Thursday, May 12, 2016

My Top Four Spring Flowers

Every year I love to discover new flowers and tour the local nurseries. Here are my top four spring flowers blooming now in our garden.

Late spring is almost our summer here in Southern California. The flowers are all blooming like crazy. Come summer the heat makes our garden stall so we savor the color and being in the garden now.

Gardening in Southern California is awesome. You can grow year round and always have something blooming. Here are my favorite spring flowers in our garden for 2016.

Spring Flowers for 2016

I discovered this petunia a week ago at Home Depot. It is petunia, night sky. I am heading back to buy another before they are gone. The petals of the petunia really do look like a starry night sky.

night sky petunia, starry night petunia

Last year we bought one milkweed plant and this year we have some nice volunteers. I love how it attracts the butterflies and the monarch caterpillars are the cutest. We also plant butterfly bush to attract the butterflies.

butterfly garden, milkweed, cottage garden, southern California garden

 Hollyhocks are the quintessential cottage garden flower. Mine were huge this year and and I can see lots of small ones coming up in the garden. They are a biennial so the ones sprouting this year will not bloom until next year.

hollyhocks, cottage garden

And though not a flower, no less colorful is our Emperor Japanese Maple we bought last year. This is our first spring with the tree leafing out and it is absolutely vivid and gorgeous. And yes you can grow Japanese maple in Southern California. This even gets hot afternoon sun. Just make sure they do not dry out.
Remember to feed your flowers with my homemade two ingredient flower food.

emperor Japanese maple

So those are my favorites for this year. Do you have a favorite flower for the year so far?


  1. They are all so pretty but I LOVE those petunias!

    Have a great weekend.


  2. Last summer I planted my first milkweek, the swamp milkweed. It's native to my area in northwest Arkansas & also one step above the endangered plant list. It's tripled in mass this spring & I am so very happy with it.

    I've read recently that many gardeners are planting the wrong milkweeds that end up harming monarch instead of helping them.

    here are a few links about it.

    The note at the bottom of this post.

    Love your blog & these are all so beautiful. I saw my first night sky petunia a few weeks ago at the botanical gardens in Fayetteville, AR. So beautiful! I haven't seen them in my garden centers though.

  3. Gorgeous!! I have never planted Milkweed, I must look it up to see how it would do in my zone.

    Our gardens are still on hold, waiting for the last frost....which I believe will be this coming Sunday and Monday nights. I will be worried....

    What I'm loving most at the moment are my pansies - they add so much color at this time of year and they can take a light frost. Also, my carpet phlox just came into bloom and it's gorgeous! The daffodils have been bobbing around like little sun spots in the garden for the last few weeks, making me smile.

    What I'm not loving? The weeds, for one! And also, the critters that ate every single sunflower seedling I planted out - I grew them from seed, nurtured them indoors, and planted them out the other day - 12 seedlings in 12 different pots - and I have one left. ONE!!! It will probably be gone by the time I get home this evening. Sigh.

  4. Hi! Those petunias are just gorgeous. Have not seen them in the nurseries yet. It is hard to choose a favorite flower I like so many but Geraniums would be one for sure. I have had hollyhocks in the past but had trouble with the leaves. Do you have any problems that way? Nancy

  5. Wow! Those petunias are amazing! We have a lot of butterfly plants, as we host monarchs, black swallowtails, queens, gulf fritillaries and a few others. It's very rewarding. In summer, sunflowers, zinnias, nasturtiums and marigolds are our usual suspects. We don't grow much food in summertime, but the flowers go wild!
    Enjoy your lovelies!