Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day-February 2009

– Posted in: Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

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February would usually prove to be a difficult month for me to show anything in bloom except for a few house plants. But being in Israel for the winter, I’m surrounded by blooms. January and February normally have temperatures in the 30s-50s range. But this winter, the average temperature has been in the mid-60s, with the result being that some early spring specimens are blooming.

bombax-ceiba-further-back-resizedPerhaps some of you who live in warmer climates are familiar with this tree, Bombax ceiba. But I had never seen it until coming to Israel. This outstanding  deciduous tropical tree is planted frequently in Indonesia, China and Malaysia, Hong King, Taiwan and India. Its large red flowers usually bloom in March and April after its leaves have dropped. It produces capsules than when ripe contain white cotton like material. By May, the cotton can be seen floating in the air.

bombax-ceiba-blooms-on-ground-resized

Already the blossoms on Bombax ceiba, which last for only 29 days, are dropping. I love the way they look after falling onto the ground.

Another tree that is dotting the landscape this February is Bauhania. 

bauhinia-tree-resized

Commonly known as the orchid tree, it is staggeringly beautiful with blooms that last for several months.

Nerium oleander, one of my favorite bushes, grows rampantly here. The pink blooms in the photo below are interspersed with yellow and pink lantanas.

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Lantana grows in two forms in Israel: as bushes or groundcover. This close up of yellow lantana is actually a 2-3 foot tall hedge along a walkway in a neighborhood park.

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And here is variegated orange and orange-yellow lantana in tandem with pennisetum.

21509-orange-and-yellow-lantana-with-pennisetums-in-background

Arctotis hybrids, commonly known as African daisy, grow prolifically in the Mediterranean and other warm climates.

arctotis-hybrids

They’re great as ground covers,  easily carpeting a large area. They’re highly drought tolerant and come in colors that range from red, white, yellow, pink and orange. I rate them as a must-have annual.

Hibiscus bushes grow wild here. Frequently, they’re used for vertical gardening. This is a close up of a tangerine colored one. I love this color in my garden contrasted with purple or deep blue.

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To read all other posts for this month, go to May Dreams Gardens.

Fran Sorin

Fran’s book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, now considered a classic, was groundbreaking when published as no one had written about gardening in the context of creativity, spirituality, and transformation.

In addition to being a recognized garden expert and deep ecologist, Fran is a broadcaster, journalist, Ordained Interfaith Minister, and Soul Tender.

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Fran Sorin

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Les February 15, 2009, 8:09 am

The Bombax looks interesting, and it is refreshing to see some plants I have not seen before on GBBD. I grow Lantana and have heard it has weed status in many countries, but what a pretty pest.

Les-
Glad you like the Bombax. I’ve never heard lantana being called a weed but as you said, if so, I’ll still take it!! Fran

Liisa February 15, 2009, 12:38 pm

I just love the Bombax ceiba, and that tangerine Hibiscus could stop traffic. Lovely blooms!
Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day!!

Thanks Lisa. Couldn’t agree more about the Bombax ceiba. If only I could transport it back to the East coast and have it survive our cold winters. Fran

Heirloom Gardener February 16, 2009, 12:37 am

I love that lantana.

Me too. And I have never seen as many colors before as I’m seeing in this warm climate! Fran

Shady Gardener February 19, 2009, 12:04 am

Wow! That hibiscus is Gorgeous!! :-)

Shady Gardener-
Thanks so much. You should see the entire bush climbing over the wall. It is beyond words!! fran

Sue February 22, 2009, 1:17 am

Pretty blooms!

Thanks so much Sue! Fran