A Showery Sunday


 Above, 50%-off-after-Christmas Hippeastrum about to open in the far lower left.  This is the area of the garden I've christened "Proteana".

A showery Sunday.  I started removing (finally) some of the grass-infested Dymondia, but off-and-on rain moved in.  It's tedious, dirty work, so I've been finding ways to avoid it for months.  I wandered around and took photos instead.  

You can see how much the Dymondia has invaded the planting bed.  At the top of the empty dug out space, barely visible, is the black edging that did nothing much to keep the Dymondia in check.  But it's okay:  the out-of-bounds Dymondia can be used to replant the grass-contaminated sections.  Digging out this extremely dense groundcover is arduous work.  However, removing the grass from the dense Dymondia has proven impossible. 
 Aloe greatheadii has impressive blooming stems due to this season's generous rain
 Short plant, tall inflorescence
 Aloe marlothii flowers just started to open.  They are at their best at this moment, just before the warblers and orioles begin to pick off all the flowers and fly away with them. 
 Through a screen formed by the Dasylirion

 Flower stems appearing on Aloe (Kumara) plicatilis!  It's not the most generous bloomer, but that's fine. 
 The overcast sky made for beautiful foliage color
 Dasylirion leaf tips dripping rain onto a lone Aloe ellenbeckii stem. The blurred background foliage is another clump of Aloe greatheadii and Opuntia microdaysis (wavy-leaved form).

 Aloe dhufarensis has developed some fungal spots, but the plant seems happy enough.  The leaves are perhaps four times as thick as they were this past summer, swollen with stored water. 
 I've been pulling a lot of weeds this winter.  The Cercis seedlings have really tapered off compared to three or four ago, but all the rain has brought more up.  I removed the Cercis back in 2012.  The seedlings quickly form a long tough tap root, so I pull them at size extra-tiny. 
Leucadendron 'Blush' began with yellow bracts, bracts which have been gradually blushing red.  So that's why they called it 'Blush'. 
 Echeveria agavoides has begun to flower.  By simple dumb luck, the colors of the stems and flowers (coral, orange, red, yellow, pink), match the flower colors of nearby Grevillea 'Superb'.  That makes it look like I know what I'm doing.  
Thanks, ladies!
 I was angling to get a photo of the inevitable two hummingbirds that feed from 'Superb' all day long, one on either side of the plant so they don't see each other, but realized there were more birds present.  This has to be the most bird-popular plant in the garden.   Is that an Orange-crowned Warbler?   It licks nectar from the flowers.  There was also a Western Scrub Jay hopping around in the shrub's interior, making it shake. 
 The "Dutch" Iris foliage of its own accord grew through the 'Pacific Sunset" Coprosma.   Cool. 
 Our little Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star' has survived!  I bought it three Aprils ago at 70% off, planted it initially in the wrong spot, moved it last winter and doubted its survival.  Seeing the flowers appear a few days ago was a joy.  Their fragrance is magic. 
Going from pure icy white to near-black,  Lotus jacobeus has enjoyed this cool rainy winter as much as I have.  I cut it back and it has sent out new growth.
There.  That was more fun than Dymondia digging.  This rainy winter, destructive to other parts of the state and the country, has here been pure joy.   Soon this wonderful winter will be over and the heat will return.  But not today.

Comments

  1. Wonderful weather. Wonderful post. Wonder why magnolia stellata is not more widely planted? Smaller size, greater fragrance than soulangeana. Like the second plicatilis pix with the orange tipped leaves

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. M. soulangeana, I liked that one too. There are a couple gorgeous little ones in the neighborhood. Perhaps the floral show lasts a little longer?

      Wonderful weather today, yes! The light was wonderful, too.

      Delete
  2. Is the Lotus flower really as black as it looks in your photo? I will be blown away if my Dymondia ever grows that dense but, if it's going to happen, this will be the year with all the rain we've had. I really wish I'd bought a couple more flats and finished the job before these last few rainstorms, but the extended forecast shows the prospect of periodic (generally light) rain into April so perhaps there's still time before it gets too warm. I've never noticed hummers gravitating to my 'Superb' but perhaps they're too hung up on the feeder and the Arbutus flowers in the back garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Lotus is so dark it's tricky to photograph. I'd call it oil-rubbed bronze, a really dark dark brown. Salvia discolor is purple-black.

      The Grevilleas have proven to be extremely popular with the birds here, even more than the Salvias.

      Delete
  3. Pretty! I've always wanted to try Dymondia as a ground cover. Seeing your Hippeastrum reminds me I should find a spot for my bulbs soon. It will be hot and dry again soon enough...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dymondia likes coastal mildness more than desert heat, but it might work for you in some spots. It's a great little plant.

      Hot and dry, don't remind me!

      Delete
  4. Gorgeous set of shots Hoov. So envious of all your colour. Leucadendron 'Blush' is fab.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Leucadendron constantly changes color according to the weather--never realized it during our past four or five years of endless heat It's fun to see the slow transformations.

      Delete
  5. Beautiful, just what my eyes needed. Our weather says "spring" (or even "early summer") but the landscape says "winter!" still.

    I know you're against chemicals in general as I am, but would a grass killer help in the Dymondia I wonder? Could save you so much work...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The grass/dymondia is so very tightly interwoven. Painting the individual grass blades with round up??? The grass is growing from roots, so not a pre-emergent...grass-b-gone? Fescue is not listed as being controlled and it says it works best on seedlings not root sprouts.

      It doesn't hurt to renew the Dymondia, (excepting the damage to the gardener's shoulders and store of patience).

      Delete
  6. Grass is my most hated weed. Various types manage to seed or run their way into beds no matter how much I pull them. The Aloe marlothii blooms are amazing. With a little imagination I see a funny-colored dwarf conifer, in the photo taken through the Dasylirion. Hey, I could find a branch of Abies pinsapo and spray paint it to match! (Not really.) Magnolia stellata is an amazing plant, isn't it? It's able to grow anywhere from Wisconsin to southern California. I'm not sure if the buds on mine are starting to swell, or if that's just wishful thinking. It should bloom sometime in March.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you have Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) in your area? That is a nasty weed here, because it comes back from roots that will go down 3'. Luckily the grass invading my Dymondia is hybrid Fescue, not quite as bad.

      Hated weeds here: Bermuda grass, Oxalis pes-caprae (classified as invasive here), trash palm (Washingtonia).

      I would not mind another small Magnolia or two. Beautiful trees, and I love almost anything with fragrance.

      Delete
    2. I have a weedy mix of many types of grass. No Bermuda grass, thankfully, but still a pain.

      Delete
  7. Much more enjoyable than Dymondia digging and grass wrangling for us too. A visual feast, your colorful garden is just the thing for our winter-weary eyes. Such an adorable bird & that coprosma foliage color is simply delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you liked it. I hope you had a great weekend.

      Delete
  8. Your photos are stunning. I am suddenly a big fan of orange and plan on using it quite a bit in my new garden. Your orange blooms motivate me more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Orange holds up well here in our intense sunlight, though come to think of it, it seemed wonderful also at the Portland Fling back in '14. Orange dahlias are particularly nice.

      Delete
  9. There's something about raindrops on plants .. Beautifully photographed. The magnolia in particular looks gorgeous with the white standing out so starkly against a dark background.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Happy you liked the photos.

      Yes, the rain are like jewels. It has been wonderful to have raindrops rather than a layer of dust on the plants. Everything outdoors is a brighter color these days.

      Delete
  10. I do so enjoy your celebration of rain. It tends to get a bad rap here, sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've always loved it. Ironic, considering where I live.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Always interested in your thoughts.

Any comments containing a link to a commercial site with the intent to promote that site will be deleted. Thank you for your understanding on this matter.

Popular Posts