Friday, February 24, 2017

Spring is growing close ~

There are many signs in the garden that winter is ending and spring is growing near.

An example - the early apples trees are blooming. 
You don't really think of apple trees in Southern California, but if you plant the low chill varieties they do quite well.

I am very fond of them and have quite a few scattered around the garden, including an allee of ornamental crabapples which will bloom much later in the season. I grow the fruiting apples for their form, the fruit of course, and how exquisite they are in bloom.

I like them best as seen here, when they are leafing out but still covered with blossoms. 

In the far back along a fence I planted a row of apple trees to block out a neighboring house, it works and it is also quite lovely, especially when in bloom.

One of the nice things about the trees in the front adjacent to the sidewalk, is that I get to share the fruit with people walking by. Gardens are for sharing, don't you think.

Thank you for visiting.

I hope you enjoy the beauty in your day

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What's blooming ~

Clean up in the garden continues. Our abundance of rain has been wonderful but has limited working outside. And, with all of the lovely rain comes lots and lots of lovely weeds, resulting in quite a bit more work.

Still I am very appreciative to see what appears to be an end to our drought. The garden appreciates this too and with all of the extra moisture I anticipate an amazing spring this year.

So, although the garden is still quite bare I thought I would share what is blooming, starting with  Alstroemerias. 

I have been noticing that the clumps were especially vigorous this year and today when I went out to work, next to the stairs leading down from the deck, I found these first blooms. Alstromerias pop up everywhere in my garden, they have naturalized and spread into in the most unexpected places but always welcome for their vigor and the flowers which are extraordinary for cutting. Every year it is a pleasure to see them coming into bloom.

This charming clump of daisies  under an old apple tree in the front garden have been blooming for several weeks. Last summer I thought the intense heat had done them in but they survived  and make me happy every time I walk by them. I love daisy-type flowers and really need to plant more of them.

 In the back gravel garden the lantana and rosemary make a nice combination. I use quite a bit of lantana in the garden but this one is the only one blooming now - the rest have been cut back and are just beginning to show green growth.

Finally, in my little tour are the camellias. The white camellias are in full glory. I have lots of different camellias but these old fashion, large white ones are definitely my favorite.

In a couple of weeks the bulbs should start blooming and some of the early roses. This is really my favorite time as a gardener - pruning back, cleaning up and then the anticipation of what will will the new roses perform; will all of the bulbs I planted last fall make a good showing; have I lost anything over the winter months...all questions to be answered with time. The Garden is a never ending source of learning, beauty and satisfaction.

I hope you have a lovely day.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Something pretty ~

There are certain places in my home where nothing looks as good as a bouquet. Not a small bouquet but a big, old fashion, lavish one. I like to bring in cut flowers from the garden but these arrangements need to be large and I don't want to spend the time, or if nothing is blooming in the garden, the money, to make new ones all the time.

This is when dried flowers are very useful - besides I just like the way they look, and they last for a very long time.

when I wanted to make an arrangement to put on the small credenza in the living room today, I raided my cache of dried flowers. Cut from the garden throughout the last growing season they have been hung and kept in a closet to dry. 

Then, I made a quick trip to the nearby bridal path for some fresh eucalyptus. A great filler, it is best to use fresh and left to dry in the vase. 

. The colors in the bouquet reflect the colors I am using in the room...shades of cream, gold, moss green, and rose.

I am pleased with the way it turned out. Flowers add so much to a home; fresh or dried, I like them both.

This little credenza and mirror are my favorite pieces of furniture. Bought together many years ago from a women with the most beautiful collection of antiques. I really treasure them. The two Corday figures were a gift from my brother.

When spring arrives I will be cutting more things to dry for next year. I think it would  be interesting to make a floral arrangement using  herbs...rosemary, lavender and sage come to mind, with maybe a few roses mixed in for color. Wouldn't it would smell wonderful! Oh, and I definitely need to plant more hydrangeas they dry so beautifully.

Have a happy day..