Flowers

Hollyhock

Alcea rosea, the common Hollyhock, originated in Asia and the area around the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. These stately beauties belong to the Mallow (Malvaceae) family, which includes 1500 different species. Hollyhocks are hardy between USDA zones 3 and 8 (Sunnyvale). How to Grow Hollyhocks Alcea rosea is variously described as a biennial (having a two-year life cycle), as an annual, …

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Passion Fruit ‘Nancy Garrison’

With spectacular flowers and tasty fruit, you gotta try growing this passion fruit. This variety is named after Nancy Garrison, a Master Gardener in Santa Clara County. The vine was found in front of an old farm house and handles the cooler winters of our region. Passion fruit is widely grown and valued throughout the tropics and subtropics. Most Passifloras …

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Clematis

A clematis vine climbing up a trellis or spilling flowers over a fence is great for making a curtain of color. Most clematis varieties thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 11 (which is just fine for our Sunnyvale garden (zone 8a)). Proper soil preparation, ongoing maintenance, pest prevention and pruning properly provide the keys to …

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Armeria maritima ‘Ballerina Lilic’

New for 2019 in our Sunnyvale garden: Armeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’, commonly called thrift or sea pink, is a compact, low-growing plant which forms a dense, mounded tuft of stiff, linear, grass-like, dark green leaves (to 4″ tall). Tufts will spread slowly to 8-12″ wide. Tiny, purple flowers bloom in mid spring in globular clusters (3/4-1″ wide) atop slender, naked stalks …

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Sedum clavatum

Sedum clavatum is an attractive succulent in the Pachysedum group that grows with stout creeping stems terminating in 4 inch wide rosettes of glaucus blue-green succulent leaves and has a compact inflorescence of many pink bell-shaped flowers in mid to late spring (April – May in Sunnyvale) to early summer that take a pink hue with age. The stems lose …

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April in Our Sunnyvale Garden – 2019

Spring has totally sprung! Cold-season vegetables: Snow peas planted in January had lots of pods in March and April. Kale was large enough to harvest and make kale chips. Carrots and beets are still growing. Tomatoes: We cut back this year and only started 48 tomato seedlings in February. I transplanted them to half-gallon pots in March. and transplanted them …

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March in Our Sunnyvale Garden – 2019

Our Sunnyvale garden in March 2019 was filled with flowers.Spring blossoms on the plum, apricot, and orange trees. Spring bulbs like Crocus, Freesias, Grape-Hyacinth, Hyacinth, Tulips, Dutch Iris, and Spanish Bluebell. Spring vegetables like snowpeas and kale. Excellent cool-season annuals with Violas and Pansies. Rainy-season perennials like Cyclamen, India Hawthorne, Lewisia, Verbinium, Geranium, Rosemary and Lavender. Lots of foliage on …

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Dutch Iris

In our Sunnyvale garden, over the years, we have planted Dutch iris in many locations, both in the ground and in containers. The flowers are spectacular and another sign that spring has arrived. The bulbs naturalize so you can reliably anticipate them every spring. The Dutch iris bulb is about 4 inches in diameter and the plant can reach a …

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Spanish Bluebell

Spanish Bluebell is a new flower to our Sunnyvale garden in 2019. We grow it in pots from 6 to 12 inches deep. Hyacinthoides hispanica syn. Endymion hispanicus, syn. Scilla hispanica is the tallest and broadest leaved species with unscented bell shaped flowers scattered along the stem. It is native to Spain and Portugal and to northwest Africa and is often referred to as …

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Ornamental Kale

Ornamental kale plants can make a wonderful red, pink, purple, or white show in the cool season garden, with very minimal care. Because the winter of 2018/2019 in Sunnyvale was unusually cool and wet, the ornamental kale we planted in November did great. Only now, in early March, is it flowering. Ornamental kale plants (Brassica oleracea) and their cousin, the …

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