Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Stop start stop

Spring, sort of summer, then winter again. Is that how it's supposed to happen this time of year? No matter and it sure beats sweltering heat! Want to extol the virtues of mallows this week. That in the widest sense is every genus in the Malvaceae family. Putting aside Hibiscus and Hollyhocks for now, I want to recommend four prominent members of this family: Lavatera, Anisodontea, Sphaeralcea and Malva. These shrubs, or in the case of Sphaeralcea munroana a ground cover, are tough, drought tolerant and very long blooming. Keep an eye out for my column on these four in an upcoming Sunday Chronicle.
Lots of photos today and since I used my zoom lens, more closeups. Don't forget to click to enlarge.

Daffodil Tahiti. I love the so-called double daffodils and this one features a ruffled orange center.

Sometimes a photo just naturally emphasizes the true color of a flower and that's the case here. Dianthus Super Trooper Orange is certainly a colorful variety.

The yellow flowers belong to Eriogonum Shasta Sulphur. Most CA Buckwheats offer up pink or white flowers but there are a few yellows too and this is one of the best.

One thing not always mentioned about milkweeds (in this case Asclepias curassivica) is that they are strong self-seeders. Thi8s specimen seeded itself in a pot holding my Pavonia and has made itself at home. 

Leucospermum Veldfire. Love this sugarbush as they are called in South Africa. It's managed to establish itself in a minimum amount of soil.

This unusual double lily is called Lilium Apricot Fudge. Not quite fully open but you get the sense of its unique shape. One of my favorites and an early bloomer to boot!

Laburnum anagyroides. This Golden Chain tree as it's called made a speedy recovery from being heavily pruned. To my amazement it's already blooming.

California maritime poppy. This perennial form of the CA poppy is a vigorous plant that spreads by underground rhizomes. Tough, long blooming and pretty. Pretty much all you want in a plant.

Drosanthemum micans. This version of Dew flower certainly offers intense colors, with the red border especially just jumping off the screen.

Neoregelia Marcon. This bromeliad is courtesy of Bromeliad Paradise on the east coast. It's suppose to get more golden as it matures.

Here is this week's flower ID quiz. Any ideas? Look at the leaves and not just the flower. No? It's an unusual Flowering maple - Abutilon vitifolium. I'd never seen before with lavender flowers. Very pretty!

Exbury azalea red. The Exburys as many know are the deciduous brightly colored hybrids, offering up oranges and golds not found in traditional evergreen azaleas. Plus red obviously. And too, they are sun lovers as opposed to the evergreen types, which are happier with a bit of shade.

I've not generally had a lot of luck with Kangaroo paws but this JoeJoe Yellow is blooming its heart out.

Welcome back Marmalade bush! I whacked it back pretty hard in the fall of 2017 and it's just now fully back and blooming.It was a good plan, as it had gotten kind of unruly. Possibly my favorite non-bulb in my garden.

Mitr4aria coccinea. This hard to find sub-shrub is noteworthy for its reddish-orange tubular flowers. And for the fact that it blooms in late winter/early spring. Lovely!

Now you see it and now you don't. My Philadelphus Covelo burst into bloom almost overnight! Though flush with flowers, this variety doesn't possess much fragrance and certainly not compared to the P. Belle Etoile.

Camellia Jury's Yellow. Yellow flowers in a camellia are hard to come by. This variety from Sonoma Horticulture Nursery is a delight.

Pelargonium Raspberry Twizzle. The name kind of says it all!

My Passiflora parritae x tarminiana 'Oaklandii' has taken over my apple tree. That's okay because the apples are useless and the white flowers brief. This passion flower cross is a prolific bloomer, from late spring till nearly XMas.

Aquilegia Flore Pleno. This red and yellow columbine is one of my favorites.

Good things come in small packages. This petite Aquilegia buergeriana 'Calimero' packs a picturesque punch! Delicate, soft colors but it has returned faithfully each of its 5 years.

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