Inauguration Day garden

Did you watch the inauguration? It kind of gobbled up my day. I made it out of the house eventually, but I didn't get far.


An extended period of unseasonably warm weather is supposed to end soon. It will get colder, but still no rain.


We've had enough rain this season to fill all three rain barrels, twice. I empty them as fast as I can, using the water as supplemental "rain" in the garden. Hopefully, the natives and mediterraneans won't know the difference. With enough winter rain, they can survive the long summer drought without my help.


My help is for the birds.


For the winter bees, Hardenbergia violacea.

Hardenbergia violacea

I'm not sure what triggers its bloom... Shorter days? Cool(er) temps? It would be nice to know.


You've met the Tragic Ash. Now say hello to the Sad Sambucus.


It hasn't done much since I planted it in late 2006. Is it not happy here? Would it rather be somewhere else? Does it have places to go? People to meet? The one sad shoot has a nice shape. And here is a bud pointing downward. That's interesting. So it stays.

Sambucus mexicanum

The tree fern is not sad at all. Three new fronds have extended from the trunk, and I count three more coming right behind them. I tend to cut off the lower fronds once the new ones have unfurled. I like to pass by without having to duck. I can just about do that now, 3 years after planting out from a 2-gallon pot.


The young fiddleheads may be roasted and eaten. Something to try, I guess...


Underneath the fern, spreading here and there, Omphalodes cappadocica. I expect these blue flowers to play a bigger role in the winter garden in coming years. I planted three patches. One died, but two are settling in and spreading nicely.


I don't see flowers on the cyclamen yet, but the leaves are nice. I buy one or two cyclamen bulbs every year on clearance at the end of the season. Here are some of them.


Speaking of nice leaves, did you know there's a yellow-flowering Cerinthe major? And it has variegated foliage! I got this at my local nursery. I didn't recognize the plant tag so I asked about it. Apparently, Annie Hayes' (of Annie's Annuals) ex-husband is starting his own nursery business. This is one of his offerings.


Time to go make dinner. Let's end with something interesting, not sad, thoroughly independent, and blooming without any trigger:





Christopher C. NC said...

"My help is for the birds." Well ok then.

I think all that hot air on the west coast is running up north and pushing all the cold arctic air down on the east coast. A high today of 13 and oh about 5 inches of snow. Cut it out.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your new president, I think more people outside the US must have watched it than in the US! Everyone I know in the Caribbean did.
The Hardenbergia violacea has a similar effect as the petrea volubilis. I also like the tree fern.

Unknown said...

It's 29 right now at 9:33 a.m. in North Florida!! Love that you are sharing your so called winter garden. Mine looks like a cemetary with the sheets draped over plants like floating ghosts!!

Anonymous said...

Your elderberry may be leafless, but it certainly looks taller than mine, at least. Mine is about one foot tall, with a few leaves still clinging to it that it came from the nursery with. The leaves are looking very raggedy, though.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

How lucky to have such nice weather and beautiful gardens in January!
I'm glad you're helping the birds, someone has to! :)

Abigail Rose said...

I love your bird bath. Every time I leave water out for the birds the raccoons go nuts and wreck the whole thing. Are you going to plant any roses this year?

chaiselongue said...

Your plants should be happy on inauguration day! Congratulations on your new president. Because of the time difference in Europe we were able to go out in the sun during the day and still watch the inauguration in the evening! Thanks for sharing the pictures of your garden.

Anonymous said...

Yowza that Omphalodes is gorgeous - real eye candy. I've tried and tried to grow it, it always withers up and dies. (Or else I put it out of it's misery)

Love the first picture of the Cobaea too - I'd frame it.

Chloe M.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chuck, I was glued to the tv all day yesterday. I want to know about the sambucus, is that your black lace? I wanted to say that mine is growing, but oh so much more slowly than the aurea, which is a monster. So if it is, give it more time, the bud is promising. Now promising is the cobaea, yahoo. And about the heat from you guys causing our cold, I'm with Christopher, enough already.

chuck b. said...

Frances, I have Calif. native Sambucus mexicanum. It's supposed to be more vigorous than this. I see more of it in Southern California, but there is a big, old specimen on Bernal Hill. I'm not familiar with S. aurea.

Chloe, the Omphalodes is one of my favorite groundcovers. They have more flowers right now, but the only picture that came out was the close-up.

chaiselongue, the inauguration was first thing in the morning in California. Afterwards, I couldn't get off the couch until mid-day.

Abigail--lots of new roses this year! Four old rambler types: Moonlight, Felicia, Gardenia, and Veilchenbblau (spelling?) and one recent AARS winner, 'Wild Blue Yonder'. I already had four roses, including two rambler types, Cornelia and Marble Gardens Mystery Rose (per Annie's Annuals), two David Austin's (Charlotte and Jude the Obscure) and one Jackson and Perkins, 'Honey Bouquet'.

Catherine, I guess the great PNW is having a particularly unfun winter this year, eh? My sincerest sympathies.

Gayle, the elder seemed to burst forth when I planted it fro a 6" pot, but since then it's hit a wall or something. It better resume it's rapid growth this year. Or else!

Darla, I had a silly panic attack before TV-forecasted cold a month ago and draped the garden with floating row cover. It looked great! I almost blogged about it.

Tira, Do you have tree ferns in the Caribbean? They look great inter-planted with tall palms.

Christopher--I'm sorry, I can't help it.

Annie in Austin said...

Some kind of native elderberries were planted by birds back in the IL gardens - don't think the fancier black-foliaged varieties had been introduced at that time or I'd have wanted one.

Are you watering that Sambucus mexicana very much? This site suggests that the response to drought is defoliation and another one says it's not drought tolerant until the roots are established and have moved out of the original planting area. Maybe you have to baby it a little longer?

The TV's were on here all day, too.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

lisa said...

I missed the inauguration ceremony, but I'm already a big fan of our new prez, so it's okay. LOVE your Hardenbergia violacea, BTW! I don't think you can take ALL the blame/credit for the east coast cold...I may have sent them some from frigid WI too. *~<];-)