Mid-spring in the small city garden.

Spring is a nebulous concept in coastal California. Summer is the big thing here. It goes on and and on. But that's next month. What is it like today?

It's pretty!


Ceanothus, at its peak.


The flowers are already starting to fall.


I think the colors here look better in the summer when the big leafy greens are gone and replaced by red dahlias with black leaves.




The native perennial bunch grasses start to seem more reasonable this time of year. Not like they blew in with the weeds.



I continue to follow Bonnie's advice to neglect my artichoke as much as possible.


It seems to be working.


The mustard bloom is almost over.


I have to start getting summer vegetables ready. I haven't even started tomatoes. Usually, I have them ready for planting by mid-March. But this year I'm waiting until mid-May. They don't start bearing until the end of June anyway, and maybe this way they'll have less time to get mildew.


Some day my Fremontodendron will bloom on and off all year. For now it's just spring and some summer.


The Tibouchina has already made that transition. The summer of '08 I didn't water it at all and I think that made it cranky. It's been more generous with flowers since I started to water it once a month.


Up on the roof 'Little Beaut[ies]' are blooming in the bulb pan. They're always a month earlier than the 'Little Princess[es]'. I wonder why.


The bulb pan is a work in progress. I add a few things every year, and hope that what's already there gets a little bigger. The pan and the bulbs it contains sit here on the roof all year long exposed to the elements. During the winter, I scrape off an inch or two of last year's soil and top dress with the fresh stuff. No water, no fertilizer, and, so far, no lifting or dividing.



Noelle Johnson said...

Your Ceanothus are absolutely gorgeous! One of the things I loved best about growing up in CA, was how easy it was to garden and how many different plants just thrive there in the coastal climate.

Christopher C. NC said...

The ceanothus is prettier than any lilac I have seen. I haven't seen a lot of lilacs. It just looks fuller with bloom. Our lilacs might not be completely happy way up here though.

Unknown said...

I don't know, I have a soft spot for the big leafy greens. And the way that heuchera/heucherella (I think?) picks up the red in your phormium. (Or was it a cordyline?)

By the way, is that an echium in front of your tomato cages? They're growing some at the botanical garden this year, and I always think of your posts showing them on your neighborhood walks when I pass them in the greenhouse. :)

Bonnie Story said...

Yay for the artichoke! That delights me so. Maybe even scrape any surrounding groundcover back a bit so the soil around the 'choke can get dry and crumbly. I love stuiff that thrives on neglect. I have lots of Comfrey divisions going great-guns around the place now and none of them will get any help from me, no sir. Make it or fake it or yer outta here... Maybe the deer will let me enjoy the blossoms for a minute this year. My neighbor has a big new Golder Retriever pup and it seems to have disturbed the deer traffic patterns to my delight. Enjoy that luscious springtime there!! I especially get a huge thrill out of your summer fog pix. Now that brings back so many memories. I also love your road trips and documentary photo style. I really has inspired me to try a walking-tour approach when I'm out shooting. Have a great day Mr. B!

Anonymous said...

Pretty is right, Chuck! Everything is looking quite nice, lots of large leaves too, hooray for them. We have artichokes in the greenhouse that keep getting brown spots on the leaves. It is still too early to let them be outside, but perhaps they are getting too much water. Will set them aside and neglect them. Our littles tulips do have some overlap of bloom most years, but the pinks are earlier. Your bulb tray is such a great idea.

EAL said...

Ceanothus. I was just near San Diego and wondered about that. Now I know what it is. Love it.

lisa said...

I'm with Kim-the leafies are mighty nice! (Frankly ALL your stuff is!)

TheSquirrelfish said...

I got some big red tulips in January and now I have a few yellow inside, red outside nectarine colored ones going strong. It's always nice to be surprised over what blooms when... definitely your garden inspires me.