There is so much blooming or finishing blooming here in the Santa Cruz Mountains above Los Gatos that it is difficult to select only a few pictures. These flowers are not from my home garden, but are from nearby Mount Hermon, which is located on the coastal side of the Santa Cruz Mountains, a few miles north of Santa Cruz. I enjoy the horticulture of the Santa Clara Valley, where San Jose is located, more than anywhere else in the world. However, there are many flowers that perform better in the cooler and moister climate of the Santa Cruz Mountains that separate the Santa Clara Valley from the Pacific Ocean. Mount Hermon is located in USDA Zone 9.
Daffodil are probably all done by now. The last to bloom earlier this week were in somewhat shaded spots. This one was looking a bit tired. Daffodils are one of only a few bulbs that will naturalize in our mild climate.
Forsythia also finished a while ago. This picture was taken at about the same time earlier in the week as the daffodil above. This tired specimen was not actually in the landscape, but was in a small nursery where gardeners stock recycled plants and recently acquired plants that have not yet been installed into the landscape. Forsythia is rare here. There is only one other in the landscaped area that we are aware of.
Dutch iris is a surprise every year. As I mentioned with the daffodil, there are not many bulbs that naturalize here. Dutch iris is one of those bulbs that needs more of a chill than it can get here. However, this colony blooms reliably every spring!
Flowering cherry is spectacular against the dark green backdrop of redwoods. A pair of mature ‘Yoshino’ or ‘Akebono’ flowering cherries in downtown Mount Hermon are the most famous in town. They are very old and sadly, must be removed. A few others have been planted nearby. There are at least three ‘Kwanzan’ flowering cherries in other areas. I do not know what cultivar this one is. It might be my favorite because it is so striking white; my favorite color. This picture was taken at about the same time earlier in the week as the daffodil and forsythia. Only the ‘Kwanzan’ flowering cherries continue to bloom now.
Camellia bloom for quite a while. A few blooms sneak out in midwinter before the main bloom phase, and a few flowers are still blooming now. There are at least a dozen cultivars here. This elegant white camellia might be my favorite.
Azalea is even more variable than the camellias. Many are of course finished blooming; but a few still have unopened buds that will bloom this week! This is my favorite, obviously because it is white. I used to grow azaleas in the mid 1990s, as our second major crop. Rhododendrons were our primary major crop. We also grew camellias as our fourth major crop.
Garden Bloggers all over America and in other countries can share what is blooming in their gardens on the fifteenth of each month on “Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day”, hosted by Carol Michael’s May Dreams Garden at http://www.maydreamsgardens.com