This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
In this locality, at present date (April 17th), the standard Oranges and Lemons are a little past their fullest bloom, much fruit having plainly set. Some dwarf Oranges, imported from Japan, are hardly so far advanced, but the white buds begin to gleam through the leaves, and will soon be wide open.
We have been interested in observing the order in which our roses began to bloom this year. The Gloire De Rosamond came first; next, the Madam St. Joseph; then the Jules Margottin, Luxembourg, Jas. Sprunt, Bon Silene, and others; lagging in the rear came the Bauksias, the double white Cherokee, and (he old-fashioned, but never superseded, La Marque. The last of all, it is apprehended, will be that charming, but troublesome rose, the Yellow Harrison.
Our garden of April is not a beginning, but only a half-way station. The Acacias, Lilacs, and Tamarix gollica, the Oxalis, Crocuses, Jonquils, Hyacinths, and Daffodils - all these have come, and smiled on the green and dripping earth, and so have departed. Then Nature seemed to take a breath, and the Pansies lifted their wonderful faces from the stillness of their dark leaves, plant after plant, until dozens were in bloom; the Anemones and the Ranunculuses, grew to be flashes of color; the Nemophila corner became full of tiny blue flowers, and white and dark circled ones, and spotted; Canterbury bells, stocks, Wall-flowers, Petunias, Schizan-thus, and a host of similar flowers - all these welcomed April.
Lobelia cardinalis is a garden perennial of much value here, producing its brilliant flowers through the entire Summer, if seed are not allowed to ripen. The leaves also have a rich metallic luster when grown in favorable soil. Delphinium formosum retains its value for cut flowers, and is now in bloom. Aquilegia chrys-antha is getting its display ready; and Astilbe japonica is in its prime.
Among the bulbs, Brodaea coccinnea, B. gran-diflora, Camassia esculenta, Cyclobothra alba, C. aurea, and others, are in bloom, whilst Lilium Humboldtii is nearly so. The remaining Californian lilies, and those from Japan, have evidently chosen May as their month of appearance. The earlier Irises were friends of March, but some still linger beneath the whitening snowballs.
The Diosmaalba, a dwarf, fine leaved, Heathlike shrub, blooms with us all Winter, and the fragrance of both flower and leaf is charming. Among the newer plants is Jochroma tubulosa, which forms a fine single clump on a lawn or in a sub-tropical bed. Its oval, hairy, dark, and heavily veined leaves, its firm outlines and massive growth, and its large clusters of biue, tubular flowers - these unite to make it valuable on this coast. Some experiments have been made with the Cycas revoluta, which make it probable that, in sheltered places, it will stand the Winter of Central California. If so, another tropical effect may be added to our landscapes.