If you live on the West Coast, I’m sure you know what I mean when I say this has been one weird spring. Temperatures have been below normal for an unusually long period of time, so plants we expect to see in early to mid-March are just now peeking their heads out of the ground (like lily of the valley). It’s been so cold at night that we haven’t even planted tomatoes yet although that’s on the list for this weekend.
|Calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica), blooming as reliably as ever|
Poking around in the garden at lunchtime today (yes, I did check for more bamboo shoots), I kept shaking my head at how confused the normal growth pattern has been this year. But things are finally getting into full swing, and once daytime temperatures reliably stay above 70°F, perennials like echinaceas, salvias, and rudbeckias will finally catch up to where they would normally be in the middle of April.
|Coral aloe (Aloe striata) blooming for the first time ever. The red flower spike on the left is from a kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos flavidus).|
|Our red hot pokers (Kniphofia uvaria) are finally starting to bloom. I do have a bit of a love-hate relationship with this plant: I really like the flowers, short-lived as they are, but the leaves are pretty unattractive in my eyes.|
|Coral bell in full bloom (Heuchera x brizoides 'Firefly'). The plant behind it is our remaining Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha).|
|Heuchera villosa ‘Caramel’. It is supposed to withstand our hot summers better than most über-engineered heuchera hybrids, but the colors still fade to an unattractive brown by the middle of the summer.|
|Variegated flowering maple (Abutilon pictum 'Thompsonii') growing behind—and on top of—a giant farfugium (Farfugium japonicum ‘Giganteum)|
|Newly emerged Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra'), |
as electric as can be. The tips of the blades will eventually turn dark red.
|More ornamental grasses starting their initial growth spurt: |
Korean feather grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha)…
|…and Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’)|
|Variegated Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium reptans 'Stairway to Heaven'), hard to beat when it comes to foliage. This is a new addition to our woodland garden, and I hope it will thrive.|
|More stragglers arriving late on the scene this year:|
Hosta plantaginea ‘Aphrodite’…
|…and lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis). This is a transplant from my mother-in-law’s garden in Mount Shasta and does remarkably well here in our much warmer climate.|