Hellebores, narcissus, daffodils, babiana, freesia, scilla, crocus, ipheion, are but a few of the many bulbs you can plant in your garden for winter and spring color. Fragrance in some species also is available if you plant freesias, (I prefer the species, old cvs. as they are more fragrant than the new hybrids). These bulbs can tolerate a large amount of water at this time as they are growing vigorously. They are doing a lot of root growth if they have not yet broke ground with leaves. Many favorites are planted and a light feeding will enhance blooms. Tulips, hyacinths, appreciate this very much and bloom quality reflects this, but all bubls benefit from feeding, especially if your soil is poor. Native bulbs are one of the wonders of the garden. Things like calochortus and brodiaea take a huge amount of water, even soggy soil now, then must be allowed to dry out in summer when temperatures are higher. Just like their woody shrub and tree associates, plants from Mediterranean climates grow a lot now, during the cool wet winter (much root growth happening now) and that will support leaf and stem growth later in spring when the temperatures rise and bloom seasons come. Now is a good time to plant them all, as long as soil is not soggy wet. They will establish well before summer and be able to take quite a bit of drought. (Do keep watering them to get roots more established for at least 2-3 years). You have to remember that these plants were grown in a nursery where they get regular watering and feeding all the time (most are container grown) and they just do not have that many deep roots yet when you plant them out into the landscape, so will need that extra watering until they get their roots down deep.
Manzanitas are amazing winter bloomers. Their branch tips are usually well flowered with small clusters of urn shaped individual blooms. The color range is white to pink. Some species have very showy new growth as well. Most have ornamental and showy bark, either smooth or peeling in texture. Good drainage for these or else you will kill them. They do not like wet feet! And a sunny location is best for them. Our foothill slopes are perfect habitats and you will find most species come from such areas. When in bloom, usually late winter, they are quite showy. Each branch tip often has clusters of blooms, lighting up the entire plant. if you need to prune them, focus that pruning on growth with the leaves if you want continued growth on the branch pruned.