Thursday, September 25, 2014

After the rain ...

For those of us in the Bay Area, the early morning rain was a real blessing. I only wished I'd woken up early enough to see it. Walking outside the air was so fresh and the garden seemed especially happy. Hopefully this was just the appetizer and more serious rainfall is on the way.
Here are more photos from the garden. It continues its march toward the fall, proceeding to the music only it can hear.

Found these mushrooms up in a shady part of my garden. They're a curious kind, with flat, disc-like heads and quite white. Don't know that I've ever seen them before. What's that Alice? One kind makes you small and one kind ...

Tricyrtis 'Lemon Lime.' I haven't had much luck growing this variety. It always seems to poop out before blooming but I do have a couple of flowers on it right now. A very handsome toad it is.

Speaking of toad lilies, here's one that comes back faithfully every year, more prolific each succeeding year.

For those wondering what all the fuss is about with the rare South American shrub Deppea splendens, here's an idea. Coppery-red calyxes sprout golden tubular flowers on the thinnest, wiriest stems possible. It will eventually make a large shrub but mine is still a very modest size. It's so anxious to make a good impression that we've had specimens in 4" pots produce their first flowers!

Fuchsia 'Nettala." Here you get to see the "dancing dolls," the four cup-shaped petals that dangle below the upper recurved sepals. Someone even described them as square dancers doing a do-si-do.

My Tropical Corner is continuing to evolve. That's fire ginger in the foreground, a red banana behind it and black bamboo in the background. Still waiting for the macaws to arrive ...

Heliotropium arborescens 'Alba.' As I've often mentioned, this variety is substantially more fragrant than the purple kinds. And longer lived. Whether the fragrance smells like vanilla or talc powder to you, it's a one of a kind fragrance.

Speaking of Ones-of-a-kind, I nominate this Viola 'Brush Strokes.' I've never seen that kind of "painted" pattern on a viola before.

'Quick, freeze ' thought the gecko and he has yet to move in the two years since. Cagey guy. That's the ever vigorous Dicentra scandens tickling his backside.

Pelargonium crispum 'Variegated Golden Lemon' Crispum indeed! And, yup, it does earn its lemon moniker, exuding a very sweet lemon fragrance.

Let me introduce you to ... the color red.Yowza, it simply doesn't get any redder than this Mini-Famous Double Scarlet calibrachoa. As the saying goes, so red that light just falls into it.

Many will recognize this variegated ground cover -- Silene uniflora. Good for cascading, for rock gardens, even for hanging baskets. Tough little guy too.

Gold stars all around for those who recognize this odd little plant. Hint: it's a ground cover form of a native, fragrant shrub. Yes, it's Monardella macrantha and its flowers are at this young stage bigger than the plant itself! Monardella villosa, known as Coyote Mint, is a CA native found all over northern and central California. This decumbent form is also endemic to the state and its calling card is its extravagant sprays of red flowers.

Of course everyone knows this guy. Just kidding. Hemizygia? I'd never heard of it until two years ago and even its nomenclature is under dispute. It's related to the Plectranthus genus and that's about as definitive as we're going to get. Sure is pretty though.

This was one of those "what-the-heck" shots and it sort of works. The silver foliage is from my sprawling Centaurea gymnocarpa plant and the flower from a nearby Salvia canariensis (which oh by the way also has silvery foliage).

Here's that show-off Zinnia State Fair with my glorious Caryopteris 'Hint of Gold' in the foreground. Nice combo.

My unassuming Hebe speciosa has kind of taken over this corner of my walkway and it takes virtually no attention at all.

Here's another shot of my curiously named Bidens 'Hawaiian Flare Orange Drop,' which gets first prize for longest and oddest common name. Still, it has an awfully pretty flower for a bidens.

I was going for the surreal with this photograph and, well, I sort of got it. It's a Heavenly Blue morning glory but it could just as easily be a spaceship from the alien race living on the third moon of Jupiter. It just sort of hovers in space and the throat looks it might open up to reveal a portal to another dimension. Okay, time to cut back on the Sci-fi ...

Speaking of curious common names, here's another photo of my fab Portulaca ' Fairytales Cinderella.' I'm not making these names up. I'm just reading them off the grower's tags. I think maybe they have waaay too much time on their hands.

Though the blooms are tiny and unassuming, there's something sweet about Calamintha flowers. My cats certainly think so.

Though this isn't my photo I came out this morning to find that my Iris pallida variegata had produced a flower. That was exciting news as it hasn't bloomed in three years and it's late in the season to boot. Ahh, another reminder that gardens march to their drummer. Of course, besides the lovely color, the flowers are known to smell like grape soda. And so they do.

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