Late to the Garden Party


Spring is in full force here and at this time of year it seems impossible to cover everything that’s in bloom.  I decided to focus on the blue flowers and give shorter shrift to those in other colors.  Still, be forewarned, this is a long post even for me.

Blue blooms are prominent in my garden in spring when the Iris bloom and again in summer when the Agapanthus bloom.   I seem to acquire more blue Iris every year and they’re make a particularly big splash this year.

I’ve added Dutch Iris to the garden in increments over the last 4 years.  The largest number of these surround the fountain in the back garden.

Iris hollandica ‘Sapphire Beauty’ was blooming last month but the flowers are more prolific now

‘Mystic Beauty’ made its appearance this month

The Pacific Coast Irises are going strong his month too.  This is Iris douglasiana ‘Santa Lucia’.

I have only one Iris douglasiana ‘Wilder than Ever’ but I wish I had more

The only bearded Irises in my garden that have done well are those I transplanted to our the back slope after moving in.  My guess is that this is dwarf Iris germanica ‘Darth Vader’.  It has a lovely fragrance!
Felicia aethiopica ‘Tight & Tidy’ makes a nice blue clump alongside the Iris

Bulbs of hybrid Anemone ‘Mistral Azzurro’ were a great investment

The blue Freesias bloomed after most of those in other colors were done

Almost all my lavenders are blooming.  Left to right are: Lavandula ‘Goodwin’s Creek’, L. multifida, and L. stoechas.

Limonium perezii (aka sea lavender) is blooming in several areas

I cut back most of my Osteospermums last month when they bloomed out.  Osteospermum ‘Violet Ice’ was an exception.

This Plectranthus neochilus lost most of its foliage variegation but it’s flowering better than ever.  It’s too bad it smells like skunk.

A few newcomers are just getting started.

Ageratum corymbosum with its purple foliage opened its first buds last weekend

Echium candicans ‘Star of Madiera’ had been blooming for just days but it’s already drawing in bees in large numbers

Psorlea pinnata offers blooms that smell like grape Kool Aid

There are a host of other blue blooms that deserve a nod.

1st row: Abelia sp., Ajuga ‘Mint Chip’, Alyogyne huegelii, and Aristea inequalis
2nd row: Babiana rubrocyanea, Campanula portenschlagiana, noID Ceanothus, and Geranium incanum (a weed)
3rd row: Ipheion uniflorum, Nierembergia caerulea, noID Pericallis, and Salvia ‘Mystic Spires’
4th row: Sisyrinchium ‘Devon Skies’, Trichostema ‘Midnight Magic’, Veronica ‘Waterperry Blue’, and noID Viola

Under less congested circumstances, I’d probably include flowers in the lilac-violet range with the blue blooms but this month I’ve pulled them out as a separate group.

1st row: Geranium ‘Tiny Monster’ and Gomphrena decumbens ‘Itsy Bitsy’
2nd row: Two noID varieties of Lathyrus odoratus and Nemesia ‘7th Heaven Mix’
3rd row: noID Pericallis, Pelargonium cucculatum ‘Flore Plenum’, and Polygala myrtifolia

Now on to the pink flowers!

Arctotis ‘Opera Pink’

Arctotis ‘Pink Sugar’

Lampranthus ‘Pink Kaboom’

Leptospermum scoparium ‘Pink Pearl’ has had a smattering of flowers since fall but it’s exploded with flowers since the rain returned this month

1st row: noID Alstroemeria, Anemone ‘Mistral Rarity’, Centranthus ruber, and Cistus ‘Grayswood Pink’
2nd row: Cistus ‘Sunset’, Coleonema pulchellum ‘Sunset Gold’, and Cuphea ‘Starfire Pink’
3rd row: Pelargonium ‘Pink Blizzard’, noID Pelargonium, P. ‘Orange Fizz’, and Osteospermum ‘Berry White’

Next up is the white-flowered group.

Coleonema ‘Album’ (aka white breath of heaven)

Narcissus ‘Geranium’, by far the most prolific Narcissus I grow

Zantedeschia aethiopica (aka calla lily) is blooming heavily relative to last year

1st row: Alstroemeria ‘Claire’, Agrostemma githago ‘Ocean Pearls’, and Argyranthemum frutescens ‘Everest’
2nd row: Centranthus ‘Alba’, Gazania ‘White Flame’, and Heuchera maxima
3rd row: Ornithagalum umbellatum, self-seeded Osteospermum, and Trifolium repens

Let’s move on to those in the yellow group.  (I feel as though I’m coordinating a parade of marching bands.)

Gazanias are common plants but in spring following a good rain, they put on a spectacular show.  These self-seeded.

My large-flowered Grevilleas bloom year-round but ‘Peaches & Cream’ is outdoing all the others this month

Leucadendron ‘Pisa’ produces luminescent bracts that look like flowers

Leucospermum ‘Goldie’ flowers more heaving with each successive year

Phlomis fruticosa is covered in blooms that would please Dr Seuss

1st row: noID Clivia, Colmanara ‘Wildcat’, and Cotula lineariloba
2nd row: Eriophyllum lanatum, Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’, E. ‘Dean’s Hybrid’ and Euryops ‘Sonnenschein’
3rd row: Hymenolepsis parviflora, noID Narcissus, and Rosa ‘Golden Celebration’

The oranges are up next.

More self-seeded Gazanias

Leucospermum ‘Brandi’

Leucospermum ‘Spider’

Climbing Rosa ‘Joseph’s Coat’

Clockwise from the upper left: Eschscholzia californica, Anagallis arvensis (weed), Bignonia capreolata, Grevillea ‘Superb’, Erysimum x allionii, and Pelargonium ‘Tweedle Dee’

The red group brings up the rear.

Another self-seeded Gazania, my current favorite

A river of Lotus berthelotii ‘Amazon Sunset’ (punctuated with a single Narcissus ‘Sunny Girlfriend)

Clockwise from the upper left: Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’, Euphorbia ‘Black Pearl’, Grevillea ‘Ned Kelly’, Lobelia laxiflora, and Linum grandiflorum

I’ll close with an unusual bloom that needs its own category.

Ferraria crispa (aka starfish Iris)

For a look at what’s blooming elsewhere in the country and other parts of the world, check in with Carol, the host of Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, at May Dreams Gardens.

All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

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