Bloom Day August 2019

 Oh, you shouldn't have.  Please offset before you die... 
Achemea chantinii 'Black'
A few days ago...
 I don't think it will offset, as it was sold as "cut" (no root system?).  Nothing to generate offsets.  Not that these plants have much of a root system, but they need something, right?  (My knowledge of bromeliads is still very primitive.) 
Opening up...the flowers are those yellow bits.  They are not yet open.
 On the other hand, this blooming Achmea argentea is an offset of the original big-box store purchase two or three years ago.  The original rosette is just now dried up.  There are other rosettes besides this one, none yet flowering.   
  Abutilon 'Souvenir de Bonn' is producing a few flowers, to the delight of the hummingbirds, and the hummingbird watchers.
 Dahlia time continues.  Black-foliaged Lagerstroemia obscuring 'Holland Festival'.  No flowers on the Lagerstroemia as yet--they are very late this year.
This next Dahlia bloom was supposed to be 'Avignon', but it isn't. Do you get unexpected flowers from you Dahlia clumps?  'Funny Face', yellow with red specks, has a stem producing pure yellow flowers, and a stem producing pure red flowers. 
Not complaining--beautiful!
 Can't remember what this one was supposed to be, but it wasn't supposed to be what it is.  Also very tall.  Also last year it was yellow, not white.  Also the last flower was a creamy pink-beige, like the coveted 'Cafe au Lait'. 
New this year, one of the dark-foliaged varieties.  This little beauty has an odd habit:  as the flowers mature, they drop off the stem right at the base of the flower.  Flaw, or self-cleaning?  
  Surprise!  Summer flowers from Spreakelia formosissima.  More than a dozen flowers from the little clump this spring.  Summer flowers are a bonus. 
 Proteas 'Brenda',  'Sylvia', and 'Pink Ice' all have buds close to opening.  Wheee!!!!
'Brenda' is opening first.  This is first flower from this plant--it did not bloom last year or the previous one--the plant was a single 5" tall stem at purchase.  The flower bud is as long as the plant was when I bought it.  

 Late afternoon lights up the foliage. 
  Bougainvillea 'Imperial Thai''s bright color holds up to the hot August sun.
 Aloe dhufarensis is a summer bloomer. 
 This Dahlia flower seemed to be looking at something...what? 
 Why, it's a Lily!  Cool!  I love the extravagant beauty of lilies, but they do not thrive in southern California--they need a winter chill colder than they get here, so they are small, short, and short-lived.  This one came back from last year.  A special treat hidden amid Dahlia foliage. 
Back from near demise, Begonia 'Irene Nuss' came back strongly this year after having a giant Fuchsia root system pulled away from her more modest one.  Plus, Winter Rain Is Magic.  The panicles of flowers are as large as my hand.  Welcome back!
  Though I pulled most of them six weeks ago, a few Orlaya grandiflora plants bloom on.  No complaints. 
Smeary-arty photo attempt of Salvia clevelandii, which is extremely popular with honey, bumble, and solitary native bees as well as multiple small native butterflies.  The seed-eating songbirds will be at the dried flowers soon, too.  A big mess of a plant, but it feeds so many. 
I was driving somewhere the other day and passed a house with a dried-jungle of a front yard--some sprawling mostly dormant native plants, tiny pale flowers of something, and a whole lot of weeds, probably the bane of the tidy green-lawned, cubed-shrub neighborhood.  Yet, it hosted an eye-popping dance of butterflies--butterflies everywhere, a cloud, a froth rising and sinking above the plants like foam on a freshly poured beer.  There's a lesson there. 

But I digress.  The lone survivor of last year's Eustomas.  They bloom better the second year.  So tidy, so lovely.  The occasional bee does visit.  
Lastly, back in the gully Salvia 'Amistad' is feeding all the lady  hummers chased away from the front garden Grevilleas by territory-crazy males.
Bloom Day, the Ides of every month, is a long-running garden bloggers meme originated by May Dreams

Comments

  1. I love the begonia - it is spectacular. I have only a few dahlias but I was more diligent this year about watering them and they are performing nicely. Do you deadhead your 'Amistad' salvia?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm enjoying the Begonia a lot--missed it the past few years when it malingered. Got the original plant over 20 years ago!

      The Amistad's get tip-pruned constantly, a few stems every time I walk past them. The stems snap off easily here. I snap down to the lowest pair of healthy leaves I can get to. After several months they need a harder cut back with removal of the really woody stems, and a hit of fertilizer.

      Delete
  2. Lots of lovely blooms! Thanks for the bromeliad eye-candy right at the top. It's interesting to read of your Achmea argentea. I bought one in bloom a few years ago, post bloom drying up it's still going strong, no signs of dying off, and no pups. Odd behavior.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your Aechmea is happy, so its staying. That's cool!

      Delete
  3. How very odd your changeable Dahlias are. And that Begonia, Wow! I'm looking forward to seeing those Protea when the flowers are fully open.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a quiet life here. Weirdo Dahlias are kind of fun.

      'Brenda' opened up this afternoon, Picture in a few days.

      Delete
  4. Maybe your dahlias just like to change things up. Didn't you have a mutant dahlia one year with half the bloom one color and the other half another? I've previously noticed variability in my 'Punkin Spice' but with just a couple of blooms so far this year, I can't assess whether that trend's continuing. Your Bloom Day display is lovely and multi-faceted. I'm still debating where to put my 'Irene Nuss', while keeping her carefully watered in her pot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes the one with the yellow, red-specked yellow, and red produced a half and half last year. I'm happy with it not being able to make up its mind.

      Delete
  5. Dahlias, proteas -- so glad I can enjoy them on your blog. 'Pink Ice' was a sprawler that I hated to see go, but then there's lots of those decisions to make. And I can't believe you still had some orlaya left! I lean toward thinking lilies as annuals are worth, unless they are mislabeled and bloom white, such a funereal color in lilies. I checked the catalogues and the best lilies are already sold out for 2020!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Pink Ice' sprawling everywhere here as well, while 'Sylvia' is growing straight up. I can't believe I have Orlaya left either. Must have been the magic of winter rain.

      Lilies--mine are all the big-box kind--after all the chance of them actually growing means I don't want to spend a lot.

      Delete
  6. I had a Cryptanthus Bromeliad ‘Absolute Zero’ one time. It bloomed up a storm and put out pups like crazy. Then one day all up and died. I could never figure out what happened.
    Your blooms are all so pretty but that begonia is a stunner. I just love begonias. I haven't met one I didn't like.
    Happy GBBD.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am really enjoying 'Absolute Zero'--it has a bunch of offsets too--only thing I read on care was that you never ever let Cryptanthus dry out. Now I'm wondering based on your experience if I should pull some of the offsets before the original starts to shut down.

      I love begonias as well but here we are limited as to what will grow because we get super low humidity in the fall and it kills most of them off. 'Irene Nuss' holds up to the dry weather the best, so it's a real gem here!

      Delete
  7. So many superstars there...strange about the Dahlias....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read Dahlia tubers wear out, get infected with virus that ruin the flowers, etc. I do buy the cheap kind.

      Delete
  8. So much to see!! For some inexplicable reason, I'm still enthralled with Orlaya grandiflora. I hope the seeds you gave me will yield at least one plant. Knock on wood!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Orlaya is lots of fun to photograph. Here I think every last seed germinates, so attending to the wood-spirits may not be necessary.

      Delete
  9. The splendor of that begonia got me thinking about how you could possibly choose among the zillion varieties if they live from year to year, but your reply to Lisa answered the question.
    The Aloe dhufarensis blooms are just outstanding against the dusky aqua of the agaves and the grey succulent beyond; my favorite vignette among tough competition. Which very much includes the surviving Eustomas, so beautiful in an entirely different way -- at war with all that's hot and dry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rather a surprise, but there are a couple of Eustomas in bone-dry soil, blooming away.

      Delete
  10. Re: your small, dark-leafed dahlia, I vote for "self-cleaning". That quality and the manageable size make it a great candidate for inclusion in a border. Is it 'Fascination', by any chance? Linda Cochran, on one of the islands near Seattle, grew that in front of a blue wall, an image that etched itself indelibly in the minds of all who visited. (I was there 23 years ago this month with a group that self-assembled via the CompuServe gardening forum, which makes me feel seriously old to contemplate).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it's 'City Lights Purple', one of the kind sold in qt pots for quick color. Good foliage, good flowers--I hope it comes back next year--the quick color ones usually don't.

      'Fascination' sounds lovely! CompuServe, now that's a blast from the past.

      Delete
  11. Beautiful Begonia! Are you going to the Begonia show/sale this Saturday at the South Coast Botanic Garden?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Xero. No, unfortunately not. I love Begonias but only so much bandwidth, y'know?

      I enjoy your Epiphyte experiments on your blog. I know I'm missing some interesting plant stuff on Facebook, but I'm just not a fan of Facebook.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Always interested in your thoughts.

Any comments containing a link to a commercial site with the intent to promote that site will be deleted. Thank you for your understanding on this matter.

Popular Posts