Friday, January 3, 2014

A Welcoming garden

We have all wished our family and friends a happy new year but there is one more welcoming and that's from our gardens. Mine has welcomed me into the new year with camellias galore in bloom, with new bulbs popping up every day and fun little things still in bloom (dianthus, arctotis, lobelia et al). I even had one of those YES!! moments yesterday. I have an Agapetes serpens and once long ago and in a land far away it sat contentedly on my front house's porch, soaking up sun and blooming each year. Then it had to move and I put it temporarily in a much shadier spot. Where it sat. And sat. Got thrips. Got a worse case. I finally had to toss it or save it so I fought back with spinosad and fertilizer. It recovered then last year began vigorous new growth. And finally yesterday I saw a single flower! Miracle of miracles. I'm especially happy because I love this plant, so much so that it was one of the first columns I ever did for the SF Chronicle. So, welcome back agapetes!
Though we're still a long ways from Spring, I did find a few things to photograph on what sure seemed like a spring day. Here they are.

Orange alonsoa. Almost nobody knows of this species and Annie's is the only one propagating it as far as I know. Love that color!!

Melianthus pectinatus. This smaller sized African honey bush has finer-textured foliage, quite pretty to this gardener's eye.

Here's my sweet-smelling Edgeworthia, starting to open its little treasures. My walkway is being populated with fragrant plants -- for all to enjoy.

Liked the way the disappearing sunlight was dappling my Salvia elegans Golden Delicious.

Here's the aforementioned Agapetes. Of course this is one tiny flower but hopefully I'll see hundreds more in spring!

My salmon XMas cactus has changed to be quite pink this winter. Very pretty.

I mostly included this photo cuz I wanted to type its name -- Plectranthus Mike's Fuzzy Wuzzy. I think it may be related to Mike's Hard Lemonade ...

Here's my Camellia reticulata Frank Hauser, this time capturing it from a bit further back. One nice thing about reticulatas is that they grow faster and have more of an open habit.

My Black bamboo is finally getting a toehold. Here's a closer look at the signature black stems.

Even the leaves on this Fuchsia Nettala are interesting to me. This guy is a species type, meaning no Fuchsia mite, and it'll get big (up to 8')

Aloe species. I thought the "teeth" on this specimen looked cool backlit by the winter sun.

Although this shot isn't in perfect focus, I wanted to share the lovely hue of this Lobelia Magida Blue.

I think the unopened flower buds of Carolina Jessamine (a type of honeysuckle) are quite lovely. I like the "dimples."

Although this isn't my photo, I wanted to share a picture of my new Justicia rizzinii. Mine is budding up, ready to produce a great abundance of flowers.

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