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Look what the rain brought out – Orange County Register

Would you look at what the rain brought out?

Flowers, flowers everywhere — and we mere mortals lifted not a finger to encourage them.

In our backyard squats a plain and unassuming — for the 19 years we’ve known it — shrub. Occasionally, it has birthed hard buds that turn brown and drop before they can bloom.

But this spring that innocuous space-filler busted out with a banner crop of pink ornaments. I’d almost forgotten it was a camellia bush.

Nearby, trumpet vines now crazily wrap their red-laced garlands around the cypresses — meaning we will need to invest in an arborist service before those towering trees die of strangulation.

Finicky lantana has come out to play. A bush daisy, sparkling in gold, grew two feet in two months. White candy tuft carpets the corner bed. Neon-fuchsia ice plant boldly makes a spectacle of itself.

Bright, fat lemons and oranges dangle temptingly — a bit too temptingly, as the possums usually beat the humans to them.

Blue hibiscus, slow to forgive after we chopped it back to remove a dead palm a few years ago, suddenly decided to love life again.

Inert bougainvillea that had turned into a pot of menacing sticks woke up and got dressed — donning a spectacular salmon cloak.

As for its scarlet cousin rising from the earth — well, that long-lived bougainvillea holds its own in dry times and wet. Still, refreshed from constant downpours, our hardy friend looks all the more robust.

None of this is to imply that our cozy estate is ready for its closeup. The rains took a toll on more fragile flora.

Normally patient impatiens — perennials in Southern California, annuals everywhere else — apparently drowned. So did the vincas, snapdragons, kangaroo paws, salvia,…

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