Friday, August 30, 2013

Rocking the Garden Pt 3 - Garden 'Stones'

Well for those Stones fans who, after reading my Beatles only listing of plant names and wondering "Where's the love for my Stones?", here's a Stones only version. See, you can get "Satisfaction."
As before, the song comes first, followed by the plant.

"Play with Fire" - Kniphofia 'Fire Dance.' Funny, "slender and fiery" fits both Jagger and this red-hot poker.
"Get Off My Cloud" - Gaura 'Pink Cloud.' One of several 'cloud' names, this Gaura is a pretty choice.
"As Tears Go By" - Baby's Tears. Don't worry, Jagger's tears will keep this plant well watered.
"Paint It Black" - Colocasia esculent 'Black Magic.' This black taro is cause for celebration not a reason to lock oneself in the bedroom.
"Lady Jane" - Tulipa clusiana 'Lady Jane.' For those not familiar with these woodland tulips, they offer an abundance of smaller but colorful flowers year after year, even in our mild climate.
"Ruby Tuesday" - Dianthus 'Ruby Tuesday.' A vivid ruby-colored carnation and, one surmises, named by a Stones fan.
"Mother's Little Helper" - That would a be a kneeling pad and a good spade, right?
"Sympathy for the Devil" - Devil's Claw. This S. African plant is also known as Wood Spider for its seedpods that have twin hooks that attach themselves to animal passersby.
"She's a Rainbow" - Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow.' There would be lots of choices for 'rainbow,' but since I just planted this variegated Euphorbia in my back yard it's front & center in my mind.
"Parachute Woman" - Ceropegia sandersoniae (Parachute Plant). This odd S. African succulent vine produces little green 'parachute' flowers.
"Love in Vain" - I immediately think of any number of plants that I nurtured along, fretted over, heaped with TLC, only to have them die on me!
"Let it Bleed" - Haemanthus coccineus. Also known as Blood Lily. Of course I could have gone another direction and chosen any number of plants with razor sharp thorns (like certain Agaves). Let it bleed indeed!
"Monkey Man" - Monkey Puzzle Tree. Too easy.
"Dead Flowers" - Nuff said ....
"Brown Sugar" - Protea repens, also known as Sugarbush or Honeybush.
(I Can't Get No) "Satisfaction" - Don't we all have those days/weeks/months in our gardens?

Okay, now the photos. There's a few pretty ones, including the colorful Schizostylis, one of water beading on my coral aloe and one of a honey bee foraging in a Calandrinia blossom.

Cypella peruviana. Just about the most gorgeous bulb out there! Too bad they stay open for less than a day. Arghh!

Hibiscus trionum. Though this shot is a bit dark, and you can't really see the cream color of the petals, this photo gives you an inkling of the beauty of this freely self-seeding hibiscus.

This broad-leaved fern, planted in my newly renovated back yard raised bed, is commonly known as Virginia Blue. Lovely.

In that same bed, I added this finely reticulated Shiny Bristle fern. A new favorite.

Plectranthus Zuluensis. This is one of the tall plectranthus species, with the new leaves a lime green color. Here the new morning light is just high enough to illuminate the flowers.

Staghorn fern. It may look like it's nestled in the branches of my Brugmansia but for now it's still in a pot.

Begonia rex flower. With rex begonias it's all about the foliage and here we see the dramatic red branching on the undersides of the leaves. The flowers are sort of sweet in their understated simplicity.

Hedychium gardnerianum. Here's a flower spike about to open. It looks kind of cool, as if it were a metal sculpture. One of the showiest of all gingers. Open flower spike photos to follow.

Euphorbia Ascot Rainbow. Though shot in filtered light, it's pretty patterning still comes through.

Schizostylis coccinea. One of my favorite bulbs -- love that color! -- and very easy to grow.

Here's a less common Crassula (C. alba var. parvisepala). That little mound is a cluster of tiny flowers that are either white or pink. It looks like a miniature forest.

Another shot of my wild Ipomoea 'Sunrise Serenade.' It just screams "Come pollinate me!" (Oops, did I say that out loud?)

While this posting has several of my favorite bulbs -- and that's really true -- my "number one and holding" is the utterly charming Bessera elegans, shown here. Seeing them here in their unopened phase, you can understand why they're called Coral Drops. Not only does Bessera have possibly the prettiest flower of any bulb but it's prolific and reliable. If only gardening were always this easy ...

Looking at the huge flower spike on Verbascum nigrum from this computer, one could almost imagine it to be 20' tall but in reality it's a modest two and a half. Still, one of the more spectacular mulleins.

I thought the little drops of water beading up on my Coral aloe (Aloe striata) made for a nice photo.

The Commelina coelstis flowers here almost look like blue Micky Mouse hats!!

Speaking of flaming orange flowers (oh, we weren't?), here's a Canna flower that certainly stands out in a mostly green bed.

Couldn't resist taking a shot of a honey bee gobbling nectar on a Calandrinia flower.

Finally a picture of my King protea forming (slowly) it's first flower. I love the bud, in part due to its organized geometrical form.

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