Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring bounty

We flower gardeners all suffer from amnesia. Most notably we forget each winter just how quickly spring rains and warmer temperatures can create an explosion of new growth and flowering in our gardens. Weren't we in winter just three weeks ago, with very little going on? This week especially has brought a burst of leafing out and certain early blooming perennials already budding up. Here are a few snapshots of this new growth. From top to bottom:
Impatiens glandulifera Wine Red. Though this shot was taken at Ace, it has inspired me to write a column about this vigorous, self-seeding species Impatiens. So lovely!
Papaver rhoeas Falling in Love. Aptly named, it's hard not to fall in love with the silky semi-double flowers that can span the color range from white to the deepest rose. This first flower was the latter.
Gladiola Lemon Moon. Thanks to Alejandro for propagating this virtually unknown S. African gladiola. Exquisite colors and larger than most S. African glads.
Watsonia laccata. Hard to believe this cute little guy, with one inch round flowers, is a watsonia, especially given the marbled colors.
Ixia species. This pink on the outside, cream on the inside is one of my favorite corn lilies.
Magnolia Butterflies. I've recently created a "yellow bed" in the median strip in front of our house and it's anchored by this still young Magnolia Butterflies. I love the way the pale yellow color shimmers in the sun.
Leucospermum Veldfire. Okay, sometimes you just get lucky. This was one of the photos shot early this morning, where the combination of the flower hairs and the way the rain droplets cling to them almost makes the flower look like it's covered in ice. Fantastic!
Salvia africana-lutea. Why this salvia isn't better know is beyond me.  It has the most unique flower color, heck even the way the flowers cluster, of any salvia I know of. Tough too.
Chasmanthe bicolor. A close-up showing the two colors and the purple anthers.
Omphalodes cappadocica. Simple and common but love that blue.
Ranunculus repens Buttered Popcorn. Cute ground cover that I have next to my pond.
Choisya ternata. Now in its fourth year, it's loaded with intensely sweet smelling flowers. The perfect companion to my pond area bench.
Centaurea Amethyst-in-Snow. Hard not to love centaureas, especially the contrast here of pure white and purple.
Echium species. Planted by my neighbor right on our border, it's shooting up now, making me believe it's a E. wildpretii.
Iris pseudacorus Holden Clough. While the straight species has simple flowers, this variety has stunning coppery-colored blooms with pronounced veining (which you can see even in bud form).
Sparaxis grandiflora ssp grandiflora. I had a little mystery about a specimen given to me by Kiamara. I'd lost the tag and even though the flower certainly looked like a sparaxis, the deep purple color threw me. Later, I discovered that this sub-species can have wine-colored flowers (like this one in my woodland area) or the dark purple.

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