Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Early Sweet Peas

Usually Sweet Peas bloom around Easter time here in SoCal. But we've had such a crazy winter weather wise that mine have already begun to bloom.  We had warm-shorts-wearing weather and then back to cold-regular-winter weather. And we're supposed to have 80º by Sunday!   I've got tall Sweet Peas in the ground and dwarf Knee High Sweet Peas in several pots.  Keep cutting them to produce more flowers! I hope you planted some last Fall. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Orange AND Pink!

I do love orange.  Pink is good too.  But to put them together on one flower is awesome! This plant blooming for me now is Chorizema "Bush Flame".  I bought it at The Huntington Botanic Gardens a few years ago.  It's never looked this good.  Of course it is in the pea family.  Look at those cute flowers!   Chorizema is supposed to grow 3 feet tall and wide.  Mine is about 1, 1/2 by 1, 1/2 feet and is in a pot. The leaves are kind of rough, green and oval.    Of course it is from Australia. I always love Australian plants!  I might plant it in the ground this year.  Wish me luck!  

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Short Perennial

I think of this plant as old fashioned. It's Bergenia cordifolia and used to be planted as a border between lawns and flower beds. You can still see it like that in older yards in SoCal. I like to use it as accents here and there. Bergenia can tolerate dappled sun but does best in light shade under trees. It only blooms in Spring or late Winter and is blooming all over here now. It's leathery beaver tail like leaves grow right from the soil to only about 12". The flowers rise a little above the leaves to only about 18". The common variety blooms pale pink but there are newer named varieties with darker pink to reddish flowers.

Friday, February 10, 2012

First Daffodils!

The first Daffodils are blooming in the ground in our new(1, 1/2 yr old) garden. I wrote about these last year. But this year they're in the ground! This variety is Narcissus Tete a Tete. It's a dwarf or miniature variety. The leaves grow about 6" tall, the flowers 8" tall and less than 1" in size. They're so cute! I love them. They naturalize here in SoCal pretty well unlike Tulips that are super iffy and need colder weather. It's still winter here for 6 more weeks buts its been warm and in the 70s-80. I'd prefer 60 degrees and overcast. It's easier to do manual labor outdoors. I hope you're growing some Daffodils!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Rose Pruning Season Is Almost Over

Here's what I've been doing on my jobs since the last week of December.  Pruning roses is what we do in SoCal in January into February.  If you've been following along you've seen some of the reasons why we prune.  If you haven't, we prune to get rid of pests and diseases, to encourage new growth and to make our rose bushes a manageable size.  Strip off all the leaves to get rid of most diseases. Just pull down and they come off.  This is what they should sort of look like when you are done pruning depending on the age of the plants.  Older really woody plants might not be able to be pruned so low.  These are pruned about knee high.  I'm not going to give a whole lesson here on how to prune.  Stay tuned for my total. Last year I pruned 2065 bushes. I think I'll surpass that this year.