Friday, June 14, 2013

Almost-Summer Sights at Home

Unfortunately, I'm down with a cold and we're missing our nature study group for the second week in a row.  Thankfully, I'm the only one sick at our house, so my kids have happily spent hours outdoors every day this week.  I even got out the water table today, which kept my toddler busy for at least an hour.  And my older two have been experimenting with what sinks and what floats all morning, so I'm crossing science off the list!

In lieu of our usual outing report, and as a follow-up to the spring sights around the garden I shared last month, here's a quick trip around our yard the week before summer actually hits:

The big star of the yard right now is our pink hibiscus tree, which burst into bloom last week.  I look forward to its season every year--it is so bright and colorful and makes that corner of the yard so pleasant.  And it's a bee magnet!

And I found the lobelia below in our front bed of alyssum and pink primroses last month.  I thought this was a wildflower at first, as I didn't plant it and it has never been there before.  But some friends identified it for me.  These flowers are so tiny (you can't tell from the photo, but they are only a half-inch across, if that!), and there were only two of them last month.  This month there are a couple more, and my children spotted one little blossom in a patch of dirt out back this morning, so I suppose they're migrating!  

Our purple hebe is still fuzzy and full.

The bees just love our white bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides alba). 

They go from bloom to bloom, shimmying their way up the trumpet of the flower until they all but disappear from sight.  They emerge twenty or so seconds later, lazily buzz over to the next bloom, and disappear deep inside its funnel, just like the last.

See?  There he is, up scooping out a snack.

And in the front: alyssum, primroses, manazanita, and society garlic, and then the blue agapanthus, also known as African Lily or Lily-of-the-Nile.  

These are everywhere in California, including our front yard.  We have a big cluster of them just outside our front windows, and we love to watch the hummingbirds visit, which they do often!  According to our Calendar of Firsts, the first buds popped up in mid-April and opened a couple weeks later.  And they have been bright and tall since then.

And my daughter noticed this morning: at the very tips of the crepe myrtles we have along our side yards are the first blossoms of the year!

Other happenings: we harvested our pluot tree last week and got loads and loads of fruit.  And if I'm feeling up to it, I'm hoping to put in a bit of a garden this weekend: just some herbs and annuals, and maybe a couple tomato plants, which we grew successfully in pots last year.

So, what's happening in your yard this week?  Hopefully it's blue skies and sunshine where you are as well!

1 comment:

  1. How lucky you get to enjoy all these blooms so close to home! I enjoyed seeing your pictures of them.