Summer's End

The garden is waking up after summer lassitude.  The gardener feels better as well.  There are some change-of-season surprises.
  
Aloe reitzii has been growing in the garden from a very small size for several years.  It is finally producing its first flower stem.  Nice surprise!  For a moment I thought some creature had pooped in the center of the plant. 

The emerging flower looks dried out, doesn't it?  However, a friend's A. reitzii bloomed a year or two ago, and started the same way.  The friend's reitzii subsequently produced a big beautiful flower stem...so I assume this will be fine.
Protea 'Sylvia' also has its first flower bud.   It was hidden under new growth, making it hard to spot.  Looking forward to seeing this beauty. 
I thought the Lemonade Berry, Rhus ovata, moved this spring to a more spacious location, had died.  I cut off some dead material but noticed further down on the stems there was still green under the bark, so it got a soak of water.
 And voila, it is sprouting new growth everywhere.  Hooray!  Summer didn't kill everything.   
 Growth in six months of Callistemnon 'Slim':  considerable.
February 2018:
 
September 2018
 The purpose of placing the 'Slim's there was to provide shade on early summer mornings for the chairs under the pergola.  The 'Slims' may be tall enough to do the job by next summer.   But that darn Grevillea in the foreground is still chlorotic.  More soil sulfur!

A top down photo of the Drimia maritima flower became possible as it bent over in maturity.

Surprisingly varied with the striped tips on each flower bud, the yellow stigmas and greenish anthers, the pinky glow in the center.

 'Bright Star' Yucca flowers are emerging, as they often do at summer's end. 

 Salvia 'Blast', at its best at summer's end. 
Summer's end:  what a lovely thought!  Not as good as a soaking rain, but very good.  Saturday is the last day of summer. 

Comments

  1. I'm glad you and your plants are enjoying the end of summer's oppressive heat. Fingers crossed for a wetter winter for you! Critter poop/emerging bloom stalk made me laugh.

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    1. So grateful to be outside again. It's been lovely here, warm but not hot, with a positively icy overnight low of 59F. I hope your weather is still fine, with time to get the tender plants into the greenhouse before the colder weather arrives.

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  2. Glad the end of summer has put you in a better frame of mind. I like when summer ends too, and ours has been nowhere near as hellish as yours. I saw Callistemon 'Slim' for sale at a nursery here and I'm very tempted.

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    1. I like 'Slim' very much; the oldest one is 8'+ and narrow. "Severely damaged at 20F" says Sunset Western GB; do you get colder than that? There's an Alpine species that takes colder.

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  3. That aloe is cool. I'm anxious to put this summer behind us too. Your Callistemon is almost scary, along my own 'Cane's Hybrid' now seems to be reaching tree-like heights too. Meanwhile, there are no signs of flowers on my own 'Yucca 'Bright Star' even though they've been in the ground more than 4.5 years - apparently I need to give my plants a good talking to.

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    1. I was just reading about 'Cane's Hybrid in Sunset Western GB; 10'x15', "but easily kept smaller".

      My'Bright Star' get zero water which means they are blooming on what we got this past winter, 4". Quite amazing. Yours are in full sun?

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  4. It’s always uplifting to see plants regaining their sprightliness after a hard summer. With the Grevillea, perhaps you could try a feed of iron chelate? It might help with the yellowing.

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    1. Thanks, Jane. I gave it some soil sulfur and will give it some more. Here applying that stuff is traditionally done when the rainy season begins, but the rainy season has arrived only once in the past six years. I thought the warm soil of summer would green it up, but--it didn't! The three 'Superb's out front finally greened up, so it can be done.

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  5. Kris, the end of summer is a moment I especially appreciate too. I hope the cooler days of fall bring rain and relief to your garden. Here spring is being nice for the time being (not very hot yet) and we had a big but short storm last night, it rained over half an inch in just a few minutes, I hope it makes everything look very green! Have a great weekend.

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  6. I'm so excited that we're transitioning into fall. At least I was, until this mini heat wave started. Temps in the mid to high 90s again next week. Ugh. My Aloe reitzii didn't bloom this year, I don't know why. Gotta check my Yucca 'Bright Star'.

    Nice to see the impending flower action in your garden!

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    1. 90s F, yuck. More 'Bright Star's sending up flower stalks here. Seems to be their year for it. My capitata hasn't bloomed for several--miss that cute mop-top. Hope your heat wave fails to appear!

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