Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday Vignette February 22, 2017

 Are the Knights In Flaking Armor guarding the fiberglass turkeys, or are the fiberglass turkeys in command?  

There will be a full post on this garden soon (you have been warned).  In the meantime, more Wednesday Vignettes to be found via Flutter and Hum.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Winter Project 2017 Complete (For Now)

Leucospermum 'Tango' on the left?  Or...
...on the right?  
 I went with the location on the right, where there is more space.
The anxiety-inducing part was moving the Leucospermum 'High Gold'.  It is not yet well established, as I only planted it this past spring, but moving Proteaceae can be iffy.    I moved it Thursday because Friday was predicted to bring heavy rain, with several days of cool cloudy weather after that.  No hot sun to increase stress.  

The spot I originally gave 'High Gold' was too small:
About six feet to the right... 

Plenty of space now.  The Agave 'Blue Flame' to the left of 'High Gold' will be moved if the Leucospermum survives.  
Please don't die, gorgeous!
 Aloe suzannae gets 'High Gold's spot.  The Aloe was in very poor condition when I got it, or rather it went south immediately (the very next day) after I got it, but it seems better after spending the summer on the hot dry slope. It has new leaves that are nice and healthy despite all the rain.  The soil is extremely fast-draining in this area.  
Please don't die, gorgeous!
 So there we go.  Leucospermum 'High Gold' replaced Leucadendron linifolium,  Leucadendron 'Wilsons Wonder' and Leucospermum 'Tango' replaced the trio of Calothamnus villosus, and a third Aloe 'Fire Ranch' was removed, because two 'Fire Ranch' are plenty. 
 One 'Fire Ranch is here:
 The other is close to Aloe marlothii, but I think they'll be okay.  The angle of the photo makes them look closer than they really are.  I will remove the 'Fire Ranch' if it becomes a problem.  This photo also shows there is some planting space still available even when the shrubs grow.   
'Wilsons Wonder' is flowering.  The inflorescence is a yellow cone of flowers.
I plan to move as many green-foliaged plants from the left side of the slope to this area as will fit (Agave victoriae-reginae, Aloe tweediceae, the green dwarf Agave titanota, etc), so that blue/silver foliage will dominate on the left hand side of the slope, while the right hand side will be more in the green/gold color range.   
Click on this photo to expand it:
The area still needs mulch and some minor irrigation modifications, but that must wait until the rain is over.  I declare this project finished, at least until its time to work on it again. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Beautiful Fatsia japonica 'Camouflage'™

Fatsia japonica, the plain green version, was one of the first plants I was ever aware of--Mom and Dad had planted it in our garden before I was born.  I remember when I was four or five years old thinking the leaves were huge.  Fast forward (quite a while) to 2014, when I saw the 'Spiders Web' version in Portland on the 2014 Fling.  
Ooooh!  Waaaannnt!
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I ended up mail ordering a small 'Spiders Web' which never quite webbed.  I lost patience and tossed it.  Then a neighbor was going to get rid of her 'Spiders Web', and offered it to me.  Obviously, destiny. 
But howcome they are webbier in Portland?

 Nice in a blue pot!
Then at Roger's Gardens one Sunday, I saw Fatsia 'Camoflage'.
Ooooh!  Waaannnt!
After blogging and posting the above photo in December, out of the blue I got an email from the local Monrovia representative.  Would I like a freebie?   With no obligation or strings attached.  No, I don't have to blog about it. 

Are you kidding?  Heck yeah!
Looks great with another part-shade lover,  Philondendron 'Golden Xanadu', (which could use a little more light to be truly golden).  The variegation brightens the area when it is in shade. 

Looks great with Sedum 'Angelina' at its base...
Wild with good old Sanseveria...
Even more wild on the patio with the Sans and variegated Agave attenuata!
Thank you Monrovia!!!

A chartreuse pot would work, don't you think?  
Around here, Fatsia japonica looks best with a few hours of the earliest or latest sunlight of the day, or all day dappled shade.  It is a thirstier than average plant, but bear in mind my "average plant" is an Agave. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Bloom Day February 2017

Above, Grevillea 'Peaches and Cream' continues to delight. 

 Above, 'Happy Dancing Girl' Cotyledon

Below, Lupine, descendant from a very old, long ago packet of seeds.  I've been trying to establish them as reseeders on the west slope.  

For yearly, effortless, late winter and early spring color on our west slope, self-seeding California poppies have been a great success. Mexican Tulip Poppies and these Lupines, less so.  The Lupines would be more successful if rabbits did not love to eat them, and so far, Mexican Tulip Poppies, with a far longer bloom season, prefer to sprout and grow between cracks in concrete.  The California poppies will begin blooming in a few weeks.

Ha ha rabbits, you couldn't reach this one!
 Aloe cameronii past prime, but still glowing along with Yucca 'Bright Star' foliage. Behind the Aloe flowers, the Leucadendron I just dug up. 

Rhodanthemum hosmariense, aka Pyrethropsis hosmariense.  ("Moroccan Daisy" is easier to remember) blooms for several months.  A tidy, undemanding plant only a few inches high, eventually a couple of feet wide (60 cm) or more wide.
 Where are my sunglasses?  The first dazzling flower from Leucospermum 'Tango':
 The developing flower bud is a stunner as well. 
 Best guess on this rose is 'Carefree Wonder'.
 Intense color in winter.  It's pale pink in the heat of August. 
Speaking of bright, this little Aizoaceae is visible a block away.  It was one of the first succulents I planted and the name and tag are long gone.  It was engulfed by Senecio a few years ago and I thought it was dead--but pulling out Senecio I found a tiny bit--two leaves and a smidgen of root--had survived.  Now in a better space, the plant is 4" wide and doing very well.  

Lampranthus 'Cherry Bomb'? 
 Still waiting on Aloe marlothii.  Soon.  Very soon.
 Geranium 'Tiny Monster', planted last spring, struggled to survive our drought and summer heat.  This rainy winter has enabled it to thrive.
I bought Calliandra eriophylla a few months ago and didn't have a spot for it in the ground.  Finally found a place for it, just as it began to push out a flower.  Yet another hummingbird attractant.  I spoil them.
A rare flowering of Sedum nussbaumianum 'Coppertone'--must be the rain.
  Our average yearly total rainfall from the first of October to the 30th of September is 13.33" (339 mm).  This year's seasonal rainfall total so far is at least 17" (431 mm).  January gave us 16 days on which measurable rain fell,  totaling 9.02" for the month.  

And tomorrow night...oh yeah!  Drought over.
Happy Bloom Day!

Monday, February 13, 2017

An Array Of Pale In A Vase For Monday

 A green Sideritis stem, a single Grevillea 'Moonlight' and Phylica stem, and a cluster of Leucadendron 'Blush'.
I gravitate naturally to gaudy, but a pale yellow array has an elegance worth appreciating.  While I took the photos on the driveway this warm sunny morning,  a Hummingbird appeared at nearby Grevillea 'Superb'.  I got a few shots before the male Hummer, who considers this Grevillea his exclusive territory, arrived to fight.

 Nice subdued color array here, also.
Please visit Rambling In The Garden for more Monday floral arrangements. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Winter Project 2017 Progress

 The Leucadendron limifolium, despite being quite large, had a modest root system easy to remove.  Nice plant:  I liked it a lot, but for such a prime spot something flashier seemed appropriate. The soil is wonderful--fluffy, fluffy, fluffy. 

The Leucodendron had shoved Leucophylum 'Thunder Cloud' out of the way. I need to cut back the Leucophylum?  It's all flopped to the left.  
 You planning to straighten up and grow right? 
I'd planned on Leucospermum 'Tango for the spot...

   But Leucospermum 'High Gold' obviously has insufficient space.  It's already threatening Agave titanota, Protea 'Mini King', and Aloe suzannae. Perhaps it wants to shove the Leucophyllums upright again. 
 So that will need pondering.  
I'm heeere!  Outta my way!
In the meantime a few more plants to prune, weeds to pull, and rain water to distribute, because we're predicted to get a little rain more tonight. 
Tidy and ready for spring: