I'm going to take a break from introducing the meanings of species terms and just go for the wow, the pop, the cool, the ahh of garden photos. Here are a few shot today, old favorites mixed with new additions.
Crocosmia 'Emily MacKenzie.' Here I got a wonderful feeling to the backlit shot, creating a soft focus image that looks more like a watercolor painting than a photograph.
Azalea 'Little John.' Thrips almost killed this ornamental azalea but it appears to be recovering. The feature is the downy, red-kissed foliage. Not sure what the 'Little John' is in reference to.
Split-leaf philodendron. I have to keep cutting off the largest leaves of this hardy & vigorous philodendron or they overwhelm the path. It has sent top roots sprawling like scrambling snakes.
Kerria japonica. Listed as a sun lover, I've found that mine burns in the sun. So I moved it (fortunately it was in a pot) and it's happier in morning sun. For sheer cheerfulness, it's hard to beat the pom-poms of Kerria.
Campanula cochlearifolia 'Alpine Breeze.' If you're wondering where the species name comes from, I believe its common name -- earleaf bellflower -- is a clue (cf cochlear implant). In any case, this spilling bellflower is exceptionally pretty.
Another shot of my favorite new shrub, the aptly named Abelia 'Kaleidoscope.' It's still small but will soon fill in the bed that runs along the side of the main house.
Caryopteris incana 'Hint of Gold.' Actually, this shot is just as much for the pot as it is for the lovely & showy Caryopteris. It's a burnished golden orangy-red and I liked it so much I bought two. When I came across the Caryopteris, I knew I had the perfect plant for it. They greet garden visitors at the base of the front walkway.
Echinacea 'Harvest Moon.' I can't believe I once scorned coneflowers. I now love them and keeping finding new ones, like this peachy-yellow variety. And of course the bees love 'em!
An orange-flowering Alonsoa?! Yes, indeed. Annie's is growing it and, well, I just love its color. I tried to grow it in too much shade last year but I'm not making that mistake again. It's full sun now for this groovy little guy.
Got blue? You do, and lots of it, if you grow this Clerodendrum ugandense.Nicknamed 'Blue Glory Bower,' it certainly is blue and glory-ous. Now I have to find room for it and remember to prune it regularly.
If Datura 'Blackcurrant Swirl' seems like a name somebody who loves ice cream just made up, well who knows that may be true! But yes it does exist and here it is getting ready to unfold. It's a double, pleated datura that is too gorgeous to describe. And since the flowers only open for less than a day, I'm crossing my fingers I'll be ready with camera in hand when it does open.
Swainsona. This Swan River pea is right up there with borage as a must-visit destination for bees. And because it's in bloom eight months of the year, the bees are always around.
Asclepius 'Apollo Orange.' Okay, it's just an Asclepius but it has just enough orange (rather than red) to make it stand out. It's still very small; when it fills out it's sure to be a passersby attraction.
Lilium 'Scheherazade.' I'd like to see some wise-ass kid in a spelling bee get this right! The flower makes up in beauty what it lacks in pronounce-ability.Umm, is that a word?
Plectanthus coleoides. The species name may sound like a horrible disease ("I'm afraid you have coleoides, sir") but this ground hugging plectranthus is one of my faves.
Not Dusty Miller as you might first think but Centaurea gymnocarpa. It's such a great silver, so much so that I don't even let it flower. It's on year three and showing no signs of slowing down.
Canna species. Cannas do indeed have lovely flowers but sometimes it's all about the foliage.
Gazania variety. Gazanias may be one of the most common (and tough) plants out there but that doesn't mean they aren't beautiful. This red form looks similar to the red form of G. krebsiana, which hails from South Africa.
Ipomoea 'Sunrise Serenade.' A fab new morning glory from Annie's. And if this photo makes you want to run out and buy it -- and it should -- good luck. They did a very limited run and there may not be more. A one of a kind color, a double form, frilly. About the only thing it doesn't do is sing ...
There's a law in my garden. I'm forced by contract to post a photo of my Hebe evansii every six months. Unlike just about any large-leaved hebe I've seen and that wine-red color plus the shiny leaves make it a standout.
Shaggy dog begonia? Sort of. This Begonia 'Wild Pony' (okay, I give up, where the heck did they come up with that name) is a new addition. Haven't seen it bloom but the foliage is just so weird that I couldn't resist.
Euphorbia mammilaris variegata. 'I knew that' you say. This guy is too cute, especially with the "pink heads."
This corner of my Japanese garden was clothed in partial shadows and I liked the look.
Mimulus Jelly Bean Orange. It's a Sticky Monkey flower so it's already cool. Add in Jelly Bean and that creamy orange color and what's not to like?
Petunia. Okay, just a common flower but I love the double form and the color.