Monday, January 15, 2018

First Daffodil Brightens my January Garden

My First Daffodil of 2018


Normally my bright January colors in the garden come from calendula, but this year frost killed them all. That's why I'm so glad this daffodil decided to show up and brighten my garden a bit.

First Daffodil Brightens my January Garden
First Daffodil Brightens my January Garden

As you can see, the recent rain brought the snails out, and they've got a head start on me. I was slow getting the bait out for them because I'm only now almost over the flu that had me down since mid-December. I need to get that snail bait out before they eat everything I've got.  This is what I normally use and it works well for me  when I spread it in my flowers when the ground is wet. If I'd done it right after the rain, those holes wouldn't be in my leaves now.




My Garden Is Mostly Green and Light Purple Now


The light purple flowers in bloom are rosemary, scabiosa (Pincushion Flower), and borage. Of course, two of those are herbs.

First Daffodil Brightens my January Garden
Rosemary in January

First Daffodil Brightens my January Garden
Scabiosa in January with Gazania Leaves in Background


First Daffodil Brightens my January Garden
Borage Flowers in January

I don't usually see borage in bloom this early, but it reseeded last year. I'm afraid my plants have been fending for themselves since last year because I haven't had time or strength to do much for them. They have helped immensely by their reseeding. I'm hoping I'll be seeing new kale and chard plants soon. Meanwhile, I'm seeing lots of new clary sage and mullein plants. That's a reseeded mullein, one of many, in that pot above the borage in the photo above. It will be months before it blooms.

You can see below left how the mullein plant will look when it does bloom. This plant grew about six feet tall and this praying mantis pair found a home on it.



The card on the above right shows how beautiful the borage can be when it keeps its head up and is next to an orange or yellow plant like the calendula in the photo.

The image on the card below comes from my Templeton garden that has no snails because it rarely gets irrigation.



What I'm wondering now is where all those other daffodils I planted along with this the one now blooming are. This afternoon I cleared away some of the Lamb's Ears that might be obstructing them so the light can get to them, but maybe they are just taking more time than this one. I do hope more will come up and bloom by February. That's when I usually see them.

Are you growing daffodils this year? Are any of your normal January or February plants blooming earlier or later than usual this year?

**

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

What's in Bloom at the End of October in Paso Robles?

There's a Lot of Color on the Central Coast in October


Over the weekend I walked to the mailbox a block away with my camera to see what was blooming in my neighborhood. I will share what I saw with you here.  I made sure to walk past the home of my favorite neighborhood gardener, and I wasn't disappointed. This bougainvillea's bright color immediately got my attention. At the very back you can almost see one of the pots containing a yellow pansy in bloom.

What's in Bloom at the End of October in Paso Robles? Walk with me through my Paso Robles neighborhood to see what's blooming.
Bougainvillea in October, © B. Radisavljevic

I'm not familiar with the purple flowering shrub in the photo below. It's from the same yard. I do recognize the roses surrounding it and the white scabiosa (pincushion flower) in front of it. I'm also not sure of the red flowers next to the wall. Whatever their names, you have to admit this is a colorful arrangement of blooms at the end of October.


What's in Bloom at the End of October in Paso Robles? Walk with me through my Paso Robles neighborhood to see what's blooming.
Part of my Neighbor's Flower Garden in Paso Robles


The next photo is just to the right of the photo above in the actual flowerbed. I can't make a positive identification of everything below. I believe most of the daisy-like flowers are gaillardias, asters, or African daisies. The flower hanging over the edge is a California poppy, which I was surprised to see in bloom. There is another rose bush on the extreme right.


What's in Bloom at the End of October in Paso Robles? Walk with me through my Paso Robles neighborhood to see what's blooming.
More of my Paso Robles Neighbor's Flower Garden


Are you convinced yet that one can have a colorful garden at the end of October? But there is more around the corner in the front flowerbed. That plant trying to take over is, I believe,  Lipstick Sage. Some sages will expand if given a chance. This appears to be one of them. It seems to be trying to smother the Jupiter's Beard to its right.

What's in Bloom at the End of October in Paso Robles? Walk with me through my Paso Robles neighborhood to see what's blooming.
Lipstick Sage


Last but not least in this neighbor's side yard is this lavender-like sage plant. I'm not sure what variety it is.

What's in Bloom at the End of October in Paso Robles? Walk with me through my Paso Robles neighborhood to see what's blooming.
Sage, variety unknown


Need Help Picking Seasonal Blooms


If you live in the West, there's no better all round gardening reference than this.


What's Blooming on the Rest of the Block


Shades of purple and yellow add a lot of color to fall gardens here. One of the light purple staples is society garlic, pictured below. It's not showy, but it's drought resistant and almost everyone who cares about that plants it. The small white sweet alyssum is a wonderful flowering ground cover to  fill in the bare places.

What's in Bloom at the End of October in Paso Robles? Walk with me through my Paso Robles neighborhood to see what's blooming.
Sweet Alyssum and Society Garlic


Daylilies are a colorful addition to any garden. These are still blooming in my neighborhood. You see one tiny society garlic flower peeking out to the right.


What's in Bloom at the End of October in Paso Robles? Walk with me through my Paso Robles neighborhood to see what's blooming.
Daylilies in October


Here's another garden with thriving roses. The roses usually keep blooming well into winter.

What's in Bloom at the End of October in Paso Robles? Walk with me through my Paso Robles neighborhood to see what's blooming.
A Neighbor's Rose Garden


Oleander is a favorite in my neighborhood. Several of us have it in our yards. One neighbor has several colors, including white, which I don't show here. We like it because it's drought resistant and blooms during from spring well into fall here. Read about oleander growth stages through the year.

All parts of the oleander plant are poisonous, but I've lived with it all my life and no one in any of the places I lived where this was in almost every yard ever died because they ate it. It doesn't seem to invite snacking. Parents tell their kids it's poison and for some reason they believe it about this plant.

What's in Bloom at the End of October in Paso Robles? Walk with me through my Paso Robles neighborhood to see what's blooming.
Oleander


What's in Bloom at the End of October in Paso Robles? Walk with me through my Paso Robles neighborhood to see what's blooming.
Oleander


Flowers Blooming in my Own Yard at the End of October


After seeing what my neighbors have, I have garden envy. My health hasn't enabled me to clear the leaves from the flowerbed that the gardener used to take care of. He quit for health reasons. About all I can do right now is photograph what's happening. I had hoped to put in some fall annuals, like pansies. First, though, I have to make space where the Lamb's Ears have taken over. I hope to be able to get back to the garden soon.

My roses in the back garden are still blooming. The red roses seem to be doing best. The yellow, coral, and white ones are also blooming. I think the roses aren't healthy, but I'm not an expert on roses and I'm not sure what to do about it. I didn't plant the garden. I usually only plant what I can take care of. The gardener kept it pruned in winter, but that's about all it gets but water.

What's in Bloom at the End of October in Paso Robles? Walk with me through my Paso Robles neighborhood to see what's blooming.
Red Rose


Below are my scabiosa flowers. I begged for these when my neighbor was thinning her plants from the lovely garden I showed you first in this post. She gave me a couple she was uprooting, and they are thriving in my yard. This one is doing well at holding its own in the midst of the invading catmint and juniper around it.


What's in Bloom at the End of October in Paso Robles? Walk with me through my Paso Robles neighborhood to see what's blooming.
Scabiosa (Pincushion Flower)


My gazanias seem to bloom faithfully every day we have sunshine. They close when there is not much light. They can handle drought well. The only thing that's ever killed them are gophers and a hard frost. But after the hard frost was over, they came back from the roots still in the ground. They spread as they grow, and can be an ideal ground cover.


What's in Bloom at the End of October in Paso Robles? Walk with me through my Paso Robles neighborhood to see what's blooming.
Gazanias


Rosemary usually provides forage for the bees during winter. I see it blooming during almost every season, though it appears to be slowing down a bit now. It's strongest in winter through spring. If I don't keep it pruned back it will take over.

Almost everyone in this neighborhood grows some because it's a useful herb, the bees love it, and it needs no water once established. Some have made hedges of it.

It's not as tall as it looks here. It's really only about four feet high now, but the angle of the camera makes it look much higher. It's the only way I could get the small flowers to show.

What's in Bloom at the End of October in Paso Robles? Walk with me through my Paso Robles neighborhood to see what's blooming.
Rosemary in Bloom in October


Ah, faithful calendula. It just keeps on blooming as long as it gets a bit of water sometimes. It's an annual, but keeps reseeding. I will post more about its virtues later. It seems to bloom in all seasons. It occasionally gets attacked by aphids, but the ladybugs usually control it. 


What's in Bloom at the End of October in Paso Robles? Walk with me through my Paso Robles neighborhood to see what's blooming.
Calendula


Lastly, I present my wild watermelon sage. I planted it in 2013 and appreciate that it adds color, the bees like it, and it doesn't try to take over. Compared to my other sages, it has a small footprint and it's only about a yard high. It occasionally gets some water. Other than that, it fends for itself and I prune it if it appears I need to.


What's in Bloom at the End of October in Paso Robles? Walk with me through my Paso Robles neighborhood to see what's blooming.
Wild Watermelon Sage


Here's one last tidbit from my neighbor's garden. She grows this morning glory in a pot with a support to climb on. She probably wants to confine it because it tends to be invasive. Delicate, isn't it?


What's in Bloom at the End of October in Paso Robles? Walk with me through my Paso Robles neighborhood to see what's blooming.
Morning Glories


I hope you've enjoyed this informal garden tour of one block in a Paso Robles neighborhood to see what's blooming here in October.

What is your favorite autumn flower in your area?

***

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: Time to Schedule Garden Tasks for October

My Garden Is a Mess


Wordless Wednesday: Time to Schedule Garden Tasks for October
I need to finish pruning kale and thinning Lamb's Ears. © B. Radisavljevic


Decisions to Make about What to Keep


Thin or transplant new seedlings? Depends on whether they turn out to be borage, mullein, or clary sage.
© B. Radisavljevic

Where Shall I Start?


Prune herbs back, trim irises, or thin gazanias? Oh, my!  © B. Radisavljevic


I'd better see if any tree seedlings are lurking under these leaves. © B. Radisavljevic


Time to Schedule Garden Tasks for October - I'd rather look at this sunset.
I think I'd rather look at this than get to work. © B. Radisavljevic




Have You Started or Finished Your Autumn Garden Tasks Yet?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My Neglected Templeton Garden in June

June 19, 2017


What Happens When a Garden Takes Care of Itself


The Butterfly Bush


This is the same butterfly bush that fell in 2014. See this post for contrast photos.

My Neglected Templeton Garden in June
Recovered Butterfly Bush Growing Upright Again, © B. Radisavljevic

My Neglected Templeton Garden in June
Butterfly Bush in Context of Rest of Herb Garden,  © B. Radisavljevic
In the left background is an Italian CyrpeCypress tree. In the foreground is a combination of black sage and rosemary.  The orchard is in the background on the right. This is quite a contrast from my original herb garden when I planted it a couple of decades ago. This is what this section looked like in April, 2007.

My Neglected Templeton Garden in June
Expanding Herb Garden in April, 2007, © B. Radisavljevic

Apples


I was happy to see our remaining apple tree is producing this year. 


My Neglected Templeton Garden in June
Young Apples, June 19, 2017, © B. Radisavljevic

Walnuts on the Tree

 My Neglected Templeton Garden in June
Walnut Tree with Immature Nuts, © B. Radisavljevic


June 20, 2017

Papa Quail 

 My Neglected Templeton Garden in June
Papa Quail Watches Over Family, Which Is Hidden in Brush,  © B. Radisavljevic

My Neglected Templeton Garden in June
Papa Quail in Context. Quail Family is Hidden in Brush, © B. Radisavljevic

It was too hot to stand still and wait for the quail family to come out of hiding so I could get a photo, but I often see the mother with her chicks running for cover in the brush as I go by. They live on the section of our land that is near the entrance. That's our oak tree in the background.


The Herbs on the Slope


I planted my first herbs in Templeton on the slope close to the front door. For years they've grown wild, and I discovered when I took these photos that a coyote brush plant had sneaked in under the  rosemary on the back edge and grown large enough to smoother whatever is under it. Probably my oregano and tricolor sage. Rosemary is still growing strong in back. But I'd like to concentrate on the flowers here. 

The lavender was among the first plants I placed on the slope. I got it from the now gone Sycamore Farms herb farm. The sage below was planted at the same time and came from the same place. The santolina (golden) was planted later. It probably also came from there. 

My Neglected Templeton Garden in June
Bee Foraging on Lavender, © B. Radisavljevic

My Neglected Templeton Garden in June
Santolina and Lavender Close Up, © B. Radisavljevic

My Neglected Templeton Garden in June
Common Sage in Bloom, © B. Radisavljevic, 

 My Neglected Templeton Garden in June
Thyme on the Slope, © B. Radisavljevic 

This last photo shows an overview of the slope. The taller yellow flowers are volunteer dusty miller plants that reseeded from some older transplants. The santolina and lavender are on its left. You see mostly rosemary and sage on the right, with thyme in the foreground. All these plants originally came from four-inch pots around 2006, so you can see how much they have grown. For the last three years they have had little attention. 

 My Neglected Templeton Garden in June
Overview of West Side of Slope, © B. Radisavljevic

I hope you've enjoyed seeing what can happen to a neglected garden. It's amazing so much of it survived the drought with almost no irrigation.

Do you grow herbs? What are your most memorable experiences with them? Which are your favorites to grow?


*****

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Clary and Tricolor Sage In June

June is When My Clary Sage Shows Off


My clary sage has been budding since May, and on June 1 I noticed it was in bloom again. All my clary sage here started from one plant in a pot. After the rains this year, many baby plants emerged far from the mother plant.  Theones in the photo below appeared in the side flower bed near the street. They are blooming. The clary sage is in the foreground at the center with large leaves and a large flower stalk. A black sage plant is in bloom behind it.

Clary and Tricolor Sage In June



Below is a different view that includes two other plant babies growing in the gazanias. They haven't matured enough to bloom yet.

Clary and Tricolor Sage In June


This is the mother plant, still in its pot, and fully in bloom.

Clary and Tricolor Sage In June



Here are a few more babies growing next to the walkway by the garage. They will be blooming soon. I see a bud. This section of my garden is all volunteer plants. The Lamb's Ears came from a mother plant across the sidewalk and has spread throughout this bed. It is also blooming now. I threw some iris bulbs I didn't have room for in the other flower beds into a cardboard box of shallow dirt in this back corner, and they decided to be happy there and bloom while I was waiting to find another spot for them. The pot contains mostly lemon balm.


Clary and Tricolor Sage In June


Tricolor Sage Blooms Between May and June


I was so busy this year, I almost missed it. That would have been a shame since I can't remember that it ever bloomed for me before, and I've had it for several years. I think it took all the rainfall we had this year to make it bloom. In the collage below, you can see how quickly the plant can bloom and fade.



What is your experience with sage varieties? Do you have a favorite?

***
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