Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rain Yay!

Here in SoCal being a Mediterranean climate we only get rain in the winter and spring and sometimes just so little.  Well, today it is raining cats & dogs!!!  I'm sure my plants are loving their bath/drink. Good thing we have sandy soil but our street is a river!  I SO want to go out and play in it.  But it's COLD and blustery too!    When I was little my Mom used to say I was a duck because I loved to play in the rain :-)  It's fun as long as you have the correct apparel.  I did don my rain boots and hooded windbreaker to take these photos.   I really need to make a rain barrel to collect all this for later.    Enjoy the rain wherever you are!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

First Bearded Iris

My first Iris of the spring is blooming today. I love Bearded Iris!  They are so easy, give you beautiful flowers in the spring and have interesting blue-gray foliage the rest of the year. And if you're lucky(or a smart shopper) you've planted REBLOOMING Iris that will bloom again in autumn. They call them "bearded" because of the little furry parts between the upper petals and the downward pointing petals that are called the falls. My amazingly blue Iris in the photo has white beards. It may look purple on your screen(blue is so difficult to photograph) but it is blue!   Some Iris have contrasting beards that are easier to see. Grow Bearded Iris in full to part sun with well-drained soil. Oh! They're so pretty!

For my local SoCal friends there is an Iris show coming up at Topanga Promenade in Woodland Hills on Apr. 14-15, 2012.  Here is a link  SFV Iris Show      I'm going to see it Sat after I compete at the San Fernando Valley rose show that day. It'll be a busy flower filled day, as a Spring day should be!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy First Day Of Spring!

Happy Spring! How can you beat a fragrant bulb that is hard to kill? Freesias come in every color but black and blue, come up every year and smell great! Buy and plant the bulbs in September and they'll reward you with bright colored fragrant flowers in Spring! They grow about 12" tall if they stand up straight. That's the only problem with Freesias, sometimes they tend to flop. I like to plant them between other things for support. I think the older the clump of bulbs gets the better the growth stands up.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Gray & Yellow

Here is another wonderful plant that flowers so brightly, Phlomis fruticosa or Jerusalem Sage. It's native to the Mediterranean which means its drought tolerant and does very well in SoCal. It has gray greenish leaves, bright yellow flowers that bloom Spring into Summer and grows to 4 feet. It's likes full sun as most gray leaved plants do.

I think this is a fabulous garden shrub that is underused here.  A few years ago I needed several for a job and couldn't find them in any nursery. Now they are available at better garden centers sometimes. The yellow flowers pair great with purple Statice(Limonium perezii). It's a sunny cheerful plant!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fun Edging

Thought I'd share my progress. I saw this on and wanted to do it in my own garden. Since I DO have my own ground I CAN have the eclectic garden I've always wanted. Yay! :-) So I asked a bunch of friends and family to save wine bottles for me. I've "planted" 117 bottles as flower bed edging so far. I'm not sure how many beds to do like this. All of them might be too much. Let me know what you think.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mexican Sage

Salvias are wonderful in SoCal and there are so many varieties. One of the most common and easy to grow is Salvia leucantha - Mexican Sage. It grows to about 4ft tall and wide while in bloom. What I like about it is that it tells you when it's ok to cut it back. When it's almost done blooming, new growth starts to appear right in the middle of the plant out of the ground. That means it's ok to whack everything but that new growth. S. leucantha also blooms at different times for different people. I thought it mostly bloomed in Autumn. But I have seen it bloom in Spring or Summer too. I think it depends when and how you prune it. And it is a good thing to prune it because the flowers start to lay down and it gets messy. It's always nice to "start fresh" with a good prune.