Tuesday, February 26, 2019

You wanted rain?

File under the heading "Be careful what you ask for." That would be our request, even prayer, for more rain. Certainly the reservoirs need it but well, floods aren't great either and some of our properties just aren't set up to handle 3-6" of rain a day. We'll survive it but boy it does make it more difficult to get out in the garden when everything is so wet.
Other news tidbits. I'll be curious to see how things go for the SF Garden Show that for the first time (I think) is being held in Sacramento. That's a bit of a drive from SF and the East Bay, although in truth it was quite the drive to the Cow Palace as well. Hopefully gardeners living in and around our state capital will attend in large numbers. We all need to support the show. March 2-6.
Doesn't it seem as if it should already be the end of March? I don't know, this month of February is lasting an awfully long time. I'm sure people living in Chicago and many cities back east would gladly take our 55 degree rains.
Here are a few photos taken last week when we had a couple days of sun. It's a shorter selection, reflecting the season. I'm a bulb lover and so at least have new shoots appearing as the promise of flowers to come. I already have the first daffodils and freesias in bloom, with many more bulb flowers to come in the very near future. For those of you who may have bulbs still sitting around, get them in the ground!
Meanwhile, driving around Oakland I'm cheered by the ornamental cherry trees already being in bloom. Even on gray days they bring such joy!

Iris reticulata is one of the most popular of the species irises and here's one called Dwarf Halkin. Most of the reticulatas have purple flowers, some darker, some lighter. They're all low to the ground, as this variety is. The taller thicker shoots you see are a species gladiola that has come up.

Lachenalia variety. This unidentified Lachenalia bloomed its heart out this year. It was nearly the first to flower and is still going after the others are done. I keep my Lachenalias in pots so that I can give them the dry summer they all want. 

Here's a photo of my succulent table. I do have several mixed succulent bowls (three outside, one inside) but here I've just gathered individual pots. I do also have many succulents in the ground and they too are happy. 

Not many realize that snapdragons are actually a great plant to grow in winter. The cold doesn't bother them and assuming you get any sun at all they will put out an endless array of flowers.

There should be a name for evergreen shrubs that provide year round interest. Maybe there is. That's certainly true for the Coprosmas. Here's my C. Pina Colada. Coprosmas are a great way to provide winter color when not much else is doing so. 

Chasmanthe bicolor. This hardy, some would say invasive, S. African bulb blooms reliably every year in late winter. Mine is planted where it can't really escape so I'm not worried. 

Physocarpus Nugget. I love the delicacy of the new leaves on my golden Ninebark. It leafs out faithfully each late January/early February, one of the earliest to do so of my deciduous shrubs. It loves its location, getting reflected heat off the stucco stairs.

I didn't plant this red-leaved Echeveria gibbiflora in the middle of all these vibrant green nasturtiums but it worked out very well. A red sea creature popping up in a sea of green? 

Luculia pinceana. Though the foliage has been sparse on my Luculia, it still produces a host of indescribably fragrant flowers every winter. I've been reluctant to prune it but I think I will after the flowering has stopped.

My Magnolia Butterflies flowers have yet to achieve the golden yellow color that they are famous for, mine are still a paler butter yellow, but I love them still. It's always the first of my four Magnolias to bloom, along with the M. stellata.

Rhodocoma capensis. This restio has really taken off, having tripled in size from the gallon pot I bought 6 months ago. I love that it's filling in at the bottom, giving it a denser appearance.

Chaenomeles Kurokoji. Flowering quince are just about the easiest thing to grow, so much so that one has to be careful they don't take over the area they're in. This blood red variety was planted ten years ago and has settled in very nicely.

Though the sun washed out the colors on the first flower of my Camellia x williamsii Anticipation - it's really more of a reddish pink and lighter pink bicolor - I thought I'd still post the photo. One of the most beautiful of my many lovely camellias!

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