Monday, April 16, 2018

Garden bloggers Bloom Day - April 2018

Cold and wet. That's April in a nutshell, so far. We expect that kind of weather in March, but April is supposed to let us be outdoors more - gardening, and even playing. It's just not that way this year, so I'm making the best of it by admiring the long bloom times this cold spring weather has promoted in a few species.

For example, Ribes sanguineum. It was just beginning to open for March Bloom Day. Now it's in full, glorious color, and feeding the hummers in my garden. I was seriously buzzed by a migratory Rufous hummingbird while taking these shots!

Also appearing last month, Mahonia repens is still happily brightening up the Northwest Territory.
 The last few flowers are clinging on to Osmanthus x burkwoodii.
A few tiny flowers on Lewisia columbiana var. rupicola. The blooming plant is a volunteer seedling from the mother plant. Gotta love those freebies!
Not to be outdone, Lewisia cotyledon 'Sunset Series' is pulling out all the stops.

And here's Lewisia longipetala 'Little Peach'.
In more pink news, Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum 'Sizzling Pink' has many more blooms than last year. It was hit hard by snow and ice in 2017 but seems to have recovered nicely from the necessary pruning of a few boughs.
Last month I showed the very first bloom on Camellia x 'April Kiss'. Now she's hitting her stride. I'm not a big fan of most camellias, but this one got into the garden on account of perfect petal positioning.

Malus 'Prairifire' is just beginning, but this looks to be a good year for the blooms.
I'm in love with Grevillia australis. The long-lived, crazy little flowers, the ferny, evergreen foliage, and the attractive shape are topped off by its sweet, honey-like fragrance. It's the very best thing happening on my hell strip!

The later-blooming Manzanitas are coming along. This one was mis-labeled but is probably Arctostaphylos 'Martha Ewan'.

Arctostaphylos hookeri 'Buxifolia'.

Dodecatheon hendersonii. This sweet wildflower is such a treat in the garden.
Ceanothus "Valley Violet' has had a rough couple of years. After clearly not liking her first location in the back garden, last spring she was transplanted into the hell strip where she proceeded to languish further, losing yet more branches.
I thought I would lose her last year, but she made it through summer and winter. Time will tell whether I get to enjoy this pretty native from the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden in a happier, healthier mode.
Euphorbia myrsinites?
I've come later in life to an appreciation of Pieris. I used to think they were ubiquitous and boring, but I've begun to enjoy the intense red spring foliage on some, and on others like these P. japonica 'Prelude", their small stature that makes them work well as a front-of-the-bed plant.
It wouldn't be spring without some Primroses, so here's Primula veris 'Sunset Shades'. I love this tiny hit of orange amid all the pinks and whites of spring.

And we'll close out this Bloom Day post with a snowflake-shaped Primrose, P. sieboldii 'Late Snow'.

Check over at Carol's May Dreams Gardens blog for lots more April flowers.
Happy (day after) Bloom Day!

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.