Minerva, Sylvia, Brenda, Fred, and Ned

Amaryllis 'Minerva', recently planted bulb, has produced its flowers.

A strong Santa Ana wind event is predicted for this week, with 60mph gusts and humidity below 10%.  Tough on plants, most especially on new plants brought home from the garden center.  A wind event can desiccate and kill them in their pots in just a few hours.  Guess how I know that?  

Sunday was enjoyed getting a new Protea into the ground where it will be much safer.  Also, more autumn clean up.  The pool construction guys don't work on Sunday. 

New Protea 'Sylvia':
 I saw this plant of Protea 'Sylvia' for sale back in mid-October and decided not to buy it because we were going on vacation, plus a terrible heat wave was about to commence, plus did I need another Protea, plus where would I put it?  Last week revisiting that particular garden center--it was still there, waiting for me.  Obviously!  It came home, and with new growth, too. 
Protea 'Brenda' purchased last year in Northern California, grew just a bit, and produced a flower badly damaged by summer heat.  Still, it's doing okay.  I gave it a soaking in anticipation of the Wind Event.  What is it with Proteas being given women's names? 
Another member of the Protea family, Grevillea 'Ned Kelly', has a flower and a caterpillar, but not a woman's first name.  I'm reluctant to kill the caterpillar because of all the small native butterflies that have been in the garden lately, but this could just as well be a pest.  'Ned Kelly' was an Australian outlaw--appropriate for this flower? 
Also in Proteana, Agave mitis var. albidior is finally looking recovered from its journeys.  It began in Davis (very hot), spent some time apparently unhappily in Portland (too cold), was returned to Davis (very hot again), and ended up here (just right).  Another plant that could be called 'Silvia'?   Or is it more of a 'Ned'?  Oh, hey:  "Al". 
   Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' offers a big candelabra of tiny flowers...
 ...as well as beautiful foliage.  Gorgeous 'Fred'. 
 Roses are looking excellent in the mild weather we've been enjoying.  You'd think roses would be perfect for being christened with women's first names, but not many are these days.   
'Molineux' is named for a football (soccer) field.  Looks more like a 'Sylvia' to me.  Everything is beginning to.  'Brenda' would be okay, too.   
 'The Ambridge Rose' refers to some aspect of a long-running British TV show.  'Sylvia' would be as nice. 
Out front I noticed Aloe ferox flowers emerging, as yellow-flowered Aloe melanacantha blooms on and on.  Aloe ferox flowers have not done well since the drought--always stunted.  It's really dry in that spot, and Aloe ferox is native to regions of reasonably generous annual rainfall (20").   The flowers don't make me think:  'Sylvia'.  More of a 'Minerva'? 
It was so peaceful and quiet on Sunday.  No jack hammering, and everyone was mostly indoors or elsewhere.  Fortunate to be out there.  Tonight and nearly all week, the wind will howl, plants will shrivel, branches and possibly whole trees will crash.  The paint brush will be back at work in the living room, and the pool building crew back at work making noise next door.  But Sunday was lovely:  a fine day spent with Minerva, Sylvia, Brenda, Fred, and Ned. 


  1. I never would have thought that Agave could look so good, after looking so bad...

    1. Agaves love it here. That's all it took: climate. Nothing I did!

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed a pleasant, quiet Sunday. (How long does it take to build a pool anyway?) Your garden is looking lovely and I'm impressed by how your Protea collection is growing.

    I'm not looking forward to our coming wind event either. I've put off wreath and garland purchases until it's over. At least we're not expecting 90+ degree temperatures this time...

    1. The Pool People said two months. 'Pink Ice' has been the most vigorous Protea but I'm not thrilled with the flower. 'Mini King' lacks vigor. We'll see if 'Sylvia' is just right.

      Yeah, at least its not going to be 90F at 3am!

  3. Muy buenos los ejemplares que nos muestras. Un saludo desde Plantukis

  4. Beautiful plants! Your Amaryllis are gorgeous, I have lots of them they propagate very easily from seeds. The roses look amazing too, I wish mine looked that fresh these days. Since ancient times poets and artists have likened the beauty of flowers to the beauty of women it's very easy to understand why so many cultivars are given women names and also so many women names are also flowers. I can't help to say "she" when I talk about a rose or a camellia! both are the queens of the botanic kingdom in my opinion.

    1. I am going to have to try planting the seeds--the flowers do set seed but I have never tried planting the seeds--might as well. The roses here look really good in late autumn, with rich color and large size. In summer they are smaller and bleached by the hot sun.

      After all the plants I have grown, roses are still a favorite.

  5. The picture of the Fred Ives flower is stunning. Most excellent.

    Yes, autumn clean-up/pruning continues. Not enough bins for this time of year. Piles waiting for next week's pick up.

    1. I love Fred!

      Since the drought made me get rid of a lot of roses, and the green waste is a lot more manageable. Drought was good for something!

  6. There is quite a bit of confusion here- our first real frost will be tomorrow night , and it's predicted fro the high 20's. I still have coleus, roses, daylilies -all that will likely be gone or slimy come Wednesday am. Your Aloes are all so beautiful !

  7. All the commotion on either side conspire to make your Sunday something special. Sounds like you fully appreciated it.

  8. wonderful picture of your 'misty' Agave!


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