Autumn Is, Almost

 Autumn is so close.  This next week is predicted to be mild.

A few garden surprises unseen until now, since for the past ten days at least, it was too hot to be outside for long.

Many of the younger 'Bright Star' Yucca are producing their first bloom.  
 Unlike the Agave flower stem, Yucca flowers don't last long--a week or ten days.

 The heat scorched Aloe hardyi x cameronii
 The newly planted Erepsia pillansii suffered no apparent damage from having been purchased and hastily planted at dusk in 100 degree (38 C) weather.  Its lone flower bud left from spring bloom opened. The flower is about 1.5" (4 cm) across:
 The Kalanchoe beharensis out front seems to have added multiple new leaves in a matter of days.  Apparently 100 degree+ weather is just what it likes.  Well, now I know.  The K. orgyalis behind it, however, dropped foliage and doesn't look great.  Huh.  Okay. 
 With the coming of autumn,  the Aeoniums will emerge from summer dormancy.  They dropped a lot of their old foliage during the extreme heat.  New Aeonium foliage is as much a part of autumn here as maple leaf color is in Vermont. 
Several new plants are waiting for a place in the ground.  I did some cabin-fever plant shopping during the recent long heat wave and the acquisitions were temporarily parked in the shade.   
Such as the Inter-City Show plants:
Such as another Grevillea 'Superb'.  It will go where a 'Windermere' rose currently grows by the new pergola.  The rose will go adjacent to one of the 'Bishops Castle' roses by the stairway that descends to the pergola.  'Superb' will feed hummingbirds, bees, and our eyes. 
The dramatic black and red Lagerstroemias and the red tips of Leucadendrons suggested I add more touches of red to the front area.

More red touches...maybe Callistemon 'Little John'?  The blue-ish nature of the foliage would agree with blue Agaves 'Blue Glow', parrasana, and 'Nova' (montana x mitis?),  and the red flowers with the reds of the Lagerstroemias and Leucadendrons.  Callistemon, I just read, has been combined into Melaleuca.  Oh, please!
 Speaking of red, what did the fierce heat do to Dahlia 'Funny Face'?  The plant is 7' tall and continues to bloom generously... 
 But what happened here? 
And even more so, here:
 Heat makes gardeners grumpy and apparently makes some Dahlias turn red.  Enough of that grumpy stuff, please.  No more of this whining about heat, no more cleaning the house while gazing wistfully out every window.  Autumn is, almost.  The fun is about to begin.
Rested, and ready!


  1. Well, with the exception of that poor Aloe and perhaps the Dahlia's mutation (which is actually pretty interesting), I'd say you've fared well during what I hope was summer's last wallop. I dropped in at Roger's yesterday with a friend and noted that, at long last, they had Yucca 'Bright Star' in stock but, at $50 a piece, I decided the 3 I have will do for now. I wonder why mine refuse to bloom, though?

    Eager to get on with fall projects, I just placed an order for 3 cubic yards of topsoil so I can get to work in creating some new berms next week. Even if fall isn't quite here yet, I'm going to pretend it has.

    1. Your 'Bright Star's will bloom. Patience, patience. They are forming a massive root system first. I saw those $50 ones at Roger's, too. Yikes.

      Have fun with the soil. Berms are great! End of the week looks to have us slipping back into the wonderful 70sF. Yay!

  2. Erepsia pillansii, pretty flower
    Kalanchoe beharensis, mine is looking great, too. Foliage has filled in

    My first jobs will be pruning and grooming, then later, planting in the ground. It's a jungle here what with the winter rains and the summer heat.

    Weather next few days will be interesting to say the least. We have a Flash Flood Watch! Very unusual, a front from the north is meeting monsoonal moisture from the southeast. First front is early this year, but you know what that means. The first Santa Ana always follows.

    1. I'm not counting on a drop. You closer to the San Gabriels have a much better chance.
      I've found a good cut back in September and October gives my garden a much much better looking November and December, no matter what the weather. It's worth the work.

      No, no, no Santa Anas. No. Don't go there, okay?

  3. Good afternoon, GG (Grumpy Gardener). I am a member of that club myself due to record breaking heat spells this summer and air quality in the last week that has been worse than Beijing (from all the fires and smoke).

    But reading your blog always brings a smile or a chuckle so I wanted to let you know that you have brightened my day. Although I enjoy the images, what I really look forward to, is your comments about each one.

    Thank you for taking us along for the ride.

    1. Yes smoke is the worst. I can barely breathe when it is smokey here. You have my complete sympathies and understanding--smoke is toxic. Hope it clears up for you right soon.

      Thank you for your kind comment! It makes me far less grumpy!

  4. I really love the dark foliage of the Lagerstroemia and the aeonium, I have common lagerstroemia and green aeoniums some of them with dark tips, but not completely dark like yours, they are stunning! I can't plant aeoniums in the ground here because they don't like wet feet, I keep them in pots and move then under the porch roof when it rains too much! Have a great sunday!

    1. Yes Aeoniums are native to rocky places, cliffs, so your humid climate would be a challenge. That you can grow them at all means you know what you are doing. The black foliaged ones are a favorite. Black as an accent is a striking effect.

      Have a beautiful week!

  5. I love autumn, and try not to think of the grey dreary days that follow. Callistemon/Melaleuca? This actually makes more sense than some of the other (ignored by me) taxa changes.

    1. Does it? I like the Aloidendron/Kumara/Aloe thing myself. I guess we all have our tastes in taxa changes as much as in plants.

      You get more grey/dreary than we do. Can we trade some?

  6. "With the coming of autumn, the Aeoniums will emerge from summer dormancy"....So do all succulents go through this process in the summer? I have seen my Aeoniums dwindle this month esp.
    Do I just support with water? fertilizer? I am in No Cal...very hot, but As are under awning and I do notice that they thrive during wet winter and early spring. Some are leggy now. Should I decapitate and start new ones? thanks

    1. Some succulents are summer dormant, some winter dormant. It's really important to know which is which. (This page is very useful, scroll to the bottom to see the pertinent info.)

    2. Would just add some Aloes are summer dormant and some winter dormant. Generally those from the western part of Southern Africa are the summer dormant ones and need less water overall, those from the east where the rainfall is in summer are more likely to be winter dormant or can easily take water year round. For Aloes best to look up the species and see where they are from and what the rainfall is like there.

  7. Yes! Fall is almost here! I'm so looking forward to it for the cooler temperatures. We've finally had a couple days here in the mid 70s again instead of 90s, and yesterday there was finally measurable rainfall! I listened to my rain barrels refilling. Such a lovely sound. Aside from the scorched Aloe, your plants all look happy enough, even the dahlia that got a bit flushed. My fall planting plans involve more lush green foliage for the shady areas and lots of clumping bamboo! I should be studying instead of making garden plans, but...

    1. 70s! Ahh, looking forward to that, too. Clumping are brave! But I think you have the space for that, right?


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