Monday, July 30, 2018

Nature and Fire

There is no silver lining to the massive fires consuming parts of the state right now. Forests burned; homes lost; people evacuated; lives lost. Though those of us that believe in climate change know this is a big factor in the heat and extreme weather events, there is absolutely no use in saying 'We told you.' I will say however that fires are part of nature. Under normal conditions they do serve a purpose in rejuvenating certain ecosystems. It's just that we are not experiencing 'normal conditions.'
I have so many photos this week, I'll just keep my opening comments to what was expressed above.

Monardella macrantha Marian Sampson. If there was an award for biggest flowers on smallest plant, this little California native might take home first prize!

Pelargonium Fireworks Red & White. Aptly named, like little exploding stars.

Petunia 'Headliner Cherry Swirl'. What, not named 'Big Top Headliner Cherry Swirl Candy Confection'? I swear, the variety names are getting both longer and a little more demented.

I keep trying to capture the lovely pale violet colors on my Prunella grandiflora but the sun always seems to bleach them out. 

Unbeknownst to many, Hibiscus flowers are loaded with nectar and thus a favorite destination for hummers.

Though this Oriental lily was a mistake (ordered lily was a double yellow variety) it still is pretty nonetheless.

There's nothing quite like the almost blindingly orangish-red flowers of Bouvardia. Red tubular flowers would seem to make this a hummer destination but curiously I have yet to see any snacking on them.

Some flower buds are almost as pretty as the flowers. Case in point, these Hibiscus trionum buds, which are veined, ridged and almost translucent. Of course the flowers ain't too shabby either ...

Not sure which Mimulus aurantiacus variety this is but love that golden yellow color!

Begonia rex is well named, for these leaves really are 'kings' of the Begonia world. This is a new variety called Firecracker, sporting lots of purple and silver. 

One of my favorite Calceolarias (those regular readers of this blog will have caught on that I like the color orange), this C. 'Kentish Hero' (doesn't that name kind of reek of colonialism) sports vivid orange pocketbooks.

While I railed at long and portentous names above this Lupinus regalis 'Mini Gallery Pink and White''s name is more descriptive than something concocted by a PR firm. In any case, it's lovely.

Begonia crispum Red and White. Though this flower is pretty, the photo on the package showed it with a heavily ruffled bright red edge so ... umm ... to quote the Wendy's commercial woman "Where's the beef?!"

My new pet rock! Okay technically, it's my Split Rock plant (Pleiospilos nelii). And look, it's about to bloom (an uncommon event).

This shot was taken not so much to capture the glorious colors on my Helenium 'Mardi Gras' as to capture what I think is a little Sweat bee. Most of the sweat bees have iridescent green body parts. I couldn't find this guy online so if anyone can ID him please let me know.

Cuphea Vienco Burgundy. I can practically set my calendar clock to the reappearance of this tenacious bat-faced cuphea. Give or take a week, it reappears every early to mid-July and soon begins blooming.

Chnatilly Purple snapdragon. The darkest snap I know. Garnet red with hints of purple.

Dahlia 'Spider Woman.' A Marvel film coming to your local theater? Perhaps, because there actually IS a Spider Woman in the Marvel comics universe. Here, the name refers to a type of Spider dahlia, so called because of the very narrow petals.Mine is obviously just opening.

One of my ten most favorite plants in my garden (out of hundreds), this Tecoma x smithii is up to its old tricks, putting out huge clusters of sunny golden-orange tubular flowers.

"No, let's go this way. No, this way!" That's what this Eucomis 'Zulu Flame' seems to be saying, with its criss-crossed leaves. Still waiting on the bloom spikes for this pineapple lily.

One Gloriosa, two; three Gloriosas, four. It's going to be a bumper crop of Gloriosa lilies this year, with six stems.

As one New Yorker might say "You want tough? We gotya tough right here baby!" That is indeed true for this Gomphrena Fireworks and that's a good thing, given how pretty the flowers are.

Tillandsia tectorum. It's kind of the holy grail of air plants (yes, that is an air plant). Not sure why (though it does look fabulous). Even small specimens go for $15-20. Mine would now be 10x the size of that small specimen. So, I won't need that bank loan. I'll just sell my TT.

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