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.