Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fall into Spring

So, the riddle goes, "When does Fall = Spring?" And the answer for us gardeners is - "When buying bulbs." Yep, it's time to buy spring blooming bulbs and in doing a little research I came across a fabulous Iris called Iris dardanus. The first photo here is one taken from the web. It belongs to the
Regeliocyclus group, which are known for their extravagant colors and large flowers. These irises feature an Aril spot, a striking, dark signal in the middle of the fall. If the photo looks like a bearded iris, that's because this species is related to that grouping. Consider your interest in bulbs officially stoked.
Today's garden photos reflect the late summer period, one of transition in many a garden. Of course, you could rightly say that the gardens are always in transition but I think you know what I mean. That said, let's go to the monitor ...

Iris dardanus. As they say, a picture is worth 1000 words. Simply a gorgeous iris. 

Celosia Sunday Wine Red - the flower. One last shot of this celosia, which has far exceeded my expectations (and taken over the bed it's in).

Abutilon variety. This peach-flowering abutilon is just now starting to bloom, having started as a young pup in a 4" pot.

Cunonia capensis. Here's what the fuss is all about with this Butterknife tree. The bottlebrush-like flowers are a good 10" long and comprised of hundreds of tiny alabaster-colored flowers. Well worth the four year wait!

I keep a journal of when plants bloom in my garden and where that comes in handy is having the facts instead of the typically faulty human memory as to when a certain plant bloomed last year. Case in point, my Tecoma Bells of Fire. I always think it's a summer bloomer but in fact it waits till fall to bloom.

Mimulus Jelly Bean Scarlet. Such a deep red and as with all of the Jelly Bean series, a prolific bloomer. 

Nodding over the above mimulus is a Salvia guaranitica Black and Blue. The guaraniticas feature black as black bracts and various shades of purple for the flowers.

Riddle me this, riddler. Which group of plants feature not its flowers, nor its leaves? Why caudiciforms of course, where the fat and/or twisting trunks are the main attraction. Here's my Cussonia natalensis which despite its small size already has a caudex on display.

Cooks will recognize this plant as Arugula and despite its culinary uses, I'm growing it for its verdant foliage and highly decorative flowers. 

Trichostema lanatum. Which is to say, Wooly Blue Curls. I always think that this CA native's common name would be a great name for a rock band circa the mid-60s. 

If you look closely you'll see this Chinese piece of pottery is actually a cat. She's sunning herself in the herb bed, steps away from the catmint.

Couldn't resist including a shot of a new orchid I brought home. 

Begonia Irene Nuss. This variety of cane begonia has perhaps the largest and showiest of flowers in this group. 

Speaking of caudiciforms, here's my Pachypodium lealii v. saundersii (easy for me to say).  When it eventually blooms those flowers will be white, providing a nice contrast to the shiny green leaves.

Cuphea schumannii. This vigorous larger cuphea has vivid orange flowers with purple 'ears.' It too blooms later than I think it does, and later than some of the Cuphea llavea hybrids. Not technically a cigar cuphea, the flowers are about double the size of the true cigar cupheas.

I planted this Calceolaria mexicana rather late but I'm hoping it will self-seed for next year. It's a great plant for shade.

This mercury glazed vase has made itself at home in the garden, almost to the point that it looks as if it sprouted in that spot. 

Speaking of plants for part shade, looks like my Persicaria amplexicaulis will be happier in morning sun and not in midday heat. It's grown for its foliage, though it does have spires of tiny star-shaped red flowers.

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