Wanna Get Away?

Aoife's Bench in the Snow

Last weeks snow was one of the heaviest I’ve ever seen.  All the tree branches were dragging on the ground creating eerie sights the next morning.  We lost a few branches, but it could have been a lot worse.  Many people were without power for 2 to 3 days and, while we had a brief interruption that forced us to watch a movie on the iPad, the power folks pretty much kept the juice flowing for our road.   As it happened, I was on my way to California, and, with only a slight delay, I spent the weekend in the Riverside area.

It was nice to walk around without my heavy coat and while I can’t quite say I was basking in the sun it was at least an opportunity to see flowers growing outside again.  The camellias that my dad planted at the side of the house are a reliable a long term performer every year.

Camellias at the side of the house

There are two varieties, both japonicas with names long ago lost to history, and they are almost intermingled.  One a pure single fuschia red and the other, nearly identical in color is fully double.

Camellia #1

Camellia #2

These plants were part of my inspiration in planting Camellias here in Maryland.  Suffice it to say, if you can plant Camellias you should.  And if your climate zone says you shouldn’t plant them, you should probably give it a try anyway.

In the back garden I noticed that calendulas have self-seeded and are springing up like wildflowers.

Calendulas self-seeding

It’s not quite the California springtime, but getting really close.  I saw a few poppies by the roadside.

In Riverside the classic plant is the Washington Navel Orange.  The parent tree for the whole navel orange industry is still growing on Magnolia Avenue in a place of honor.  Prior to the explosion of suburbs around Riverside the surrounding countryside was all citrus groves.  At one time you could not drive on the backroads without encountering orange or lemon trees dropping their fruit on the roadways.  Consistent with all this history and because they grow pretty easily in the area, I planted a dwarf Washington Navel in my mother’s back yard and it now fruits pretty regularly.

Washington Navel

I also have one of these in the basement in Maryland waiting for a greenhouse to show what it can do…

Around in the front yard is a lovely large Rosemary that is flowering at this time of year.

Rosemary in SoCal Winter

Although we can get them to survive outside in Maryland we haven’t managed flowering yet.

When I returned this week the snow was hanging in there with more sleet and ice in the offing.  Despite this I saw several Robins downtown who apparently know something about the weather that the forecasters haven’t foreseen.  Or maybe not…

2 comments on “Wanna Get Away?

  1. Randy

    Both your camellias do not look like any cold hardy varieties I have seen. I’m betting the location next to the wall and sidewalk give these plant more shelter and warm than out in the yard.

    The snow there looks beautiful. It is raining here.

  2. Les

    I saw my first C. japonica and my first Snowdrop blooming today. I am taking it as an encouraging sign, and I am also glad to have missed the latest round of snow north of here.