From Boise and San Francisco – Happy Almost Spring!

Happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day to Everyone!

Thanks for stopping by and special thanks to Carol at May Dreams for hosting this garden meme where gardeners from around the world post what is blooming in their garden on the 15th of each month.  Hurray Carol!

Today I’m doing a combined post with my friend that guest posts under the, “From the Soil in San Francisco” section of my blog.  San Francisco garden gal, Karen, has some wonderful flower power and words to share so be sure to read on.

To start out, I’m sharing some early blooms from my garden. However, since I am a Zone 6 gardener in the Intermountain West, (Boise) my blossoms are still ‘a pretty few’.  Think of them as a “little appetizer” for what you will see when you check out Karen’s garden!

Here’s Narcissus ‘Tête à Tête’ and Helleborus ‘Blue Lady’ to wet your appetite!

Helleborus 'Blue Lady'

Now travel a little further West and a bit South to see what Karen has been up to….


From The Soil In San Francisco

by San Francisco garden gal Karen

Mark Twain wrote, “It’s Spring fever…You don’t quite know what it is you DO want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”

If the man were still alive I’d have thought he was talking to me!

Here in the Bay Area the weather has been relatively balmy recently and we’ve had one of the driest winters on record.  It’s the type of weather that beckons you outside and teases you into believing you should be digging, growing and watering. I’ve found myself strolling the paths of nurseries, frustrated by the lack of variety – completely unable to reconcile the reality of winter with my hopes for spring!  These are hopes that have been born of warm temperatures yes, but also in the past couple weeks by glimpses of the beauty that’s still to come.

It’s the greedy side of me – I’ve been treated to a bit of garden beauty and, even though I haven’t even made any spring garden plans yet, it’s not nearly enough!

See what I mean, here’s a few things blooming in my garden and inspiring me to want even more…

At the top of this photo you see Jasmine – I have a love/hate relationship with my jasmine but when it’s in this stage I feel some Spring love!  This makes such a gorgeous backdrop and frames other plants so well.  And the scent is amazing!  It’s only when it tries to escape its area and invasively vines its way into another plant’s territory that I consider replacing it.

Next is Chasmanthe aethiopica (Cobra Lily) – I’ve called this “Lucifer” for years under the mistaken impression it was  Crocusmia “Lucifer”.  It wasn’t until I saw it in a book that I learned what it really is!  Regardless of the name, the hummingbirds and I love it.

Also in view and bloom is Agapanthus africanus ‘Peter Pan.’ I’ll be the first to admit that I never sought out this plant.  They’re very common in my area and I wasn’t impressed.  But, I planted this one because of Andrea and have come to appreciate it’s simple beauty and care-free nature.  Don’t tell Andrea but I even got another one, a white one, just to see how that one fits in with the crowd…:)

Crocus vernus – These are always such a nice surprise to find in my garden.  They’re so unassuming and dependable, yet never fail to “wow” me year after year.

Geranium sanguineum – Another dependable beauty!  I love it’s ability to spread without becoming invasive and to be a bit showy without being needy.

Azalea – Good old dependable azaleas, what more is there to say

Zantedeschia aethiopica (Calla Lily) – These were here when I moved in and seem to be here to stay.  They’re wonderful cut flowers that look so elegant in a simple vase.

Erysimum linifolium ‘Variegatum’  – This plant is a favorite of mine because of its compact size, delicate little flowers, and variegated leaves.  It stays in bloom for quite a long time as the flower stalks continue to grow throughout the season.

Apricot tree blossoms (from a few days ago) – Every year we stress over our apricot and apple trees flowering.  It’s devastating when rains come when they’re in bloom!  This year we think we’ve got that worry licked because it hasn’t rained.  Now to watch the fruit grow and keep the squirrels from eating everything!

Polygala x dalmaisiana (Sweet Pea Shrub) – okay, I’m cheating a bit here.  I’ll come clean and admit that this shrub flowers year-round.  But, it IS blooming and it IS a wonderful, showy shrub so I had to share these pretty blooms.

Truly I have no reason to be “itching” for spring – it’s here and actually putting on a pretty good show!  As of this week there’s some substantial rain here which will hopefully encourage more blooms to come on out and show off for me.  And maybe I’ll be forced to stay inside and jot down some of the garden ideas that have been bouncing around in my head.

I’m ready for the big show any time Mother Nature decides to let loose!  As a wise man (okay, so it was Robin Williams) once said, “Spring is nature’s way of saying “Let’s Party!”

A bit about San Francisco Garden Gal:

I’m Karen, a native of the San Francisco Bay Area.  Summers here can be cool or hot, winters may be rainy or dry…it all depends on the year, or sometimes the week!  The coastal influence contributes to the lack of predictability  but on the other hand keeps things interesting making me appreciate nature’s tenacity and beauty.  I’ve been gardening since buying a house that had a backyard consisting of two sheds and some white rocks. My goal until relatively recently was to have the “perfect” yard and then sit back and enjoy it.  It’s taken many years and even more plants to realize that gardening is an endless endeavor and that many of its most exquisite shows are fleeting.  And this I’ve decided is both its frustration and its allure. I look forward to writing occasionally about whats going on gardening-wise in the Bay Area and sharing my experiences.  I’m one of Andrea’s biggest fans and excited to be contributing to my favorite garden blog!


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