Sheltering in Place, Part 4

Grape hyacinth latifolium ‘Touch of Snow’

We’re in Day 10 now of sheltering in place and will probably be doing this at least until the end of April. We’re fine. It’s been raining and that’s good. I’ve gotten some early gardening in between storms, like finishing up the apple tree pruning. I thought I’d share photos of our garden as we go along, along with my art. We have a fully-fenced acre in a great rural residential neighborhood. We’ll be “staycationing” this year except for day trips around our area once it’s safe.

I was never a fan of grape hyacinth until I saw this tricolor variety in the top photo and now I have lots of them planted in the beds outside my studio door. Seeing them makes me smile every day.

Our mini apple “orchard”

We have four apple trees: Ashmead’s Kernel and Cox’s Orange Pippin, both famous English dessert apples, a Granny Smith and Newtown Pippin, both green which is what my husband prefers. On the espalier to the right there is grafting to be done to make it multi-variety again, but it produced a nice batch of Gravensteins last fall.
In the background on the right below the power pole is our blueberry patch of about three dozen plants. I got them all pruned up as they started to bloom. They produce between five and six gallon bags of berries every year. Blueberries can happily grow in pots and are nice for casual “grazing”. They need acid soil and are generally low maintenance. Maybe consider adding one to your “family” this year!

Hellebore

This started as one sedate, as the British would say, bog standard pink-flowered variety that I can’t remember the name of and which, after some years, merrily started to self-seed into this nice big clump. It really is just about the first plant to bloom in late winter even here in our mild coastal climate.

“Potting Palace” west bed

This is the west end of what I call the Potting Palace since it’s 34′ long and divided into three sections. This is the greenhouse end, where we grow tomatoes and I keep seedlings growing on in pots. In the bed and blooming right now are three English wallflowers I grew from seed and some ‘Kingsblood’ tulips. The lilies are starting to emerge. There will be a clematis planted at the base of the trellis pretty soon.

Narcissus ‘Geranium’

I planted about ten of these lovely members of the daffodil family many years ago. They kind of got lost under a parahebe shrub that finally died and was removed. And, wow, in the meantime did they increase! Once they’re done I’ll dig them up and spread them around the garden front and back.

Tulip ‘Rococo’

Finally, we don’t live in prime tulip territory and some fade away after a year or two or three. I love parrot tulips, including ‘Estelle Rjinfeld’, which bloomed for two years in this spot then vanished, for their over the top colors and shapes. I’m trying a new one this year ‘Rococo’. They came right up and are blooming well.

February Flowers In The Garden And A Hummer With Attitude

Male Anna's Hummingbird telling me who owns the place
Male Anna’s Hummingbird telling me who owns the place, 1-25-15

Unlike much of the country we’ve turned the seasonal corner out here in northern California. Unfortunately the day after day of nice warm sunny weather means that we’re not getting any rain, so we’re going into a fourth year of drought. At the moment, though, the garden is starting up again with the first bulbs blooming, plus a few other “early risers”. The Anna’s Hummingbird in the photo was in the yard at the end of last month. There’s usually hummers around in the winter and spring, dog-fighting for, well, just about anything it sometimes seems. This guy landed in one of the apple trees. I couldn’t get very close, so even with my long lens (Nikon 80-400mm) he was pretty tiny in the photos. But I thought it would be fun to share one of him in his full “don’t mess with me” display.

Here are some photos of what’s blooming today (all photos taken with a Nikon D750 and a Nikon 28-300mm lens):

White crocus
White crocus

Pink tulips
Pink tulips

Daffodils
Daffodils

Corsican hellebore
Corsican hellebore

Wallflowers I grew from seed brought back from England
Wallflowers I grew from seed brought back from England

Wallflowers I grew from seed brought back from England
Wallflowers I grew from seed brought back from England

Crocus "Pickwick" my favorite
Crocus “Pickwick” my favorite

Flowering quince
Flowering quince

Primroses
Primroses