Modest Rain Means New Flowers

 Above, Echeveria coccinea prepares to bloom

We got about .75" inches of rain in October, and the plants sprung back from summer damage on even that modest amount of rain.  New flowers began to appear within a couple of weeks.  I thought Salvia 'Black And Blue' was done for the year, but there are new flowers.  
Note the hover-fly, a beneficial insect, near the bloom stem. 
 Painted Lady butterflies continue to visit the Gomphrena
 Leucophyllum candidum 'Thunder Cloud' nearly always blooms after a rain
 I planted some Ranunculus tubers for spring flowers.  A book advises to protect the first leaves, because some birds find them delicious, so I put a piece of wire screen over them.
Excited to see this seedling Aloe producing its first flowers.  I can water and water and water from the hose, but it takes a rain to work this magic.
 I think this is a cross of Aloe cameronii and something else, perhaps hardyi.  I hope the flower is interesting.  The color of the foliage says "cameronii', but the shape and habit of the plant say "hardyi" (maybe). 
 I planted some sweet peas, too.  These won't grow much over the winter, but they do better and produce more flowers earlier if you plant them in fall instead of winter, so I planted them in fall.
 The 'Arizona Sun' Gaillardias were about dead.  The rain revived them in a big way.
 Aloe thraskii has at least two, and maybe three blooms stems.  Wheee!
And a new plant or two.  Leucospermum 'Spider' from the UCSC Arboretum shop gets the spot formerly occupied by a variegated Ceanothus that was--well I hoped the Ceanothus would revert to a deep rich green, and produce a lot of blue flowers, but it didn't.  The spot was too hot for it.  'Spider' has much more blueish foliage than my other Leucospermums, 'Yellow Bird' and 'High Gold'.
And a flower is forming already!
  The Leucospermum will get the same growing conditions as the two other Leucospermums that are quite happy, so we hope for success with this one as well.  Drippers to get it settled in and established, a temporary wire fence in case the rabbits find it tasty. 

 While I was digging out the Ceanothus, I cut the violet Bougainvillea right down to the ground.  Bougies flower only on new growth.  In addition, once they are really established, you can't kill them by stumping, so I wacked away.  It will soon be producing fresh new foliage and flowers. 

And one more purchase:  Aloe striata ssp karasbergensis.  A local nursery's newsletter reported they were in serious trouble financially and putting all their plants on sale for 30% off and to please come and buy some.   The nursery is trying to survive to bare root season, and hoping they are not destined to be yet another victim of our terrible drought.  So this Aloe came home.  Visiting the nursery, I was happy to see a lot of things had already been purchased.  This nursery has a good number of loyal customers who want them to stay in business.

Aloe striata ssp karasbergensis has attractive striping to its foliage, not just hard water deposits.  It is said to be more finicky than the straight species.  Time will tell if the plant and the nursery survive.   
 More rain, please!  Please!  It's amazing, the power of rain 


  1. the Leucospermum with the felted grey leaves comes from the sunny side.
    We had yellow pincushions with grey leaves in our Camps Bay garden.
    The same species on the False Bay side of the mountain has deep green leaves.

    1. Interesting, thank you. I looked on a map to see the relationship of Camps Bay to False Bay, how Table Mountain affects, and understand what you wrote a little better. If you have not spent time in an area it's hard to comprehend what grows exactly where, and how the climate varies. It is fascinating how plants can thrive or suffer, grown just a few miles apart.

  2. Wonderful plants, flowers and emerging flowers dear Hoover, the Leucospermum Spider is beautiful. It's amazing how a little or a lot of rain can refresh and bring the garden back to life.
    Happy gardening!
    xoxoxo ♡

    1. Rain is magic, so magic I wonder if it comes from Harry Potter's wand. :)

      Happy gardening back to you!

  3. I'm local, which nursery is it and hopefully I can head over there as well.

    1. Laguna Hills Nursery on Tustin Ave just north of 17th St in Santa Ana. Sale is over on landscape plants, but items like supplies, tools, indoor plants are now 30% off. :)


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