Thursday, January 14, 2010

January Bloom Day

So it's that time again.  Carol over at May Dreams Garden is hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.  At first, I thought my blooms were a little disappointing.  I was really hoping my natives, like manzanita and ceanothus, would be blooming and it feels like more was blooming in December than now.  But as I took pictures, I realized that some of the other natives picked up the slack and that January is the month of little surprises.

The star of the show is definitely the Ribes malvaceum.  I prefer Ribes sanguineum, which has more delicate architecture, larger and softer leaves, and longer bunches of flowers, but I grew this guy from a cutting and he's getting ready to put on a spectacular show in another week I think.  It's already looking mighty fine.

 The blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium bellum) is just putting out its first flowers.  I got out there a little late so it was already starting to close for the night.  And a transplanted yarrow put out a little stalk of flowers.

As for non-natives, we first have lots of fruit flowering.  Lemons.  And loquats, not the prettiest flower, but they lead to really delicious fruit. Technically from the neighbor's tree, but this branch is in my yard.

And this Sunshine blueberry, with an ant on the outside...and then on the inside.  I didn't even realize it was there, till I checked to see how the photo had turned out.

Another little visitor was this roly poly on the alyssum.  They seem to have many names depending where you are from.  Their most common name is pillbug.  Not sure what the roly poly was doing, but it kept rearing up its head.

Not a fruit, but a flower.  Broccoli, of the Decicco variety.  Supposedly brought to the San Francisco area by Italian immigrants, it has done exceedingly well in my garden.  And its open growth pattern doesn't encourage aphids.

And this salvia that looks like some alien carnivorous plant.


  1. Hey, always nice to see the Bay Area represent! I lived there for years but wasn't a gardener in those days. Now I sigh over all the plants you guys can grow that I can't here in Seattle, or how early things flower when we will still be waiting for while (like the Sunshine blueberry, I have two I just planted last year but no sign of blossoms yet). Ah, zone envy! Your photos are amazing. Cheers!

  2. What a cheery collection of earlies.

    We call those grey things 'woodlice'.
    Apparently they are related to scorpions. Hard to believe when you look at them.

  3. You do have some nice blooms for January.

  4. Oh lucky you! You have so many flowers already, and your Ribes is flowering!! We are covered in a few inches of snow here and it will take another 8 weeks or so until my Ribes will be ready to flower. Happy GBBD!

  5. Such pretty colors and in January of all months! Wonderful! Happy Garden Blogger's Bloom Day!

  6. Good morning! Stopped over to thank you for the comment on my blog and now I'd prefer to stay as I'm in love with all of your bloom day images. These photos are spectacular! I wonder if I could entice any of these pretty natives to blossom at my place?

  7. I like the broccoli - technically it is a flower, isn't it and really pretty even when not flowering. I like your photos of the little ant and pillbug. I remember having a lot of pillbugs in the garden when I was growing up in CA.

  8. Even though you're farther north your blue-eyed grass is blooming ahead of mine. But our gooseberries have been on pretty much the same schedule. I like the lemon flowers, especially the fact that your neighbor does all the watering for you. Hopefully you get some of the lemons!

  9. Blue-eyed grass doesn't like where I planted it it seems. No eyes open. Your Ribes malvaceum is also happier than mine here - lovely blooms! but then my R. indecorum is blooming fit to beat the band. Great fun to compare the differences in what's blooming, even as close as we are geographically. (Bay Area, Santa Cruz area).