Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – April 2013

I’m usually not organized enough to participate in Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day with May Dreams Gardens but this month I have a bunch of blooms and I’m ready!

Most of my true annual volunteers are still looking pretty good.

All the plants in the foreground of the above shot are volunteers. Oh how I love free plants!

Zaluzianskya capensis bloomed all winter but the warmer it gets the more abundantly it blooms and the more fragrant it is. I’ve seen others criticize it for not being very exciting but I think the shrubby little plants are quite attractive and when the blooms open in the afternoon it is gorgeous.

Linaria reticulata ‘Flamenco’ is still blooming like crazy. A few at the front (where they receive less water) are starting to peter out.  I’m wondering if I will get any new seedlings and bloom for the season or if I am going to have to fill this big area of the garden with a few summer bloomers.

Ursinia anthemoides were a huge success this year and many are still in full bloom.

Geranium maderense has survived the wind storms and has been putting on a show for the past month.

Clianthus puniceus from New Zealand deserves better placement in the garden than I gave it.  It has long stems that get weighted down by the large flowers so they end up hanging down pretty close to the ground.  Closer to the front of a raised bed or large container is my suggestion for anyone growing this neat plant.

Sutherlandia frutescens from South Africa is a similar pea flowered plant but a little more delicate. This one bloomed in just one year from seed despite some rough handling. First it got swamped by some Lotus growing nearby, then it got tromped on and snapped in half by construction workers, I dug it up just in time before they could do more damage and it surprised me with new growth and new blooms in the gallon pot it calls home now.

Echium gentianoides ‘Tajinaste’ is basically a smaller and more airy and delicate Echium candicans.

Most of my succulents are living in containers in the backyard. Awaiting some future garden. My Aloe dorotheae surprised me with a beautiful organe and green inflorescence.

I’m very glad I kept two Craspedia globosa in my mediterranean garden.

Hymenolepis parviflora has become a nice little shrub. It bounced back quickly after an attack by caterpillars last month.

I have tons of ladybugs which is a good thing because I also have tons of aphids.

A few Coreopsis gigantea flowers remain.

I snapped this photo of a Dudleya pulverulenta inflorescence just in time. A few days later my neighbors large dog escaped confinement and went on a rampage through my garden.  She snapped stems and small plants left and right. My future garden will have a fence to keep out neighbors dogs as well as marauding deer.

Euphorbia mauritanica in bloom looks pretty sticky and a bit sinister up close.

I am sure that there are some people who would consider Chrysanthemum paludosum a potentially noxious weed. A six pack of plants last year became thousands this year. But they are very easy to edit out and much more charming and longer blooming than perennial Chrysanthemum hosmariense that I also grow. They have become one of my “must have” plants.

I’ve posted about Thymus juniperifolius a few times.  In full bloom you can’t even see the foliage that gives it its Latin name.

Convolvulus sabatius is a tough and reliable plant for California gardens.

I had no luck with Penstemons last year. I planted many and they all withered and died. I’m trying again this year with various P. heterophyllus cultivars.  This is ‘Margarita BOP’.

Lavandula stoechas ‘Boysenberry Ruffles’ is pretty spectacular despite the fufu name.

Up close the bicolor blooms are pretty intense.

I like the overall form of this Lavandula stoechas ‘Blue Star’ (even though it is a bit floppy).

But up close the flowers are a bit stunted compared to other L. stoechas cultivars. The jury is still out on this one for me.

I’ll have to check my notes but it seems like this Mentzelia lindleyi has been blooming for about two months. Very rewarding since it is a California native and it was also a free volunteer. This winds have battered it a bit but it is still going strong.

I posted this little vignette last week but this week the Euphorbia ‘Blue Haze’ is in full bloom.

The first blooms of Berlandiera lyrata are opening up. It is well worth getting down on the ground to get a whiff of the amazing hot cocoa smell of these flowers.

Last year I was quite disappointed with Eccremocarpus scaber ‘Cherry Red’. It just sort of sat there looking sad all summer.  Since everything in California seems to grow like crazy I forgot that some perennials need a year or two to get established.  Now it is doing just what I wanted it to do. Covering the ugly chain link fence.  And the hummingbirds go crazy for it.

I think that is enough for now! Do go check out the links at May Dreams Gardens to see what is blooming in other garden bloggers parts of the world.

29 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – April 2013

    • : wistful sigh. I was just looking at the area I had to redevelop and imagining how nice it would have looked if it could have been left in peace. Oh well.

  1. Amazing and wonderful. How have you done that? I’ve always been convinced that our sand is somehow poisonous to this species and that. As for Zaluzianskya capensis, I love this plant, but I’ve never been able to keep it going for more than a year and a half, but somehow HAVE managed to keep it going with one surviving rooted cutting at a time. I’ve always kept it in a container. (?) Do you have also the Xhosa dream herb (Silene capensis)? Flower is similar, and it is somehow thriving over this past winter. Disorganized is exactly what I am, though. If you ever manage to come over and see my garden, get ready for some serious disorganization. Also, please wait. My front, where I have flowering plants as opposed to veggies (in the back yard, that is) must be a lot colder than your space. My back yard would have a similar exposure, and air drainage to your whole yard, perhaps, but the back is about one-third taken up with localized Los Osos scrub wilderness, as per the landlady’s wishes. Bird habitat, and that.

    One native plant I’m wondering if you might have, that (some years anyway) is quite spectacular is Erysimium insulare, It’s blooming now. I’ve been havesting seed for a couple of years (it doesn’t produce many, and no volunteers). I have one in a gallon I could offer you.

    I’ve been planting seeds like a madman recently. I’m especially keen to save a few remaining Stylomecon seedlings (Annie’s, also well know in England, I gather), They are a damp off-er. They were at MB Miner’s a few weeks ago, but just like the very first one I bought, 4 inch, the main stem was fragile at the soil line. Grew very well for a few weeks and then, wind or racoon? Bam, gone.
    Nice talking to you! hope there’s no character limit to comments.

    • I don’t have Sileine capensis but I did add some Silne ‘Druett’s Variegated’ which is a cute little plant with similar white flowers. I love Stylomecon (actually love all types of poppies) but don’t have any. I do have a Glaucium grandiflorum that has buds now that I am super excited about. It was one of the plants that I had to move so I was really worried and babied it. That seems to have done the trick as it looks pretty good in its new home.

    • I must admit I do look at it quite a bit. It is nice working at home. But of course I also see everything that went wrong or that didn’t work out. I’m just careful to edit those things out of the photos!

  2. Absolutely fantastic…I’m thunderstruck by Boysenberry Ruffles…I’ve never seen anything like it!!
    You did bloom day proud this month! 🙂
    ps. I’m also in love with Linaria reticulata ‘Flamenco’. My fave color combo. 🙂

    • Yeah I wasn’t sure if I liked that Lavender when I put it in last year but it has grown on me. And I agree with the colors on Linaria. I especially love it as a back drop to other more pastel colored flowers.

  3. It is exquisite.I wish I could see,.touch and smell it all in person. Great work.


  4. Hello Kaveh, your Plant Propaganda blog is my favorite blog. I haven’t seen as many posts on your succulents and mesembs as I did in the earlier days of your blog and I miss them a little but California natives, annuals of all kinds, and Mediterranean garden plants are keeping me very happy! I’m intrigued by the little daisy in the second image from the top (the one you captioned “All the plants in the foreground of the above shot are volunteers. Oh how I love free plants!”). Are they barely opened daisies of Chrysanthemum paludosum? Or are they something else?
    PS: Whoever said Zaluzianskya capensis is not very exciting has not seen your photographs. It looks incredible in your garden and I’m going to try it in the autumn when cooler weather returns to south Florida.

    • Hey there. The mesembs aren’t doing much at the moment. Some of them are going dormant and I have some seed to start new plants but I haven’t had time to sow them yet. Hopefully some updates soon(ish).

      The little white flower is indeed C. paludosum with Gilia tricolor, Moluccella laevis, Layia platyglossa, and barely visible Helipterum roseum ‘Pierott’. They do close a bit in the evening just as the Zaluzianskya are opening.

      By the way I got them as a six pack last year for $3 and now have drifts of them throughout the garden. True annuals are a cheap investment for a new garden to fill in spaces while perennials and shrubs take their time reaching full size.

  5. one of my favorite blogs to see how annie’s plants do out of the nursery! very inspiring.

    did just notice a typo: Urinia [sic] anthemoides rereading it today. i didn’t water mine enough i think and it died. 😦

    • Thanks! Fixed it. So easy to miss mistakes on botanical names no matter how many times I proofread since spell check marks them all wrong anyway.

      Glad you like the blog. I do love my Annie’s Plants!

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