The Welcome-to-April Garden

I'm not going to make it to 300 blog posts by the end of the year at my current rate of blogging. Twitter sucked away the simple link-oriented micro-blog posting I would do here from time to time. I have to raise my game and pick up the pace a little bit. More hiking, more botanical gardens, more other gardens. More my garden.

Posey with Omphalodes cappodocica

The last bits of winter dormancy are ending. Vitis californica 'Roger's Red'

leafing out; Vitis californica

And all four of my vine maples (Acer circinatum) are leafing out.

Acer circinatum

Lots of new leaves budding out on evergreens, too. Meyer lemon:

Leafing out meyer lemon

and manzanita (Arctostaphylos pajaroensis).

Arctostaphylos pajaroensis

I'm sorry to say that I don't have anything near the wildflower show that I had last year. I'm still working on it tho'. It might come later than usual this year.

Nemophila menziesii

Even the California poppies are way behind the times. 'Moonglow' from Larner Seeds.

Eschscholzia californica 'Moonglow'

These are the seedlings I'm managing most closely right now:

I'm a little late again with tomatoes

'Early Cherry' and 'Stupice' tomatoes, 'Autum Torch' amaranth, and the A. caudatus species 'Love Lies Bleeding', hanging basket lover Nolana paradoxa, and some Blazing Star wildflower starts, Mentzelia lindleyi.

I also have cucumber and squash starts, at the germination stage. In a week or two I'll have to pull the favas before they've made beans in order to plant the cucumbers. Well, I like cucumbers more than I like fava beans, and time is precious. Next year, I'll start favas earlier, in the place where I grow tomatoes. Then maybe I can harvest a crop of beans before I plant tomatoes which I start later anyway.

Vicia faba

This is a South African bulb named Tritonia crocata. I bought a pot of it last year at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, and forgot about it. When the bladed leaves started coming up here and there, I didn't know what they were. I thought might be some weedy Crocosmia that blew in on the wind or something. Instead of pulling it, I decided to wait and see.

Tritonia crocata

The growth is very upright, and offsets are many. I've been enjoying the flowers since getting back from Hawaii. Foliage is already dying back in the dry, hot exposure of the roof deck, but down in the garden it's all still green. The whole plant is only 6" tall. I think it might be a good bulb for edging, and I'm going to plant some of the offsets around the garden when this clump goes dormant soon.

Tritonia crocata foliage

I moved my little Mediterranean bulb pan off to the side for the rest of the year, although it still has a 'Little Beauty'.

bulb pan

I think I like 'Little Beauty' a little bit more than I like 'Little Princess'.

'Little Beauty'

(I added some of the Crocus 'NB' to the pan, so that will be in the mix next year.)

Down in the garden, Freesia are everywhere.


And this is the Narcissus I'm enjoying the most right now. It almost looks like columbine to me.

A Narcissus I'm enjoying right now

Some creature of the night is munching on my lettuces which does not thrill me.

Someone is eating my lettuces

Were you wondering if Cobaea scandens is still blooming? Is it ever.

Cobaea scandens

I only wish my passionflower vine had as much passion for flowering.

passionflower rarely flowers

The "It-plant" of 2006, Cerinthe major 'purpurascens' self sows freely and seems to have found some nice, not in-my-way places to grow this year. For that, I and the bees who love it are very grateful. I don't like having to pull it out of inconvenient places. You can transplant it easily tho', so that's a benefit.

Cerinthe major 'purpurescens'

The bees are still getting a lot of action on the Ceanothus too. I keep thinking that plant's flowering is over for the year, but no, it's not.

Fuchsia + Ceanothus


Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

It looks so pretty. Our weather has been really bad the last few days. Wind, snow, rain and hail. It looks like it might be changing. Our plants are a least a month behind. It's nice to see something is blooming somewhere!

Adriana said...

How big doe Ceanothus get? Could it be slugs on your lettuce?

Ronnie said...

So much going on in your plot! Inspires my plan to get up tomorrow morning and sow some starter veggies and continue my garden tidy-up over here in the Mission. I can see Bernal Hill from my back deck:)

Les said...

I thought the Tritonia was a Clivea when I first glanced at it. Perhaps they are related being from the same part of the world.

CiNdEe's GaRdEn said...

Everything is looking beautiful! I love that ceanothus! I really want one. I have never tried to grow a vine maple. That looks fun too! My freesias didn't do anything this year. Maybe that is because I never took them out of the pot? I should plant those(-: Thanks for the garden tour!! Have a great weekend!

Christopher C. NC said...

Could it be slugs eating your lettuce?

Lilacs on the east coast are what come closest to your Ceanothus. I don't think their bloom period is all that long though, so i am not sold on having any yet.

chuck b. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chuck b. said...

Catherine, please resolve those weather issues soon. I will be in Seattle in just a couple weeks!

Adriana, Ceanothus arboreus is a small tree, so 15' or so... I will prune mine to keep it smaller. There are many, many shrubbier varieties available.

Ronnie, Get started soon! I am NOT such a good vegetable gardener myself. Visit Pam Peirce's blog Golden Gate Gardener over there in my links, and check out her book of the same name.

Les, I have Clivia in bud too! Tritonia is an iris family plant and clivias are amaryllids, I think.

Cindee, freesias will naturalize for us...so plant 'em out!

Christopher, The Ceanothus bloom seems unusually prolonged to me this year. Both kinds of lilacs are boring green shrubs when not in bloom.

Frances said...

Hi Chuck, lots going on here. Twitter. Fava beans, I planted mine on the raspberry posts, the leaves are huge but they are not growing up yet. Little beauty not open but close. There will be overlap with L. Princess this year. This is one, well two if you count both littles, tulip that has multiplied greatly from last year to this, many more flowers. Cobaea still blooming? Mine is still taking over in the greenhouse for another week or two. Hard to believe the lettuce is slugs, they usually make little holes, or big holes, but possible. Love that native phacelia?

Contrary Wife said...

Hi Chuck,

I just stumbled upon your blog and enjoy it very much. You have some really lovely and interesting plants in you garden - I'm wishing that my PA garden was in the same zone! :-)

I've had rabbits sit on the edge of a pot and munch away at greens they find delectable. Maybe you have an especially acrobatic one?

Happy Gardening!

Chloe Marguerite said...

Yes, Little Princess is lovely! I like the little guy with the red hat, too. Did you by any chance get that at Annies?

The California poppy looks very similar to the one in my garden! It was supposed to be 'white', but I like the subtle coloration of the cream/pale yellow color better.

James said...

Im not familiar with most of these,but they are so beautiful,certainly different than north texas.

VĂ©rone said...

Magnifique !!!