Wednesday, March 14, 2012

GBBD - March in the Country Mouse Garden

The first half of March on the central coast of California was sunny and warm, which we enjoyed with a certain uneasiness. Now it's been raining for nearly two days solid and we're not so jolly maybe but are a lot more contented. The ground really needed a good soaking.

I have a few blooms to share, from the sunny spell. I've been too busy planting to take a lot of photos, and more is blooming than I'm showing here. The wild hound's tongue, Cynoglossum grande for one thing. Well, another day, another post.

Mostly what I've been busy putting in are local bunch grasses, and local clarkia, which I propagated a lot of. I figure I'll just throw a ton of them at the garden and see where they stick, and figure out why they like it one place rather than another.


With their tiny little blossoms and juicy leaves, redmaids, Calandria ciliata, are covering the whole area where I planted succulents this fall. I'm letting them take over except where I need to let a succulent breathe, or plant something else.
 

Argh the calla lilies are indomitable! But pretty. But they escape into the wild. Don't plant these unless you want them forever - and they don't escape your garden!


These sweet little violets Viola adunca, can come and stay any time, however. They are slowly spreading in one area, again near some succulents.


Dutchman's pipevine, Aristolochia californica, doesn't bloom much where I grow it, or leaf out as lushly as in Town Mouse's garden. I've started a few other plants in other parts of the garden to see what it does there. But the blooms are are fun to look at.


Ceanothus is the glory of March! This Dark Star bush is over five feet tall, and much wider than tall. The color is richer than the camera shows.


Jerusalem sage, non native, has been  blooming all winter, nice pale yellow blossoms, and so has Verbena lilacina 'De la Mina.' - What a great garden plant. Nursery bought native, doesn't grow natively around here. Very fragrant indeed.



The wildlife garden area (a planted terrace on the woodland side) is not as colorful this year, due to the dry weather. I have watered it every six weeks or so. But the western redbud there, Cercis occidentalis,  is starting to take hold. It's been small and wimpy for several years now. It seems to like the dryer weather. The fuchsia-flowered gooseberry is blooming more now than when I took this shot - but still less spectacular than during last year's wet spring. Guess you can't please all of the plants all of the time.


Here's the shot of my pet alum root, Heuchera micrantha. Still the only one blossoming. I took a couple of short hikes recently in some riparian areas - along the San Lorenzo river and Fall Creek, and saw masses of alum root - but no blossoms yet. So there's hope for my other ones. A lot of the alum root was growing  prettily mingled with redwood sorrel, Oxalis oregana. I took note: a nice garden companion planting.


Well, just to finish with a splash of color - this is close to what the ceanothus shrubs in bloom right now really do look like. Close up of a blossom.

Now I'm off to May Dreams Gardens to thank Carole and register my bloom day. I'll visit some gardens in the morning - it's off to sleep I go... But you can continue on to view Town Mouse's bloom day post - she is pretty in pink this month!

13 comments:

Becc said...

Your garden is looking good considering its been so dry, in Western Aust. it is also dry would love some rain like you!

Bernie H said...

Love that sweet Calandria and those Calla Lilies are fantastic. The Sage and Verbana make a great combination too. It was the Ceanothus, however, that really caught my eye. What a show!

JT said...

mmmm ceanothus.

James said...

I enjoyed looking at your collection this month. I have no callas in bloom at this point, which I consider a victory. But I know they'll be baaaaack... It's definitely one of the most desirable of the undesirable plants. The purple shock of ceanothus is terrific. Happy Bloomday!

Queer by Choice said...

That's a great picture of the red maids. I have some of those sprouting this year, but none blooming yet.

Your Ceanothus is fantastic. With results like that from one Ceanothus, I'd plant several more of the same kind!

Megan said...

I love Verbena lilacina 'De la Mina' but sadly killed ours last year. Poor thing was kind of ignored. Great pics!

ryan said...

Nice and pretty. I've never grown that dutchman's pipe, but I think it's flower is really cool.

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Julie said...

Our sweet violets continue to spread throughout the forest, and they are just darling! Personally, I'd be thrilled with your calla lilies. The few I've planted never took off, but yours are lovely! Thank you for the tour of your blooms!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I'm surprised how much you have blooming. Until this week our pathetic rain totals clearly set back many of our natives. The ceanothus are starting to bloom, and few two-eyed violets are out as well, but not much else. The dry winter seems to have claimed one of my Philadelphus lewisii, and yet another Winnifred Gilman too. Fickle weather.

greggo said...

That ceanothus is awesome.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I am completely in love with your Ceanothus!!!

(And a little jealous of your calla lilies. I can't seem to get mine to do anything--of course, they're annuals here and stuck in pots, so maybe that's why? I need a happy medium between "escapes into the wild like at Country Mouse's" and "laughs at my attempts to get them to bloom here in NE Ohio"! lol.)

Wife, Mother, Gardener said...

So many pretty things going on. I like looking at the Dutchman's pipevine also. And those callas are so beautiful... not to be grown at all where I am from!
Happy March!
Julie