GBBD December - Budding out - Country Mouse

Since just a few days ago, a lot is starting to pop in the garden. We've had a lot of rain, but it's been cold and gloomy. Recently the weather has warmed up and wow - all these buds!

Like Town Mouse (please click to see her GBBD post next!) I am thrilled to see the early manzanita blossoms. This manzanita cultivar is an early bloomer, Arctostaphylos "Winter Glow":

And our local endemic manzanita, Arctostaphylos tomentosa are also beginning to bloom:

Another - the blossoms are of two types so I think we have two types of manzanita. still have to make that ID:

Meanwhile the manzanita berries are still clustering prettily:

I snapped this little Anna's hummingbird on my tour of the chaparral area. So many of them we have all twittering in the bushes. I'd like to remove these old twigs - then I see how the tiny birds love to perch there and change my mind.

In the small bed flanking the path to our door, where we just removed the not locally endemic Douglas iris, Salvia spathacea, Hummingbird Sage has popped her first blossom:

Just across the way from that bed, outside my dad's cottage, Rosemary - another one that is always in bloom. Non-native. Duncan is asking me if I'm coming in to make my dad his tea - it's that time!

Closeup of rosemary blossom, with bee. Always covered in bees.

And today's big surprise! Fuschia flowered current, Ribes speciosum, is starting to bloom! One of my favorite natives - but be warned - plant where you don't need to get in and prune a lot. It's covered in prickles!

Ribes speciosum
bush, from farther off. Not such a good shot. I actually do need to get in there and prune! But not till they've gone dormant.

Two other ribes are coming into bloom. This is Ribes malvaceum, chaparral current, first from a distance.

Then close up...

Here is Ribes indecorum - soon it will be covered in creamy white blossoms.

In the pool garden, sweet pea bush, Polygala fruticosa (non native) is always in bloom!

And snapdragon, Antirrinum magus (non-native) - always in bloom!

And Tecomaria capensis, cape honeysuckle (non native) - needs a good pruning and to be trained along the fence. Another that is always in bloom.


Abutilons (non-native) on our shady patio pots, are blooming quite nicely:

There is even a little bud of Sphaeralcea munroana – Munro’s Globemallow

Also in the pool garden, good old Encelia californica, Coast Sunflower looking a bit scraggy still. I pruned it quite hard but it's growing back, but with no particular shape. The sweet pea bush is behind it, starting to get a bit crowded.

Here's a closeup of a blossom:

Along the driveway, Ceanothus "Joyce Coulter" is a sprawling ceanothus that wants to be very big.

Just starting to blossom:

Here's the smaller, darker leaves of Ceanothus Dark Star:

And a closeup of one of the intense blue blossoms, just bursting - there's a bug on the blossom I didn't notice till I looked at the photo.

In closing, I can only concur with Town Mouse: "And now I hope you'll all head over to May Dreams Gardens to see what our hostess Carol has to say, and what's blooming in everyone else's garden."
But first - please click to see Town Mouse's GBBD post! She's got a marvellous little pitcher plant type of blossom, on her Dutchman's Pipe Vine - and much more!


Anonymous said…
Wow, Ceanothus already? My tiny one isn't showing any sign of bloom yet.

Rosemary is such a wonderful plant - edible, non-invasive, adapted to Mediterranean climates - that I kind of want to declare it an honorary native. The only problem is that I can't seem to keep it alive at all, which seems to prove it's really not as good as a native after all. All the non-native but supposedly perfectly adapted plants from Mediterranean regions die in my yard; only the true local natives survive.
Dear CM, Your garden is so lovely and a sight for these sore eyes -- already tired of looking at the white stuff. Wonderful to see your sweet hummingbird! Happy GBBD! P x
Lancashire rose said…
We fell in love with the Manzanitas when we visited California last winter. We saw many growing in the chapparal around LA and San Diego. I had heard of them but never seen them before. Your photos brought back some happy memories of a wonderful trip.
Ribes speciosum already? I haven't been out locally for a couple weeks, but the plants weren't looking like flowers were on the way any time soon. I guess it's not a rule that things to the south bloom first. (Or maybe you have a special secret early clone?)
camissonia said…
Just lovely. My manzanitas and a few ceanothus (Ray Hartman, Julia Phelps, Mountain Haze) are also putting forth some blooms. After our very wet December and a few frosty days, the weather is almost springlike now, isn't it?
Gorgeous! I can't believe how much you have blooming already! I really need to plant some Manzanitas here. My currants aren't quite as far along as yours. I did see some Ceanothus blooming when I was up at Cabrillo's horticulture building yesterday though. Plants are definitely stirring!
Christine said…
I like how the Hummingbirds have become your garden director! Such a sweet idea. Gracious, look at all the flowers- aren't we just so lucky to live in CA?