Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Back on Track

Well, after a 3 week absence due to Outlook email problems - now thankfully resolved - I'm back up and running with my garden blog. Things keep progressing in the garden - there's always a surprising amount going on in the fall - but today a startling discovery. I already have the first of my spring bulbs up, in this case Ipheion, Ixia and Freesia. In early October! Of course it'll be two months before they bloom but still, they're up a month early.
Our cool weather has meant that many things are late and that includes morning glories, usually in bloom in July. Does anyone in Oakland remember when it was last 85 degrees? How about 80? Yep, a cool summer and our warm fall is beginning to look less likely as well. Not that that is a bad thing, given all the wildfires.
So here's a representative sampling of what is going on in my garden this fine early October.

A version of the 'shrimp plant.' The flower or should I say bract on this Justicia brandegeeana has a darker tone to the older specimen already in my garden. 

Salvia madrensis. One more shot, though far from perfect, of my true yellow Salvia madrensis. I say true yellow because there are so few yellow salvias and most have pale yellow flowers.

Ceanothus 'Gloire de Versailles.' This variety has very pale lilac flowers that at the right time are lightly fragrant. It's more of a sprawler than dense upright ones like Julia Phelps. 

Begonia Nonstop Deep Salmon. This lovely begonia is a late starter but makes up for it with the loveliest flowers. 

Salvia chamaedryoides 'Marine Blue.' This delicate salvia isn't so much a spiller but rather here it's reaching out for more sun. It normally only gets a foot tall and the stems break easily but I love the color of its flowers. 

The purple part of this Arum pictum is the emerging spathe. It will open to form a curved semi-circular spathe with a round bulbous spadix in the center. Arums are widespread and ancient looking, which to me makes them immediately fascinating. Plus they are poisonous.

This is my newly cleaned and amended driveways bed. It is slowly acquiring more succulents, being one of the few sunny spots with room to plant. I mixed in a cool Sideritis at the front and a Dorycnium at the rear for complimentary drought tolerant foliage.

The green flower spikes of my Cunonia capensis (Butterknife tree) will soon turn a creamy white and become as fuzzy as a, well, as a bottlebrush tree's flowers. 

Though no longer in flower, I still find the foliage on this Corydalis 'Blue Line' to be delightful. Verdant green, highly lobed, dense, it makes its own presence felt. 

This plain - but curious - looking plant is a Synadenium grantii, a close relative of the the Euphorbia genus. It is supposed to acquire some red spotting as the weather cools and in the meantime I love the fat pink 'trunk.'

This little charmer is a Begonia Belleconia Soft Orange. It's a tuberous type that has a pale orangish-white center. Very curious but pretty.

Cuphea ignea Strybing Sunset. This cigar-type cuphea is just now coming into its own. 

I'd previously posted a photo of my Scabiosa Florist's Blue with a bee harvesting nectar. Here's a different type of honey bee diligently collecting nectar.

This photo of my Snapdragon Chantilly Peach makes the flower look redder than it actually is. Actually, the flowers do start out darker, then open up to a golden-orange color. Part of the deservedly famous Chantilly series.

Any guess what this Salvia is? If you guessed a variety of S. mexicana you'd be right (the fuzzy white bracts helped). This new pink, not purple, variety is called Danielle's Dream. Here the fuzziness of the bracts seem especially pronounced.

Rhodocoma capensis.  This Giant Cape restio is a lovely addition to any garden and looks fabulous when mass planted. I don't have that option so am growing a single specimen in a pot.

The little known Ruellia brittoniana - thanks to Barb Siegel for the specimen - produces inky purple flowers in great numbers in the fall. They remind me a bit of Salpiglossis flowers.

A relatively new variegated Coreopsis, this C. 'Tequila Sunrise' offers Polemonium-like foliage and eventually yellow flowers. It's a cross between C. grandiflora and lanceolata so hopefully has inherited the best qualities from each species.

Late or early? Some things are late this year but some are early. My Cornus florida is already showing fall color. A nice early October treat.

"Oh, behave!" Anyone that saw the Austin Powers movies remembers that line. Here my Correa Wyn's Wonder has not behaved, deciding to hug the ground and spread out like a ground cover, rather than acting as the shrub it is. That's okay. I'm used to it now and it does make a rather attractive ground cover.

Pelargonium 'Fireworks' is aptly named, with exuberant red and white flowers seeming to explode above the green foliage.

Here's the first of my Morning Glories to bloom, this one (Kikyo-zaki) grown from seed. It's supposed to have a white edging so we'll see what happens with future flowers.

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