Wednesday, November 29, 2017

November or April?

Okay, I'll admit that it's a bit surreal gardening in the milder zones of the Bay Area. Today in Oakland has felt more like April than November. My garden is not complaining. In fact, it is prospering with the mix of rain and sun.
There are two schools of thought about gardening. Call them the Chicago and Oakland schools. There is no gardening in the Chicago winter. This can be a good thing. You get a chance to step back from all the demands that gardening imposes on us. You concentrate on other things. Then come spring, as the snow melts and the temps rise, your love of gardening is renewed.
The Oakland, or mild winter, school of gardening says 'Why not garden year round? I enjoy it and it gives me something to do on December and January days.' One approach is no better than the other, although of course if you live in a cold climate area you do not have a choice in the matter.
Consider it a musing on the day before we hit December.
And now here are this week's photos.


Camellia Little Babe Variegated. I love the unique combination of colors on each flower. It's always one of my earliest blooming camellias.


Late or early? Normally my Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem' blooms in summer but here it is, putting out flowers at the end of November.


I bought this maple many years ago and no longer have the variety tag. All I know is that it's a green, palmate-leaf  type and that it's gotten big. As in 25' tall. Here it is at its maximum fall color.


One more shot of my intriguing Rudbeckia Chim Chiminee. I love its 'quill' petals.


Clethra alnifolia. That's Summersweet to the layperson. It too offers fall color, in this case golden hues.


A squirrel keeps digging up my Arachinodes standishii and I keep putting it back. I finally packed it with shredded cedar bark and that seems to have done the trick. This species is related to the Squirrel foot or Rabbit's foot ferns.


Black bamboo. Here's a shot of what all the fuss is about - the black culms. Very lovely.


Mother ferns may be common but they're still pretty. And they have a lovely spilling habit.


What does Foghorn Leghorn and this Begonia have in common? Well, it's a Wild Pony begonia and I can hear Mr. Leghorn growling "I say hold, I say hold, I say hold on there wild pony!" We now resume our regular programming.


This rare Camellia reticulata is Winner's Circle. Love the coral color, the wavy petals and the generous size of the flowers.


Golden Veronica makes a great ground cover and it gradually creeps out to cover a good size area. It needs to be in the sun to achieve its maximum golden hue.


Somehow this photo of my Hebe ochracea EC Stirling makes it look golden when its really a yellowish-orange. A small guy, it tops out at 18" T and W.


Even when it's not in bloom - and it's in bloom quite often - my Aloe striata is a handsome fellow.


Blue Cloud is certainly an accurate description of this Wahlenbergia variety. Blooming seemingly year round it puts out masses of sky blue flowers that the bees adore.


Dogwoods are one of those 'Early and Late' trees. It blooms very early in the year then puts out its fabulous fall color very late in the year.


I can't remember the botanical name for this sedum but I've always heard it referred to as the Jelly Beans sedum. You can see why.

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