Six on Saturday April 16th

Joining the Propagator and other gardeners around the world for another Six. The weather here has blessed us with cooler temperatures and much needed rain, which has lingered on as snow at higher elevations in the surrounding mountains. And more rain has been predicted.

The garden has responded to the more favorable conditions, and everything looks a bit healthier than it did a week ago. In particular the various cane berries and blueberries are starting to look like they might survive long enough to bear fruit, which I attribute to recent watering efforts, rain, and an overdue but generous dose of acid mix fertilizer. Soon they will (hopefully) need to be tied up.

The borage, verbena, ajuga, strawberries, blueberries, ceanothus, and numerous bulbs continue to bloom, while the dogwood has come into full flower and promising buds have appeared on the yarrow and even one of the bearded irises clumsily transplanted to the verge this winter. Meanwhile, my planted out seedlings remain stunted and my hastily planted (and unmarked) root vegetables have declined to make an above ground appearance. Did I bury them too deep? Did I order them too far in advance and keep them stored for too long under less than ideal conditons before planting them out? I am disappointed, but not deterred.

1. California poppies (Eschscholzia californica), grown from seed scattered on the verge last fall, are blooming prolifically. I appreciate the silken, almost neon orange of the flowers at a time of year when blues and purples are dominant in the garden.

2. Jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa) is sending up a flower stalk for the first time this year. I believe this was originally planted in its current location around 2 years ago. While it has remained healthy, it has taken some time to get settled before putting on new growth or flowering. As it is situated mid-border, I am hoping that it will gain in fulness and stature this year and generally become a more imposing presence.
3. Dogwood (Cornus florida) in full bloom, featuring newly acquired copper birdfeeder (found at local Humane Society thrift store). The countless delights of the dogwood have persuaded me to add more small trees to the garden, which exert a cooling influence in summer without shading out the lower growing perennials and provide much needed perches, where birds can rest and feed while keeping a watchful eye out for the all too plentiful feral cats. Specifically, I have planted a palo verde in one corner and will be adding a Western redbud (native) in another corner before the month is over.
4. Grevillea juniperina in bloom, though the flowers are too small and sparse to make much of an impact yet. I was drawn to this plant by its needle-like leaves; nevertheless, I am looking forward to a point in the future when, if all goes well, this plant will be filling the space and covered in red blossoms.
5. Another blooming Grevillea (Grevillea gaudichaudii). This one is prostrate, with very interesting leaf shape, and is planted under the dogwood. It seems to be growing rather quickly and generally thriving in this location. If it continues to do well, I plan to take cuttings and add it to the congregations of groundcovers in other areas of the garden.
6. The large opuntia (grown from cutting) appears to be gradually resuming a more dignified, upright posture after its winter prostration. The other cells of the rusted metal planter could use some attention. I would like to see an abundance of spiky and cascading plants as well as flowering ones to add color. The small opuntia (a regrettable hardware store purchase) in the terra cotta pot on the top tier is really not doing well. Not only has it lost its blue color (for which it was selected in the first place), but it is covered in scabby looking spots. I am uncertain whether to attribute its decline to intolerance of winter weather conditions or its recent transplant from a spot at the back of a border where it taking up space without contributing anything positive aesthetically. Regardless, I have taken a couple of cuttings in anticipation of its immanent demise.

20 thoughts on “Six on Saturday April 16th

  1. Pingback: What’s Flowering In My Garden This Easter? #SixOnSaturday #GardeningTwitter šŸŒ»šŸŒ·šŸŒŗ | Rosie Amber

  2. You dogwood is amazing, what a wonderful burst of colour! I’m glad the rain has spurred everything on. Love the opuntia but also the rusty metal container, looks brilliant. I’m thinking (if I can find any room) to get a grevillea for my garden, brilliant plants. Have a great week.

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  3. The dogwood does steal the show this week, it looks especially good against the coppery-purple background of the tree on the boundary (purple beech?). Glad you got some rain, it’s so nice to see the plants perk up after it. Good idea to plant more trees for all the reasons you give. And I will be sowing some California poppies for the first time this year after being given some seed, hope they look as good as yours.

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  4. Fabulous Cornus but it’s the Grevilleas I’m more drawn to, temptation wise. They tend to grow a bit too lush here, at the expense of flower, unless in really dry and sunny conditions. I’ve seen lots of superb varieties in Australia, all they have to worry about is them getting shredded by parrots and lorikeets.

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