Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lingering Summer

For those of us lucky enough to live in the Bay Area, September through early November often provides the nicest weather, extending our gardening season. Lately, when I take my weekly stroll through my garden to see what might be new,I keep thinking it's going to slow down. And each week there's so many flowers that are blooming for the first time, or as is the case right now with my Clematis niobe, reblooming. And that observation makes me appreciate two fundamental things about gardens (and nature). Rain (or we humans watering) can prolong the blooming period of both perennials and annuals. And the amount of sun and/or heat can play a similar role. Our cool summer has, in my garden at least, delayed the initial flowering of certain plants. One of my dahlias has just this week put out its first flower.Certain of my vines are getting a late start as well. These occasional delayed results used to worry me but I've learned to be more patient. Two examples this wee. My lovely Bessera elegans, a fabulous S. African bulb that bloomed last year in July has just now put up blooming spikes. And my Passiflora Linda Escobar has finally produced its first brilliant orange-red flower, after a three year wait.
So, a tip of the cap to Mother Nature, who has her own schedule! Here is a bit more of her handiwork:

Salvia patens. One word: wow!
Crassula falcata. I call this the "propeller plant."
Apricot verbena. It may be a common plant but I love these colors.
Linanthus grandiflorus. Very sweet and simple.
Mandevilla (red). This is the year of vines for me. Love 'em.
Hibiscus stamen. Sometimes close up shots give us a new perspective.
Blue Butterfly delphinium. So, so, blue.
Echinacea flower about to open. Another interesting close up perspective.
Rain lily. Love the pure white simplicity of this bulb's flowers.
Callibrachoa. Geometry can be a beautiful thing.
Tricyrtis with stand. The photo's a little fuzzy but loved the composition.

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