I am going to start a monthly regular post recording the changes in the garden in Fort Bragg. We have now owned the house for almost 5 years, but with the remodel and addition, there hasn’t been much time to spend in the garden. As well, without a fence, the garden is prime dinner material for the gophers, deer, and rabbits…not to mention the 6″ banana slugs. So, the garden currently consists of deer and gopher resistant plants. I don’t think anything is completely deer and gopher proof, they like to sample things especially when young. But these plants have survived without our constant presence and without a fence.
It’s a new challenge. A brand new garden, in a brand new mini-climate. The soil is different, the weather is different, the sun and shade patterns are different. The garden is also surrounded by redwood tress with their invasive root systems. In the winter when the sun is low, the meadow surrounding the house is shady. In summer when the sun is high, it can be quite warm and sunny.
What does it look like now in the beginning of February? Well, we are in another drought and the weather has been up to 60 degrees. The plants think it is spring. The daffodils are coming up, some are blooming. The hellebores are gorgeous, I planted several from the Oakland garden when we first purchased the house and they are thriving, even self seeding themselves.
The snowdrops are up, these were planted only a few weeks ago and I was surprised at how quickly they bloomed. They were one of the first winter blooming plants to appear in my Oakland garden. I planted several different varieties up here. Although I understand they are not deer and rabbit proof, so far they have left them alone.
The daffodils are up and some are blooming.
The first grape hyacinth are up as well, some in pots and some in the ground with the hellebores. The larger hyacinth bulbs were planted in a pot last spring to escape the hungry critters, they are blooming as well.
Two of the azaleas, the pink ones are starting to bloom.
In a freshly dug bed, amended by lots of compost, are native California poppies, regular red poppies, and other bulbs.
And what is going on in the cage on top of the wine barrel? Well, one of my favorite flowers is sweet peas. It’s my effort to keep off the deer until they can get a start.
The rhododendrons have large buds but no bloom yet. It is a little early.
The grafted plum tree has a lot of buds. The graft has taken. Yippee, it was my first. I plan to cut some scions from the wild plum trees bordering my Oakland garden and graft them on the baby tree. Hopefully we will plant it in the garden this spring. Once we build the fence.
The belladonna lilies have put up their green leaves, so far they have not bloomed for me but I understand it can take a few years and these were transplanted which they don’t like.
And finally this wonderful shrub is blooming, the early native bumble bees are crazy for it. It was a sad little thing when we first moved in, this year it is thriving. I don’t know what it is, let me know if you do.
The potted Meyer lemon has lots of blooms, and my potted lime tree has both blooms and limes. The lemon looks like it would like an inch of compost.
It’s a busy time. It has been so warm and dry that I think the plants think spring as sprung. The garden is alive with the sound of chirping chickadees and junkos, plus the occasional pine siskin. I am looking forward to the return of the hummingbirds.
With snow on the ground here it is wonderful to see lots of flowers! Makes me wish I still had my big gardens – thanks for sharing… 🙂
We envy you all that water though. I fear we are facing another drought year here. No rain in February or forecast for the next 10 days.
Hi Liz I think your mystery flower is SCROPHULARIACEAE Evergreen Veronica, a native of New Zealand. It was prolific in my coastal garden when we lived down south. It needs to be trimmed quite hard after flowering to maintain its shape
Thank you! It has gotten quite large in the last few years but is beautiful and healthy. I will give it a hard prune after it is done. What fun to know it is from New Zealand. Your garden must have been lovely.
The bees love it as it is one of the first flowering.
It gives me joy to see flowers and things growing!! It’s minus 4 right now!