Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day August 15 – Summer Weather Continues . . . Mostly

 

We were fortunate to have missed out on the unpleasant warmth that most everyone in the Northern Hemisphere experienced. It was warm here, but no warmer than is normal for summer. The only difficulty is that it got so warm so suddenly after such mild weather early in summer. Some of the flowers that were blooming at that time finished a bit earlier as a result of the weather.

Flowers that are blooming now are somewhat on schedule. Chrysanthemum does not see to have much of schedule, but that should be expected. Although I would guess that they are early, those who know better tell me that naked lady is right on time.

Those in other climates have no problem talking about the end of summer or even the incoming autumn already. I am not ready to give up on summer. I will likely be talking about it still in September. I can talk about autumn in October.

These pictures were taken on the Santa Cruz County side of the Santa Cruz Mountains above Los Gatos, closer to Felton. The climate is more coastal than the chaparral climate of the Santa Clara Valley, although both are within USDA Zone 9.

Naked lady started blooming about a week ago, just long enough for the first of the bloomed flowers to start deteriorating in the background. I thought this was somewhat early, but a colleague, who is incidentally not at all horticulturally oriented, informed me that this is exactly the right time for them. When I was a kid getting ready to go back to school, I remember them blooming in September in Montara, but that was many miles away, and in a somewhat different and more coastal climate.8bd1

Chrysanthemum is another flower that I think of as blooming later, and even into autumn. Yet, these have been blooming since late spring. There are different cultivars that bloomed at different times. These are the latest, but are already starting to deteriorate. Perhaps those that already finished will bloom for another phase in autumn. It is difficult to say. I think that they bloom whenever they want to here.8bd2

Peruvian lily is blooming for a second phase, which really is right on schedule. The main and most prolific bloom phase was in late spring. After those flowers finished and deteriorated, the finished stalks got plucked, leaving only a bit of vegetative stems sprawling on the ground, and a few unbloomed stalks that are blooming now. After bloom, the finished stalks will probably get cut in half, but not plucked. That technique removes the seed capsules and keeps the tall and lanky stalks from falling over, but also leaves a bit of foliage to help the lower vegetative growth recharge the system for bloom next year.8bd3

Rose blooms all summer. Some of the hybrid tea roses bloom in more obvious phases after their most prolific first phase. Floribunda roses like this one bloom so steadily that there is not much separation between phases. This particular rose is in a pot that was not likely watered enough through the earlier warm weather, so subsequent bloom was not expected. Some of the petals are a bit roasted around the edges.8bd4

Zonal geranium blooms about as steadily as floribunda roses do. They would bloom right through winter if there did not need to be cut back before spring. Some zonal geraniums put out quite a bit of new growth recently. It will be awkward to cut them back at the end of next winter. The stems that are fresh and new now will still be in good condition right through winter, so I will not want to cut them back like I should. The flower of this zonal geranium is the same color as the rose above.8bd5

San Marzano tomato is NOT what this tomato is. It was labeled as such, but looks more like common ‘Roma’. No one is complaining. There is certainly nothing wrong with it, except that it is not what was expected. Hey, this unknown tomato is the same color as the zonal geranium above, which is the same color as the rose above. All the other flowers above are from plants that are in the storage nursery at work. These tomatoes are in a colleague’s garden adjacent to the nursery.8bd6

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 Micheal’s May Dreams Garden at http://www.maydreamsgardens.com

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Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day July 15 – Summer Weather Has Arrived

 

While so many of us in the Northern Hemisphere were contending with unusually warm weather, our weather here had been unusually mild. The weather only recently became warm for the past two weeks or so. It did not get unusually hot here like it did in so many other regions, but the warmth developed suddenly enough to damage many of the flowers that were blooming at the time. This included many of the new perennials that we happened to be installing at the time. Consequently, there were not nearly as many flowers to get pictures of as there had been in May, and some of the flowers in these pictures show damage from the sudden change in the weather. I am sorry that I neglected to participate in Bloom Day in June.

These pictures were taken at work, on the Santa Cruz County side of the Santa Cruz Mountains above Los Gatos, closer to Felton. The climate is more coastal than the chaparral climate of the Santa Clara Valley, although both are within USDA Zone 9.

Carpet Roses are the lowliest of all roses, but they happen to be more functional for more landscape applications than other roses are. These got pruned back to a few canes over winter, and will get trimmed for confinement about now, but really do not need any more work than that. They bloom profusely in a few phases. They are only looking tired now because of the weather.7bd1Hydrangea are finishing in most other areas here. These are odd ones. They are more exposed to harsh weather conditions than others, but are somehow lasting later than those that are more sheltered. They are blue instead of pink, but are not in what would be considered acidic conditions within redwood forests. Nor were they fertilized to be blue. No one is complaining.7bd2Yarrow was planted just before the weather changed. Once established, it does remarkably well in the endemic soil and climate.7bd3Yarrow unfortunately got roasted by the sudden warmth. These yellow (or ‘golden’) flowers are getting quite crispy already.7bd4Coneflower was likewise planted just before the weather changed, and likewise got roasted. These happen to be some of the best at the moment.7bd5Valley Oak probably qualifies as appropriate for Bloom Day because it really is blooming right now. You just can not see it. The dust is everywhere. I really like this grand and sculptural tree. The valley oak happens to be the biggest oak in North America, and it also happens to live here, on the outskirts of groves of coastal redwoods, which are the tallest trees in the World.7bd6Valley Oak is so excellent that I had to get another picture of it from another angle. The first picture was looking about south toward the midday sun. This is looking almost to the east, perpendicularly to the other picture. The cars in the foreground are much closer than they seem to be. The trunk of the tree is significantly wider than it seems to be in relation to the cars.7bd7Garden 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

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

 

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

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day April 15 – My First

 

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.4bd1

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.4bd2

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!4bd3

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.4bd4

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.4bd5

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.4bd6

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