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).