Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Are We There Yet?

So, we were tantalized with two days of sun and now the rain/clouds have returned. I know that showers are part of our spring weather but damn it so is sun. Hint, hint. Don't know if it's the lack of sun or maybe the cooler than usual weather in March but nearly everything is behind schedule in my garden. In fact I have to keep reminding myself it's actually April. As in 'sunny 70 degrees April.'  Oh, well, the sun will come when it comes. My collection of bulbs certainly like the recent rains; everything is up now, even if they're a bit late flowering. Still, I have lots of daffodils in bloom plus Sparaxis, late freesias, the first of the Dutch iris, a few exquisite powder blue Muscari azureum, some early species Gladiolas and the first of the Ornithogalums. That'll tide me over until the spring stuff begins to bloom.
Okay here are some photos taken during one of our sunny interludes.

Papaver atlanticum Flore Pleno. This double form of the Spanish poppy offers crinkled papery petals in a lovely peachy-orange color. A perennial, it returns without fail each spring and sends up wiry stems topped with a single orange bloom.

Phlomis fruticosa. The so-called Jerusalem sage  is a tough evergreen shrub that can handle very dry conditions once established. Produces stacks of yellow flowers that remind some of Salvia clevelandii in form.

Thought my Calluna Rosea had finished blooming but it's put out a new crop. Love the delicate urn-shaped flowers.

When people first encounter Bank's rose, they are of two minds. It sort of looks like a rose but not quite. Flowers are small and filled with petals, giving them more of a puff ball look. A climbing rose it is and mine is the yellow flowering variety. Prolific bloomers and sturdy once established.

I have yet to find a planting bed for my new Chorizema cordatum (flame pea bush). But it's already in bloom so will enjoy its first flush of flowers this way. Though it's semi-tropical, it's hardy enough to deal with our climate here.

Physocarpus Amber Jubilee. This bronze-leaved variety of Ninebark is happy in its walkway bed, where it gets some reflected sun from the main house's stucco wall.

Though it's a bit hard to see, my Tillandsia tectorum has finally produced a flower spike. It is however progressing VERY slowly so who knows when it will bloom?

Dutch iris. Usually a reliable bloomer each year, it's still good to divide the bulbs after 3-4 years. Otherwise the new bulblets are in too much competition for space and nutrients.

Though it doesn't at first glance look like a Gazania, this is a double form. It reminds me a bit of a miniature Teddy Bear sunflower (a seedless variety).

We're having some construction work done so I've had to move some pots around. This pot of Violas is temporarily nestled in among some Iris.

JoeJoe Yellow kangaroo paw. This dwarf variety will only get 18" tall. It's in a pot for now but hopefully I can find an opening in a planting bed for it later.

Can't remember the name of this Dutch iris but it opens with bright yellow falls and whitish standards. Gradually the standards color up to this lovely lavender color.

Not the best photo composition wise but I wanted to share the first flush of flowers on my low growing Scabiosa Harlequin. It's formed a dense mat of foliage and will bloom continuously through at least October. Drought tolerant too.

Babiana stricta hybrid. Love the purple splashed with white flowers, as well as the pleated leaves. A tough customer, this South African bulb returns each year.

These Taurus Split Cup daffodils are kind of hidden behind my Marmalade bush so hard to catch them with sun illuminating the flowers. Still lovely!

Micromyrtus ciliata. Noticed a cool new stage of the flowers that opened white. Now they're acquiring a pink glow. Surprising and delightful.

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