In the Garden:
Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
April, 2012
Regional Report

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Delicate purple pink bletilla love bright shade.

"April Showers Bring May Flowers" - Already!

I"m thrilling at the rain and Easter egg colors outside my front window. The couple of goodly downpours we've had - finally! - have literally blossomed into an Easter basket of color.

Lilac bletilla, yellow paperwhites (!), pink and red and white gerberas, red and purple and pink cyclamen, pink lilies, orange and pink roses, pink and purple and maroon geraniums and pelargoniums, red and pink and white camellias, yellow and white and wine and pink freesias -- and the most fragrant, if somewhat understated, cream and yellow-throated species freesias. A braided-trunk azalea standard's brilliant red-purple puff stands above a sunburst-yellow and blue Talavera Mexican glazed pot. Wine and rust and white and purple bearded irises rise on long stems. Brown-and-yellow-and-blue mix Dutch iris and purple Pacific Coast iris stand tall, sky blue plectranthus, wine melianthus, yellow asclepias, rose pink and violet purple alstroemeria, blue grape hyacinth, orange and yellow calendula, purple species stock, orange monkeyflower, white jasmine, purple statice, red-orange lotus beak groundcover, and a sea of nasturtiums. Alternating blue and purple
"Cupani" sweet peas; Hot Cocoa, Lucile Ball, and Double Delight roses; double white and golden 'Charles Grimaldi' brugsmania, and orange California poppies.

Even an early red ephiphyllum has jumped the gun to its regular early June timing -- perchance reacting to our long mild winter followed by late-spring 80-degree temperatures prior to our weeks long shift to cooler than normal temperatures, rain and snow on the mountains.

And all the greens! From grays to blues to clear "Irish" to chartreuses and yellows, all augmenting the textures and shapes and heights as they dance in the breezy gusts.

The heavy raindrops fall and sway in billowing curtains as the wind gusts and shifts direction, spinning my hummingbird and gardening angel ornament twirlers into a frenzy.

I've moved most container plants out from the house overhangs so they too can slurp up the natural droplets -- far superior to the stuff from the hose. But, with a sudden forceful torrent flooding the roof gutters, the overload gushes over onto some pots just outside my window, and I rush outside to pull them to safety so all their potting soil doesn't bounce out of their pots with the force of the downpour. What a wonderful soaking I get along with my plants!

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