Friday, December 19, 2014

Not this Nature

So, we live with bugs of every kind, many of them in our gardens. But it's a different bug -- the common cold -- that's got me under the weather today. So, no enlightening comments in the foreward here and probably not too many pithy comments describing the photos either but I hope the photos themselves will bring a bit of joy to you on such a wintry day.
About today's photos. The first seven were taken yesterday; the rest are from my archives.

Here's my Paphiopedilum in full bloom. I'm so very happy that is decided to rebloom and this was from it being outside year round. There's nothing quite like Ladyslipper orchids!

Here's another shot of my Lachenalia aloides 'orange.' It's proving especially prolific this year, even though it's still in a container. Lachenalias make good container plants as it's easier to give them the dry summer they need. I still don't see any orange in this aloides variety but no matter, it's certainly pretty enough.

Trachelium caeruleum 'Hamer Pandora.'  The Hamer Pandora variety is the one with the purplish tint to the leaves, as you might spot here. Though this guy is still small, he'll get bigger and most likely bloom well before spring. Tough and versatile. And floriferous.

I've attempted to stump readers before with this plant. Not sure how many of you recognized it as a Melianthus. It's the little known M. pectinatus. It hasn't done as well as I would have liked and I attributed that to poor soil. Just read that it actually likes lots of water so the recent rains have made it very happy indeed. And I think I spotted a few tiny flower buds, big news since it has yet to flower after 8 years! I know what you're thinking "Wait, a melianthus that doesn't simply go wild?" Ahh, but that would be the vigorous Melianthus major.

Begonia 'Gene Daniels.' Partly damaged by the storm, I had to pin it back with a small trellis and in doing that it propped one of the leaves upright. And that showed off its glorious burgundy underside as well as -- look closely -- a small cluster of pink flowers. 

And now the prize of prizes. Russell Wagner, noted propagator, brought in a F1 cross of Lachenalia viridiflora and L. quadricolor. The aquamarine of the former is better seen in the photo below, whereas the four colors of the latter are on better display above. This is such a new cross that there are only a handful around. Beautiful isn't it?

My Impatiens congolense (syn. niamniamensis) is still in bloom, though this is a shot from last year. Bi-colored waxy flowers are curious enough but see how they sprout from the stems not the leaf axils? Intriguing.

Another shot from my archives, I liked how the unusual angle of this dianthus (carnation), afforded one a different perspective. It almost looks like a pinwheel or a very, very tiny carousel.

My Justicia brandegeeana just never seems to go out of bloom. Okay here's a groaner joke. Which plant that you know is polyamorous? Why it's this plant of course, having three girlfriends named Brandy, Gee (a Filipina name) and Ana.Your job is to come up with a plant that has three 'boyfriends!'

Salvia splendens 'Sao Borja.' I'm loving my new Salvia splendens and crossing my fingers it will survive the winter. This photo is borrowed from Annie's Annuals. Such a pretty photo, doing justice to a vibrant flower.

This is a shot of my Choisya ternata from the spring. But wait, it's budding up for a second show, with quite few intensely fragrant flowers already open. In my mind, this 'Mock orange' is the most fragrant of the three plants called by this name. Very heady perfume!

This isn't the best shot of my black bamboo but it's looking especially full these days, after all the rains. Bamboo really is happiest when it gets regular water, though once established it's tough enough to survive dry spells.

Lastly, a shot of my Tiger's Jaws (Faucaria tigrina). Though it's finished blooming, there's still the fun, tactile effects of its nubs. Kind of like a tiger that's had his teeth removed and is gumming it. That awkward image aside, this little guy is one of the most prolific bloomers in the succulent world.

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