Saturday, June 17, 2017

Late Bloomer-Garden Bloggers Bloom Day June 2017

 On the eve of my departure for points east to join in Garden Bloggers Fling, I couldn't fail to put up a Bloomday post --that just would have been wrong. Photos were hurriedly snapped at a very early hour this morning as I began the process of watering EVERYTHING. We are not only having a dreadful heatwave ( 102 yesterday and heading towards 99 today) which is expected to stick around til Wednesday, I need to have all garden beds hydrated so that the watering helper only has to worry about the containers and the newly planted shade area in my absence.

 So here is a very small selection of what is flowering in my garden this month.

 The Lilies have begun their parade in the garden this month. As is customary, I bought more this spring . This is Montego Bay which I had completely forgotten about until it opened this week.The photo doesn't really show off the more orange-y tones -not quite as pink as it appears here.

 I believe this is Geum Totally Tangerines 5th bloomday. More bloomstalks are on the way.

 The excellent Clematis 'Arabella' with her Verbascum neighbors.

This Verbascum is  V. nigrum 'Album' added last fall.

 My one and only Echinacea 'Ferris Wheel'.

 The completely and totally fabulous Eryngium 'Jos Eijking'  whose variety I still can't pronounce , however I can now spell it.

 Mash up of Verbena bonariensis, noid Anigozanthos and drumstick Allium bringing up the rear.

The Allium gets it's own photo as it hangs out with the yet-to-open Liatris.

Loving my Orlaya, wishing I'd bought more than 2, and hoping they might reseed a bit.

And the majestic Lobelia tupa.  Double in size this year with 8 bloom stalks thus far. I visit it every day after work without fail.

 Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts bloomy bloggers every month.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day May 2017

May is the month that finds my garden beginning the transition from the lush exuberance of spring with all it's explosive new growth into the dry months that are a defining factor of our Mediterranean climate . We had a brief heat wave this month , with the temps hitting the low nineties and the hills around our valley are beginning to take on the golden brown hue that is characteristic of summertime. Rain is still possible but not common, and often not measureable.

 One of my favorites this bloomday is Cenolophium denudatum. I purchased this last summer and left it in a pot while I agonized over where I would plant it. The spot was chosen , and it kept it's bright green foliage all winter . So far it's a winner.Love those umbellifers !

 Both of my Hawkshead Fuchsias are quite pink this spring, but blooming madly and are both in the 5 foot height range.

 Briza media always gets the cute grass award.

Not grown for it's blooms but Symphytum 'Axminster Gold' pumps them out in spring as the basal leaves get progressively tattier. It's big first cut-back of the year will come soon, fortunately regrowth is rapid.

  I have several Achillea 'Moonshine' around the garden; they are a workhorse.

Phlomis 'Amazone' was about to get the ax , but I think our winter rains gave it the nudge it needed. This is most it has ever bloomed since I've had it-probably 3 years. I'm still undecided about it's fate.

  The Anigozanthes is just starting to flower, here it is with the ever reliable Verbena bonariensis.

 Geum 'Totally Tangerine' has been blooming since February. There are still new flower stems coming up now , so it looks like there is at least a few more weeks of bloom in store.

This Phlomis dominates the view in the front garden.

 This is Digitalis 'Snow Thimble' which I purchased last fall. I  like to use white flowers in my garden, they really seem to pop against the foliage along the fence line. I put these in a location where full sun plants don't perform well  -too much shade leading to lots of stretching and flopping. These have been a perfect solution and I plan to add more when they are offered again at Annies. 

 Eryngiums catch the morning sun

 The spring Clematis are a done deal but the later bloomers are going strong. Noid on this pink-ish number.

 Etoile Violettes

The excellent Arabella will bloom into fall.

Plenty more May blooms are to be had over at May Dreams Gardens where our hostess Carol shares flowers from around the world on the 15 of each month.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Mendocino Village Gardens

 I try to travel out to the Mendocino County coast at least twice a year. It's relatively close-a scenic 3 hour drive. Because it is isolated by virtue of some of the windiest roads California offers  it seems as though you have entered a slow-motion universe where your attention is captivated by  the sea. This either renews me or makes me morose to return to the stressful terrain of the office.Usually some combination of the two.
 I make it a habit to execute a garden photo walk though the village of Mendocino where small pocket gardens are plentiful and I have posted about these walks here and here.

 It's been several years since I visited in spring (I tend to go out in autumn when the weather is best)  and I was looking forward to peeking at some of my favorite gardens , but decided instead to walk about on the quiet end of the town that is adjacent to the headlands

 Here's a long view of the 'neighborhood' . One can fantasize about living here, but you'll need at least a million bucks and high tolerance for wind, fog, cold, isolation and ageing hippies. Another source of income besides an actual job would help too.

 The most notable plant feature was the Cistus, blooming everywhere in almost every garden.  

And then there were the Echiums

 Upper left , this was the closest I could get to these Echiums.

 This is one of my favorite gardens in the village, and I took multiple shots. The house sits atop a densely landscaped hill featuring mounds of xeric and ocean tolerant plants. I was frustrated by the  bright contrast-y light ,all photos were take before 10am but damn, a few clouds would have helped.

 Here is the garden at the public library. No mow-blow meatballs for this institution.

Around the block where I had parked, looking over fences.

 This one was for sale, 1.65 mil I believe was the price tag.

 And fasciated Euphorbia behind Dicks Bar.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Do-Over at the Nichols Garden

  My first visit to this garden was on the occasion of Garden Bloggers Fling, San Francisco in 2013. This was the year my camera went belly-up on the evening of day one and thus I had few photos of any of the gardens we visited . Thankfully our friend Alison over at Bonney Lassie had cleverly brought along her point and shoot and kindly let me borrow it , though the unseasonable heat wave and horrible photo conditions were not in my favor . At that point I also had an early generation iphone that took such abysmal photos  I didn't even bother to use it. The Nichols garden in Piedmont (the high rent adjunct to Oakland) was a favorite among my fellow Flingers and I have been regretful that I was not able to document it to my satisfaction. This year I was thrilled to see that this garden was included on the Garden Conservancy Open Day on April 22nd . I took many many photos , and I am only sharing a portion of them here; Gerhard from Succulents and More joined me there and I expect he will post about this fantastic garden as well and hopefully cover some of the areas I have excluded.

 So, if you are walking down the street, just strolling along, you come upon this.

 The San Francisco Bay Area, and particularly the East Bay which includes Berkeley, Albany and Oakland, cities which are nestled up to hills that separate the cool fog belt from the inland dry/hot regions are areas in which I'm pretty convinced  you can grow just about anything . No frost, modest heat, decent winter rains and just the right amount of sun.These photos should convince you.

 The largest and most pristine Aloe polyphylla I've encountered. Going to say it was 2 to 3 feet in diameter.

And the front garden includes this Tillandsia tree. I'm trying not to over do the photos I took of this feature. Bear with me, I'm showing restraint.

 And speaking of Tillandsias, the lot is steep , and  the path up to the back garden is bordered by a rustic fence that displays more of the Nichols collection of epiphytics. It is all beautifully curated and artfully arranged . I spent considerable time on this path.

At the top of the path is this beautiful water feature .

 We haven't visited the back garden yet. Here's about a tenth of the photos I took there. The color combinations are very well done, and as a contrast to the front there are Roses, some herbaceous perennials and evergreen shrubs clearly selected for color and form.

 I particularly liked the color echos provided by the Irises juxtaposed against Berberis and Coprosma.Well done !

Lots of beautiful stuff in the back.

 I'll close out with a few random images from various areas of the garden. Thanks to Ann Nichols for generously sharing this outstanding garden.

Follow this link to see photos from Fling 2013