Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Nodding Clematis

The title of this blog doesn't refer to a clematis that's nodding off (Do clematis dream of electric sheep?) but rather to a group of Clematis species whose flowers are bell-shaped or tubular. They resemble small down-turned bells (thus the nodding reference) and they are early fall bloomers. Which means this is their time of year. I just brought home one of these types, a Clematis integrifolia hybrid called 'Roguchi.' I've posted a photo of my new arrival. These types don't get as large as most other clematis so they're a good choice for a trellis or scrambling up an arbor. These charming plants are a reminder that there are often exceptions to a genus's usual flowering season.
And now the photos.

Clematis integrifolia 'Roguchi.' Though not the ideal shot, here's a photo of my newly arrived clematis. Integrifolia hybrids want a bit more sun that many clematis so make sure to allow for that.

Euphorbia characias 'Glacier Blue.' "Is it cold in here or is that a Glacier Blue euphorbia?"  I love the cool tones on this variety and it's great for lightening up a shady spot. That said, many Euphorbias, including this variety, can take a fair amount of sun in milder climates (where it doesn't have to deal with 100 degree days).

Echeveria gibbaflora decora. This outstanding Echeveria offers up white and gray tones and will eventually, like most gibbafloras, make rosettes comprised of large leaves. This is a 4" pot specimen so still a modest size.

Here are two shots of the singular Dianthus chinensis var. heddewigii. As you can see below, each flower is layered with ruffled petals and bordered in white. Very striking, especially given the eye-catching maroon color. My specimen went mostly dormant then returned in June. As you can see it's making up for lost time.

Coming at ya! This shot of my Calibrachoa 'Superbells Spicy' seems to be reaching out to shake your hand. Love those colors!

Senecio barbertonicus. Gardeners naturally think of most succulents as being small, slow-growing plants. This senecio is the exception. San Marcos Growers says "It is described as one of the largest of the finger leaved Senecios (to 5' tall and wide) and its green coloration easily distinguishes it from the other finger leaved plants with gray leaves in the Senecio talinoides group, such as Senecio mandraliscae and S. serpens."

Though the light is diffused, here's a shot of my new Phlomis fruticosa. This Jerusalem sage is one tough customer and here I've added it to my 'Yellow' bed. Like many sage-like plants it has a very pleasing scent.

Epilobium canum. I took this photo because I wanted to show the plant's fluffy seedpods. That's something we don't normally think of when talking about this California fuchsia but here they are, in great numbers because, well, where there are a ton of flowers there are a lot of seedpods.

Fuchsia 'Golden Gypsy.' The leaves didn't stay golden but the flowers are exceptionally pretty. It's happier now that I've moved it into more sun.

Dianella tasmanica 'Yellow Stripe.' I haven't always had the best luck with dianellas but this one is prospering. That'a bed of Plectranthus 'Troy's Gold' underneath it.

Normally it's the flowers that are the main attraction for begonias but this Angelwing variety shows off some dramatic spotting on its leaves and is pretty enough on its own.

Here's my Gazania 'Nahui.' I almost lost this guy during the late spring but it has finally bounced back, is healthy and beginning to flower.

Gaillardias may be common but that doesn't mean they aren't beautiful. Plus they're a bee and butterfly magnet and are in bloom easily half the year. This one is G. 'Arizona Sun.' 

Heliotropium arborescens alba. I was after the deep contrast offered by the momentary sun on just a part of the plant, giving it almost a painted look. Not a perfect shot but the leaves especially really jump out.

Speaking of paintings, this composition could be 'Still life with Begonia Nonstop Salmon.' Though in truth there's nothing 'still' about this begonia. It has more than earned its name 'Nonstop.' And given its small stature the large and endless blooms are especially impressive.

Chocolate anyone? That would be Cosmos atrosanguineus, better known as Chocolate cosmos. Love that deep, almost dried blood red color and of course the aromatically enticing fragrance.

Lepechinia hastata. In baseball, they talk about a five tool player (one who does everything very well). In gardening one might call the 'perfect' plant a four tool plant -- beautiful, tough, fragrant and with year round appeal. Such is the case for this 'Pitcher sage.'

Aloe deltoideodonta 'Sparkler.' This spotted aloe is one tough customer, having survived being buried by weedy grasses, getting at times too little or too much water and being in more shade than it would prefer. Incidentally this species name derives from the Greek letter Delta, which means triangular.

My newly planted Delosperma 'Jewel of the Desert Ruby' is finally getting a toehold. My intention is for it to both spread and cascade over the sides of the metal tub.

Felecia amelloides variegata. Felicias (Blue daisies) are surprisingly tough sub-shrubs once they get established. My specimen is a little late on the blooming this year but then again like some other plants which prefer warm weather, they are just now kicking into blooming gear with the recent warm weather.

"He's baaaack!" That would be my enthusiastic Asarina erubescens 'Bridal Wreath' after I hacked it back in June. There are two common Asarina species, the delicate-leaved scandens (Joan Lorraine, Sky Blue) and the larger, velvety-leaved erubescens. Both are vigorous, late summer to late falling blooming vines. 

And lastly there's my 'Be patient, more patient, finally!' Passiflora 'Coral Seas.' Here you see the fully opened flower that's beginning to fade and to its right one of richer hue that's about to open. This species is one of the hardiest ones and performs well in the cooler regions of the Bay Area (where other Passifloras may suffer).

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