Thursday, May 23, 2019

Better Late than Never

I guess spring has decided to 'drop by.' Let's hope it stays. The rain certainly has helped, especially now that some sun has come our way. Full speed ahead!
Lots of photos today, as things finally are coming in to bloom. Enjoy!

Summer Garden asiatic lily mix + Dicentra scandens climbing the trellis. Of the four main lily types - Asiatic, Oriental, various Tiger lily species and Trumpet - the Asiatics are usually the first to bloom. They offer the greatest range in color, usually produce multiple flowers per stem and are good repeat bloomers. Only one downside and that's they are not fragrant. Dicentra scandens, seemingly gone from the trade, is a vigorous bleeding heart vine with pure yellow flowers. Lovely.

Layia platyglossa, better known as Tidy Tips. This CA native annual tends to wander a bit, as you can see from this photo.

Here's my 3 year old calico cat Phoebe, keeping an eye on things.

Though it's only May, and given our weather more like April, my Eucomis Sparkling Burgundy is already up. The waxy pink flowers are pretty but I chose it for its striking foliage.  

Cuphea Strybing Sunset. This 'cigar' cuphea features little orange flowers that hummingbirds especially like.

This unusual plant is Fabiana imbricata violacea. It features heather-like foliage and pale lavender tubular flowers. Hard to find!

Papaver Drama Queen. I always grow 2 or 3 breadseed poppies each year and in 2019 one was this dramatic fringed poppy. The key is lots of water, extra bloom fertilizer and immediate deadheading.

Some of you will remember that I wrote an article on interesting seedpods for Pacific Horticulture magazine. This seedpod for Asclepias cancellata (Wild Cotton) certainly makes the list. It looks quite frightful, with its thorny edge, but it isn't sharp. For some reason, this seedpod never split open like the others, to reveal that distinctive fluff that carries away the seeds on the wind.

Calibrachoa Mini-Famous Rose Chai. This variety in the double Mini-Famous series offers pink and apricot colors. 

Speaking of milkweeds (as the aforementioned Asclepias is), here's another member of that group - Tweedia caerulea. That's the star-shaped blue flowers. The yellow and orange poppy is a CA native 'maritime' poppy, this one a perennial unlike most of the annual types.

Callistemon viminalis. This dwarf, bush-type bottlebrush tree only gets ~ 5' tall but has the same red bottlebrushes. They provide a good nectar source for hummers and bees.

I've lost the tag but I believe this salvia is S. canariensis var. candidissima. Love the silvery foliage!

This pot holds uncommon species/varieties of two common plants. The plant in the rear, just starting to produce lavender flowers is a Phacelia but one that many haven't heard of (I hadn't). It's P. divaricata and is lovely. In the foreground is a Teucrium (germander) Summer Sunshine. Its claim to fame is its golden foliage. Very lovely!

Also pairing up is my rebounding Epilobium canum (CA fuchsia) and a pink-flowering Mimulus. Both are CA natives, drought tolerant, long blooming and a favorite of bees and hummers.

Not the best photo but sometimes the Papaver Orange Chiffon flowers are so orange that the camera has a hard time processing that in full sun. It's something I grow every year, as I love that color.

I had an unexpected visitor yesterday, a bee I'd never seen. It looked like a very large, fuzzy, golden bumblebee. I googled it and it turns out to be a Valley Carpenter bee (a male). He's gathering nectar from the Lathyrus Blue Shift sweet pea. This bee is reported to be California's largest bee and has the unique ability to regulate its body temperature - cooling itself on hot days and warming itself on chilly days.

It's true, there really is a purple Thunbergia (T. battiscombei). Vivid purple trumpets have yellow throats, on the bush form of what is normally a vine. Vivid!

Anagallis monellii. This CA native annual has remarkable gentian-blue flowers and while it doesn't have a long bloom season it makes the most of it!

Most people associate Bidens with smallish yellow flowers but lately more and more of the bi-colored varieties are making it to market. This one is B. Bidy Bop Blaze. 

Echinopsis chamaecereus may not ring a bell but perhaps Peanut Cactus does. In any case, it produces dramatic (and large) reddish-orange flowers in summer.

I can't seem to get a good photo of a new Pelargonium that a friend gifted me. It's P. Claire and as you can see it has burgundy upper petals and bright red lower petals. Striking. 

It's not a jungle, it just looks like it. This is the walkwasy to my back yard, with Philadelphus bushes on each side, a Lonicera sempervirens climbing over the arch and a very floriferous Cuphea oreophila on the left, sporting orange tubular blooms. 

Here's another of the Summer Garden asiatic lilies. They usually feature spotting on the petals as this one does.

Sphaeralcea Newleaze Coral. This member of the mallow family has 1' flowers that are, yes, coral red. Scalloped leaves are a plus too.

Many of you are familiar with Love-in-a-Mist, most commonly Nigella Ms Jekyll. This variety, Persian Jewels, produces a darker flower.

Though it's in a bit more shade than would be ideal for the photo, this Diascia Picadilly Appleblossom is in full bloom. Similar to Nemesias, Diascias are short-lived but prolific bloomers.

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