The spring annual garden is more or less over. The California natives actually performed really well despite all my fretting that they didn’t get enough winter rain this year.
The Layia platyglossa was the last remaining California native annual last weekend. I collected a huge envelope of seed (Not so easy to do on a windy day! As you can see in the photo above the achenes of Layia are very much like dandelion fluff). I collected some seed from Lupinus succulentus as well. I may do some sort of seed exchange later in the year. Check back this fall or winter and maybe if I have collected enough seed from interesting plants I’ll set something up or have a contest or something.
I could have left a few of the Layia but decided to make a botanical garden inspired clean sweep of things. Of the early spring bloomers only a few Ursinia and perennials remain in the front beds. The rest was removed, weeded, and cleaned up.
Helipterum roseum ‘Pierrot’ planted in the back of the annual bed is still looking pretty good. I’ll probably grow this from seed again next year.
Clarkia amoena ‘Aurora’ is a late spring bloomer. It is in full bloom now.
The problem with using true annuals or doing any kind of seasonal bedding is you are always going to have some down time.
Luckily there are enough perennials and a few remaining annuals so it doesn’t look too bad. The front of the mixed border is now planted with a mix of Convolvulus, different types of annual Rudbeckia, and Ageratum. If all goes well in a month or two all that bare soil will be filled in and we’ll be back in full bloom.
The main annual bed has newly planted Convolvulus, a few Rudbeckia, California native Mentzelia lindleyi, Ageratum, Consolida regalis, and a few Calibrachoa that aren’t really doing that well. I’m not sure if they prefer warmer weather or what the story is with them but they look sad. There are also some Scabiosa stellata ‘Stern Kugel’ and Didiscus caeruleus (aka Trachymene caeruela) that I started from seed in January and planted out in April. They both just take a really long time to bloom.
The first Scabiosa stellata ‘Stern Kugel’ flower is finally starting to open. These should have really amazing ornamental seed heads. Easy to grow from seed but a bit slow.
Convolvulus tricolor ‘Royal Ensign’ were just recently planted but some are already blooming. I’m curious to see how these do. I’ve used them in containers before and they are wonderful spilling out and hanging over the sides. Now I have them planted in the ground in the fronts of the beds to sprawl about. Hopefully I’ll like the look.
This is probably more work than a lot of people want to deal with in their gardens. This may actually be more work than I want to deal with in the long run. Next year I may end up sticking some low maintenance shrubs in these beds. But for now the novelty and excitement of having a garden after 10 years of apartment living is motivating me to try as many things as I can. So a few weeks of ugly should have a nice pay off in July or August. Look for updates then!