OK, I admit it. This month I'm cheating a bit and I'm showing off some photos that are maybe a week old. But there's so much to see, and I want to share it all. Above, Arctostaphylos pajaroensis (Pajaro manzanita) is blooming its little heart out, with happy bees and hummingbirds coming to visit. Here a close-up.
And manzanita could well be the theme flower for this month. In addition to the pink blooming Pajaro manzanita, I also have Arctostaphylos 'Emerald Carpet', a groundcover manzanita that manages to get by with much less water than the garden books say.
And Arctostaphylos edmunsii, a new arrival the garden just planted last fall with large white blossoms and dark green leaves.
Blooming nicely for the first time this year is Mahonia aquifolium 'Skylark', bought in October 2009 but not quite ready for a good show in 2010. I love how the yellow flowers contrast with the purple Hardenbergia (not a native, but a reliably bloomer in January and February.
And, speaking of yellow, Venegasia carpesioides (canyon sunflower) has really been blooming almost through the winter, as advertised. I planted it in a low-lying spot hoping it will receive enough moisture there. The photo below shows it together with Heuchera maxima, the first coral bell to bloom.
A wonderful surprise has been Sidalcea malvaeflora (checkerbloom), which had a little trouble waking up from summer dormancy but is finally back with beautiful pink flowers.
And I'm also delighted to find Salvia spatacea (hummingbird sage) is tentatively putting out a few blossoms, no doubt because the last few weeks have been quite mild.
But a special treat is the first plum blossom, which really did open up just yesterday, announcing that spring can't be far away.
And now I'm going to visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens, our hostess for several years of bloom days (can you believe it?). Won't you join in the Bloom Day Celebration?