Flower report

Posted on | December 4, 2009 | No Comments

Emily Green Garden-169

A bird of paradise peeks out of a photinia hedge at dusk. Photo: Annie Wells.

As a particularly handsome crop of fall roses finish and the thick, almost sickening gardenia-notes fade from blossoms drying on the coyote bushes, throughout December, South Africans plants will dominate the flowering cycle in the Californian mediterranean garden. Jade and aloe are entering their winter flourishes, while the bird of paradise remains at constant attention.

Among California natives, be they false starts or early bloomers, some manzanitas are already decked out with delicate bell-shaped flowers and the earliest of the ceanothuses are covered with their signature cobalt blue blossoms. From the Mediterranean, lavender that has been left to adapt to local rainfall cycles will be verging on a vivid fall bloom, with salvia officinalis already in flower.

If you haven’t scattered your wildflower seeds yet, get out in front of the rains this weekend to rake out grassy weeds. Then scatter the seeds as the first drops begin to fall, retreat indoors and hunker down for winter. Throughout December and January, the seedings will seem to skulk, but the action will be going on below ground where they will be building up deep root systems to see them through a long, progressively warm spring.

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