Wednesday, April 15, 2015

From Spring into Summer

Rose "Wollerton Old Hall", English Rose, David Austin rose
There is a strong sense of transition in the small, sunny garden now, as spring comes to its close and early summer makes its presence known.  A number of spring-blooming plants are finally beginning to fade, while other varieties are just beginning to show their summer buds.  And a few stalwarts seem oblivious to seasons.  As this is a fascinating period, I want to give a real overview of what is blooming for this month's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.  So I will divide the current bloom into these three groups.

First, the spring flowers that are just fading.  Penstemon parryi still has a few blooms - lovely as ever, but most of its flush is over and seeds have replaced some of the flowers.  This plant has been in flower since the beginning of March.
Penstemon parryi
Penstemon parryi seeds
Damianita (Chrysactinia mexicana), which has followed the Penstemon closely in bloom period, is also spending its last few blooms.  The plant is still covered in wispy seedheads and fading flowers.  Soon I will shear these off and have just the little evergreen bush again.
To my great satisfaction, one more cluster of Narcissus canaliculatus did open (see my recent Narcissus post), so I have this to show for GBBD.  The bulbs that I moved closer to the surface, after sitting still doing nothing for days, have begun to grow on out.  So hopefully they will be capable of setting bloom next year.  I don't expect anything more this year from these little heroes!
Narcissus canaliculatus
Yes, the time of spring bulbs is about finished here.  Ornithogalum arabicum is also fading, each individual bloom still as fresh as ever, but fewer and fewer of them.
Ornithogalum arabicum
The summer bulbs I planted only last month are just beginning to show above the soil surface.  In the meantime, here is a look at some plants that have just reached bud stage.

I await the first blooms from foliage extravaganza Senecio "Blue Fingers".
senecio "Blue Fingers" flower buds
Even more excitingly, newly-planted Aquilegia desertorum has a couple of buds (only one visible in this picture).
Aquilegia desertorum leaves with flower bud
Both the kangaroo paws plants have come out with some new buds, rather smaller than the ones they had when I purchased the plants.  I have been chary of feeding them much, but maybe they wouldn't mind a little more.  Anigozanthos flavidus, the species...
Anigozanthos flavidus
...and variety "Bush Ranger" have both settled in well and have healthy new growth just now.
Anigozanthos flavidus "Bush Ranger"
Introducing a rose...  This is a bud on The Alnwick Rose (David Austin 2001).
The Alnwick Rose flower bud
But Wollerton Old Hall (David Austin 2011), planted directly beside the patio, is just giving its first blooms.  Beautiful, globular blooms - fragrant, of course!
Wollerton Old Hall rose, David Austin rose, English rose
Also just by the patio, little miniature rose Daniela (Kordes) continues to bloom.
Kordes Daniela rose, miniature rose
 Up on the patio itself is Duranta repens, the pigeonberry of the tropical Americas.  This shrub is  a little more sensitive to cold, so I am keeping it in a pot.  I don't know how long that will last since it is said to grow to as much as 25 ft.  But so far, so good.  The flowers are exquisite, with a pleasant perfume.
Duranta repens, pigeonberry, dewberry
Back into the garden, another tropical native has buds and blooms all over - waving in the wind about a foot or more above its mound of foliage.  Here is Cistanthe grandiflora, which had a post all to itself about a week ago.
Cistanthe grandiflora
In a much more classic vein, the first chamomile plants are in full bloom.  This is the annual or "German" chamomile Matricaria recutita.  I am growing them as I would have grown feverfew in the past.  I think I like these little plants even better as ultra-traditional, casual fillers.
Matricaria recutita, chamomile
Also in fine form is Oenothera pallida "Innocence", which I just presented in my last post.
Oenothera pallida "Innocence"
And for some plants, even being in full bloom is only halfway to the goal.  Tomatoes, for instance...
Tomato "Ladybug" variety
And the plants that keep blooming and blooming...

Russelia equisetiformis and Salvia greggii "Autumn Moon" are both looking a bit disshevelled and in need of a rest, but see how exuberant they still are!
Russelia equisetiformis, coral fountain
Salvia greggii "Autumn Moon", Autumn Sage
Down in the Dry Corner, Tetraneuris aucalis and Berlandiera lyrata show no signs of slowing down at all.
Tetraneuris aucalis, Hymenoxys aucalis
Berlandiera lyrata
And the little violas, which will stop eventually as the heat increases, haven't complained yet... except when I tried to shorten up on the watering!  These planted in the afternoon shade provided by the patio had no problems even then.
I've probably left someone out, but this is a fairly complete list as I wanted to look over this richly flowering seasonal transition time.  Lavenders, oh yes, the new arrival Goodwin Creek Grey has some blooms, but the two L. stoechas varieties are taking a rest, a very well deserved rest in the case of "Madrid".  Osteospermums - note the plural; there have been a couple of recent additions in this field - are a bit betwixt and between with two having some flowers today.  The third was a clearance rescue case, and it is looking very frisky now but will probably not bloom for another week or two.  Perovskia's buds are present but too small to photograph - at least in today's wind!

So that is the wrap up for April's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens, where so many more April gardens are on view!  I have been AWOL from the blog for a couple of days and missed the Monday Vase - mine and everyone else's - due to some less than enjoyable deadlines, not only the taxes...  But I was eager to take this look round the garden and enjoy it with all of you.  Hope you enjoyed it too!

Lastly, from the new rose border, still the only bush with open flowers...  Crown Princess Margareta...
Rose "Crown Princess Margareta", English Rose, David Austin rose
Rose "Crown Princess Margareta", English Rose, David Austin rose
Weather Diary: sunny and breezy, High: 81 F/27.2 C, Low: 62 F/16.7 C
ed.  I have to laugh at the word "summer" a little this evening as our temperatures are plummeting in true desert style and are expected to drop into the forties (8 C or so) before morning.  But I was trying to describe a very real sense that the garden itself is changing over from one season - or half-season - to the next...


  1. Happy GBBD Amy! Even ignoring our early heatwaves last month, the signs of summer are present here too. Our temperatures were back above 80F today and I've noticed that the Agapanthus, a harbinger of summer, are developing buds throughout the garden. My Anigozanthos have also produced bloom stalks, although the flowers haven't unfurled. Re the Duranta, I've had one in a large pot for over 4 years now and have found that seems to keep its growth under control.

    1. I think I trust the plants to know more than I (or the weatherman!) about when the season actually changes... I was hoping that keeping the Duranta in a pot would keep the size manageable, so thanks for the encouragement ;-) How do you handle feeding your Anigozanthos? I gave mine a light feed a week ago, and now I think they wanted more. But I don't want to overdo it!

  2. Such beautiful flowers. I especially love your roses in shades of peach.

    1. Aren't those wonderful peach tones?? Curiously, the latest bloom from Wollerton Old Hall is coming in a bit darker - more like the pictures of Crown Princess Margareta, or even a bit yellower! Still a lovely colour...

  3. I love the photo of the chamomile flowers against a dark background. Nice to see your flowers today. It's been snowing for 24 hours and there's over a foot of wet stuff on the ground. Just as well -- we thought we were headed for a drought.

    1. I won't envy you snow, though I wouldn't mind a bit of rain somewhere between now and August... ;-) The background for the chamomile is created by a clump of Muhlenbergia "Regal Mist", growing into a largish clump of grass now (it was planted last autumn). I think it works well with the little herb flowers :)

  4. I hadn't realised there is a D.A Rose, Wollerton Old Hall, the garden it is named after is not far from us. It is on our list of gardens to visit,
    A lovely rose and views of your garden for GBBD.

    1. Thank so much, Brian! I hope to see some pictures from Wollerton Old Hall ;-) This rose was apparently introduced in 2011; other than that I know nothing about the background, though I imagine that gardens with such a rose named for them must be well worth seeing...

  5. Hi Amy, yours is a beautiful garden, both share a passion for flowers, it is amazing how many species you manage that bloom, the land in that area ... suspect that is not the best, but dedicating time and care, they are usually surprise us.
    Congratulations on your good work, my dear "gardener "friend ;)
    Hugs !!

    1. So kind of you, Belén :) Plants do surprise us often - I will watch and care for these and see what they do... They have their own beautiful lives, which I love to watch. Many thanks, my friend! Hugs!!!

  6. such a lot of anticipation! Lovely images, Amy. I am also eagerly awaiting aquilegia which is one of my favourite early summer flowers.

  7. such a lot of anticipation! Lovely images, Amy. I am also eagerly awaiting aquilegia which is one of my favourite early summer flowers.