Sunday, April 14, 2019

My Chron column returns!

Good news learned just yesterday morning. The Chronicle is resuming my Plant Scout column. As most of you know, I got word a month ago that they were discontinuing it, along with the entire Garden section. Not sure what has caused the reversal but it's certainly good news. It will be in the Food + Wine section. They ran the last of my old columns there today. So I'll need to get going on ideas for new columns. I also continue to write signs for Annie's Annuals so have at least two creative writing outlets, on top of this blog.
Here's a few more photos of the garden, showing off their early spring colors.

Arisaema thunbergii var. Urashima. Here's the fully open spathe. A lovely purplish-brown. One of my favorite Jack-in-the-Pulpits.

Clivia miniata. Just love the brightly colored flowers on this ancient plant. One of those benign neglect plants that actually benefit from some crowding. 

Acer Beni Maiko. Love the bright red new growth on this Japanese maple. The leaves age to green but acqwuire the same fire engine red color in the late fall.

Scilla peruviana. Not the most elegant picture but this is one of many pots that had to be moved this last two weeks so it's now in a bit more shade and is reaching out for the sun. 

Gladiolus Volcano. One of many species glads out there. This photo doesn't do justice to the lovely orchid-pink colors, and the white throats. 

Babiana stricta hybrids. There is a great variation  of color in these hybrids, from dark purple to purple & white, to wine colored to pink to pure white. A good clumper that returns every year, it's one of the easiest South African bulbs to grow.

Dutch iris. Here too there is a great range of colors and many of the falls have prominent veining. 

Wish I knew the variety of this double Narcissus (it was part of a variety pack). It has to have THE most fragrant flowers of any daffodil.

Scabiosa Harlequin. I never knew there were 'ground cover' Scabiosas before I grew this tough, floriferous beauty. Stays very low (4-6") and spreads. 

Though I had to trim my Leucospermum Veldfire for sightlines to the house street sign, there's still enough flowers for a nice little show. 

My Aloe striata gets a bit more water than it absolutely needs but that only seems to make it bloom more profusely. A hummingbird magnet!

Though common, sometimes Nasturtiums can do interesting things. Like act as a vine as this variety is doing, climbing up a Laburnum tree.

Callistemon viminalis. This dwarf variety of bottlebrush tree is finally opening its flowers. 

Halimium lasianthum Farral. This rare golden-flowering Halimium is one lovely and sunny addition to the garden.

Ornithogalum umbellatum. A ground cover type Star of Bethlehem, this little charmer pops up faithfully every spring. 

Wisteria Kofuji. This extremely dwarf wisteria (1-2' high) didn't bloom this its second year but has filled out more densely. 

It's taken awhile after a major pruning in 2017 but my marmalade bush (Streptosolen jamessonii) is finally blooming again. 

Physocarpus Nugget. Quick to leaf out and then quick to flower, this golden-leafed Ninebark bush is already filling up with fuzzy white flowers much sought after by bees.

Helenium Mardi Gras. This tenacious perennial never seems to not be in bloom. Another favorite flower for all manner of bees.

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