Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Day to rest

As we approach Labor Day, I'm hoping many of you will be able to celebrate the day as it should - by resting. Americans work too much and that view isn't held only by Europeans but by Canadians! I know, as I was one once (in the 'long ago'). And it seems to me that being out in the garden is a damn fine way to rest. It would make a good koan - "When is work rest?" And of course the answer is, 'when we're out working in the garden.' Mind you, the damn weeds need to get that message.
Still, it's very much the lazy days of summer when our main plantings have been accomplished and now it's a matter of adding a bit of color here and some texture there. All except for those of us addicted to gardening who relentlessly hunt for the newest thing. For those of us lucky to live in the milder zones of the Bay Area, where we can garden year round, there's no time when that roving eye isn't searching out some new treasure.
My current fixation? Begonias. I never imagined it would happen to me but that's before there were so many fabulous cane and shrub begonias available in nurseries. Not to mention the new colors of tuberous begonias finding their way to the market. And I'll admit to a growing fascination with succulents. My latest one is a Kalanchoe thyrsiflora 'Fantastic,' a type of flapjack kalanchoe with amazing colors. So celebrate your latest obsession and share it with others!

Here's the aforementioned Kalanchoe thyrsiflora 'Fantastic.' You can already see the interesting patterns of olive, cream and pink.

My Justicias are once again starting to bloom, including my prolific J. brandegeeana. This shrimp plant is a floral wonder, blooming easily half the year.

Here's a look at the S.E. corner of my sunny Aussie natives bed. There's a new silvery Teucrium fruticans, a silvery Geranium harveyi to its right and behind them the vibrant red flowers of Bouvardia.

I had a little fun shooting this Euphorbia mammillaris variegata from the top down, making them look like those ocean bottom dwelling eels/worms that pop up out of the sand.

This Osteospermum 'Sunny Cambria' offers up the most vibrant reddish-purple colors. 

Here's another shot of my silvery Dyckia marnier-lapostle. Not quite as deadly as most dyckias, it still nonetheless has sharp teeth. V-e-r-y slow growing (I swear it's only grown a couple of inches in five years).

Yes, that's an elephant (didn't want you to think 'Wait, isn't that an elephant but it can't be'). It makes for a great low stand, in this case shouldering a tall terracotta pot holding an Echeveria.

Begonia Nonstop Salmon. Love the color and each flower is slightly different, with some showing more pink and others more orange.

Speaking of orange, here's my Helichrysum bracteatum 'Orange.' Curiously the way the camera lens recorded the color makes it seem a lot more golden than its actual bright orange tones.

Oxalis vulcanicola. First off, how cool is it to incorporate the word vulcan into a species name. Perhaps a Star Trek fan? Paging Mr. Spock.

I just happened to catch this butterfly resting on my hose stand. I think it's a Fritillary of some sort, though the coloring is muted.

There's nothing quite the brilliant red flowers on Crassula falcata, sometimes known as the Propeller plant. Bees dig them and so does the occasional butterfly.

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