Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The long hello?

I want to take a moment today to encourage all nature lovers to visit the great variety of regional parks here in the East Bay. They number in the dozens and cover every type of environment imaginable. For a good resource check out the EBRP website. A friend and I visited Coyote Hills regional park near Fremont today and as usual it was wonderful, even though we were a bit late for the best birding season. Still, we saw egrets and herons, redwing blackbirds, terns, various kinds of ducks, cormorants and one of the park's main attractions - tree swallows. That's because there is a row of swallow houses in a dirt road near the back of the park. The park features an extensive marsh filled with reeds which in spring is teeming with life. There are even muskrats there. The highlight of our trip was spotting a grey fox kit.
If you're like me you probably spend a bit more time indoors than you'd really like so here's the chance to peek at all the great east bay parks awaiting you.
Now here are more garden photos.

My mystery fern is having its best year ever, thick and full, almost too much so for the narrow bed it's in. 

Calceolaria Kentish Hero. Here the first flowering branch seems to hover detached in the air, like a flock of orange birds.

Hydrangea quercifolia. My oakleaf hydrangea is also having a wonderful year and put out a number of huge flowering panicles. As with many hydrangeas, the individual flowers begin green then, in this case, color up white. Oakleafs like a bit more sun than your lacecap or mophead hydrangea and can handle drier conditions.

Also happy this spring is my Plectranthus zuluensis. It has more flowers than in previous years - and earlier. Here the sun shows off the almost translucent quality of the petals.

Another shot of my Nigella 'African Bride.' It's true, most people are partial to the more common blue-flowering Love-in-a-Mist but this is a pretty species as well.And the burgundy seedpods on this species are much more decorative.

Clarkia 'Salmon Princess.' One of my favorite Clarkias and it's in full bloom right now. Did you know that Clarkia is named after the explorer William Clark?

I'm a lily junkie and one of the first of my many varieties to bloom each year is this L. Trebbiano. Large flowers, a rich gold with a hint of green at the throat. 

Penstemon Volet-Kissed. Aptly named beardstongue. It has proven quite the profuse bloomer.

Only one of my three new Ornithogalum varieties, grown from bulb, did well and that's this O. Coconut Cream. It's more than making up for the other two.

Ixia variety. I like the cream-colored ixias for some reason. More subtle but still pretty. 

I thought this Salvia madrensis leaf was interesting enough itself to warrant a photo. Love the color and also the texture.

Alstromerias have to be one of the easiest flowers to grow ... and the most prolific.

Cistus McGuire's Gold. This rock rose has yet to bloom but that's okay. I love its golden hues and it has adapted to a filtered sun location.

Here's a nicer shot of my Lilium 'Black Eye.' Not sure about the variety name. How about Burgundy Splash? 

Pachypodium lealii v. saundersii. This caudiciform has leafed out nicely, after going dormant in the winter. 

Chrysocephalum apiculatum. This low growing spreading perennial is a blooming machine and much appreciated by bees. 

Those in the know will recognize this as a species gladiolus. It's G. nanus 'Halley' and I love the salmon colors of the petals, as well as the bright pink 'splashes.'

Aquilegia chrysantha 'Flore Pleno.' This charming columbine packs a lot of punch in its small flowers, including them being a fully double form.

My amazing Dicentra scandens is such a profuse bloomer it's "scandens-ous." Okay, that didn't come out as close to scandalous as I'd thought but this is one miniature vine that nonetheless fills in densely and offers a steady stream of yellow 'hearts' from late spring to fall.

Hebe speciosa. Often called Showy hebe and for good reason as it turns out, this species is nonetheless tough, drought tolerant and popular with bees. 

I'll admit I'm a bit dazzled by the rich color of this Chantilly Purple snapdragon offered up by Annie's Annuals. 

Every garden needs a bird bath and this ceramic one of mine is in a sunny front yard. I see jays, chickadees, wrens, bushtits and even hummingbirds all taking quick baths in there.

No comments:

Post a Comment

01 09 10