Sunday, May 15, 2016

BloomDay May 2016

There are no shortage of blooms this month, and May is always transitional here. The winter and spring rains are likely over, so the watering of the garden begins. I managed to hold off on all but containers until yesterday, but when the Lavender is wilting you know it's time to take action.
 Poppies have been mostly a no-show the last few years. I typically scatter seed in fall , and with little or no winter rain the seeds either never came up or came up too late. This year they are everywhere, but all one variety.

Papaver somniferum Laurens Grape


Worlds cutest grass, Biza media.

 Briza media with the cast iron pure yellow Gaillardia

 Most of the roses have completed the first bloom flush of the season, here are a couple of the stragglers.

Sally Holmes

Lady Emma Hamilton

Phlomis with Verbena bonariensis

The first Sanguisorba flower of the year is S. 'Chocolate Tips'

The excellent Clematis 'Rooguchi' ..

Feijoa sellowiana

Eryngium 'jos eijking' is stopping the show in my front garden this year.

  This is Agastache 'Grapefruit Nectar' just starting to bloom in the hell strip.

As always, thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting this global event on the 15th of each month. Be sure to stop by for your monthly bloom tonic !

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Gardens at the Back Bay Inn

 Earlier this week I made a  brief but  mentally required road trip to the California central coast area . The central coast is an obvious transition  between Northern and  Southern California; for the plant-centric among us the differences are easy to see. Our hills began to shed their green winter finery and don the golden brown of summer the further south I traveled. Thanks to a recommend from the Mulch Maid , I booked a few nights at the Back Bay Inn , a  small casual establishment  on the quiet south end of Morro Bay. Besides the attraction of being right on the water , this inn had a lovely small garden with a compelling plant palette that framed the view of the water from my 2nd floor balcony. 

 This Agave has seen better days .

 Looks like there is some new planting to do !

 The little boardwalk takes the stroller past the resting Kayaks and through the garden.

Some nice well-grown specimens; cacti and succulents thrive in this frost-free and relatively low rainfall climate.

 As do South African and Australian cultivars.

The poodled-up trees are unfortunately Melaleucas that are headed back to allow the the balconies an unobstructed view. Since I was in fact on a balcony I selfishly mentally approved of this otherwise unacceptable pruning device.

 On the inland side of the building , grasses , Salvias and Gaillardias provide another punch of color, I expect these are likely to bloom almost year round here.

 While I was gone -3.5 days - all my weeds grew 10 feet. Or so it seemed.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Late Bloomer-The Roses

  At this late date I'm not going to attempt to make this an 'official' Bloomday post. Instead I have been taking the odd rose shot as time permits this month . This morning I was up early getting a few more photos and a camera malfunction (which turned out to be operator error) obliterated my shots. So I'm going with what I've got !

 At one time I  had over 70 roses in my garden. I collected them and when I wanted another I ripped out whatever I had to to make room. My collection has been edited for various reasons; duplicates, disease, and modern roses that sometimes decline or sucker so heavily that Dr Huey takes over.I think I am down to about 30.  Last year I considered removing one (Honey Perfume) that had become so attractive to rose curculio that most of the blooms were ruined. I gave it one more year and used a very draconian method of control that involved sacrificing an entire spring bloom flush. It seems to have worked.I haven't planted a new rose in several years, but I want Lady Hillingdon desperately  so am strategizing a location. Here then are a few that have made the cut.

Golden Celebration is an David Austin rose with a buttery yellow petal packed flower. Though classified as a shrub ,it grows quite large in the Norcal climate and should definitely not be considered for the 'front row' of the border.

A few shots here of the 1909 hybrid 'Gruss an Aauchen' , in some camps alleged to be the 1st floribunda. I love this rose so much that I tolerate the horrible rust and blackspot that comes on in spring, and spend the time to strip off the bad foliage and cut it back hard for a summer re-bloom.

This is the David Austin rose 'Molineux.' It never stops blooming, it never gets diseased,  and the only negative  can think of is that it only holds up a couple days in a vase.

'Brass Band' is a Jackson Perkins floribunda from 1993. Cast iron.

Jean Giono is a Romantica rose ,the  French house of Medillands' answer to the David Austin roses. Sometimes you will see it classified as a Hybrid Tea, sometimes as a shrub rose. The vein-y petals are my favorite feature.

'Prospero' another excellent David Austin selection, but good luck finding it. It was hard to locate when I bought it way back in the 90'  when roses were more popular and rose nurseries were plentiful.

Lets finish up with 'Eden' aka 'Pierre Ronsard' the worst rose for disease (primarily blackspot) in my garden. It has received an annual stay of execution consistently for years-there is just nothing quite like it and so it stays.  See this post for more diva shots.

Monday, February 15, 2016

February Bloom Day at the Ruth Bancroft Garden

 This month Bloom Day takes a road trip to the venerable Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek. My own garden hasn't got much going on this month, I have so many renovations in process the early spring view has suffered.How many times can I take a photo of the same Hellebore ?  Here then are Aloes and a few others that caught my cameras eye. Full disclosure-these images were taken yesterday.

Aloe 'Creamsicle '

 The pergola was still sporting it's winter frost cover. The plant labels were not accessible, and due to my spotty Aloe naming skills I have no ID to share.

The A. marlothii inside the covered tunnel had yet to bloom, while the 8 footer in the open garden was showing off .

The tag was elusive on this one, but I think it's mighty cute .

Aloe microstigma

I love the blooms of Aloe striata as they emerge.

The spectacular Aloe ferox arborescens I believe.

Aloe mutabilis ? Moving towards the end of it's run

 A few unknowns

Aloe framsii

Aloe capitata.

 Some non-Aloe blooms were in display as well.
    Leucadendron 'Ebony'

 NOID , a Grevillea of some sort I presume.

Bulbine just coming into bloom.

 Be sure to visit May Dreams Gardens to get your February bloom-fix from around the globe. Happy Bloom Day !