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!


  1. Mixed bag but thankfully mostly good. Not long to go now till mid August and you start getting some relief.

    1. Yes, more good than I expected. I underestimate my plants.

  2. It's not all bad! Good to see so many healthy looking bloomers. Always beats me how plants manage to tough out heat (and cold). We humans often seem so frail in comparison.

    1. I went to a local nursery, all polyhouses--it must have been 120F (48C) in them...and the plants were happy beyond belief. A worker said the plants could take that heat because the polyhouses were humid and the light was diffused.

  3. Clematis 'Bourbon'...wowsa! Although 'Merlot' may have been a more descriptive name. Here's hoping your 'Austin Griffiths' pulls through and grows on. Speaking from experience I can say the EBP is indeed off the charts. As for the Protea 'Pink Ice'...so jealous! I've got a nice little flower grouping from the local market that features one front and center, at $5 for the whole handful (includes multiple Leucadendron stems, Anigozanthos and Grevillea foliage) how could I resist?

    1. It's an impressive Clematis, even here where they are not as happy as they could be (water). I remember your and Jane's AG--that's why I got mine.

      Great deal on the Protea bouquet!

  4. Considering it's the middle of summer, your plants look spectacular!

    Leucadendron 'Reverse Polarity': That's a new one for me. Is it a sport of 'Ebony'?

    Chlorotic grevilleas: In her recent presentation at the UC Berkeley Botanic Garden, Jo O'Connell said it takes about 4-6 months for the leaves to green up after applying soil sulfur. She typically applies sulfur in the late fall so the winter rains can help wash it in. My grevilleas are finally greening up; it took longer than 6 months.

    1. Thanks for the chlorosis info. That's helpful. I will do a sulfur application in late fall, but...winter rains? What are "winter rains"? 'Moonlight', and 'Coastal Gem', have had no chlorosis at all, 'Peaches and Cream' and 'Robyn Gordon' only very slight, if that. 'Superb' has been the sufferer.

      I got that Protea book you blogged about. I see what you mean about the photos--wowza!

      No info whatsoever on 'Reverse Polarity'. It's so brand-spankin' new, even the google provided zilch.

  5. Despite the heat your garden does not look that bad, of course you have a lot of heat tolerant plants. That variegated Abutilon has grown to a wonderful shape. The photo of the part of your garden at the gate is beautiful, it gives a good idea how your garden looks like and that's really beautiful.

    1. Thank you Janneke, but nothing like the lush beauty you have achieved in your garden!

  6. Leucadendron 'Reverse Polarity' is new to me. Do I need another Leucadendron? You bet! Overall, I think your garden is doing better than mine, although stepping up my watering this past month has helped some. My Cordyline 'Electric Flash" are still suffering the after effects of June's horrific heatwave. As to the Clematis, be still my heart! I've never done well with the large-flowered varieties. Do you bury the plant deep as I've seen some growers recommend?

    1. I did not need another Leucadendron, but there it is. It's like the Gary Larson cartoon of the hardware store sucking in innocent men: better to submit to the inevitable.

      No, I plant Clematis a few inches deeper, but mostly a thick, thick mulch, MG lawn food (high N), and adequate water is what works. I've pulled back the mulch in spots during this heat wave, and it is shocking how cold the soil feels--mulch matters for plants that like their roots kept cool.

  7. Gosh, your Clematis 'Bourbon' together with the Salvia 'Amistad' looks sooo... pretty! I love clematis almost as much as roses, but never bought one here in San Diego, because I thought it is too hot. Yours seem to do very well though, maybe I have to reconsider?
    Your roses directly surrounding the house look spectacular!
    I really like the Hairy Canary Clover. I am looking for some tough plants to edge the front garden borders and that one might just fit the bill.
    Can't wait until the heat is over or at least is reduced. I hope you are right and we get some relief by the middle of August this year.
    Warm regards,

    1. Clematis do fine. They are not spectacular as they are in MI (huge there!) but they do good. Thick fluffy mulch, full sun, water, space for the roots (not too close to anything else), loosen all the soil in their root area before planting, as they begin spring growth, hit them with liquid fertilizer several times, never fertilize when there are flowers or flower buds, plant the largest ones you can find, not the tiny little ones in the plastic bags at big box stores (very hard to get going).

      Avoid the doubles and type IIs, they are not as happy here. My best performers have been: Perle d'Azur, Bourbon, Venosa Violacaea, Wisley, Polish Spirit, Etoile Violette, Jackmanii.

      Hairy Canary Clover is awesome! Look also at Blackfoot Daisy Melampodium leucanthum, Calylophus drummondi-something, Teucrium chamaedryoides, Solanum xanti.

      Yah, heat-relief!!! Another miserable one today. :(

  8. I'm totally overcome by those first three photos.


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