Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fall prep

As the summer progresses and autumn appears on the horizon, I find my garden is in transition. Okay, it's always in transition but I find this particular segue a curious and maddening one. Clearly spring is gone and so are the spring annuals. Working in the nursery business offers a window on the odd summer period. Spring is clearly the busiest season. Fall brings families back from vacation and, for some, the desire to swap out spring annuals for ones that will bloom during the fall & winter season. Even winter has its own definitive identity, as gardeners add evergreen shrubs and begin preparing for our early spring here in the Bay Area. But summer? Our business drops off in July & August as gardeners work with what they've already planted. It's not that there aren't interesting plants first appearing in these months but they tend to be less common perennials. That said, this is the prime season for salvias, rudbeckias and gaillardias.
Then again, summer can be a time to enjoy the fruits of your spring labors, especially if you've chosen to plant a wide variety of flowering plants, giving you the pleasure of something always in bloom. So, here's a few more photos of my garden, in its mid-August clothes. They are, top to bottom:
Variegated porcelain berry vine. I love the foliage, giving me something to enjoy before the fall blue berries dazzle.
Tricyrtis. Who can resist toad lilies, with their dramatic speckling?
Jasminum 'Fiona Sunrise.' Brilliant golden foliage, even if this shot doesn't quite capture it.
Gloriosa lily. Aptly named, there's nothing quite like this charming summer lily.
Campanula latifolia. This tall, sun loving campanula seems popular with bees!
Plumbago auriculata. What can you say? Robin's egg blue flowers & tough as nails.
Swainsona. Currently the star of my Australian natives bed, it's a magnet for bees. I'm giving it a bit more water than it absolutely needs but the result is lush growth and masses of flowers.
Cynoglossum. I love blue and nothing is richer than this "Chinese ForgetMe-Not."
Bulbine frutescens. Hard to resist this mighty mite and the colors are so cheerful.
Clematis tangutica seedheads. It's a tough choice as to which is the best part of this summer blooming clematis, the canary yellow flowers or the sparkling seedheads?
Asarina Joan Lorraine. I'm an asarinas fan and there's no denying the charm of this variety's rich purple flowers.
Begonia rex 'Escargot.' A new B. Rex from one of our local growers, Susan Ashley. As that Dentyne commercial woman says "Fabulous!"

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