Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fall, not Fall

Well, because we folks in the Bay Area have to march to our own drummer, we have fall in July & August followed by summer in September & October.
I'm taking a break from the Rocking the Garden entries (okay, here's one: Begonia rex -- T Rex (Bang a Gong). Okay, now you're going to have that song going around in your head all day). Instead it's just photos today. My garden being confused as to exactly what season it is hasn't stopped it from continuing to offer delightful new surprises every week.

Begonia rex 'Escargot'  Another shot of this intriguing  begonia. Apart from the obvious snail form, I love the two greens on the foliage and the way the border repeats the dark green from the center.

This season's wonderful surprise. These are berries on my Amorphophallus kiusianus. They sat on the flowering stem as rows of little green buttons and then all of a sudden they've begun to ripen from the top down. They're giving my porcelain berry vine berries a run for their money.

From the "ain't Nature grand" department, my Cuphea vienco 'Burgundy' has suddenly begun producing vivid red flowers. Please discuss among yourselves.

Callirhoe. My specimen of Wine Cups is just now flowering. There's nothing quite anything to match this vigorous spreading plant's flower color. 

Kudos to those who can guess what this is. It's an unopened flower bud on a Catananche caerulea (Amor White in this case). These almost translucent, papery flower buds are as pretty as the flowers themselves.

Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki.' Hard to believe this is a sweet olive plant but this species, known as False Holly for its serrated holly-like leaves, has the same fragrant white flowers and eventually small black fruits. Beautiful!

Ruellia elegans. This plant isn't as well known as it deserves to be. Start with the vivid red flowers. In fact the flowers are so intensely red that, like my red mandevilla, it creates havoc with the camera's ability to process the color.

Hedychium gardnerianum. The last shot I posted had the unopened flower spike. Here are the creamy yellow flowers and large, reddish-orange  stamen. Count me as a fan of gingers (I have four in my garden).

Dorycnium hirsutum. This 'Hairy Canary Clover' has become one of my favorite plants. It has the softest foliage imaginable and it's great for spilling over a rock wall.

Here's another plant that needs a better press agent -- Zephyranthes, better known as Zephyr lily or Rain lily. I love its simplicity and its delicacy. 

Plectranthus argentatus. I call this 'Silver' plectranthus because, well, this photo shows why. It likes a bit more sun than other plectranthus. The flowers are mostly white and small but still offer a delicate contrast to the thick texture of the leaves.

Japanese anemone. Walking out this morning I noticed one of my Japanese anemones had poked a flower up through my Oakleaf hydrangea. It almost looks intentional, the big leaves expertly framing the delicate white flower.

This was my most recent project and though it looks nicely planted now, a lot of work went into getting it this way. It's not the perfect photo but it gives a view of the bed's infancy.

Impatiens niamniamensis flower. Also called Congo cockatoo for the brightly colored, beak-like flowers. It may not be obvious here but one odd feature of this plant is that its flowers grow directly off the main trunk.

My table-top succulent collection. In front is the irrepressible Sedum 'Sea Urchin.' Behind it is the charming Crassula alba var. parvisepala. To its right is an Echeveria 'Black Prince' and then in front of it my favorite tillandsia.

I love orange, peach and apricot colors  and the newest addition is a Tecoma x smithii. Exuberant!

Swainsona. This bush blooms ten months out of the year and is a magnet for bees. It's the star of my Australian natives bed.

Another shot of my new Caryopteris incana 'Hint of Gold.' Behind it, and starting to intermingle, is the Felicia amelloides variegata. Blue & gold!

Chrysocephalum 'Silver & Gold'  Known as Common Everlasting due in part to its long blooming and the fact that the flowers 'dry' right on the plant, this Helichrysum relative has proven to be quite the sturdy little performer. 

Spotted this ladybug as I was heading indoors. I hadn't noticed the rather curious black & white markings on its head before. I guess we normally just see the orange and black body. Little known fact -- in England they call this girl a Ladybird.

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