February Flowers, Pt 1 of 2 (photo heavy)

jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)February 24, 2012

We have had very little rain this 2011/2012 winter - what little has fallen has alternated with several weeks of uninterrupted cold nights/sunny days. As a result all the plants are confused and think it's 4-6 weeks later than it really is.

Even as the bigger stargums are hanging on to their dying red-brown leaves, the crabapple and pear trees are in full bloom, and even the magnolias are already out in force (which alas, I have to admire in other people's yards as I have none of my own).

I took quite a lot of photos of what was flowering in my garden on Feb 19th and will break them up into two threads:


I'm replanting my containers with more drought-resistant plants, and this spiky grass-like one threw out some bright yellow flower spikes:

Solanum jasminoides vine, which always seems in bloom:

The white senecio (one of several plants known as Dusty Miller) is in flower, and the gladiola spikes are already appearing:

I forgot to write down the name of this plant - a sedum? a crassula? - but it has beautiful red flower spikes to contrast with its fleshy silver-green leaves:

Pineapple sage - many salvias have given up the ghost in my garden during our cold wet winters, but this one came through in terrific shape. Its bright red flower spikes are a gorgeous contrast to the chartreuse leaves:

J&P's "Electric Blanket" rose is hands-down the toughest rose I have, not that I have that many, LOL. But in January it even had multiple flowers although all the leaves had fallen off in the cold - I was amazed, first time that's happened:

I was sick most of January and didn't prune the roses back until after the first week in February. Already all the roses are showing tremendous new growth. This is "Intrigue":

My favorite fragrant dwarf rhodie, "Fragrantissima", is ready to begin blooming, too. It's been so sunny the leaves have gotten toasted because the Japanese maples aren't leafed out yet; hence their silvery-brown appearance:

Dwarf Rhaphiolepsis indica "Ballerina" is subject to anthracnose here, as they hate our high winter humidity and my crowded conditions. This is the only one that has done well so far:

The reddish nubs are the flowers of this variegated Rhamnus. They open a bright yellow with red centers, and are so numerous that even though tiny, it adds nice color to the shrub:

My Pride of Madeira erysimum is also throwing up early flower buds:

A trailing red pelargonium in a pot intermingles with flowering "Tuscan Blue" rosemary:

Pelargoniums are popular here, because they bloom a lot, have few disease or pests, and with some care in siting will come through our winters in fine form:

The nasturtiums have reseeded all over, and so do the osteospermums (African daisy). The osteos also intermingle their colors, so I have white, pink, lavendar, and dark purple:

This osteo I'm trying to keep from the others. It's one of the new 'warm' colors, "Autumn Sunset":

My Bearss Lime tree has finally decided to forgive me moving it three times, and is giving me limes for the first time in four years:

We have three Meyers and this is the heaviest crop time. I'm giving them away to everyone I know:

Also ubiquitous here is lantana, one of the most xeric plants around. I have eight of them scattered around various beds. These are two 'trailers', one white, one purple:

Shrub lantanas suffer much more from our cold rainy winters than trailing lantana does. This is "Peaches 'n' Cream":

This little silver-leaved bloomer with its tiny, perfect pink flowers is a trailing kalanchoe, paired with a small green spiky dracena:

End of Part One - hope you enjoyed the photos!

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I did enjoy these...very much!
Made me homesick for Southern Calif.
I miss all of Mother's colorful Geraniums, Grannie's orchard with pie lemons, tangerines and Spanish oranges. We had Loquats, Pomegranates, and Avocado trees.
Your Meyers Lemon is wonderful. I want to try growing one here...in a container.
LOVE the silver Kalanchoe, especially much.

Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 8:39PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Wonderful blooms- so early! I love your citrus photos- made my mouth water!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 1:33PM
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mrtoad(7b NC)

beautiful - nice work with the camera

mr toad

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 8:32AM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

ooooh! I just love it when a post states photo heavy.

Wonderful pics. Amazing to see plants that won't survive here and others that do.

I need to get some rosemary. I had it at the other house, but have to get some for this garden.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 9:45AM
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Thanks for taking the time to post all of these. In my project of planning a new garden here after relocating from Zone 5/6, it's very helpful seeing what is blooming when in "real life" rather than in the nurseries.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 11:32AM
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