Friday, March 15, 2013

While I was gone ...

One of the treats of gardening, for those of us working full time, is having almost a week between sessions in the garden this time of year. In spring, a lot can happen in a week. One of my favorite things is to stroll through my garden at the start of my weekend and greet new arrivals. That could be a a new bulb poking its head above ground (this week it was a group of different lilies that suddenly appeared), a plant sprouting new flowers (as was the case with several magnolias, a coreopsis, shrubs such as Melaleuca and Swainsona and Prostanthera) and plants reappearing (Japanese Painted ferns, several clematis and some agastache). Of course it helps to have a lot of different plants in your garden but that's the great thing about spring -- whether they're budding out, reappearing or beginning to bloom, spring is in there encouraging nearly every plant in our gardens.
So, a few photos from my garden on this, a most joyous Ides of March. Photos top to bottom are:

Mahonia lomariifolia. I grow this "wicked" plant as much for food for berry loving birds as much as I do for its interesting foliage and sprays of bright yellow flowers.
Camellia Little Babe. Every variegated blossom is slightly different and is appearing on a small specimen. Definitely an over-achiever.
Ribes sanguineum + Japanese maple. One in full bloom, the other leafing out.
Fuchsia boliviana Alba. A shot of the milky tubes before the carmine sepals open.
Melasphaerula. A little known but extremely vigorous S. African bulb. Dainty flowers but buckets of them, waving in the breeze on slender stems.
Kennedia nigricans. This vigorous vine didn't flower last year but has loads of buds now. There's nothing quite like the color of this black & gold flower.
Salvia discolor. Speaking of dark hues, here's a better shot of my "black" salvia. With its milky green bracts and sticky white stems, there's nothing quite like it.
Sparaxis. This is their season and I love this color combo. I call this "cream soda" orange. Goes nicely with the yellow centers.
Physocarpus opulifolius 'Nugget'. Yes, a golden-leaved ninebark bush. Glorious.
Peacock moraea. That aquamarine blue is so other-worldly.
Peacock moraea + sparaxis. Now that's a show of color.
Speaking of unique colors, how about this "chocolate" ferraria? One of my all time favorite plants, if only because it should be growing in some exotic locale. Or at the bottom of the ocean (starfish anyone?)
White sparaxis. The white background really makes the yellow and dark red colors pop.
Streptosolen. Otherwise known as Marmalade bush. Mine is just starting to bloom again. It's a force of nature, growing quickly and blooming for 8-9 months of the year. Not for the feint of heart.
Annual mimulus. Or so I thought when I planted it last year. But it's come storming back.
Peach Crisp heuchera. Love the color, though right now it gets a bit lost in the temporary bark mulch.
Leucaspermum Veldfire. On my top ten list, the buds are getting fatter as each week passes.
Kerria japonica. There's nothing more cheerful than Kerrias. If you like yellow, that is.
Halimiocistus Merrist Wood Cream.. I get asked about this charming high ground cover a lot. It's a cross between a Halimium and a Cistus and the MWC features butter yellow blooms.
Cryptomeria 'Spiraliter.' A very cool, twisty, Japanese Cedar that's part of my dwarf conifer bed.
Chamaecyparis 'Nana Lutea.' Another dwarf conifer bed resident. The twisting branch "panels" remind me of DNA strands.

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