it to grow)? This quick growing annual version is just the ticket. Bees love it every bit as much as the perennial species.
Iris louisiana 'Pastiche.' This charming Iris's colors are so sublime.
Begonia luxuriens. While still small, this shrub-type begonia will eventually get to 5-6' and make quite a display of its palm-like foliage.