Thursday, March 15, 2018

Garden bloggers Bloom Day - March 2018

Lately, my travel adventures are interfering with my timely posting on Bloom Day. And, last month I never posted at all! I have some catching up to do (and it's almost spring!) so here are a few blooms for this March Bloom Day.

The native Mahonia are in full bloom in the Northwest Territory. here is M. aquifolium.

And this is M. repens. The blossoms look the same to me, although the foliage easy to tell apart.

Another native blooming in the Northwest Territory is the pretty-in-pink Ribes sanguineum.

And a blooming native hybrid is the lovely Osmanthus x burkwoodii

The very last blossoms of Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide" are still hanging on...

...while the spring-blooming camellias are starting up. Here's the first, not-quite-open bloom of Camellia x 'April Kiss'.

And here are the tiny, fleeting blossoms of C. transnokoensis.

The odd little flowers of Ribes davidii.

Flowers on a NOID Epimedium.

Daphne x transatlantica 'Eternal Fragrance', of course!

The elusive little flowers of Grevillea australis.

This particular Lewisia cotyledon 'Sunset Series' has been blooming it's head off for a month now.

Luzula sylvatica 'Aurea' with its little brown blossom/seeds.

My only Hellebore is finally getting into the act this year.

 And we can't overlook Arctostaphylos x 'Austin Griffiths', still blooming from two months ago.

Let's end this post with a blast of fire, Primula 'Cowichan Red'.

I'm joining in the monthly Bloom Day fun at May Dreams Gardens today. Happy Bloom Day!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Snow load

One of the challenges of gardening with a lot of evergreen plants - especially evergreen trees and shrubs - is the occasional heavy snowfall in winter. Because a lot of these plants don't naturally grow where snow is common, their evergreen canopies can hold a LOT of snow, which eventually bows down even the stoutest branches.

A big snowstorm hit last year, and the weight of that snow was the killing blow to a mature Ceanothus 'Victoria' and two Pinus contorta in the garden. This year, the snow was a little more clement in its quantity, but we did have probably three inches last night and I now have weeping varieties of some of my favorite plants.
 Here's what it looked like out my dining room window first thing this morning. I had gone around and shaken off the trees and shrubs last night, so what you see on the plants was all from the overnight snowfall.
When I had a chance to get outside later this morning, I took these photos and then shook the plants off again. I hope this is it for our snow this season!

Eucalyptus pauciflora ssp debeuzevillei looks it's not going to bounce back from the weight on some of the slimmer branches.

After shaking the snow off, I may as well use the opportunity to admire the young, colorful twigs up close.

I decided not to try to protect the emerging buds of the hybrid Syneilesis aconitifolia. It will be interesting to see whether the cold and snow will damage them, or whether they will unfurl their odd, shredded leaves as usual.

Pyrrosia sheareri is buried.

The potted NOID olive (I suspect 'Frantoio' or 'Leccino') was a little bowed, but bounced back when I gently shook it.

Not so encouraging for Podocarpus macrophyllus, which is still leaning more than before it snowed. I guess I may need to stake it again.

Here's a perky little Lewisia, looking like it was made for snow.

Grevillea australis recovered nicely after snow clearing. That fine, dense foliage can hold a lot of snow!

Back in the Northwest Territory, Azara microphylla and Pinus thunbergii 'Thunderhead' look fine after a dusting off.

Ozmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki' is snug in a little snow cave.
Ozmanthus x burkwoodii looks fine, too.

Ribes sanguineum is poking unperturbed through its snow cover with almost-open flower buds.

And Snowdrops clearly know the drill.

I'll leave you with the blossoms of Arctostaphylos 'Austin Griffiths', looking quite lovely in their snowy hat, as they take this year's snow load in stride.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - January 2018 - with bonus bugs!

I didn't even post last month for Bloom Day. I guess I'd just had enough of 2017, and was happy to leave it behind. Now it's January - a new year, a new season of gardening, and I'm already stoked to get started in the garden again.

So let's see what's out there on this uncharacteristically dry day in the middle of winter.

Lewisia cotyledon 'Sunset Series' is flowering! You could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw it. This just shows you how mild our winter has been so far. It's so different from last year at this time when we had the-snow-that-would-not-go.

Arctostaphylos x  'Austin Griffiths' is enticing hummers from far and wide.

He's blooming right on time, although his flowers seem a little paler than last year.
The buds of Mahonia repens are just beginning to break. It's quite early; last year they weren't at this stage until March.
Fatsia japonica is still blooming, and it's swarming with flies! I can't smell anything foul that would attract them, but something apparently is irresistible about these blossoms.

It doesn't do much for me, aesthetically, to see flies all over the flowers but I do find it oddly fascinating.

 Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide' rebounded after some cold, wet days and is blooming again.
Getting up close to shoot an individual flower, I noticed that there were some ants feeding on its nectar.

In fact, there were so many ants on each open flower, they looked like a new black detail in the center of the golden stamens.

Abutilon megapotamicum blossoms are another sign of our (so far) mild winter.
A few individual flowers persist on Rosemarinus officinalis 'Bonny Jean'. In case you were wondering, I will not be calling it Salvia any time in the near future.
The faithful Daphne 'Eternal Fragrance' blooms on through winter.
My Hellebores are in deep shade, so they're always later than most people's. I just have fat buds, right now.

I'll close with the colorful buds of Camellia transnokoensis. When they do finally open, the flowers are almost pure white.

Bloom Day is sponsored by the lovely Carol, at May Dreams Gardens. Hop over there to see what's blooming elsewhere on this winter's day.

Happy Bloom Day!