Showing posts from 2023

Bloomday for May 2023

   After a cold and wet spring, it looks like the weather is settleing into a more normal pattern. We had rain as recently as May 6th and I still have about 75 gallons of collected rainwater that I am useing for containers and newly installed in ground plants. I will likely have to start watering the garden at large before this week is out and it's pretty much the latest I've been able to put off the irrigating for several years.  Here then are just a few of the bloomers in my garden this month.   Cistus 'Snowfire' is always a favorite. Purchased from Digging Dog during my Covid lockdown gardening projects it is a tough plant that has the extra bonus of a bit longer bloom time than others of the genus. Climbing rose 'Sombreuil' is a beast that got a very hard prune this winter , and I managed minimal wounds in the process-it has very robust thorns. David Austin rose 'Golden Celebration.' Topped out right now at about 7 feet, it's giving it's fenc

Winter Stroll through the Ruth Bancroft Garden

  We Northern California Zone 9 weather wimps are having a cold time of it this year. Never the less, I bravely piled on some layers and drove down to Walnut Creek in the early morning a couple of Sundays ago hoping to catch the Aloe bloom at the Ruth Bancroft Garden. The Aloes are running late this year so many were just budded up or barely open but it felt good to be out enjoying a public garden with my camera in hand.   As it turned out I didn't actually take too many Aloe shots , but RBG is particularly photogenic so I aimed the camera at whatever took my fancy .   The shade structure was still decked out in it's cold and wet weather protective gear, and I imagine it still is-it was 28 degrees this morning at my house and similar temperatures are predicted for the next few days before rain returns on the weekend.   There were actually some Dykias for sale in the RBG nursery , but all in 2gal containers and out of my budgetary comfort zone. For now I'll have to be conten

Mangaves React to the Atmospheric Rivers

 My collection of Mangaves' tolerance for my zone 9 winters here in Northern California fluctuates. I've lost a couple over the years but disfigurement is more common and they tend to grow out of it over the course of summer and fall. For the first couple of years I grew them they all lived in containers -I really didn't know what to expect and at least I was able to move them around easily to audition a variety of locations without commitment. I could also move them to protected areas in winter and learn which were the most frost and/or rain averse. Eventually I started planting those that endured winter with little or no damage  into the ground.   My first frost this year was in early November and  it kicked off a lengthy string of freezing temps overnight, the lowest of which was 25. It was a relief when the clouds rolled in and brought along mornings in the 40's. Unless you are one who eschews news media you probably know what happened next. My rainfall totals for t