Saturday, July 30, 2016

There's The Snake!

I've seen this beastie a couple of times this year without being able to get a photo.  Beloved happened to be dropping some recycling into the bin this morning and got a phone-tograph of California Striped Racer (Colubis lateralis lateralis) lurking in the Ligustrum hedge.  This species unfortunately loves to eat lizards.  Sigh.  It's his planet too, though. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Updates On Recent New Plants

Above:  the recently moved Clematis 'Bourbon' clumps have survived, and obviously, bloomed!  Purple-flowered Salvia 'Amistad' has grown into and around the Clematis.

This is water-and-hope time.  In this heat, while dead-heading is painful, looking too carefully at scorched plants is even more so.  

Restless and stuck indoors, we succumb to temptation visiting garden centers and nurseries.  Leucadendron 'Reverse Polarity' came home this week.  It looks great with Cordyline 'Electric Shock' ,which I brought home last year, during a previous bout of heat-induced ennui. 
 Well don't you two make a purdy pair?

Happy to have succumbed.  Perhaps adding in with Kalanchoe orgyalis, the subdued yellowy-chartreusy Ballota, and something...screaming red? 

A walk around the garden to see what's doing what, heat or no heat.  Abutilon 'Souvenir de Bonn' has grown wide since March, when it looked like this:

 
 And now:
Buddleia in a pot.  Methinks the pot is too small.  Hasn't done much except droop and beg for water.
In contrast, the $3 six-pack of Gomphrena 'Fireworks' was a great buy.  A fun, fun plant. 
Heat has bleached 'Cafe au Lait' Dahlia to near-white, but it is still  a stunner:
New growth mixed with scorched on most of the hydrangeas.  I'm not deadheading so they won't rebloom.  If they try to push out new flowers, they'll need more water.
Those were the 'Celestial' sweet-peas.
All the little Kalanchoe luciae plantlets that sprouted from the leaf-bases of blooming plants have rooted.  This is just some of them:
The mystery seedlings are growing, and remain a mystery.  What the heck did I plant?!? 
This is an Agave 'Blue Glow' seedling, and it looks very 'Blue Glow'.  I tried to cross the Agave flowers with a Manfreda, but this is obviously a selfie, not a cross.  They've been excruciatingly slow to grow which is my fault--never enough water.  Given more lately, they are doing better. 
Time for another round of Clematis flowers.  Most of July was very pleasant, (for July), and the Clematis produced a few new flowers  
Two little seedlings of Hairy Canary Clover,  Dorycnium hirsutum, waited all winter in little pots, too small to plant.  Come Spring planting, they grew rapidly.  No heat damage at all. 
Here's one of them, back at the end of March:
 Grevillea 'Superb', in the foreground, has grown and overcome its June-Gloom chlorosis.  Grevillea 'Superb', in the background, has grown but not yet overcome its June-Gloom chlorosis.   I scattered a few pellets of soil sulfur and two gallons of acidified water at its base.  We'll see if that helps.  
Transplanted from full blazing sun a few months ago, Crassula perfoliata looks a little better with part shade.  The oldest leaves remain an unpleasant yellow.  The new foliage looks green, but carefully coddled plants take on a beautiful blue cast.  Maybe this winter? 
Considering the heat, this doesn't look terrible.  I like that indefatigable 'Brass Band', out of the frame, can be seen reflected in the window glass.
Early morning is the only bearable time of day right now. 
Adenanthos sericea var sericea, planted last year, has tripled in size.  It gets regular water, but only a little, and seems happy with that arrangement.  Aloe thraskii behind it makes a nice companion, no?
Tecoma stans 'Sparky'--well, it has grown, and it has bloomed.  Jury is still out on it, though.  Like Scotty, pulling the very last bottle from his stash, a bottle of Aldebaran whiskey, all I can think to say is...its...green.
Most all of the Grevilleas are producing flowers, but the flowers are toasting. 
'Robyn Gordon' is the only one with a presentable flower.  It's also not chlorotic. And it's grown considerably.
Planted in the Spring Project 2016 area, Grevillea nudiflora 'Medusa' has also grown, but no flowers yet.  This one blooms winter/spring, unlike year-round 'Moonlight', 'Superb', and 'Peaches and Cream'.  'Medusa' replaced a Salvia discolor moved to another area.  'Medusa' should eventually grow to drape over its planting cup and spill down the slope.  Its foliage will protect the slope from heavy rains, which we will get again, when this drought is over...if it ever is over. 
Also part of that Spring Project 2016, the Hakea salicifolia 'Gold Medal' hasn't grown one inch, though it looks healthy.  Perhaps it is a winter grower and a summer sleeper, or its growing one heck of a root system.  All the little succulents seem to have grown slightly  Their foliage color is now green instead of stressed orange/red. I had to shade a small 'Ivory Curls' Agave--it was toasting. 

 'Austin Griffiths' Arctostaphylos grew, but lost its lowest leaves.  A bit stressed, but it seems okay.  The stem is already a beautiful red, flaking curls of golden bark.  I hope this plant makes it--the EBP (Eventual Beauty Potential) is very high. 
Protea 'Pink Ice' and Eucalyptus 'Moon Lagoon' planted with great hopes last year have both done very well.  The Protea has seven flower buds and a lot of new growth--it has tripled in size.  Ankle high 'Moon' is now shoulder high.  Can't complain!
Protea 'Mini King' however hasn't done much besides not die, though the foliage looks good.  Maybe next year.  Not die is good.  I'm happy with not die. 
Here's 'Mini King's entire area of new growth, circled in red.  'Mini', you don't have to stay mini...
The Lagerstroemia whose condition seemed dire just after the Big Broil in June...does it look better?  I gave it a deep watering.  
Back in June...
At least it's not worse.  

I now wonder if Leucadendron linifolium is the Lagerstroemia's problem.  Oh my gosh has it grown!  'Mini King' it is not. 
March of 2013, one gallon size.  I was worried it would not like the dry front slope.   Ha!
 photo a19d49f3-c6e3-4c9d-8099-bf39c2c789b4_zps5f580273.jpg
The transplanted 'Iceberg' climber is Not Happy.  I'll give it some time.  A rainy winter would surely transform it into beauty.  
Hang in there, baby!
The worst of summer is usually over by the second week of August.  Though the days are still very hot, daylight hours are shorter, making the nights cooler, giving relief to weary plants, making the garden and gardener a lot more comfortable.  Soon, soon relief!

Wednesday Vignette for July 27, 2016

Garden center display--hot colors for hot weather.  Color is a powerful mood-setter, don't you think?  So, too, is heat, but the mood created is cranky rather than energized.

More vignettes at Flutter And Hum.  Enjoy, and stay cool.  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Getting Through Another Summer Heat Wave


Hot spells remind me of bobbing in the surf at the edge of the sea--a big wave approaches, you see it coming, you hope you can stay above it until it spends itself on the sand.  You get past that wave...then wait for the next big wave.  Hot spells mean being stuck indoors.  Distractions are required. 

This weekend's distraction was a local CSS Show/Sale.  This particular show/sale is all about sale.  The show is mere token.  Something sad about that.  

Show photos by Beloved.  Blogger in shopping mode:

 Hmm.  I missed these Aloes when looking for A. vaombe, though the search was casual.  Focused on pots, not plants this time.

 I can ID some of the cactus now by sight.  That's a step forward.  Notocactus magnifica...uh, maybe.  Mammillaria plumosa!
 The so-called "moon cactus".  The colorful portion is a mutant Gymnocalycium mihanovichii, grafted onto a green Hylocereus stem.  The Gymnocalycium produces no chlorophyll and therefore cannot survive on its own.  The Hylocereus roots provide nutrients.  Eventually the graft fails because the Hylocereus outgrows the scion.  Never saw the attraction, myself, but they sell. 
 Peety Pots:  I got the one indicated by the red arrow.
 This was pretty much the entire show.  It's an exhibition rather than show--no judging.  Pretty plants.
 Hmm...what's that Aloe there in the lower left...no, hey, now stop it with the shopping!
 Back at home, I got old plants into new pots on the shady patio.  Repotting can be a messy process.  Canning tongs inside an orange silicon dollar-store potholder are useful for repotting spiny cactus.  The blooming Aloe will go into the pot to its right when done blooming.
 Add Aloe deltoideodontea 'Sparkler' to the list of summer-bloomers:
 Four new pots.  A clustering Agave victoriae-reginae, a neglected Aloe krapholiana,  Echinopsis 'Charlemagne',  Echinopsis open pollinated seedling.
 Just about to get back inside because it's 90F even on the shaded patio, one notes that the small potted Cycas revoluta has a new crop of foliage. 
 We feel like our plants these days, curling up, closed off, hunkering down to avoid the sun. 
Aloe microstigma:
 Natasha knows exactly what to do.  Find a cool spot and relax.
 I did brave the broil to try another shot of the first Ratibida flower.  The rays have developed and colored.  The actual flowers are those little yellow dots.