Even in December there are some surprises in the garden!
Today I found some beautiful flowers in full bloom here in my Tehachapi garden: One is a lovely, easy to grow annual simply called Mallow.
The botanical name is Malva sylvestris ‘Zebrina’. Notice those stripes of deep magenta? those give it the Zebra reference in the name ‘Zebrina’. Our erratic weather has given it a few more days to bloom before it sets seed and dies. I would be willing to share seeds of this annual if anyone in Tehachapi is interested in trying it out. It prefers morning sun and afternoon shade, or a dappled shade all day long. The plant reaches about 3 feet tall and 12 inches or so wide. The flowers are about one inch wide.
My next happy surprise was on my front porch, where the potted Gardenia ‘Veitchii’ is blooming. I must have been in such a hurry, with all my comings and goings that I did not notice it. And Oh… the fragrance, so sweet, and reminiscent of my grandmothers house. On the north side of her home in Riverside there were some Gardenias my grandfather carefully tended. In my mom’s family the men were the gardeners. I used to overhear their conversations about citrus and flowers while I was playing. Gardening was a way of life.