Friday, November 23, 2012

Fall beauty

We Bay Area gardeners may not have the stands of maples and other Eastern trees turning bright golds and reds in the Northeast but our extended Indian summer is providing a glorious end to the calendar year. Like the proverbial snake circling round to bite its tail, many of us have summer plants still putting on a show even as certain late winter plants such as camellias bud up or even open their first flowers. Here, the changing of the seasons is more of a continuum rather than a sharp delineation as experienced in more northern climes.
One way we mark the changing of the seasons here is by the arrival of winter birds. Robins have arrived, as have the first of the warblers. It won't be long before woodpeckers and flickers arrive and if we're lucky phoebes and juncos. The goldfinches have returned in numbers, remembering where the nyjer seed feeder is. Here are a few more photos of my late fall garden, top to bottom:

Little Babe variegated camellia. I love its marbling of soft pinks and creamy whites.
Cornus florida. Beautiful flowers in spring and brilliant fall color. What's not to love about dogwoods.
Elegia capensis. One of the S. African restios. I love its textures and I have yet to experience it in its mature form.
Justicia. This tropical plant has managed to survive our winters, offering vibrant red bracts and lavender flowers.
Christmas cactus. An unusual, lovely peach colored specimen that I now leave outdoors year round.
Faucaria. Known as Tiger Jaws, I love its 'toothy' leaves. It's also one of the most reliable, and quickest, blooming succulents.
Magnolia stellata. This 'finger' magnolia is budding up and I couldn't resist photographing it in this stage.
Oxalis species. Lovely patterning of light on this rich, mint green foliage. One of my favorite oxalis species.
Aeonium escobarii. One of the largest of the aeoniums, this one is finally coming into its own.
Eryngium planum 'Jade Frost.' So pretty, even before it sends up the stem of pale purple spiky flowers.
Echinacea purpurea. One look at the central disks on this coneflower and you know why its a popular destinacea for bees and other nectar seeking pollinators.
Pansy 'Blueberry Thrill.' In a word, Wow!

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