Friday, July 22, 2016

More Flowers, and This Was Dumb But I Have An Excuse

 More flowers, like Gaillardia, above, impervious to summer's heat, and the exquisite Echeveria cante, below:

The plant isn't bad looking, either.  This is the one blooming now, in a photo taken a few weeks ago:
 The one that isn't blooming:
 Speaking of silvery and circular, Artemisa 'Silver Brocade'.   I thought I blogged about planting it, which was late last winter...but I didn't.  It has grown a lot.  May it never bloom, because it's perfect as it is.
Very much enjoying the annual Cosmos.  Many of us begin with annuals, don't we?  Then they are mostly abandoned for shrubs and perennials.  Then we learn to add touches of annuals back into the mix, just a few, where needed.  I'm at that place now.

A nice place to be.

The dumb thing was popping two seeds into the ground without labeling them, or at least writing down what seeds of which plant I popped.  My excuse is:  seeds I plant never sprout anyway, so why bother labeling them?  
Oh no!  You...grew?!?!
 So, what are you?  
 No idea.  It's not a rose, or salvia or Cosmos.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wednesday Vignette for July 20, 2016

Update:  a morning shot with Ratibida nicely lit, but the Bokeh isn't as good.  
 I'll get it, eventually!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Grow A Pair

Above:  Leucadendron 'Ebony' in a sea of Westringia, possibly 'Morning Light'.  

Below:   A mass of Aeonium 'Jack Caitlin' and turfgrass
Heat-loving Evolvulus and nice hot concrete
  Two different Kniphofias, from the 'Popsicle' series
 Dasylirion longissumum and Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset'
 Protea 'Pink Ice' with pink-stemmed Eucalyptus 'Moon Lagoon'

Cabernet grapes and support
 Coprosma and Boxwood
Agave ovatifolia 'Vanzie' and bunch grass

Rose and Assassin Bug

 Plants have friends, too.  

Friday, July 15, 2016

(Mostly) Summer Blooming Aloes For Bloom Day July 2016

Above:  Orange flowers of Aloe 'Cynthia Gitty' with golden flowers of Aloe megalacantha

 Aloe megalacantha and Aloe 'Cynthia Gitty' have been reliable summer bloomers.  Last summer they produced no flowers.  This year, they have. 

I made changes to get their summer flowers again, moving their sprinkler in from the concrete curb and changing the sprinkler out for a taller one, so the spray waters both 'Cynthia' and the megalacantha behind it, instead of the single 'Cynthia Gitty' rosette growing directly in front of the sprinkler.    
Working on irrigation is worthwhile misery.  We're all happier.
While I photographed, a hummingbird coming in for nectar nearly collided with me.  He landed on Agave marmorata and glared until I retreated.

The garden is home to only a few summer blooming Aloes--hybrids like 'Cynthia Gitty', x Noblis, and 'Roikoppe' that repeat frequently--though there are some species that bloom in summer.  The garden's copies of Aloe dhurafensis, A. tomentosa, and A. reitzii, summer bloomers all, are not yet large enough to flower.

Slow growing A. reitzii, recently planted where it can (finally) get sufficient summer water, looks excellent (finally).  It's taken eight years to get this big (12").  My bad.  It wanted for summer water.
 I'm trying to imagine how old the UCI Botanic Garden's A. reitzii is.  Wowza!
Aloe reitzii photo uci5917.jpg
Here is one of the Huntington's, blooming July 2015:

  Aloe x noblis, may be a cross of either mitriformis and brevifolia, or distans and brevifolia.  (Mitriformis and distans may be the same species.  Or not.) 

 The garden began with one variegated x Noblis rosette.  Now there are several, both variegated and plain green.  Green rosettes have produced variegated rosettes as well as green.  The flowers are the same.
 Sweet flowers for summer, striking plant the year round. 
Aloe 'Roikoppe' blooms off and on, mostly on.  
 Aloe vera, the most commonly grown Aloe, is a spring and summer bloomer, but I don't have it--it seemed so...common.  Nice yellow flowers in summer, though.  Maybe I need it after all.  Here's one of the Huntington's, from last weekend.
 Beyond Aloes this July,  Rhombophyllum nellii's once-a-year, penny-sized flowers should be noted:
As well as the reliably July show from the red, broccoli-like flowers of Crassula perfoliata var falcata var minor, still recovering from a move, but already healthier in some shade and with a little more water: 
Another member of Crassulaceae, Echeveria subridgida.
While I was admiring E. subridgida, the same hummer buzzed me again, perching on another Agave to evil-eye me again.

Lobelia 'Queen Victoria', open at last! 
Do we have time for a rose?  This is leap year for 'Munstead Wood'
In closing, glorious Dahlia 'Cafe au Lait' yet again.  This is your  moment, darling.  Flaunt it!
Thanks again to May Dreams for a wonderful meme!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wednesday Vignette for July 13, 2016

That particular moment when a new Agave leaf is just about to free itself from the growth core of the plant is our Wednesday Vignette.
 The last tension before the letting-go.  

Update: Based on comments, I guess I should reassure everyone that the letting-go went as it should.

Monday, July 11, 2016

In A Vase Monday

Dahlia 'Cafe au Lait'.  Really, what else does a vase need? 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Some favorite Huntington CSS Show Plants 2016

Above, Gasteria 'Shining Star' on the trophy table
 You're a shining star, no matter who you are
Shining bright to see what you can truly be
That you can truly be

The Huntington CSS show seemed smaller this year, but the quality was excellent.  I believe the above plant is the same Gasteria 'Shining Star' that was so enchanting last year.  If you go to enough shows--dog, koi, various plants--you begin to recognize and follow the show careers of particular winners.  The Gasteria had special ribbons last year;  this year it was on the trophy table.   

No idea what this is, but the plant and staging are lovely.
 The trophy table:
 The show took up two rooms.  This one had Euphorbias, Agaves, Aloes, Caudiciforms, and such.
 And it also contained the trophy table--the best.
 The other room was smaller and was nearly all cactus.
 Nifty pot for this caudiciform, an Adenium, I think.  Maybe one too many rocks? 
 Not many Agaves.  This was labelled Agave patonii marginata, but is it A. appalanta 'Cream Spike'?  Choice, either way.
 You don't need a fancy pot to be a winner.  This plant, Cephalocereus senilis. reminded me so much of our old dog Hoover.  I miss that dog. 
His rump looked just like this, for a long time.  A big improvement over the time where it was bald.  I miss that dog.
The plant on the left is a arid-climate orchid(!), Eulophia petersii.  Yes, there is such a thing.  From Namibia eastwards and north to the Arabian peninsula.  Summer water, winter dry. 
 Yep that's an orchid.
 Gymnocalcium friedrichii.  Beautiful colors with the deep bronze contrasting with pink flowers on limey stems.
 I was puzzled about these.  Bog...succulents?!?  Huh?  The only plants at the show growing in little drinking glasses.  The labels were not...explanatory.
Hydnophytum formicarium is an epiphytic myrmecophyte from the Philippines.  It forms a symbiotic relationship with ants;  the caudex acts as a home for the ants.  Ants in turn protect the plant and their waste acts as fertilizer.  Amazing, eh?  
 Ipomea platense there on the right, with the pink flowers.  Wow, huh?  The genus Ipomea includes morning glories, sweet potatoes, bindweed...
 At shows, Mammillarias are classified as hooked or not hooked.  There are a lot of them--over 1,000 species.  
 Mammillaria bueneckerii.  So many Mams have little pink flowers and snowy white spines, it's a bit of a surprise to see one with yellow flowers.

 More commonly seen Mammillaria with the white cast created by spines. 
Mammillaria...plumosa? An exceptional plant awarded a special recognition ribbon.  Like the Gasteria, I think I've seen this one at many shows, growing its way to the trophy table. 
 Sweet small Opercularia decaryi gets special recognition, too.  This plant is native to Madagascar. 
 This looked like a Begonia, but somehow I missed the tag, and my brief note says it's an Orchid. 
And the sale that was mostly shopped out, but that's great.  People went home with lots of plants, vendors went home with money instead of plants, and the club made some funds to pay for speakers at meetings.  Win-win-win.  A good time for all. 
 You're a shining star, no matter who you are
Shining bright to see what you can truly be
That you can truly be