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.
Perhaps 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.
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.
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.
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.
And here is variegated orange and orange-yellow lantana in tandem with pennisetum.
Arctotis hybrids, commonly known as African daisy, grow prolifically in the Mediterranean and other warm climates.
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.
To read all other posts for this month, go to May Dreams Gardens.