Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Happy Solstice!

I'm not sure how this happened but we're only days away from the summer solstice. Summer gets here quickly when you don't really have a spring.
So, get out your own version of the maypole and celebrate the longest day of the year.
Today I have photos of two less common Clematis that are part of my Clematis collection. I thought I'd use that occasion to remind everyone that there (at least) ten categories of this wonderful vine. They are:
Single, large-flowered. 8 petals.
Double large-flowered. Rows of petals.
Montana hybrids (these are very popular and widespread). 4 round petals.
Viticella. I have a double form variety that is one of the two types shown here. 4 separated petals.
Saucer-shaped. These flowers have aslight curvature to the 6 petals.
Star-shaped. 4 slender petals, widely separated.
Open bell-shaped. 4 separated petals. C. alpina is a good representative.
Bell-shaped. Here the 4 petals form more of a closed bell.
Tulip-shaped. An upward-facing group.
Tubular. This is a single structure, with lightly flared tips, such as my C. Roguchi.

Okay, now the photos.

Lonicera sempervirens. This East coast honeysuckle has no fragrance (there's a good trick question to stump your gardening friends "Which climbing honeysuckle has no scent?") but earns its keep with the colorful coral-red flowers (and yellow throats).

Here's one of my specialty Clematis - C. viticella purpurea 'Plena Elegans.' It has delicate, almost miniature rose like flowers. And the mat burgundy color is a delight.

I annointed my newly fashioned raised bed with an Aralia cordata Sun King. I'll eventually add some color around the sides but for now it has the stage to itself.

I'm surprised that everyone doesn't have a Heliotropium 'Alba' in their yard. That scent, vanilla to some and sweet talc powder to others, is a perpetual delight. Longer lived than the purple variety.

Mandevilla laxa. Chilean jasmine offers up one of the headiest aromas in the plant world and I'm sure the whitest, white flowers going. Hardy and prolific, what's not to like?

Platycodon grandiflora. The Balloon flower as it's called - I prefer to call it the little purple alien flower because when closed it has 'dimples' that look like eyes - offers but simple but irresistible charms.

Clarkia 'Aurora.' The showiest of all the clarkias, Aurora goes wild in the blooming department. Here it's taken over over the whole top of my Sun King bed. I describe the color as 'icy peach' but whatever the color is, it's divine. The bees agree.

Phacelia campanularia. Desert bluebells are one way to get a splash of true blue color in your garden. A spiller, a crawler, a wanderer, it spreads its charms wherever there's sun and a bit of water.

Astilbe 'Fanal.' I didn't used to think that astilbes could prosper here - not cold enough in the winter - but my specimen is blooming away in year two so there goes that theory. 

I'm not sure if this is my Salvia canariensis var. candidissima but if not it sure looks like it. Fuzzy, silvery leaves and clusters of little pink flowers are this hardy sage's calling cards.

Abies koreana Kohouts 'Icebreaker.' A long, fancy name for an unusual fir tree. This is a dwarf, with the unusual curled white new leaves.

Eriogonum crocatum. My favorite CA buckwheat. Love the totally silver foliage and the sweet sulphur-yellow flowers. A low grower, it spreads about, seeking the sun.

Here's my other less common clematis. It's C. 'Roguchi,' a tubular type. Just a fantastic grape-purple color and I love the nodding habitat.

Something new from Annie's. It's a new variety of Papaver rhoeas called Pandora. What a fantastic color and this is the first of dozens on the way. This is one 'box' I want to open.

Speaking of something new, here's a new Pineapple lily called Eucomis 'Zulu Flame.' The spotted leaves are the real attraction but all Eucomis have those wonderful towers of waxy flowers.

Salvia spathacea. Hummingbird sage as it's known (though hummers love nearly every kind of salvia) is noteworthy for its ascending whorled inflorescences, dark pink flowers and textured leaves. It doesn't get too big so can be tucked into nearly any garden.

Though this bed needs a bit of cleanup, I wanted to share a photo of my Wahlenbergia 'Blue Cloud.' This Campanula relative has the prettiest bluish-lavender flowers and the plant is vigorous once established.

Dorotheanthus bellidiformis. Better known as Livingstone Daisy, this South African annual is renowned for its day-glo colors, which range from yellow to pink to orange to red. Unforgettable once you've seen them.

Begonia boliviensis. This is a perfect plant for adding vibrant, cascading  color to a hanging basket.

Brodiaea californica. This CA native bulb is usually a June bloomer, though its strap-like leaves appear in Late March. The flowers are simple, star-shaped but can in time appear in great numbers. The bulbs are edible.

Snapdragon Chantilly Bronze. These flowers start out pink then change to a golden-bronze over time. The Chantilly series (bronze, peach, purple) is one characterized by vigor and a reblooming habit. 

Although it will get much bigger, here's the start of my Amaranthus 'Hopi Red Dye.' It will eventually develop multiple foot long plus tassels that are in fact its seedheads.

One last shot of my Pink Perfect trumpet lily. One word - spectacular!

My 'Ground cover of the Year' award goes to Calylophus drummondianus. Sweet yellow flowers and tougher than it looks, it has spilled attractively out onto the edge of the sidewalk.

Calceolaria 'Kentish Hero.' You don't have to fathom the strange variety name to enjoy the pretty orange 'pocketbooks.'

Hakonechloa macra Aureola. Though this grass is often used for shady locations, it holds onto its gold colors better in a bit of sun. That's what it's getting along my main walkway.

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