Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Let's have a Tete a Tete ~

I love daffodils, they are one of the bulbs that we can grow in our warm winter climate without any fuss or bother; to me they are such happy flowers. They do not naturalize as readily here as in cooler zones but with luck they will come back and increase. Such is the case with one of my favorite daffodils, the miniature variety, Tete a Tete.

My driveway is long, in the old style with an open divider down much of the center, I have spent lots of time trying to make it look appealing and not resemble a runway. Some of my experiments with it have been unsuccessful, but miniature daffodils are happy and thrive in this location.

Since I drive over it, anything planted here needs to be both heat tolerant, and low growing. Currently, the daffodils are inter-planted with dwarf junipers, trailing verbena, thyme and succulents. It is watered with drip irrigation. 

I have had trouble finding Tete a Tete bulbs in the past but this year they were readily available so I also planted them in other parts of the garden -  along the edges of paths where with their diminutive size they won't get lost. But here in the driveway is my favorite spot for them.

The delight is short lived but well worth it. 

Thank you for visiting.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Nursery Hopping ~

Whenever I drive up to see my sister in Carmel, California I look forward to doing a little nursery hopping along the way, and after I arrive.

My first stop is always at Seaside Gardens in Carpenteria, a coastal town just a few miles south of Santa Barbara. I can't remember how I found out about this wonderful nursery but it is a destination point for me every time I drive up Highway 101.

Seaside Gardens has beautiful display areas, and offers all kinds of plants. Above is a section of their cottage gardens plants. However, because of very stringent water restrictions in this coastal area the amount of succulents you find here is amazing.

Beautifully displayed and arranged for your selection.

Once I arrive on the Monterey Pennisula, at the first chance I head for two wonderful nursery's, both located on Carmel Valley Road, in Carmel. 

The first is Valley Hills...

...the second is Griggs. They are only a few mile apart and strangely owned by the same people, but seem to have slightly different merchandise.

Carmel is such a beautiful spot to visit and it is nice to be able to bring home a few reminders of my trip. I was very restrained this time, I only bought two plants: Salvia Waverly, with white and pale pink blooms and a Tobiuchina, better know as Princess Flower...oh! and a beautiful pack of burgundy Dahlias with pink splashes which I can hardly wait to see bloom.

It was a great trip, I am so fortunate to have a sister that lives in such a lovely place which gives me to opportunity to visit and enjoy. 

Thank you for visiting.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Odds and ends ~

Last week after my gardening class I stopped by the local Armstrong's and was very lucky to find some plants that are usually a bit difficult to find in pony packs: Imperial Stock, that's the tall and extremely fragrant variety, I am hoping that it might act like a perennial in my garden, and cleome, which I grew last year and loved.

I also picked up some more common things: alyssum, loved for it's fragrance and rambling charm, some succulents for my driveway median, and another lavender to fill out the lavender walk at the far back of the garden.

It is early in the gardening year I am still cutting back and cleaning up, but a few things are starting to bloom. The flowering pear, a baby still, is looking good and these very dependable succulents are pretty with their coral-pink blooms and foliage.

And across the garden, although the trees are still bare, the lavender is blooming and the first of the alstroemeria flowers are starting to open up.

My final purchase for the week, was a gift to myself of a new cordless blower. I have an electric blower, it is old, heavy and I hate dragging the cord around, subsequently it never gets used. But this new, powerful and light weight blower - it only weighs a little over 5 pounds - is a gem, and makes cleaning my decks, garage and pathways so much easier then sweeping.

I am taking a road trip up to Carmel, California next week to visit my Sister. so I have been rushing to get everything that I bought planted before I go. It is supposed to rain which will give everything off to a good start. Some of my daffodils are starting to bloom, it will be fun to come home after a week away to see the changes in the garden.

Thank you for visiting.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

A winter highlight ~

In the early months of the year my garden is at the lowest ebb of bloom - the deciduous trees have finally lost all of their leaves leaving bare branches, the perennials, including most of the roses, have been cut back, and it is a bit early for bulbs. Still, it is fairly lush compared to cold winter areas where snow covers the ground.

So, except for our lack or rain I really have no reason to complain, in factI like this much better than the torrid summer...even if I have more color in the garden then.


 there is one exception, and that is my camellias. Planted here many years ago by the previous owners they have become small trees and every year at this time they offer up their beautiful flowers. And my favorite of them all, the white camellias.

The flowers are abundant, in a creamy white with yellow stamens.

Such a welcome sight when everything else seems so bare to me.

When I pick a few to bring in the house I am always reminded that white camellias were Coco Chanel's favorite flower. She enjoyed them both in the fresh and artificial form. It appears that in my fondness for them I am in pretty good company!

Thank you for visiting

I hope the day brings you some unexpected beauty.