Blooms in February (Town Mouse)

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.

And here is a close-up. I'll have to get the pruners out to keep this Southern California native in check, but who can argue with year-round flowers?

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?


James said…
I'm glad to see you having a good time with the venegesia. I've started to hear that some people have a lot of trouble growing them. Last summer I gave a plant as a gift, but was sad to see its old place in the garden marked by a little depression in the dirt. That's all that was left. Happy bloom day!
Brad said…
The pajaroensis manzanita is one of the things that was looking great at my old garden. It was covered in blooms. It's an absolutely beautiful variety. You've got a lot blooming in your garden. It looks great.
Beautiful blossom, and I love the Hardenbergia, shame it is too tender for my garden, will have to make do with admiring it in yours!
Anonymous said…
You have such wonderful weather, I knew to expect pretty blossoms. The Mahonia is a pretty plant and will be produce greatly over time.
Great to see all the flowers in CA. Happy GBBD, Carolyn
Nell Jean said…
So many pretties for February! The mousies have a great assortment.
Chloe m said…
It just warms my heart to see things growing. I can't wait until spring comes to Colorado.
I like that Skylark. Good color there.
Anonymous said…
The plum blossom is beautiful - really says SPRING to me! I will be thinking of your blog when I'm reading Country Mouse & City Mouse to my sweet beans!
Jennifer said…
Wow, what wondering blooms you have. As soon as you mentioned "bees", I was like, this garden must be somewhere warm! Love all the color you have.. the plum blossom is just gorgeous!
ryan said…
A nice collection. February is one of my favorite flower months with both manzanitas and ribes going. I planted a pajaro manzanita on Friday. I hope it does as well as that one.
Unknown said…
Oh, plum blossoms--just lovely! I'm afraid I have a bit of "bloom envy" after reading your post! Enjoy!
Anonymous said…
I'm glad to see your Sidalcea malvaeflora blooming already. Mine has also had some trouble waking up from summer dormancy, but hopefully it will bloom in another month or two. Your plants are all way, way ahead of mine right now - send some spring up my way, please!
Wally said…
There's a public garden here with hardenbergia and wattle, the purple and yellow combination is indeed beautiful. Love your plum blossoms too.
Sunray Gardens said…
This is when we up north are the most zone envious. I probably do have some Heather blooming though but haven't checked since we've been under so much snow this year. Nice to see some fresh blooms.
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