Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Solstice photos

A happy summer solstice to everyone. I'm loving the longer days, especially how it allows me to be out in the garden till seven pm or later. More time to plant, fertilize, work on planting beds. And of course photograph the bounty of plants now in bloom. There's still a wealth of flowers, from shrubs, new perennials, the last of the spring annuals, bulbs, vines (especially vines) and succulents. When you have 500 different species/varieties in your garden, there's always going to be something in bloom. Here are some, shot today, descriptions are top to bottom.
Cyrtanthus. Here I caught an interesting light pattern, resulting in interesting hues and textures.
Lilium regale. One of the most fragrant of all lilies and the trumpets are huge.
Dahlia Hildago. A close-up showing this cute little bug, as well as the glorious sun-lit colors.
Dahlia Hidalgo. A pulled back view of this new acquisition.
Ledebouria socialis. This cute S. African bulb has the tiniest flowers but I still love 'em.
Begonia boliviensis. Didn't quite get this perfectly focused but still like the combo. The left side of the arch holds a red honeysuckle and a new mina lobata vine while the right has the way cool Clematis viorna (photographed later here).
Dracocephalum. Hardly anyone knows this plant and if it wasn't so damn hard to find I'd write a column about it. Hats off to Alejandro for propagating it.
Dianthus Silver Pink. I'm beginning to collect dianthus, after getting over my plant snobbery.
Anthemis sanct-johannis. Another rarely seen plant, hailing from S. Europe. Nope, not related to our sunflowers, it just looks like it might be. Now that's GOLD.
Hairs on Tiger lily flower buds. This just looked like it might make a cool shot and it worked!
Bronze mimulus. All hail the sticky monkey flower!
Oregano Kent Beauty. No longer a secret, this ornamental oregano offers a shimmering beauty.
Bee on Eriogonum giganteum. Couldn't resist capturing this industrious fellow.
Voodoo lily spathe stem. I'm getting into arums in a big way and how can you resist the voodoo charm of this woodland guy?
Dahlia Bishop's Children. Umm, aren't bishops supposed to be, what's the word, celibate? Still, love the dark foliage and orange flowers.
Another honey bee feasting on a nectar rich California buckwheat, this time E. grande rubescens.
Echeveria Black Prince. Well, not black but I love the burnished chocolate tones.
Bulbine frutescens. Again, not exactly in focus but love the colors and textures of this S. African bulb.
I liked the "design" of this rose-colored hydrangea shot, with the open petals ringing the unopened buds.
Iochroma coccinea. My favorite of the three iochromas in my garden, especially when the flowers are backlit by the sun.
Clematis viorna. As mentioned above, this tubular form clematis (there are nine types of flowers) is climbing the arch leading to the back yard. Simple but utterly charming flowers.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Show

Here are more photos of my garden, taken just before the summer solstice. Top to bottom:
Fuchsia Rose Quartet. A simple but lovely hanging type fuchsia.
Eriogonum latifolium. My three California buckwheats are now in bloom.
Eriogonum grande rubescens, My favorite, putting on a real show in this its third year.
Scabiosa Harlequin Blue. I've gotten over my plant snobbishness and now enjoy common ones.
Neomarica caerulea. Simply stunning flowers. It may be in the iris family but it's a special entry.
Nigella 'Curiosity.' Love the larger purple flowers on this Love-in-a-Mist.
Eriogonum giganteum. True to its name, huge and a prolific bloomer.
Tigridia. So many color combos, so little space! Criminal that they only stay open a day.
My Aussie shrubs bed, here showing the swainsona, wooly bush and a Quan Yin statue.
Cuphea vienco Burgandy. One of the showy cupheas and that color!
Catananche Amor White. A white flowering form of Cupid's Dart. Elegant.
Dracocephalum. Not many know this tough, blue flowering perennial, here with buds about to open.
Fuchsia procumbens. The flowers may be tiny but they're damn near irresistible.
Philadelphus 'Belle Etoile.' This compact mock orange still features fragrant, white as snow flowers.
Variegated porcelain berry. One of my faves. First the great foliage then the shimmering, speckled blue & purple berries.
My tropical corner, featuring a black bamboo, two gingers, two cannas, a nandina and the irrepressible oakleaf hydrangea.
Hibiscus cisplinatus. Simply one of the most stunning hibiscus I've come across.
The aforementioned nandina domestica, this time a closeup of its flowers about to burst open.
Day lily 'Little Brave.' Love the color and it's making due with only morning sun.
My cat Jet, who is truly a garden cat. She'll wait by the front door, imploring me to go outside.
Tweedia. A plant almost no one grows anymore, puzzling due to its exquisite turquoise flowers.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Garden Photos part three

More photos from my June garden. Top to bottom:
Baby Toes. This charming little inch + high succulent reminds of stepping stone formations on the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland, seen on my trip to Europe in 1995.
Glaucium grandiflorum. Wow, I lucked out on this shot! Indescribably beautiful flowers on this surprisingly vigorous little poppy.
Larkspur Chorus Violet. A sweet and vivid larkspur propagated by Annie's Annuals.
Scyphanthus. I finally got a shot that does this charming little vine justice. Love the color and the spotting on these inch plus flowers.
This Petunia Phantom certainly is colorful but check out the pot. It's a large-sized teacup that one of our pottery suppliers provided us as advance samples.
I keep trying to get a perfect shot of my showy Belle of Woking clematis and while this one isn't there yet it does give an idea of its full double-type form.
This is a new dianthus that I had to have because of its lovely rosy-coral color.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Garden Photos part two

More photos from my early summer garden, a mix of color and singular plants either in bloom or about to be. From the top:
Lysimachia Golden Alexander. I've been loving variegated plants lately.
My new Clematis purpurea plena elegans, a smaller-sized by fully double charmer. Yea for Somona Hort!
The must-have Fuchsia nettala with the dangling feet or as one person calls them 'The dancing dolls'
My ebullient Nikko Blue hydrangea, which really went crazy this year.
The equally vigorous Canary Creeper nasturtium. So cheerful!
Here's a still budded flower on my Hibiscus cisplinatus 'Rosa del Rio'. Can't wait till they open.
Who doesn't love the innocent yellow flowers on Clematis tangutica, here framed by the wrought iron porch railing.
Then there's the vivid color and patterning on the tall Iris family member, Neomarica caerulea. I managed to catch an interesting pattern of light on this newly opened bloom.
It may be hard to make out the next flower but it's the giant spathe on my Dracunculus vulgaris plant, in the process of a slow motion unfurling. The spathe is a rich burgandy while the spadix is almost black. One of the oddest of the arum family members.
Lastly, something simple and sweet, a yellow and gold tigridia lily flower. This is one of the first to bloom in a large patch I planted at the beginning of the year.

Hope you enjoy the photos and remember to take pictures of your own garden.
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