Wednesday Vignettes: Painted Lady, Sore Thumb

 Painted Lady butterfly on the Gomphrena.  Monarchs and multiple other butterflies ignored the Gomphrena, but the several dozen migrating Painted Ladies who flew by yesterday treated it like a Las Vegas all-you-can-eat buffet. 
 Sore thumb:  Phylica pubescens at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum hints at the trickiness of this plant in the landscape.  Muted soft gold and pale green foliage screams like hot pink at certain times of the day.  Sore thumb as in sticks out like a. 
Glowing Leucadendrons can't quite equal the glow of a backlit Phylica;  the Restios don't have a chance.  

Back at home, green and raw-copper shades of Sedum nussbaumerianum 'Coppertone' seems to agree with a new Phylica, purchased at the Arboretum.  
Hmm.  Might work.   

More vignettes to be had at Flutter and Hum.

Comments

  1. I am glad it wasn't you that had the sore thumb. Multiple migrating painted ladies is a treat, too. I've seen them going north when there were snowbanks along Hwy 2. Wonder why nobody makes a big deal about them like they do monarchs?

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    1. Actually I accidentally knifed my finger the other day--but the bandage is off now.

      Painted Ladies, I wonder too. I still remember the huge numbers of them in 2005. They were everywhere--it was magical.

      Enjoy all the weather-nerd links on your blog. Was just going through some of them. I dread yet another hot dry winter.

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  2. Phylica pubescens does upstage other players but it's a thrill to see a superstar!

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  3. One possible approach to successful Phyllica use: use in small doses rather than massing. What made me realize/suggest this is that in scrolling down past the image with the restios, I hit a point at which only a bit of the bright backlit fuzz is visible, in the lower left-hand corner. Then it's an accent to the handsome assemblage of other plants and not a scene-stealer. A question of how much drama you want in your landcape, ultimately.

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    1. Good point. (Tho can't mass them until I figure out how not to kill one.) Not backlit, they are fairly unobtrusive--but I love that backlit effect.

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  4. Love those photos from the UCSC Arboretum. You masterfully captured the different layers of contrasting foliage.

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    1. That section of the Arboretum was particularly beautiful, with so many different South African plants all together--all I missed was some Aloes! Didn't see a one, and there are a few Fynbos Aloes.

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  5. I'm glad to see you're making another go with the Phylica. Both of mine are currently in pots. I'm gun shy about planting them out in the border after losing 2 of them there (although that can probably be blamed mostly on the horrible June heatwave). I placed those plants alongside Yucca 'Bright Star'. Seaside had the plants backed up by Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset' and Bird of Paradise, which was okay but not stunning.

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    1. I got a chance to ask the super nice and helpful staff at RBG--they said Phylica wasn't particularly difficult, recommended sufficient water and a cup of soil sulfur yearly, as winter rains begin. I think mine got insufficient water. The soil sulfur I'm going to do with all the protea-family in the garden as well. Of 'Cousin Itt', one word was said: "water!"

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    2. Yes, 'Bright Star' would be nice--mine are in super dry spots, though. I thought 'Joe Hoak' as well--need to try that.

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    3. Or a Leucadendron with yellow bracts instead of red?

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  6. I'd take that sore thumb any day...

    Beautiful images as always. BTW I'm wondering about your large watermark. Is there a tale of theft behind it?

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    1. Such a beautiful plant. It's like a cross between a plant and a kitten.

      Yeah on the watermark, blog's been getting hammered by spambots, thought watermarks might discourage that, maybe it might be working a little.

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  7. Backlighting works its magic yet again...with a little help from you.

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  8. Oh, Phylica is a beautiful plant - I like how you call it the David Bowie of plants. That puts it in a singular category, indeed! I like the visual I get from Kris' idea, contrasting it with a Bright Star yucca. Both spiky and soft!

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    1. That is a good idea, spiky and soft. :)

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