When The Professor and I moved Willow's Cottage out of Los Angeles and to Camarillo last summer, we found our garden adorned with nine (9!) camellia bushes, two in front and seven along the side of the house. Camellias are not my favorite bush flowers mainly because of the mess that the blooms make when they fade and fall off the bushes. My only experience with camellias is from my grandmother's Portland garden. She had camellias all across the front of her large hillside porch. I mentioned to one of my new neighbors that I intended to pull some of them out after they bloomed in the spring. She gazed at me a moment and quietly stated, "Those camellias bloom at different times throughout the year." I have discovered her statement to be true. This bush with its variegated pink and white blossoms is in its last stages of bloom.
This bush is just starting to bloom
as is this one.
I may change my mind about the camellias. They really are quite pretty and I find I like the idea of different bushes blooming all year long.
Yesterday I went out and walked around and watered the back garden, which basically starts beyond the walkway behind the house and extends up one terraced section and the hillside for about twenty or thirty feet. I decided to take snapshots of what is blooming back there, mostly so I will know what I have and can make informed decisions about what to pull out and what to keep once planting season starts.
Honeysuckle (I think)
Honeysuckle (I think)
Brilliant purple ground cover. The plant is brittle and its gray color does nothing to endear itself to me.
Two more ground cover bushes, lavender and white. Ground covers are important components to a hillside garden. They keep the neighbor's house where it belongs, on the street above me.
Bright red berries on a bush that looks like it was slashed with a machete. It stands alone in the middle of the ground cover and on its left maybe five feet away is an oleander bush almost completely engulfed in cape honeysuckle vines that have sneaked over uninvited from the next door neighbor's garden. I have my work cut out for me up there in the spring.
I brought a pot with me from Los Angeles filled with the ubiquitous lobelia and impatients. It's living quite happily on the terraced section next to the pots of rosemary, catnip and mint.
I am still considering putting the white iceberg roses just above the terrace in the back, sort of like a second tier. I'd like to plant them with other white flowers like cosmos and allysium. One concern we have is water conservation, so I will have to balance using plants I am familiar with from Oregon where water usually isn't a great concern and branching out with new plants that are used in water wise and native gardens.