Thursday, It Rained


  The plants are celebrating.  I'm celebrating their celebration.
 One beautiful feature of Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Marjorie Channon' is how rain brings out the black color of the twigs and branches.  It is a dramatic contrast to the pale green and variegation on the leaves. We get to enjoy this effect too rarely. 
 Agave ellemeetiana, in a less visible part of the garden, has reached mature size.  Native to humid forests of southern Mexico, it prefers a shadier spot.  I was regretting its eventual flowering, because it's not a commonly available species, but...
 ...Ellie is celebrating with an offset.  Awesome! 
 I gently positioned a Hellebore flower into a photograph-able position.  It's happy being in the ground after languishing for so long in a pot.  I'm happy it's happy. 
 Just a few roses left to cut back.  They won't stop celebrating the rain and cool weather. 
 Grevillea 'Robyn Gordon' has gotten extra attention lately, in the form of several buckets of collected rain water and a dose of chelated iron/10% nitrogen.  It's celebrating with lots of flower buds. 
 
 Aloe hardyi x cameronii is about finished flowering, but the bare stems and remnant flowers catch the eye.
 Lupine
 I read Echeveria agavoides 'Christmas' was a prolific off-setter, but never believed it until now. 
 Gasteria acinicifolia, planted under the key lime tree down in the gully, has its first flower stem.  This is the largest of the Gasteria species and can get nearly 2' (61 cm) wide.  The Huntington has a group of them growing happily in the shade of a big native oak.  I'm trying to duplicate that. 

Abutilon 'Victor Reiter' glows warm even in winter.  I'm hoping this plant does well come Spring.  It's doing pretty darn good right now. 
And now, for the real partiers.  First flower of the year from Leucospermum 'Tango'
Oh, my!
 Leucospermum 'Scarlet Ribbon'
 See the "ribbons"? 
Some plants really know how to party.  

Comments

  1. I love ribbons. You have so many blooms now. It is nice to see all your succulents all plumped up from the rain. The rose is gorgeous too.

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    1. Satin ribbons especially, for me! Enjoying the rain here--hope you have warmed up and that the Polar Vortex has retreated.

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  2. Gorgeous! And yes to the rain ... It's slowly raining here now, and all the plants are so happy! I hope the rain stays slow, and doesn't cause issues in the burn areas...

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    1. Yes, loving the rain. I went out for a walk when it was raining hard--it was fun. The pups stayed home--they hate rain. Reminds then of getting baths, maybe.

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  3. That Leucospermum flower is fantastic! I have a Grevillea with small red flowers that is covered in buds out in the front garden, but they haven't started opening yet. Can't wait. They're small flowers, but still, so elaborate.

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  4. You make me long to plunge into a close look at my own garden but it's pouring out there at the moment. My Leucospermum have buds but I haven't seen anything near reaching bloom stage yet. I envy you the lupine. I've repeatedly tried and failed to get the wild variety established in my garden, even though it routinely pops up along the roads here. Enjoy the rain!

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    1. I went for a wonderful walk in the rain. Just me and all that water, lol.

      That is the lupine that grows on the sides of the road. I forget the species. L. succulentus? It's getting a little too established here, but the bees like it, so it's good.

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  5. Abutilon and Scarlet Ribbons would make an appealing vase.

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  6. At my house rain on Friday and said rain followed me down to Santa Barbara (what a beautiful drive down 101 today !) where I got to experience my first 101 closure. None of my plans for this trip will come to fruition due to weather but how green and lush everything looks !

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    1. Sorry to hear your trip is rained out. :( At least you had a beautiful drive until the closure. Yes, that color green. The eyes are amazed after years of brown.

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  7. Basking in the warmth from that Abutilon photo, I began wondering who Victor Reiter was. There are quite a few different plants with selections named for him.

    Californians may know this already, but he was one of the founders of the California Horticultural Society in 1933. He and his wife Carla ran La Rochette nursery in San Francisco in the post-war/midcentury years, and their garden near 17th & Stanyan is still in the family: https://www.sftrees.com/blog/2019/1/22/victor-reiter-garden-in-bloom

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    1. All hail the nurserymen and women! Plant lovers run through history (Thomas Jefferson, etc.) mostly unnoticed.

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    2. They've rehabbed the Bartram garden in Philly, and opened a bike/walking trail that connects it to center city. I'm seriously stoked to visit this season. He was a nurseryman who was one of the most important sources for North American plants going to England in the 18th century.
      Has anyone read Founding Gardeners by Andrew Wulf? There's a wonderful account of the constitutional conventioneers taking a day out there during a tough patch in the drafting. Great book, as is her Brother Gatdeners, which has a lot more on Bartram and his counterparts in England.

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    3. I'm reading "American Eden" by Victoria Johnson, which is about David Hosack, of about the same era, who created a public educational garden on the site of what is now Rockefeller Center in NYC. Great book. I'll have to look at Founding Gardeners. I remember wanting to read it when it came out. The von Humboldt book, too.

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  8. HB, I celebrate your plants celebration too! It's nice to see your roses are still blooming, here El Niño is bringing heavy and almost daily rainfall in what should be our driest months, Roses seemed to appreciate it since they look strangely lush this summer, I will prune them in some days to get them ready for their fall display. I'm surprised to see you have Lupines, I tried so grow them so many times but kept failing and failing, the seeds sprout but then they are checked by the late spring heat and stop growing altogether. Have a nice sunday!

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    1. Hello MDN! Daily rainfall in summer--I cannot imagine! At least you do not have to get out there and water in the heat.

      There are several lupines native to California, of which my winter-annual is one. They sprout when the rainy season begins in October (when we have a rainy season) and are finished by the start of June. I have coyotes to thank because this year they have hunted out most of the rabbits which love to eat the seedlings.



      The spectacular ones grown in colder-climate gardens do not grow here.

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  9. Yes, I see the ribbons! I don't remember rain like this since I don't know when...

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    1. 2005 we got a spell like this in January. The big El Nino winter of 1997-98, the year we got 30 inches, didn't it pour for all of January? My poor dog at the time who refused to spend time in the house spent all of that month in the garage looking out the open door, perfectly content to watch the rain. By February he smelled kind of musty.

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  10. Wonderful ideas! How well do you think they would fare if the weather (dreaded thought) were to slide back just to semi-drought?

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    1. Semi-drought would be survivable. The full-on drought is the scary kind.

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