Friday, April 26, 2013

Plant of the Week

I'd meant to do a Plant of the Week entry on a regular basis but working full time, writing my Chronicle column as well as the occasional feature, plus caretaking my own extensive garden, hasn't left me with a lot of energy to do so. However, there are plants that will never make it into my column simply because they're so hard to find. One such plant is Lupinus pilosus. Annie's Annuals made it available to the public a single time and it looks as if that will be it for this year. Too bad. It's the most beautiful lupine I've seen to date. A photo appears below, only somewhat adequately displaying the rich cyan blue tone of its flowers. I usually shy away from lupines as snails love them, sometimes climbing over the Sluggo to get to them. I took a chance on this one and it escaped that fate. It has only produced its first few flowers but that color and the luminous, silver-edged leaves make this my discovery of the year so far. My apologies in advance if this description makes you want to run out and buy it. All I can suggest is to see if Annie's has any left for sale to the public. I'll keep posting photos of my specimen so those of you who take a shining to it can follow it vicariously.
Meanwhile here's a few more photos from my garden. My 18-55 mm lens gave out on me yesterday so until the new one arrives I'm without a camera. So just nine photos here  and the last three were taken with my zoom lens, meaning I had to stand 10-15 feet away and try to get the focus just right. Thus, those photos aren't quite up to my modest standards. From top to bottom:

Lupinus pilosus. This photo will give a sense of the beauty of the flower. More photos to follow.
Shell turtle. One of the finds from my Half Moon Bay trip, this ceramic turtle has shells and barnacles attached to it. Kind of cute.
Cosmos Double Cranberry. Another shot of this fab new cosmos. I still haven't quite captured its beauty.
Front Yard color. This is mostly the Rhoeas poppies, Echium Blue Bedder, and an exuberant purple sweet pea.
Laburnum. I've taken a surreal delight to how floriferous my laburnum is after four years of not blooming at all. Maturity or has the more frequent deep watering done the trick?
Drosanthemum 'Pele.' It's amazing to me that this S. African succulent isn't better known. I mean, c'mon, LOOK at those flowers. And they're silky soft.
Clematis Belle of Woking. The first of the zoom lens shots, it doesn't quite pop but that soft lavender color and the double form still carry the day.
Papaver Single Black. It's a rich burgundy, as evidenced here, but who's quibbling about its name when this gorgeous breadseed poppy begins to bloom.
Exbury hybrid Red Hot x Orange. I was going to write a column on these fabulous deciduous azaleas but when I checked I'd already covered them in a column years back. I almost said heck I'll write a new column on them. For those not familiar with Exbury azaleas, they offer the richest reds, oranges, peaches and golds and are sun lovers. When they're planted in a stand and are ablaze in color there's nothing like them.

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