Magic in the Garden: Seasonality

Add seasonal interest to your garden!

Is there anything more magical than watching the progress of daffodils in the grey light of late winter?  Or the falling of autumn leaves on a windy day?  

In California we have a climate that allows us to have green all year around if we wish to but seasonal change makes one pause and notice the passage of seasons and therefore time.  A deciduous tree with great fall color, winter blooms of Camellias, spring-blooming bulbs and late summer salvia abundance...and then it starts all over again!  

Look out your window or take a walk and find harbingers of the season.
Some plants to look for now:

  • Ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba) - lovely fan-shaped leaves that are starting to turn gold now. The leaves usually fall in quick succession making for a beautiful carpet.
  • Hardenbergia violacea ‘Happy Wanderer’ aka Purple Vine Lilac - I mentioned this vine before...I love it!  Great fountains of purple blooms now and through the winter.
  • Camellia sansanqua ‘Yuletide’ - Just started blooming a few weeks ago...flowers are happy red color with a bright yellow eye.  Makes for a nice container plant for the holidays.
  • Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) - Another plant I have written about before...nice large blooms with red or purple-red fall color depending on the variety.  Very large leaves!
  • Mandarins and kumquats - Citrus are so cheery in winter and they make a nice plant for pots.  

The thing about seasonal changes is that it’s transitory and so it must be enjoyed in the moment it is happening...blink and it is over!  

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Patticakes November 26, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Ms. Sweet - Thank you so much for your blog on Patch. I'm fairly new to gardening and I appreciate your expertise. I have noticed a plant/weed growing in my garden lately that concerns me. It looks like a 3 leaf clover and is incredibly annoying and persistent. I weed and weed but it continues to pop up. I'm not sure what it's called but I think it begins with a G or an O. Can you provide me with more information on it?
Angele Sweet November 26, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Hello Ms. Patti Cakes, The weed you are referring to is Oxalis pes-caprae, aka Bermuda Buttercup. It is indeed a very annoying and persistent weed. This weed must be be pulled often in order to keep the population down. If the weed is left alone it will copiously reproduce six to eight small bulbs per plant. I suggest you weed once a week till early spring...it will take about two rainy seasons (two years) to get it under control. Other options include sheet mulching (barrier method), herbicides or hire a professional gardener! Remember that weeds are the most successful plants in the world, they can't be obliterated but merely managed!
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