Monday, December 22, 2014

Hidden December Blooming Scabiosa Flower

This afternoon I went out to harvest some kale from my front flower bed, and to my right I noticed a flash of light blue hidden in a clump of dried hyssop. I hadn't realized when I wrote my post yesterday that my scabiosa, better known as the pincushion flower, was still in bloom. So I need to add it to the list of things that bloom in Paso Robles in December. 

The hyssop itself had bloomed all the way into the end of July and then the flowers dried to the way you see them here. It's time to cut it back. I hope my gardener will cut it and all but the new growth on my oregano back when he comes tomorrow. 

I also need to cut the top dead spikes from my mullein plant, since the secondary shoots from it are still trying to bloom. The top photo below was taken last week, and I see I also need to add the gazanias to the list of what's blooming in December. It blooms almost year round. You can see the yellow gazanias near the wall in the second photo, which was taken today. The first one below shows the front flower bed from a distance. Here the mullein is just a silhouette, but you can see the long dead flower spikes on top. Those are what I need to have cut.

Here you see a close-up of the bottom part of the mullein that is trying to bloom again. Click to expand the photo. To the right of the mullein is a kale plant, and there is another one at the left toward the back. Right behind the first kale are the blooming gazanias. To the right of the mullein is some tricolor sage, not in bloom. It has never bloomed for me, but the leaf color contrasts with surrounding foliage. 

The other thing obvious if you expand this photo are the number of weeds and weedy grasses beginning to take over any bare ground. I had surgery just before all the rains and I am restricted from any gardening activities for another six weeks at least. I want to be getting those weeds out. It's killing me to just watch them keep the light and nutrients from seedlings struggling to emerge. I did have someone at least pull the tops off some of these grassy weeds today, but it only made a dent. I can hardly wait to get my hands in the dirt again and start doing what needs to be done before it's too late. 

Have you started your seasonal weeding yet? Those of us in California need to start dealing with the baby milk thistle and poison hemlock plants and other weeds I see starting to claim their ground. Click the link to see photos of the most common weeds on the central coast we need to deal with early. 

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