The weather forecasters say it’s too early to cry “drought”, but it’s shaping up to be a dry, warm winter.
San Jose’s climate is semi-arid averaging a mere 15 inches (38 cm) a year. Most of our rain falls between October and March. As we head into mid-February, there isn’t a drop in the forecast. It’s also been unseasonably warm.
Source: San Jose Mercury News The black dots represent record highs and lows for that date. As you can see we’re near or over those records.
It might seem uncharitable objecting to a series of warm, clear days when it would otherwise be cold and windy, but after a year of brutal wildfires, these conditions do not bode well for the months ahead. We shall see.
Garden patio steps: cyclamen, azalea, succulents (in pots), New Zealand flax and anemone in the background
This morning I spotted a self-seeded tomato that has already shot up in one of the planting beds. I wouldn’t normally plant tomatoes before April. It’s all a bit surreal.
The daffodils (narcissus) are coming up. I can’t think of a more cheerful flower, breaking ground with their strong, green stems, then unfolding their yellow perfection.
Daffodil just before opening
Lemon yellow daffodil
Daffodil ‘Ice Follies’
I love A.A. Milne’s poem When We Were Young:
“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
“Winter is dead.”
I play a little game with myself in November. I buy a few bags of bulbs, then plant them in random pots, beds and corners of the garden and forget about them. I’ve learned over the years what grows well (daffodils, iris, Calendula, hyacinth and freesia) and what to skip (tulips). Daffodils survive because they’re toxic to squirrels. They leave them planted deep in the ground. The freesia do an amazing job spreading each year, producing bigger and more productive plants each season.
Daffodils emerging from the soil
A pair of daffodils just before they open
Freesia ready to bloom
Multiply freesia along the front walkway
Emerging Orientalis hyacinth
Orientalis hyacinth under the anemone
Hyacinth bulbs in the Earthbox with cyclamen on the front deck
Ranunculus emerge from a pot of succulents on the front deck
I added to my hyacinth bulbs last year and they’re coming up in succession instead of all at once. They’re intoxicating.
Orientalis hyacinth Pink Pearl
Orientalis hyacinth in full bloom
Any day now, this Orientalis Hyacinth ‘Aida’ well emerge in purple splendor
A year ago I planted Ranunculus. The name comes from the Late Latin term for “little frog”. I had mixed success. They are so pretty, that I gave it another go. The first year, the squirrels kept digging them up and tossing them on the deck. They were interesting enough to unearth, apparently, but not good enough to eat. Last fall I planted them after filling one of my Earthboxes with cyclamen and (name escapes me) a white trailing plant. That did the trick and they’re all up in beautiful, leafy plants.
My trusty guide when trying to remember when to capitalize the plants name (daffodils, no, Ranunculus, yes). Source: When should you capitalize plant names