Garden Photo of the Day

Jill’s California Garden

Late winter–early spring beauties

white daffodils

We’re visiting with Jill Blodget today.

We purchased our 5-acre parcel in Cameron Park (Northern California, Zone 9B), in 1998. We spent five years clearing brush, poison oak (some of the poison oak had 2- to 3-inch trunks that climbed and wound throughout the oak trees), and excessive manzanita before finally building our home. Like many GPOD contributors, we have had multiple challenges in our beloved garden, including clay soil, rocks, rocks, and more rocks, as well as deer, rabbits, voles, skunks, and more. But they were here first, so we let them take a small share.

The gardens around the house are mostly perennials that are at their peak in the summer. However, we have a few spots with late winter–early spring jewels to enjoy that are shared here.

In addition, we have enhanced some of the oak woodland areas with various bulbs that bloom from about mid-February to May. The natural soap plant (Chloragalum pomeridianum, Zones 7–10) leaves are very similar to daffodil greenery, so we have tucked about a thousand of them throughout the areas down the hill from our home. We have also added in some snow crocus (Crocus chrysanthus, Zones 3–9) and hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis, Zones 4–9).

shrub with pink flowers in front of shrub with purple flowersCamellia (Camellia japonica, Zones 7–10), with rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus, Zones 7–10) behind it, work well together. These are two of our first late winter–early spring bloomers

rosemary in the gardenA closer view of the winter rosemary flowers

pink flowers growing in front of a water feature and a variegated plantChristmas rose (Helleborus hybrid, Zones 4–9), with variegated daphne (Daphne odora, Zones 7–10) in the background

plant with pink flowers and variegated foliageThis daphne in bloom is right by the front door, where it gives out such a welcoming, wonderful smell.

Miners lettuceMiners lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata, annual) is one of the first things to come up naturally in the woodlands behind our home in the late winter.

chickens eating from the gardenThe miner’s lettuce gets harvested daily for the chickens to enjoy as a salad.

small yellow flowersSnow crocuses celebrate spring with their early blooms.

white daffodilsA beautiful daffodil (Narcissus hybrid, Zones 4–9) blends in with the native plants growing in the garden.

soap plant foliageFoliage of the soap plant looks similar to that of daffodils. Later in spring, it will produce panicles of delicate, fragrant, white flowers.


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  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 03/01/2022

    All so pretty. Do your daffs and crocus return each year or do you have to replant?

  2. PattyLouise 03/01/2022


  3. cynthia2020 03/01/2022

    Hi, Jill - was intrigued by the Chlorogalum pomeridianum and the Claytonia perfoliata - an ethnobotanist would probably have something to say about their uses...
    I liked the idea of the Daphne by the front door - scented flowers are so nice.
    The feathers on the tan and black chicken were really something, too! Hope you'll share more photos later this year.

  4. cheryl_c 03/01/2022

    Jill, your photo with the helebore and fountain really took me by surprise - it looks like an oil painting - I think it is something about the surface of the fountain. I found it mesmerizing. Thanks for sharing!

  5. btucker9675 03/01/2022

    Where to begin? The beautiful "black & tan" chicken? That wonderful pitcher fountain with the helebore and daphne? Everything is just gorgeous and I thank you for sharing!

  6. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 03/02/2022

    Lovely! Thanks for sharing your garden :)

  7. Madisoniuy 03/05/2022

    The California garden is very beautiful I have visited this garden when I was in school life. I remember the homework in this garden. And today I am working with the criminal law dissertation topics - professionalessayservice to the UK student who wants to work from the other sources.

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