Winter Blooms in Larchmont Village as Nation Chills

Larchmont Village is alive with winter blooms on plants and shrubs.
A soft pink camellia in a Fremont Place garden.

What is blooming in our gardens and around Larchmont Village?

whitecamelia

While the rest of the country is struggling with the polar vortex, we are lucky to be enjoying flowering plants, trees and fruit. It’s not the extravagant floral display of the spring, but it’s pretty amazing considering it’s winter!

Southern California’s climate makes expert gardeners out of even the most lazy of us. All you have to do is look around your neighborhood to see wonderful floral displays many of which happen year after year without much care. Just look at all the azaleas, camellias and roses blooming everywhere. This year seems like the finest display of delicate white flowers on the camellia trees in my front yard in recent years. The Huntington and Descanso Gardens are among the best places to see these rose-like beauties cultivated by expert gardeners for maximum bloom.

 

flowering plants winter in Los Angeles
The Lady Banks Rose.

Sprays of delicate yellow roses are just starting to appear on our Lady Banks climbing rose. The rosemary is bursting with delicate pale blue flowers, and our sturdy rhaphiolepis, often overlooked as a work house evergreen shrub, is starting to shoot bright new leaves and pink and white flowers.

The toyon bush
The toyon bush.

Another evergreen shrub, toyon (heteromeles arbutifolia), is loaded with red berries this time of years. Often called the Christmas berry or California holly, the toyon provides winter color for us and food for birds said Carol Bornstein, director of the nature garden at the Natural History Museum where it’s now blooming along with a host of other drought tolerant mediterranean plants like the hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea), and various varieties of goose berries. Good to know now that we are officially in a drought. Bornstein planted the NHM garden to illustrate how to plant a colorful seasonal garden filled with flowers that better suit our climate.

Hancock Park winter flowers
The Flowering Pear adds delicate white snow to our lawns in January.

Flowering trees are blooming as well. The white flowering pear can be seen all over the neighborhood, a holdover from the era when gardeners were less concerned about saving water. The tabebuia tree, its pink bulb-like flowers makes a spectacular display without the distraction of any leaves. While not native, the tabebuia is a bit less thirsty than the flowering pear.

Winter flowers blooming in Los Angeles
Tabebuia blooms brightly on barren branches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And last but not least, though they are not flowering per se, the citrus trees are in full swing and add wonderful color to the winter landscape, plus they taste good!

CItrus trees in full bloom Hancock Park
Citrus in full bloom in January – such a different site than the snow-laden trees out east.

 

Winter blooms in Larchmont Village
The Rhaphiolepis offers a delicate bouquet of white and pink this time of year.

 

Winter blooms in larchmont Village
Azaleas and toyon edge a sidewalk with color.
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About Patricia Lombard

Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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