Sunday, July 15, 2018

Species Diversity

The Summer issue of Pacific Horticulture magazine is out and I have an article on preserving species diversity. You need to be a member of the Pacific Horticulture Society to view content online (and to receive the quarterly magazine) and I encourage you to join (PHS website). It's a modest $50.00 and you'd be supporting the premier horticulture magazine on the west coast. Anyway, as many of you know, I've been doing a regular column for the last few years (The Curious Plantsman Looks At) but for this issue the editor kindly moved my article, which shows how city gardeners can help preserve species diversity, up to a feature article selection. Hope you can check it out.
Summer continues and it has brought a bounty to my garden. A picture is worth a thousand words so will let today's photos do the talking.

The Sun Parasol line of Mandevillas have become popular over the last few years but this new addition, called Apricot, is causing quite the stir for introducing the first apricot-gold mandevilla to the trade. 

Clerodendrum fragrans. Forget what I said above about a picture being worth a thousand words. Photos can't convey how intensely fragrant the flowers on this semi-tropical glorybower are. Truly one of the most intensely sweet smelling flowers in nature. The flower buds are pink and despite what this photo seems to show, the flowers are white.

Albuca spiralis. This S. African bulb's simple yellow flowers are immensely charming, dangling on multi-branching stems. 

Two shots of my Thunbergia Arizona Red. This T. alata hybrid has proven to be incredibly vigorous, which is a polite way of saying that I have to keep cutting it back so it doesn't overrun plants next to it. Love those flowers though.

Agastache Black Adder with Cabbage moth. Though it's not one of the more fragrant hummingbird mints, this variety does feature a dark blush to its leaves and pretty purple flowers.

Viscaria Blue Pearl with Gomphrena decumbens. These two neighbors make a nice combo, with the larger lavender-blue flowers of the Viscaria floating above and around the tiny burgundy button flowers of the bush Gomphrena.

Another shot of my unique Double Sensation lilies. 

Who you calling a bat-face? Oh, yeah, me. This Cuphea purpurea is one of the so-called bat-faced cupheas. The red petals are the ears and the purple center is the snout.

One more shot of my lovely Eucalyptus Blue Lagoon. I love the way the myriad branches all seem to radiate out, as if they were an explosion of grayish-blue fireworks.

Tecoma x smithii. Still my favorite Tecoma, it has become a blooming machine. Just getting started for the year.

Cotyledon orbiculata var. orbiculata. Pig's Ear as it's commonly known, with bluish-gray leaves in the shapes of pig's ears (well, sort of), here are the flowers as they are starting to open.

Physocarpus 'Nugget.' This golden-leaved ninebark is one of my favorite shrubs. Apart from the charms of its fuzzy white flowers, red seedpods and peeling bark, its foliage holds onto its golden color throughout the summer.

Okay, not the best photo but this gives some idea of the beauty of this Lilium 'Mister Cas.' The apricot-orange center almost seems like a darkening of the pale yellow outer parts of the petals.

Gloriosa 'Sparkling Jip.' A new variety of Gloriosa lily in my garden, it shares the same crinkled elongated petals of the straight species. Once you've grown Gloriosas, you become a fan forever.

You only see the true color of this Laurentia axillaris's flowers with the back few in the shade. They're a lovely rich lavender color.

Here the sun kisses a Lupinus pilosus flower, seeming to illuminate it from the inside. My favorite Lupine.

The event of my garden so far this year is the opening of my first Fujian lily. Absolutely huge (easily 8" across) and showcasing a rich wine red, the flowers are dramatic to the hilt. 

Not so fast says Lilium Conca D'Or, which are equally big and seem to be emitting sunshine from their centers. One of the easiest lilies to grow, it bloomed big in its very first year from bulbs.

I always have a devilish time getting a decent photo of Hibiscus trionum, as the sun bleaches out the delicate pale yellow flowers. This photo's not bad and I got two flowers at once as a bonus. Like many Hibiscus flowers, these only stay open one day.

Chrysocephalum. This ground cover is grown for its silvery foliage but damn if you never get to see it as its constantly in bloom. Well, I suppose that's a good problem to have.

And finally my Lilium regale flowers (the first three). These trumpet lilies don't sacrifice fragrance for size and beauty, making them one of my favorite lilies. Plus they return faithfully every year.

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