Monday, May 16, 2016

Godzilla El Nino was More Like a Diminutive Leaf Chameleon Weather Event (at least here in SoCal)

Can't believe it's been over a year since my last post on this blog, but time flies, well, when time flies. Much has transpired since then, including a freak, rare winter snow storm here in La Cresta on New Year's Eve (12/31/14) which blanketed our property with over a foot of snow, snapped tree limbs to and fro, and knocked out our electricity for 3 days. And then, of course, there was the much anticipated, lauded, and publicized prospect of a Super Godzilla El Nino this winter which never really materialized here in Southern California. I was seriously perturbed and disappointed. BUT, despite the relative lack of precip, a lot of the natives and even fruit trees (plums, pluots, citrus, apricots, peaches, nectarines, olives) on the property bloomed prodigiously and prolifically, albeit rather early. Here we go:

 2/29/16 Western Redbud (Cercis occidentalis) along the pathway to the front entry

 5/15/16 Seed pods on the Western Redbud after flowering

5/15/16 Western Redbuds along the pathway to the front entry, between 'Harmony' and
'Sunset' manzanitas

 3/14/16 Desert Canterbury Bells (Phacelia campanularia), an annual growing in decomposed 
granite outside of the herb garden

 3/14/16 Silver Bush Lupine (Lupinus albifrons) in a raised bed

 2/29/16 Hairy-leaf Ceanothus (Ceanothus oliganthus oliganthus) growing behind a clump 
of Deergrass (Muhlenbergia rigens)

2/29/16 'Ebbett's Field' Ceanothus (a Native Sons Nursery intro) growing
next to a 'San Gabriel' Fremontodendron off the driveway

 5/15/16 Blue Flax (Linum lewisii)

 5/15/16 'Dana Point' Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum). 1985 selection (Tree of Life Nursery) from Dana Point, Orange County 

5/15/16 'Trish' Monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus cultivar)

 5/15/16 Foreground, clockwise: White Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), Southern California/Desert Wild Grape (Vitis girdiana), California Goldenrod (Solidago californica), Chaparral Mallow (Malacothamnos fasciculatus), 'Burgundy' Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis), Wild Heliotrope (Heliotropium curassavicum)

 5/15/16 'Burgundy' Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis)

 5/15/16 San Diego Pitcher Sage/Gander's Pitcher Sage (Lepechinia ganderi)

5/14/16 San Diego Pitcher's Sage

5/15/16 Wild Heliotrope (Heliotropium curassavicum). This bunch is native to the property. 
They reseeded themselves in one of my native flower beds and I let them go to town. 
Total butterfly magnets!

 5/14/16 Seep Monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus) and Stream Orchid (Epipactus gigantea) growing together in a wine barrel. To the right, 'Golden' form Scarlet monkeyflower (Mimulus cardinalis), 
from Santa Cruz Island

5/14/16 Stream Orchid (Epipactus gigantea), a tried and true perennial growing in a 
half wine barrel in my herb garden
 5/14/16 Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila menziesii)

5/14/16 'Devon Skies' Blue-eyed Grass to the left, and species form of Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchum bellum) to the right, growing in a mini rock garden in my herb garden
 with violas, pansies, and anemones

 5/14/16 Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa). I planted this one bare root 
about 3 years ago, and this is the first time it's flowered

5/14/16 'Canyon Prince' Wild Rye (Leymus condensatus) 

 5/14/16 Cream Cups (Calystemon californicus)

5/14/16 Wind Poppy (Stylomecon heterophylla)

5/14/16 Woodland Strawberry (Fragaria californica). This little lovely (from Fuller Mill Creek
in the San Jacintos) has done well in the shadier parts of the herb garden

 5/14/16 Creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) in full bloom in the desert garden

 5/14/16 'Desert Museum' Palo Verde

 5/14/16 Apache Plume (Fallugia paradoxa)

 5/14/16 Rush Milkweed/Desert Milkweed (Asclepias subulata)

 5/14/16 Rush Milkweed/Desert Milkweed

5/14/16 White Bursage (Ambrosia dumosa)

 5/14/16 Azalea-flowered Diplacus (Diplacus fasciculatus)

 5/14/16 Figueroa Purple Sage (Salvia leucophylla)

 5/14/16 Golden Yarrow (Eriophyllum confertiflorum). These beauties are native to the property

 5/14/16 Creambush/Ocean Spray (Holodiscus discolor)

 5/14/16 Indian Valley Bushmallow (Malacothamnus aboriginum)

5/14/16 Carmel Valley Bushmallow (Malacothamnus palmeri var. involucratus

 5/14/16 Santa Cruz Island Buckwheat (Eriogonum arborescens)

 5/14/16 Showy Penstemon (Penstemon spectabilis)  

 5/14/16 'Warriner Lytle' Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum)

 5/14/16 'White Cloud' Matilija Poppy (Romneya coulteri)

 5/14/16 'White Cloud' Matilija Poppy

 5/14/16 'Winifred Gilman' Cleveland Sage (Salvia clevelandii)

 5/14/16 Woolly Bluecurls (Trichostema lanatum)

 5/14/16 Yerba Buena (Satureja douglasii), growing under the shade of Rosa californica on the 
north side of the house

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ceanothus Extravaganza!

I really didn't know what to expect from the natives here on the property in terms of their flowering after this season's mild to moderate El Nino (depending on your point of view), coupled with an unprecedented snowfall here in La Cresta and surrounding areas over the New Year, but the manzanitas and ceanothus (aka, California lilacs) have been blooming prolifically like there's no tomorrow! Wow! The previous fall-winter season was very dry and, therefore, totally sucked cuz, amongst other things, it caused the demise of several of my beloved, supposedly drought-tolerant trees which were not on drip. namely the Modoc cypress, Arizona cypress, and Sargent's cypress. 

So far so good. After a couple of dry weeks, we had about 3/4" of rain come down overnight, and more is projected for the next weekend. Much, much more precip is needed to get us out of the water deficit here in Cali, but anything is better than nothing.

2/12/15 Wart-Stemmed Ceanothus (Ceanothus verrucosus) in the foreground and Hoary-Leaved Ceanothus (Ceanothus crassifolius), native to the property, off the driveway.

 2/18/15 Island / Catalina Mountain Lilac (Ceanothus arboreus). Endemic to the Channel Islands off of the California coast, this is the largest of the CA native lilacs, up to 25'. This one is growing outside of the fenceline of the top orchard. 

2/18/15 'Popcorn' Ceanothus (Ceanothus maritimus). A U.C. Davis garden selection that's a great ground cover. This one is growing and spreading nicely along the slope off the driveway. 

2/22/15  Mexican Marigold (Tagetes lemmonii) and 'Julia Phelps' Ceanothus (Saratoga Horticultural Foundation introduction: C. impressus x papillosus hybrid). 

2/22/15 'Julia Phelps' Ceanothus. 

2/22/15 'Sierra Snow' Ceanothus (Ceanothus rigid). RSABG intro. 

2/22/15 'Tassajara Blue' Ceanothus (Ceanothus arboreus x griseus). A garden selection introduced by Las Pilitas nursery. 

 2/22/15 Otay Mountain Lilac (Ceanothus otayensis) - endemic to San Diego County, Vandenberg Ceanothus (Ceanothus impresses) - a 1982 selection by M. Nevin Smith from Vandenberg AFB in Santa Barbara County, and Woolly-leaf Ceanothus (Ceanothus tomentosus) found in Northern & Central Sierras, South Coast, San Bernardino Mtns, and Peninsular ranges. All growing swimmingly off of the driveway.

2/22/15 'Blue Jeans' Ceanothus (Ceanothus gloriosus x masonii) - an RSABG intro, and 'Dara's Gold' Fremontodendron.  

2/22/15 'Ray Hartman' Ceanothus (C. arboreus x C. thrysiflorus var. griseus).   

2/22/15 'Dark Star' Ceanothus (Ceanothus impresses x C. papillosus var. roweanus). This beauty off the driveway is 5 years old and blooms like clockwork every year in late winter. 

2/22/15 Canyon Sunflower (Vegegasia carpesioides).  

2/22/15 Pink Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum glutinosum). 

2/22/15 Nevin's Barberry (Mahonia nevinii). 

2/22/15 Blue Dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum).  

2/22/15 Woolly Blue Curls (Trichostema lanatum).  

2/22/15  Hoffmann's Nightshade (Solanum xanti var. hoffmannii) and 'El Tigre' Pitcher Sage (Lepechinia fragrans). 

2/22/15 'Powerline Pink' Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea). Las Pilitas Nursery introduction. 

2/22/15 San Diego Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus minutiflorus).  

2/22/15 Desert Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua).  

 2/22/15 Desert Evening Primrose (Oenothera caespitosa). 

2/22/15 Claret Cup Cactus (Echinocereus triglochidiatus).  

2/22/15 'Allen Chickering' Sage (Salvia clevelandii).  

 2/22/15 Baja Littleleaf Rose (Rosa minutifolius).
 2/22/15 Otay Mountain Lotus (Lotus crassifolius var. otayensis). 
2/22/15 'Las Pilitas' Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea). Las Pilitas Nursery introduction. 

2/22/15 'Mrs. Beard's' Creeping Sage (Salvia sonomensis). 

 2/22/15 Western Redbud (Cercis occidentalis). 

2/22/15 Big Sur Manzanita (Arctostaphylos edmundsii).  

2/22/15 Sugar Bush (Rhus ovata).