These daisies are rarely without some degree of bloom.

There is not as much difference between the seasons here like there is in other climates. It might seem like we get only summer, with a briefly cooler and slightly rainy time of ‘not summer’. I can recognize the changing of the seasons because I am familiar with them. Those acquainted with more normal climate mind find our subdued seasons to be rather boring, and restrictive.

People from climates with more extreme weather and more pronounced seasons might not expect mild weather and mild climate to be restrictive or limiting. They tend to notice what grows here that would not survive out in gardens through colder winters, such as bougainvilleas, tropical hibiscus and so many of the popular succulents. Even more tropicals survive farther south.

What they do not notice are what does not do so well here. Although stone fruit does remarkably well here, and many apples and pears are more than adequately productive, there are many cultivars of apple and pear that prefer more chill than they could get here. Lilac gets sufficient chill to bloom well here, but not enough to bloom as splendidly as it does in the Upper Midwest.

For example, some might be impressed by the perennial daisies that bloom sporadically whenever they want to throughout the year here. These daisies take no time off for winter, and are rarely damaged by frost every few years or so. They are so rarely without bloom that it is not often possible to shear off deteriorating bloom without removing some of the unbloomed buds.

What goes unnoticed is the potentially subdued bloom of the forsythias, which are so reliably prolific where winters are cooler. Some are real duds this year, and all are blooming notably late. This is one of the consequences of a mild climate.

Forsythia, with twigs that are still bare in the background, is not much to brag about.

18 thoughts on “Mild Seasons

    1. Lilac is surprisingly tolerant of mild climate. They do nicely in the mountains above Los Angeles too. When we grew the French Hybrids, they were supposedly popular because they did not need much chill to bloom, but I never met a common lilac that did not get enough chill to bloom here.

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  1. The thing I really wish we could grow more of up here are all the proteas. I’m completely enamored with them. And I would love to grow a Bauhinia tree. But then I think about all the fabulous plants that DO thrive here, and that fills me with both joy and gratitude. 🙂

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    1. Proteas and the sort are overrated. They are not easy to grow, and rot if watered just a bit too much. Those that bloom best are not pretty plants. Bauhinias are not so great either. They need to be pruned somewhat aggressively so that they do not get too heavy for their own trunk. They can grow as big shrubbery, but need considerable space for that.

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