Thursday, July 28, 2016

Let it Roll

Summer rolls on and those of us with gardens filled with diverse flora know all too well that gardens don't have to be "Spring or Bust." That is, the 'garden life' rolls on into summer and beyond. Summer can in fact be every bit as colorful as spring, assuming color is your thing (it is for me). And there's no reason for abandoning the common sense approach to gardening (ie. water use) as there are an almost infinite choice of colorful, drought tolerant plants to add to your garden.
Nuff said. Here are photos from my garden, taken over the last two days, catching the garden being a bit of a showoff.

So, after that intro about color, the first four photos feature foliage. Here it's Scrophularia auriculata 'Variegata.' Although it does flower, the blooms are tiny. Meaning this lovely variegated foliage is the real show. It can handle a bit of shade too.

Begonia rex 'Escargot.' Love photographing this plant and its leaves keep getting bigger. I'm beginning to think of calling this plant 'Dumbo,' as the huge leaves look a bit like elephant ears.

Dianella 'Yellow Stripe.' Love this new brightly colored dianella.

Ladies and gentlemen - Ipomoea 'Jade Masquerade.' This new sweet potato vine is super cool. 

Petunia 'Honey.' I'm loving this colorful petunia. Very cheerful and it's held its form very well. 

I didn't get what I was after with this shot but I kind of like how the Ageratum flowers seem to emerge mysteriously from the shadows. I was after the contrast of the orange Hibiscus 'Cherie' and the purple ageratum flowers but it turned out differently.

We've had decorative leaves and sunny flowers but here it's the seedheads of Amaranthus that are the star attraction. 

The waxy, star-shaped flowers on Eucomis are always interesting and here their 'backing band' is my Marmalade bush.

Another shot that didn't quite turn out as I'd hoped but tiger lilies back-lit are always lovely.

One of my favorite Campanulas, P. primulifolia sends up sturdy stalks that eventually sprout dozens of open purple flowers. Love 'em.

Gloriosa lily. Okay, I admit to having a bit of a Gloriosa fixation. Hopefully this photo shows why.

There was a vexing issue for me regarding this Helichrysum 'Ruby Clusters.' Most helichrysums have yellow or white flowers and I'd never heard of one with pink flowers. Now I have the answer. This plant's flowers appear as pink buds (thus Ruby Clusters) but open to more familiar yellow blooms.

Crassula alba v. parvisepala. Crassulas are one of the easiest succulents to grow and they are one of the quickest to bloom. Heads of red buds soon pop open to reveal little lavender flowers.

Fuchsia 'Nettala.' The thing I love about these flowers is that the lower spoon-shaped pink petals dangle below the upper tepals. I think of these four symmetrical petals as being dancers doing a do-si-do. 

Ampelopsis. Porcelain Berry vine to most people. Mine's finally got a toehold in year four and despite not enjoying full sun has nonetheless produced a huge crop of berries.

Echeveria pulvinata. Red-tinged leaves. Quick to bloom. Okay with a bit of water. What's not to love about this showy succulent.

Duranta 'Gold Mound.' In the 'good things come to those who wait' dept, this shrub didn't really develop till year 4 or 5. It's happy now though ...

Another shot of my Helenium 'Mardi Gras.' One of the great long bloomers, a huge favorite of bees and drought tolerant too. (I knew I shouldn't have said "Show a little enthusiasm, will you!")

Salpiglossis 'Chocolate.' Love this color. And I'll bet if you asked ten people what color this is, you'd get ten different answers.

A wide angle shot of the front of my Aussie natives bed. It's gradually being populated by succulents of all kinds.

A wide view of the western most of my median strip beds. The show right now is the Tecoma x smithii on the left and the Alpinia 'Zerumbet' center-right.

Alpinia 'Zerumbet.'  Though I mostly added this ginger for its striking foliage, it does flower. The shape and color of the fragrant flowers have earned this variety the common name of Shell ginger.

Finally, one of the showiest of all CA native perennial flowers. Here it's a hybrid Mimulus called Jelly Bean Scarlet.  I keep adding more mimulus (is there a 12 step program for that?)

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