Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tuesday Miscellany


The weekend rain tipped Calistemon vilimnalis viminalis into flower.  It's grown a few inches since being planted in early May.  On exceptionally hot days, thirsty, it droops.  Water revives it quickly.  Once established, it will better handle heat. 
It is about 4' tall (121 cm) at this time.
At the beginning of May, it looked like this--not much different:
 The 100 or so gallons of rain water I collected over the weekend largely went to the struggling Pittosporum 'Marjorie Channon' hedge.  The plants have some new growth; precious rain water may help that along. 
Over the weekend, before the rain, we went to the local garden center to see their little Dahlia show.  Phone-photos by Beloved:








The floral variety of Dahlia hybrids never ceases to amaze.  One thing I noticed recently--the Monarchs in their butterfly form visit the flowers with open centers--it was a surprise at first, until I remembered Dahlias, like Monarchs, are native to Mexico.  

Provided with a 20% coupon for bringing a few assuredly non-winners to the show, a Restio purchased on a whim--usually a bad idea.  Elegia fistulosa.  
 Undoubtedly in the "vertical accent" class.  No clue where to plant it.  It wants sun, good drainage and no reflected heat.  The first two are easily provided. 
What is the usual placement for a vertical accent? 

14 comments:

  1. Open centers = landing stage for nectar feeding instead of hovering; think zinnia, marigold and dahlia. Most butterflies prefer brightly colored, fragrant flowers that are wide enough to land on. Fits dahlia perfectly; great plants for insect watching. Crab spiders hide in them and catch unwary insects. Fiery skippers sleep underneath at night. Beautiful array of colors, I like those with variations of orange best

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    1. Well I like those flowers as much as butterflies do! :^)

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    1. Standalone would be good, but there's that reflected heat thing. The last restio here spent its whole life in a pot.

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  3. Speaking of vertical accents, how's the dasylirion?

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    1. Still highly vertical. I'll have to get a photo--it hasn't changed much at all.

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  4. 100 gallons sounds like a lot, but in practice it goes quickly, doesn't it? Love the restio, and my first thought was to put it on the "new" slope. Not sure if that's where it wants to be though. Definitely not a good idea to site it next to a tree. ;)

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    1. Not a lot of trees here to site it next to!

      I put all potted plants in shade in the summer, so they don't fry. Even Agaves can toast.

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  5. Aren't we lucky that we got the rain?! And that in July?
    Love the photos from the Dahlia show! It brings back fond memories of my visit to the Dahlia garden in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. As you said, the variety in Dahlias is quite astounding. Why I don't grow any in my garden, is beyond me... For a long time I was so set on roses, but it changes lately. The water restrictions certainly force that change, unfortunately Dahlias are not really drought tolerant plants either :-(.
    Christina

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    1. Dahlias don't take that much water--since they go dormant in October or so, they are only really awake for about 6 months--try a couple, they are a lot of fun. The only difficulty is keeping them from falling over.

      The rain was magic. I could hardly believe it!

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  6. My pink hot-pink Callistemon has been similarly slow to grow and prone to drought-induced droopiness but C. 'Cane's Hybrid' has surprised me by taking off without a glance back. I wish I had your touch with Dahlias -they were prone to mildew in my former, too-shady garden and they've never done much in my current garden except attract leafminers.

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    1. My neighbor has a pink Callistemon that has just burst into flower--I will have to ask her what it is. It's been there for a decade or two. The typical viminalis (grrr, keep spelling that wrong) was everywhere in my childhood, then faded away, now seems to be appearing again, thanks to 'Little John', perhaps.

      Dahlias like a lot of sun. Perhaps they need more heat than the immediate coast supplies? They like it here--nothing I do. This was the first year they've gotten (fairly) decent support.

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  7. Vertical accents can be effective among low mounds (low relative to the Restio). Another good use is as a contrast to horizontal forms, like flowers of yarrow (Achillea) or anything in the carrot family: fennel, dill, Queen Anne's lace, chervil, etc.

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    1. Cool, Nell, thanks! I'm going to go look and see what I can do. I appreciate the help.

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