Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Not So Fast

For those of us in the Bay Area, that early February tease of spring has been followed by a cold spell that has commercial growers a bit nervous. That includes wineries, worried about tender leaf buds getting hit by the freeze. Most of us have had to take stock of what be tender in our own gardens and cover those at night. And we're having to cover ourselves as well, back to wearing four layers. But that's what we've come to expect in the Bay Area as far as weather. Anything. Good thing our plants are resilient. One tip for near freezing temps - water your plants. That helps to insulate the roots against the freezing temps.
And now here are a few winter garden photos. As usual it's a mix of shrubs, the first bulbs, succulents and a few winter perennials.

Leucospermum Veldfire. As you can see, it won't be long before this Protea family member will be in bloom. Here the fuzzy heads are a sign that the orange and yellow pincushion flowers are not far off.

Ipheion 'Wisley Blue.' Ipheions are one of the easiest bulbs to grow and one of the first to bloom. Their pale blue flowers are a welcome sight in late winter and they easily naturalize. 

Speaking of easy to grow bulbs that naturalize, Sparaxis are near the top of my list. One of many colorful bulbs native to South Africa, these days it's easiest to find the multi-colored hybrids available in packages at your local garden center. 

Dutch iris 'Apollo.' It may be hard to see but the upper standards are a pale violet color, nicely offsetting the sunny yellow falls. This is the first, an early herald of spring to come.

Gloxinia sylvatica Bolivian Sunset. So unlike the hybrid gloxinias that people grow as a houseplant that it might as well belong to a totally different genus. Has cute little 'firecracker' flowers that appear in early spring. It's supposed to be durable too, though this is its first year so we'll see.

Here is an Ipheion mix that I just planted this winter. As you can see it's a mix of whites, blues and pinks. 

My Physocarpus 'Nugget' (with its golden foliage) continues to leaf out at a record pace. Once this shrub makes its mind up to leaf out, it wastes no time.

Here is my neighbor's Leucospermum, a good month ahead of mine. Her specimen is very, very happy and is huge. It's also facing south and on a bank so it really captures the sun's warmth. 

Melaleuca incana. There's something about those super soft fuzzy flowers that's so delightful. Plus I love the subtle butter yellow color. I thought hummers would be interested but so far its honey bees that are loving them.

Who you calling a 'Pig's Ear'? Well, you, Cotyledon orbiculata var. orbiculata. That's its common name, though don't ask me why. My specimen has slowly spread out and is holding its own against the much bigger Aloe striata behind it.

Could you say that my Ferraria crispa dark form is 'pregnant'? In a way yes, as it's about to pop open its buds and unfurl those crazy weird crinkled flowers. Though some have trouble with this South African bulb, once established they're incredibly vigorous.

Holy Crinum, Batman!! Okay, got a little carried away but then again gardeners do tend to get carried away where Crinums are concerned. This member of the Amaryllidaceae family produces familiar looking large white or pink flowers. This is C. moorei 'Rosea.' Can't wait for it to bloom!

No comments:

Post a Comment

01 09 10