Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Summer? Heck, we'll take Spring

We're living in the age of fake news but ... fake weather? It's mid-May and it feels like mid-February. Shouldn't we have retired our winter coats by now? Plus the heavy sweater? And the lighter sweater? The cool cloudy weather is confusing our gardens as well. They want to be bursting with the exuberance of late spring but where the heck is the sun and the warmth? The botanical clock keeps on ticking though so the plants in our garden keep progressing. Today, the photos reflect the range of plants in my garden.

Philadelphus lewisii 'Covelo.' This native mock orange may not be as fragrant as some of the non-natives but it blooms prolifically. It hasn't reached anything close to full size but is already covered in pure white flowers. The blooms are especially pretty against the dark green foliage.

My golden-leaved Weigela (Rubidor) has yet to bloom but is leafing out more fully this spring. It has so far stayed lower than expected, perhaps due in part to it reaching for my light.

Sambucus canadensis. This elderberry is one of the best shrubs for berry-loving birds. It puts out sprays of delicate tiny white flowers followed by dark fruits in summer. Mine has eclipsed its stated size, now a good 12' tall. Native to the eastern U.S. it does quite well here as well.

Pelargonium 'Frank Headley.' This variegated leaf geranium has the prettiest coral-colored flower. This isn't the best shot and of course the sun wasn't out but it serves as an introduction.

Nigella 'African Bride.' I cringe at the variety name of this plant, given that the flowers are, umm, white, but I love the various forms of Love-in-a-Mist. This variety sports an especially deep maroon 'Jester's Hat' (developing seedpod), making a nice contrast with the white petals.

Agastache 'Raspberry Summer.' This variety has turned into the most vigorous, most floriferous hummingbird mint of the half dozen varieties in my garden. It wasn't dormant for long and despite it being a summer bloomer, mine put out its first flowers in late March.

There's nothing quite like the colors on the Eucomis 'Sparkling Burgundy.' The vibrant tones will eventually fade to a ruddy dark green but  for now I get to enjoy the wine-reds.

I'll admit, Penstemons have sometimes been a challenge for me to grow successfully. This P. 'Violet Kissed' though has been easy as pie. Bloomed its first year from a 4" pot and is really on a roll this spring. 

When they say Asclepias (milkweed) self-seeds, they aren't kidding. My A. curassivica self seeded in a pot that was already filled up with my Pavonia and here it is, already filling out and in bloom. Not a bad plant for Monarch butterflies to choose as a host and food plant. BTW, the toxins in this plant help make the Monarch caterpillar less enticing to eat by predators. 

Crocosmia Pina Colada.  Certainly one of the more colorful Mirror plants.

Chamelacium Bridal Pearl. It's now mixing in with self-seeded nasturtiums, giving it a woodsy kind of look.

Chamaecyparis Nana Lutea. This dwarf false cypress features twisting panels of gold tipped green branches. It's part of my Japanese Garden bed.

Iris douglasiana hybrid. This lighter purple flower is a result of Iris douglasiana being crossed with ??. Still, a lovely and original color.

Though my neighbor planted this, it's a Louisiana Iris of some sort. Simple but lovely.

This little guy has a big name - Echinocereus pectinatus v. rubispinus. Uhh, that would make it a cactus, right? Right.

Another shot of my oh-so-lovely Tolmiea menziesii 'Taff's Gold.'

I love the look of nearly emerged leaves on my split-leaf Philodendron. So glossy!

Trachelospermum asiaticum Ogon Nishiki. This variegated form of star jasmine stays low and is very slow growing. Here I contrasted its yellows, greens and oranges with a blue gazing ball.

Always one of the first lilies to bloom, my asiatic Lilium Black Eye offers up the richest, most satiny burgundy colors.

Though this Mimulus aurantiacus variety is called Bronze, you can see it has a lot of orange in it.

This is my neighbor's Leucospermum bush. Could be Scarlet Ribbons, I'm not sure, but in any case it's very happy!

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