This Worked, And Other Surprises, Some Good

Above Surprise:  Echeveria 'Pollux' flowers are not infested with black aphids.  

Surprise:  the chelated iron spray is starting to work on the chlorotic Grevilleas.  It's been nine days, and the difference is noticible.  Wow!
Before the spray: 
 Can you notice an improvement, or am I deluding myself? 
Nine days after spray:
 Surprise:  last week we got a rain shower.  It was just enough to wash the dust off everything, but that is a wonderful thing.  Wow!
Raindrops were falling on their heads:
 Surprise: an Orchid I've been unable to kill despite at least a dozen years of trying has bloomed for the first time in eleven.  Wow!
How an orchid laughs at me:
Surprise:  it was overcast today and I was able to garden.  Wow!

Agave 'Blue Flame' which was hidden behind a clump of Aloe and beneath a Calothamnus got the prominent spot its beauty deserves.
A big clump of Aeonium urbicum was removed...
 ...and 'Blue Flame' planted next to Yucca 'Color Guard', which I dug out a few years ago.  'Color Guard' which is so beautiful in other gardens is not good here.  Uninvited with a shovel, it returned from a root.  'Mr Ripple' behind the Yucca gets very large and will take all that empty space, plus the Limonium's space on the left.  It can have the Yucca's space as well.  'Blue Flame' will grow towards the concrete curb.  Aloe 'Moonglow', now rooted, is a candidate for placement where "x" marks the spot:
Surprise:  while planting 'Blue Flame', I spotted a flower stem emerging from Aloe fosteri.  Wow!
I also noticed a rose I pulled out because it was so sad, has grown back from the roots and bloomed (the peachy flower lower left).  Surprise!  It is currently engulfed by an airy Ratibida 'Red'.  
'Samaritan', can't you save yourself? 
 Huh.  I guess all the surprises are good.  Which is a--surprise. 


  1. Any of these events individually would be enough to boost my mood so I imagine you're floating on air right now. Your Miltassia does look like it's laughing but probably out of the happiness of revealing its true self. Sadly, all we got from yesterday's weather system was spit. Where did you find a chelated iron spray? I can't remember ever seeing it sold as a spray-able product.

  2. Miltassia, so that's what that thing is. Thanks for the ID. I'm happy it's happy. We didn't get a drop today while it was raining all day 30 miles south of here. Oh well, they need it too. At least somebody got something, right?

    The stuff I used was "Grow More Organic Based Iron Chelate 10%" which is in a powder form. I think it is basically blood meal with a chelation additive. It said on the package label it could be applied as a spray at 1 tsp/gallon of water. I also remember reading on an Australian Protea site you could apply foliar spray to Grevilleas. So that's what I did. Got a few burnt tips, but there were burnt leaf tips from heat this summer also. The package directions said it could be applied at 10 day intervals, so I gave the two yellow ones another spray this afternoon, at a little weaker dose.

    Yep, it was a pretty good gardening day. :)

    1. Thanks for the information on the foliar spray. The quick results are encouraging.

    2. Got it at Armstrong's. It was all I could find. I'm amazed it worked!

  3. Your plants are great, and the photos too. But i love that orchid most, it really looks smiling.

    1. It's been so long since it bloomed, I completely forgot what the flowers looked like. It does look like a happy face. :)

  4. So glad you had some rain, I admire your laughing orchid as if it will say: 'You can't kill me, hahaha, look at me'. Same story with the rose....
    Happy gardening!

    1. It is laughing, and so am I. Happy gardening, Janneke!

  5. Dear Hoover, so many beautiful surprises in your garden, it is always so uplifting to find buds and flowers on plants we thought had become dormant. I'm glad you had a pleasant day in your garden and the fish seem to be enjoying the raindrops. Yes, the Grevillea does look healthier and a pretty orchid.
    Hope you are well and your eye has completely healed?
    Hugs, Dianne
    xoxoxo ❤️

    1. Eye seems well again, thank you Dianne. Hope your dear son continues to heal. He's been through so much.

  6. Great surprises! I'm so happy that your grevilleas are greening up. I see the difference in your photo.

    It sprinkled here this morning--for (I swear) 30 seconds. Barely long enough for me to grab the camera. Within 10 minutes the pavement was dry again. Sigh.

    1. I think they are a little greener even today.

      San Diego County and the desert got all the rain yesterday--can't begrudge them--they need it too. Maybe soon, soon...we keep hoping and it keeps not raining, and then we hope some more.

  7. May all your surprises be this good!


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