Just like in April, there is too much blooming here in the Santa Cruz Mountains above Los Gatos to easily select only a few pictures. Again, these pictures are from work instead of my home garden. We are in USDA Zone 9, on the coastal side of the Santa Cruz Mountains, which is significantly less arid than the chaparral climate of the Santa Clara Valley below the inland side.

In the process of selecting pictures, I omitted most of any flowers that I have used or will use for other articles, as well as the new warm season annuals that will be more prolific later in the season. However, I might feature chamomile soon, and will post several pictures of rhododendrons on Saturday morning.

Mock orange, Philadelphus lewisii, is finished blooming. I wanted to get this picture of it before it was completely gone. These flowers were in a shaded spot, so lasted a bit later than the others. They are extremely fragrant, and extremely white. They contrast nicely with their rich green foliage and the surrounding evergreens. This mock orange is the state flower of Idaho.5bd1Mock orange of a different flavor blooms sporadically and later. This one is Pittosporum tobira, or something like it. It happens to be a very old shrub, so might predate the modern garden variety, or might be a slightly different species. It does not look quite right, but I can not explain it in any manner that would interest anyone. It is fragrant too, but with heavier fragrance.5bd2Roses are finishing their first phase, but are already starting their next phase. Most of these are floribundas, which are not my favorite, but work very well here were they are so visible. Quantity is more important than quality here in this prominent spot. We want them to bloom more regularly than to make flowers for cutting, although some do happen to make nice stems.5bd3Clematis is still in the can because it was only recently purchased from a nursery to be added where others are not filling in on their trellis adequately. Vines are such a bother. Most are too aggressive and crush their trellises. Those that are not so aggressive do not fill in well enough. Clematis blooms nicely this time of year, but rarely does much more once summer gets warm.5bd4Peruvian lily or alstoemeria do quite well here, and are certainly happier than in the Santa Clara Valley a few miles away. There are three here. A pink one can be seen in the background. There is also a salmon pink one. All three are the sort that used to be grown for cut flowers, but are difficult to obtain now. Most garden varieties are lower and mounding with shorter stems.5bd5Chamomile can naturalize here, but this garden variety does not seem to seed so profusely. Actually, it does not seem to seed at all. I have not yet seen any feral chamomile. The foliage of this variety was bright yellowish chartreuse when it was new, and is now fading to light green. It blooms most of the time. By the time it gets too green, it can get cut back and start all over.5bd6Rhododendron is blooming all over. I took pictures of only this one flower because, as I mentioned earlier, I will post six more pictures of other rhododendrons on Saturday morning. I chose this particular flower because I also wanted to show how big the plant that produced it is. Other colors can be seen nearby. They are really happy here, even with minimal maintenance.5bd7This picture does not show off flowers as well as the rest of the pictures do, but shows how big the rhododendron tree is. Although it is not as broad as some of the others are, it is likely the tallest here. It is situated at least twelve feet below the bridge, and stands about twelve feet above it, so is at least twenty five feet tall! Even by my standards, it is a big rhododendron!5bd8Garden 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 Micheal’s May Dreams Garden at http://www.maydreamsgardens.com

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11 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day May 15 – My Second (Yes, Another Sequel)

  1. Beautiful blooms all! We still see the taller Alstroemerias sold in commercial bouquets but the plants are only available from specialty nurseries as the shorter varieties fit more conveniently on racks for shipping. Happy GBBD!

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    1. When I grew alstroemerias as cut flowers in the late 1980s, all the tall cut flower plants were patented and strictly controlled. I do not know how a few of them got into some home gardens. I happened to find just one in a nursery mixed in with garden varieties, and bought it immediately. I now want to get copies of these from work because they are rather uncommon. Many needed to be thinned last year, and got canned, so there are plenty to plant around at other sites, and some of us will put them in our home gardens.

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    1. Roses continue in our summer too, but clematis does not last long. I really do not know why we bother with it, although it does happen to be one of the better behaved vines.

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  2. I grew up with beautiful mock oranges. Unfortunately, during water rationing, they were the first thing my mother let go. They tried to hang on, it was so sad to see them just droop and die. I may get one now that I’m living where 1) we get more rain and 2) we have plentiful cheap water!

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    1. There were some that died here! I figured that they would be able to survive because they live in the wild. The ones that did not survive were in very exposed spots, and got cut down with the expectation that they would regenerate. We never saw them again.

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    1. I would have guessed that most everyone else can grow clematis better than we can. Ours looks great this time of year, but that is about all. It gets roasted before summer gets warm. It was not my idea.

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