Monday, June 22, 2009

Plant of the Month

As hard as it is to choose just one plant per month to talk about on this blog, that's all that time allows. With over 500 species/varieties of plants in my garden it's rather like drawing a name out of a hat. So I'm going with a plant that's in bloom now, Sanguisorbia menziesii, better known to some as Burnet. This species of the N. American rhizomatous perennial (native to Alaska) is highly prized for its distinctive flowers, ovoid spikes that appear as solid, maroon-red 'batons' then gradually open to create intriguing, fuzzy blooms that almost resemble miniature bottlebrush flowers. It complements those blooms with round, finely toothed bluish-green leaves. The flower stalks rise above the foliage and to some look like little red fox tails held high. Charming and easy to grow!
There is so much in bloom in the garden these days, especially now that the sun has finally decided to shine. Lots of lilies blooming, with more to come. Alstromerias are all over my garden, attempting a colorful takeover. Anise hyssop is in full bloom, its wonderful fragrance only a fingers rub away. A late planted Clarkia amoena is offering its first beautiful salmon-colored flowers. A newly planted Lotus 'Amazon Sunset' is already in bloom and sending its ferny foliage spilling over the planter. My camera is getting a good workout, trying to keep up!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Photos and Article preview

Photos, top to bottom, left to right:
Canary Creeper nasturtium
Lilies and sweet peas; Exbury azalea
Agave spike flowers; front yard bed

Keep an eye out for my feature article in the SF Chronicle on the plight of pollinators, to appear in the Sunday 6/14 issue. It has valuable information on how you can help local pollinators and the Bay Area ecosystems. Nice photos and illustrations too! Due to its coverage, there won't be my usual Pick of the Week column this week.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Wherefore summer?

It's been an odd year for weather and I'm sure your garden has been a little confused, as has mine. I've had an unintended absence from this site due to a long cold and then my computer crashing but hope to resume with regular posts. It feels like the same holds true for my garden, where I've only been able to manage the minimum. We're in that passage now between spring and summer. Time to take out the last of the sweet peas and poppies. I've let certain patches of pansies hang around as they've been continuing to perform in our cooler than usual weather but they're nearly done. So, now summer flowers are beginning to announce themselves. A few of my dahlias are up, with an early one getting ready to bloom. Day lilies are kicking into gear and the lilies are about ready to burst into color. My native agastache has tiny tufts of reddish-purple flowers nestled in the crowns of leaves and my exquisite hymenocallis sulphurea has shown its first green striped gold lily-shaped bloom.
I'll be back with more photos and a featured flower in the next few days. And of course you can catch my regular Pick of the Week column in the S.F. Chronicle Sunday H&G section.
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