Friday, March 31, 2017

Just Can't Quit this Gardening Thing - Spring Flowers

Nasturtium 3/13/17
I realized today how much I I have invested in my garden and yard when I was organizing all the plant containers from the nurseries I have purchased plants at in the past year. I have quite a stash of containers, I should start up my own nursery someday. 

My yard is beautiful this time of year with so many colors of blooms and a lot of spring growth. I am so excited that my citrus tree has finally began to grow with the addition of hundreds of beautiful bright green leaves. We only had one orange blossom on the entire tree though, so we will see if we have one single orange on it this winter. I sprayed the tree for thrips (I used Fertilome Triple Action Plus) one early morning to hopefully help the new foliage to stay beautiful and not have cosmetic damage show up in fall.

Chaste and Chitalpa Trees have their new Spring leaves. I was so excited to see them sprouting out beginning of March.
Chaste Tree 3/9/17

Chaste Tree 3/9/17
I love the showy flowers on nasturtium. My kids love to nibble on the leaves while they play outdoors. I was so excited to have a return my investment by harvesting many seeds from the plants. It was interesting to see how the seeds form after the flowers are spent. I left them on the plant until the seeds easily pulled off (on average 3 seeds per flower). Then I left them to dry. I look forward to planting them next fall. 


Nasturtium Seeds attached after flower is spent.

Nasturtium seeds drying
My tortoise food garden has changed a lot in the past several weeks. The dandelions I had planted grew huge but then became really sticky and tough. The tortoises ate all the leaves they could and I was surprised that no new leaves were growing in. I tore those out along with the beautiful flowered arugula. A lantana bush grew volunteer in that area and since that is not tortoise food, I tried transplanting it to my flower bed and we will see how it handles the rough transplant. 
After removing those plants, I added more petunia and geranium plants, which the tortoises seem to enjoy. I also planted more dandelion seeds I collected from a nearby park. Then I planted 2 more hibiscus plants and moved my other one to a more sunny location to see if it will thrive there. The tortoises enjoy hibiscus leaves and flowers.
The ruellia in the tortoise garden is filling in as well. I see the tortoises eating the lower leaves occasionally.

Arugula Flowers continuously attracting bees (bougainvillea in background)

Volunteer Lantana before transplant

Some beautiful flowers around my backyard this past month include:
White Cloud Allysum
Blue wildflower


Poppy prior to bloom

Mexican/Evergreen Bird of Paradise
Spanish Lavender planted in a large pot in full sun Mar 2017

 Our weather has been warm (80's-90's F), with a few cooler days here and there, like today was cool and gusty winds (high of 67 F). My wildflower garden is beautiful and I am content with the flowers that grew although I planted so many more seeds than what popped up. The poppies are stunning along with a blue wildflower and a yellow puff-ball type and my favorites in that portion of the garden, the morning glory (white flowers) and myoporum (tiny white flowers).

Poppies moments before opening

Morning Glory 3.28.17

Myoporum 3.28.17
My yard is getting more and more beautiful and I love gardening and watching it all change, grow and bloom from season to season.

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