(Almost) Blooming Thursday: Tulips!

Tulips Break Ground

Tulips Break Ground

Did you hear me squeal with delight?

Tulips are popping up all over the garden. They won’t flower for a little while, but the fact that they’ve survived this long (shh…don’t tip off the squirrels) is amazing.

Last fall I planted three varieties, purchased at a local garden center. They are all sourced from Van Zyverden.

I planted:

  • 15 Tulip ‘Angélique
  • 15 Tulip ‘Attila‘; and
  • 5 Tulip ‘Passionale

In other words, the potential for 35 stunning acts of nature. Guess what? I counted over twenty, ground-breaking bulbs! The last time I planted tulips, nothing came up. Zip. Zero. Nada. I’m really liking these odds.

tulip bulbs break ground

Tulips all Around!

While I had my nose to the earth, I noticed several more bulbs breaking through: Crocus, Narcissus and a few others, to-be-determined when they bloom.

Oh happy day!  What’s ‘cooking’ in your garden this Thursday?

spring bulbs collage

Assorted Spring Bulbs Break Ground

Tulip Bulbs

Tulip Bulbs

 

Blooming Thursday: It’s a Stretch

Here’s the view from my back door.

View from my back door

View from my back door

At first glance, it looks like nothing is blooming. In my under-dressed (put on a coat, Alys!) and overzealous quest for something in bloom, I poked around here and there and teased out the following:

Begonia

Somehow this Begonia escaped the frost

drying hydrangea

Faded but beautiful drying hydrangea

Daphne

Flowering Daphne

Serbian Bellflower

The first of the Serbian Bellflowers

An over-do thank you to Laura for these wonderful Forget-me-not seeds. I’m excited to plant them come spring.

Forget-me-not seeds

Forget-me-not seeds

Vernal Equinox, 49 days and counting.

Blooming Thursday: Daphne Odora

Daphne Daphne DaphneNo one told me Daphnes were finicky.  Just as well since I planted two over a decade ago. On at least three occasions landscapers and nurseryman applauded my success. What gardener doesn’t beam with pride at that? I sure do.

Then one died.  Just like that. Did I mention they’re finicky?

I’m keeping my eye on the other one. The surviving Daphne is in bloom this week, the darling of the winter garden. Daphne Odora shines brightly with glossy leaves and deep pink to white flowers. The plant will remain in bloom through spring, when lots of other color joins in. Yippee!!!

Happy Birthday Benjamin Franklin

Ben Franklin introduced soy beans and Kale to the US in his time.  He wasn’t so much a gardener as a man interested in seed trade. His legacy includes inventing bifocals and the Franklin Stove, not to mention his role as one of the Founding Fathers of America.  Happy birthday, Mr. Franklin .  One of my favorite quotes:

 “Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”

This is an area where I have lots of room to grow.  It’s also an interesting metaphor for the garden.  Ask any plant, and they’ll tell you the same thing: Keep in the sunlight.

 

Blooming Thursday: Vibrant Purples, Passionate Reds, No Rain

The good news: I took these photos without getting drenched in the rain.  The bad news: I took these photos without getting…drenched in the rain.  I had such high hopes.  To quote our local morning paper: “‘Rainfall Amounts Minimal’: Anticipated storm turns into sprinkle.  Sigh.

The paper went on to say, “Broader downpour expected over next few days,” so I’m thinking I should go wash my car after I hang a silk blouse outdoors on the branch of a tree.

Meanwhile, three cheers for drip irrigation!

Here’s what’s blooming this Thursday:

The fairy garden is back outside, resting on the forged iron bench.  I wove several fir branches along the back, and in a matter of minutes had a lovely spray of greens. Those little cyclamen prefer the cool air, so all is well.


Guess what?  The pansies and bulbs remain firmly planted.  I mulched the pots with rough gravel to deter the squirrels.  Weeks in, it’s still working.  They haven’t unearthed a thing.

Lavender still blooms, grazing the edges of the front deck

This cyclamen came back from last year, joined by two others under the Magnolia tree. The fuchsia centers just send me.

Coral Bells make my heart sing.

I’m heading outdoors to do my best rain dance.  I’ll keep you posted.

What’s blooming in your neck of the woods?

Blooming Thursday: Dark Shadows Waiting for the Rain

Rain is forecast for the rest of the week, but this morning it was bright and clear.  I love the shadow play on the flowers this time of year as the earth maneuvers into mid-autumn. Angled shadows and bright light equal beautiful flowers.

pink cylclamen

Pink Cyclamen

Our cool season plants are starting to bloom, and will continue to flower through March.  Prolific Azaleas and Camellias line the back fence and the side yard, with two more planted in the children’s garden.  I potted a few more cyclamen last week.  Holdovers from last year reemerged as well.

Begonia

Begonia

Begonias from last spring are still holding up, but we’ve not seen much cold weather.  They are in good company in the Hodgepodge pot, a planter for misfits.  When I end up with the odd annual, or a small plant in need of relocating, I plant them there.  I love the variety and an always-full pot outside our bedroom window.

Satus

Status

California Poppies, white Begonias and pink Cosmos passed through the Hodgepodge this year, as well as yellow Snapdragons, a small pumpkin and a few assorted wildflowers. I’ve really enjoyed the variety, not to mention a dedicated space for the odd plant.

Coming Soon

white camellia bud

Camellia Bud

Abutilon Buds

Abutilon Buds

White Camellia Bud

White Camellia Bud

Fingers crossed that the rain arrives on schedule tomorrow.

Blooming Thursday: State of Confusion

In our glorious state of California, known for sunshine and moderate weather, there is usually something in bloom.  That said, even the Golden State has a natural order of things.  Perhaps it’s time to hang up an “out-of-order” sign.  My garden is in a state of confusion.

Tomatoes

First up, the tomato plant.  The seeds I planted in the spring grew, produced and then died off.  Nice, orderly, predictable.  The wind, or perhaps a bird dropped a seed in our narrow side yard, and believe it or not I have a seven-foot tall tomato plant.  With flowers.  Tiny, tomato flowers.  The limited sun explains the height of the plant, but flowers in November?

Sideyard, off-season tomato

Off-season tomato

Pumpkins

Pumpkins should be done for the season.  Errant seeds should sleep under the soil for the winter, or gathered and stored till next spring. As I covered the patio furniture in preparation for our first rain I had a pumpkin bloom keeping me company.  It’s beautiful and hopeful but decidedly out of season.

off season pumpkin flower

Off-season pumpkin bloom

Cosmos

I reluctantly removed several Cosmo starts from the vegetable box, to make room for cauliflower and broccoli. After days in the mid-eighties, the warm soil must have triggered the cosmos to grow. I don’t blame them for the state of confusion.  We’ve all been shaking our heads and saying “where is fall?”  I didn’t have the heart to remove all the out-of-season re-starts, so I have an impressive pumpkin plant, true leaves and all, rubbing shoulders with the winter vegetables (take two).

Broccoli and Pumpkins

Shoulder to Shoulder: Broccoli and Pumpkin

I don’t want to seem ungracious, but I feel like we’ve missed out on sweater-weather entirely.  Seven weeks in and we’re only now seeing the more traditional weather patterns. Today’s light rain was a welcome relief.  I donned my coat and hat and worked outdoors for nearly five hours. The air was cool and fresh as it rained off and on.  Even the cats didn’t mind.

Here’s hoping fall is here to stay this time.  Shorter days, cooler nights and a gentle rain will go a long way to end my garden’s state of confusion.

What’s blooming on your Thursday?

Blooming Thursday: Bachelor’s Button

According to the Bachelor’s Button seed packet, this “care-free, drought tolerant annual, adds vertical interest and an array of colors to your garden.” Well.

Perhaps there was a single’s dance going on a few gardens over, because my Bachelor’s were largely a no-show. The ones that are in bloom were late to the party, blooming two days before Autumn officially arrives. Bachelor’s Button, also know as cornflower are drought tolerant and require “little pampering.”  So what gives?

Were they jealous of the cosmos getting all the attention this summer? Maybe they didn’t get enough sun. I offered them plenty to drink and lots of encouragement. There is always enough love to go around in my garden.

I’ll just chalk it up to “one of those things” and “you can’t win them all” and I’ll move on <sniff-sniff>.

Here are a couple of pics of the one or two that grew.

Bachelor's button bud

Flower or fish? I love those multicolored scales.

Bachelor's Button flower

Bachelor’s Button handsome profile

Bachelor's Button closeup

There’s the promise for next year.