Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Beautiful Demise

As we take in some of the beautiful fall color, tree leaves turning reds, oranges and yellows, it bears reflecting that these colors come about because the leaves are dying. That's part of the cycle and the fact that many of these deciduous shrubs and trees are already setting buds for next year is a sign that plants are indeed very good at early prep. We humans should be so organized. But even as these plants head for a winter repose, there are others that are greeting us once more. This is especially true with the very first of the late winter/early spring blooming bulbs. Such South African bulbs as freesias are already up in my garden, along with some less common bulbs such as Lachenalias, Ferraria and Ixia. Though it will be months until they bloom, just seeing them reappear is a sign of treats to come.
After a hiatus, I'm back with another list of common or variety names that reflect a certain subject. For those who follow this blog, you'll remember I did several on rock n roll names, including ones devoted to the Beatles and to the Rolling Stones. My last entry pulled out food titles, names that are surprisingly common in the horticulture world. Today I venture far afield to look at names that invoke parties and sex. Though the latter entry's common names are more suggestive than graphic, there is one of the latter so just a head's up. I have found many gardeners to be ... umm ... earthy types. You can skip ahead to the photos following these lists if you'd like. Here are the lists.

Helenium 'Mardi Gras' Too obvious but so appropriate for this colorful sneezeweed.
Linaria 'Flamenco'  Everybody's favorite linaria, with its gold and fuchsia bi-colored flowers.
Marigold 'Disco'   Message to whoever named this plant "Just put down the late 70s and step away slowly.
Salvia 'Salsa'   What no Penstemon 'Rhumba'?
Begonia Cocktail series, ie. Cocktail Gin. Maybe the person who named the above marigold had too many of these Gins. I'm just saying ....

Mina Lobata - Exotic Love vine. I'm expecting Fernando Lamas to show up any moment ...
Echium 'Mr Happy'  Hey, you can blame Annie of Annuals for naming this echium with the tall flower spike.
Asclepius 'Family Jewels'  Not sure who named this plant but the common name derives from the round green seedpods that look like, well, you know.
Salvia 'Hot Lips'  Ay, carumba!
Salvia 'Jean's Purple Passion'   I see that "purple prose" is alive and well ...
Catananche 'Cupid's Dart'  Have no  idea how this lovely purple-flowering perennial came to get this common name.
Knifophia 'Red Hot Poker'  Anyone who's seen an orange or red flowering knifophia ... well, let's just say that it's kind of an obvious reference.
And finally the one risque entry. Dichelostemma 'Blue Dicks'  Have to believe the latter word is not, you know, though I have no idea what else it refers to.

I'm sure there are many more entries for each list but let's just say I've gotten the ball rolling. And now the photos.

Nasturtium variety. This flower only proves that common flowers can also be head turners.

Cyclamen 'Salmon'  I love this color and also how in this photo we see how the flowers first drape, before finally unfurling.

The focus of an upcoming column, Veronica 'Waterperry's delicate flowers belie its toughness.

Another shot of my Propeller plant (Crassula falcata). The red flowers explode like a fireball from the cool broad angles of the leaves.

Speaking of fall color, my Cotinus Royal Purple is putting on a grand show.

I thought the pristine whites of Swainsona looked nice next to the crimson beauty of Bouvardia.

A new addition to my succulent collection, Senecio crassissimus (say that ten times real fast) almost looks it could be related to the Propeller plant.

Camellia 'Winner's Circle'  This relatively new to the trade camellia gave me a couple blooms in its first year but seems ready to break out this winter.

Summersweet (Clethra). We might amend its name and call it "Summersweet - Fall blaze" for its golden show.

I got into variegated plants in 2013 and this Fuchsia 'Firecracker' is a charmer. Tough too.

I now keep my Christmas cactus outdoors year round and it seems to have settled in very nicely. This one is a salmon color and it's hard to find in the trade.

That begonia that made me wait forever is giving me a late season show. Speaking of party names, this one is called Calypso and I love its mix of pinks, peaches and golds.

Here's one of my prized camellias, Black Magic. One of the distinctive things about its flowers, apart from that dark, rich hue, is that the petals are shiny, almost waxy.

Finally, my Cobaea scandens which, after a very long wait (all of 2013), is finally deciding to bloom. Nothing quite like them, as the "saucer" starts out green then gradually acquires that rich burgundy color.

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