May Flowers

Just a stroll around the garden.  My flowering plants have always been kind of spread out – not grouped together all that much, so when I go around and take pics of everything that’s flowering I’m always shocked!

Let’s start with the Clematis.  I think Grace and I agreed the other day that this could well be ‘Elsa Spath’ (it came with the house so we’ll never know for sure but the description fits very well).

My hand span is 8″.

Whole plant:

This will be quite the show. The fence is 5′; at its tallest now the plant is up to 10′

My sister gave me this blueberry and it’s extremely floriferous!

Chives – Allium schoenoprasum

These pansies seeded themselves (from a hanging basket two years ago) into this pot with the grape and have been happily blooming away for months now.

Dwarf Korean Lilac – Syringa meyeri – is just starting its fragrant flower show.  I love its super-cute cupped leaves.  Excellent fall color, too!

Syringa meyeri

I let all that broccoli go to seed and the bees are having a ball.

Aptly named Polygonatum odoratum smells lovely, a very interesting scent.  You really have to get down low to smell it, though!

Polygonatum odoratum

My one Rhododendron.  I kind of want to keep this one… Kind of.   There were two others against the east wall of the house which we removed last year – they were so infested with lace bugs and bud blast and they were coarse and not fun to be around on the patio.  This one has some lace bugs too, but it’s not as bad.  I pruned it pretty hard last year, so it’s not covering itself with flowers like usual, but I think it’s healthier overall.

Speaking of covering self with flowers.  This is my neighbor’s and it’s very fragrant.  It WAFTS.

Look at the lusciousness.

I wish you could smell this.

This next plant never ceases to amaze me.  It started blooming in January, and look:

It will be FIVE MONTHS in flower by the time these are done. Amazing Hellebore.

Pelargonium ‘Vancouver Centennial’ bloomed indoors over the winter, and it’s been adjusting to outdoor life for several weeks now by coloring up its leaves with anthocynanin.  It was much lighter over the winter (pic from November).

Pelargonium ‘Vancouver Centennial’

Little Limnanthes is so cheery! I kind of like this with that weird orange Heuchera (upper right).

Limnanthes douglasii

And then there’s this old girl.  This won’t stop until frost.

Hot (Frickin) Lips Salvia. I’m working on making peace with it.

Here’s my plan with that Salvia, and yeah, hold me to this, would you? I’ve planted a few things around it that, once they grow a bit, will allow me to drastically reduce the size of the Salvia or move it/remove it (most likely the latter because this color of flowers is damned hard to work with and it’s not what I really want here). But until then, I’m going to just prune it as needed to allow those other plants some space.  I kind of like how it’s a weird shape right now which you can only see from the other side (I tried, but could’t get a convincing picture – you have to see it in person).  Maybe I should think of it as a sculpture.

Moving on – more pansies in a pot! Survivors from last year’s Mother’s Day event.

My third Geranium to bloom this year (three more to go) (unless I buy more plants, which I will).

NOID (yet)

The other geraniums are G. macrorrhizum and G. pyrenaicum ‘Bill Wallis’ and you can see them both in this post.

This little Geum rivale just won’t quit and I find it kind of irresistably cute..  It’s really doing well this year.  I might have to move it to where it can get more water over the summer.  It survived here last year, but I might have been watering it constantly (I don’t remember).

Geum rivale – almost a native

Lavender #1 is off to a great start! Nothin yet from #2.

I like this little Euphorbia.  It’s very delicate and seems to only seed around very lightly. So far. We’ll see.

Euphorbia cyparissias?

Almost at the end, we’re over in the forgotten zone where the pile of wood chips almost buried this Ornithogalum, which I find very aptly named – see how the mass of flowers looks like an umbel?

Ornithogalum umbellatum

I wish it had better foliage, but that’s what cover-up plants are for!

I don’t think I ever took a picture of this CWTH* lily-flowered tulip (which lasted for EVER by the way), but isn’t it just the epitome of absolute decadence right now? I weirdly love tulips when they’re falling apart.  My friend Carol taught me to appreciate them in this state a million years ago, and it has stuck with me.  The parrot tulips are the best.  I should grow them just for that.

*CWTH = Came With The House

I’ll end with the most stunning flowering plant of all right now.  This thing lights up my whole street and I love it when it flowers.  I hope my neighbors do too as they drive by.

 

Update for Alison! Yes, Geum rivale has pretty nifty seed heads, though they’re not as flamboyant as G. triflorum:

 

April sprouts, blooms, buds, and a couple new plants

This is a post I started at the beginning of April and forgot to post.  Mostly recordkeeping…

 

Super early! First blooms on Eccremocarpus came out March 25. And a bit washed-out, color-wise. They will deepen.
Also from March 25, Pulsatilla is still flowering a month later.
Magnolia ‘Genie’ is now making leaves. A gift from a friend, I’m not sure where to site this yet. Possibly a large pot while I mull it over.
Unflippingbelievable Hellebore started blooming January 15, and on April 25 it still looks like this.
Purple sprouting broccoli knocks my socks off. It’s now in flower.
Raspberries looking great, but this will be their last year with me.
Came-with-the-house Clematis is 10′ tall now. Mild winter, no pruning.
New plant! Chamaerops humilis var cerifera or var. argentea. This will be a focal point in the backyard.
Geranium ‘Bill Wallis’ just got this from Annie’s.
G. macrorrhizum (cv unknown if it is one). All Geraniums seem very successful under my dogwood tree.
This poor thing. I hope it grows out of this as it gets taller. It’s Arctostaphylos mewukka ‘Mottley Crue’ and it sure is looking “mottley”. A month later it’s now showing new growth.  I got this at Cistus last year.
Imperial white currant starting to bloom much later than the natives.
Geum rivale is incredibly cute and I’m going to have to move it now that I know it wants more water than it’ll ever get here. Very floriferous.
Ozothamnus rosmarinifolius ‘Silver Jubilee’ – got this from Xera Plants last spring and it’s doubled in size (at least) now about to flower. YEY
Can you see how far this tiny start of Zauschneria has spread just over the winter? I planted this one here last fall.
This is Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Howard McMinn’, also from Xera, planted last year (forgot when) and you can really see why people say it’s an easier one for the garden. No mold, lots of new growth already.
My neighbor’s cherry. Brief, but so glorious. I like that some branches visit my side of the fence.

And lastly, Grevillea victoriae is making new growth! This is yet another I got from Xera last May. This is right in front of my house.

That’s it for this very belated April update.  Funny, everything’s different now, especially now that we’re having some actual HOT weather (80F right now at 2pm April 25).  Excellent excuse for a new post!

April: Migration begins

Now that I’m seeing nighttime temperatures pretty reliably in the 40’s, I’ve been moving some tender plants outdoors gradually.

First up is the lime (Citrus hystrix), who looks better than ever before coming out of winter indoors. Last fall it got a re-pot into a more free-draining mix, and, it’s been under an LED grow light all winter. It’s had a great winter, even flowering and fruiting!

 

This Colocasia has actually been out here for maybe a week or so. It did not like the 33° dip we had a couple nights ago and I expect it will lose all these leaves. Just as well since they’re all small and etiolated.

 

Two of four mature Pelargoniums. The green one is a rose geranium and the other is ‘Vancouver Centennial’ which might be my favorite – although the fragrance of the rose-scented one is to die for.

Look at this gorgeous foliage. The flowers are a bright carmine and just stunning against these leaves.

Not pictured are a couple of Monsteras and other indoor subtropicals that I’m taking outdoors only during daytimes for now. Eventually I hope to give most of them summer vacations outdoors – at least, the hardier ones that can take cool summer nights.

Lastly a flat of vegetables that one hardened off and need to get in the ground. I kind of love how these look.

It’s three varieties of lettuce, spring cabbage (Quick Start), peas (Oregon Sugar Pod II), and the single sweet pea that actually germinated of the 10 or 12 seeds I sowed. Not sure what’s up with that but I tried again and set the tray outside so we’ll see.

Post update:

Apparently we’re in for a bit of a rainstorm with possibly significant wind.  Some people actually put tinfoil over the tops of the pots and around the trunks of their citrus to avoid rainfall causing waterlogging but I’m lucky enough to have a bright covered patio so everyone goes under that if it’s pouring.

Grace’s comment below inspired me to add this last frost date thing, which is better than just saying “April 20” because you can see that it’s a matter of declining probability:

What does “Wp Ap” mean? My guess is Airport.

I like that data for 24 and 28 degrees is included.  The link to the page this came from is in the comments below.

 

Next up: last month’s visit to Little Prince nursery, then we’ll take a stroll around the garden and see what’s happening in the landscape.