As we transition into fall -- yes, it IS September, or at least that's what the calendar says -- our gardens follow suit. The weather may still be confusing, 88 one day and 68 the next, but plants still follow their own timetable. Incidentally, the amount of moisture that makes it to the roots of many plants, be that from rain or our hoses, will have a major effect on the 'performance' of a plant and, for example, how soon deciduous shrubs or trees will begin their slow descent into a dormant period. That is why many of you are noticing that certain trees are already starting to color up or drop their leaves. It's the way the plant protects itself in the long drought we find ourselves in.
Well, I have just welcomed a new 'member' to my family, a Nikon Coolpix 820 camera. I've been having trouble with my dslr Nikon, now most likely a lens issue, and so I decided to explore using a simple Point-and-Shoot type camera. It does have its limitations but it's easy to use, the quality is excellent and it has an effective zoom function. Today's photos are from the new camera. I wanted to test the camera's ability to shoot in shade, sun or mixed light environments, as well as close focus shots and using the zoom at full extension. So, here they are. These may not be the best shots ever taken but they do capture some of my early September garden.
Salvia splendens 'Sao Borja.' S. splendens varieties will act as annuals in colder climates but here in the mild zone of Oakland mine has become a perennial. Now in year three, it has finally bloomed like I'd expected, offering rich burgundy flowers.
Staghorn fern. I have two, one wedged into the V of a tree and this one growing in soil. As you can see, they're just as happy in soil, as long as they're not over-watered.
Digitalis 'Pantaloons.' Okay, not the greatest shot. But it didn't seem as if this foxglove would ever bloom again so I'm very happy to see flowers once more. Its variety name derives from the fact that the flowers have 'split' sides, making it somewhat unique among foxgloves.
What's that up in the sky? Is it a bird ... a plane ... or in this case, a sunflower? A Gaillardia? Nope, it's a new, double form Gazania called Sunbathers 'Nahui.' The only reference I could find for this variety name was as another name for Carmen Mondragon, who rose to some fame as a model and muse for such painters as Diego Rivera. She was said to possess a magnetic beauty so perhaps this flower captures some of her allure.
Sempervivum 'Pekinese.' A new succulent that combines lime green and cream colors, though this photo doesn't show the latter.
Crassula falcata. Last week's blog showed the flowers starting to color up. Here they are in their shocking red tones.
Just to the right of the above Crassula is the now nicknamed 'Golden Mile.' It starts with this pretty, dwarf Duranta 'Gold Mound.' He's been a shy guy, not growing much and this is the first year where there's enough of the foliage to warrant photographing it.
Here's the first success in using my zoom function. This is Vigna caracalla, better known as Snail vine. It would look like little dots without the zoom function. The clarity seems to have held up pretty well.
Lotus jacobeus. I'm loving my Black Lotus, although in truth the flowers are more bronze colored. Still, they're exceptionally pretty and there's lots of them.
Tecoma stans 'Bells of Fire.' I think a better name would be 'Bells ON Fire' given their fantastic color.
This shot of my Luculia pinceana isn't that great a composition and it hards to appreciate the pink tones to the flowers. But it is a good excuse to mention once again this intensely fragrant shrub. Sensational.
Here are two Chamaecyparis species. On the left is 'Barry's Silver' and on the right is an obtusa species called 'Nana Lutea.' Calming but lovely.
Aloe striata. This Coral aloe is progressing very nicely, though it has yet to bloom and develop the flowers that yields its common name.
There's nothing quite like the midnight burgundy color of Aeonium 'Schwarzkopf.'
Tecoma x smithii. Still my favorite Tecoma, this hybrid produces huge clusters of peachy-orange flowers that are a real standout.