Unexpected, From Callistemon/Melaleuca 'Slim' And Others

Such a big show was unexpected.  There are nine Callistemon viminalis 'Slim' around the garden and they are all bent over by the weight of their flowers.  Formerly in the genus Callistemon, it is now categorized as Melaleuca. 
The newest one (was it planted just last year?):
The next newest one, intended to hide the pond equipment:
 The three intended to hide the neighbor in the back when she sits on her deck in her pajamas bellowing into her phone:
 The three by the pergola intended to shade the chairs under the pergola on summer mornings.  Planted two years ago, when they were about 30" tall (75 cm). 
 The first one, planted by the back gate (4? 3? years ago) to determine if the hype about 'Slim' being a great tall narrow screening plant was actually true.  Pretty much true, yes. 
 All nine of them are feeding Orioles, warblers, what seems like dozens of hummingbirds, and thousands of bees. Callistemons are endemic to Australia.

Another unexpected development.  The native California scrub Oak, Q. berberidifolia,  purchased 3 or 4 years ago had never done anything.  Not an inch of growth, not even a single new leaf.  A couple of months ago it looked like it was about to give up.  Suddenly now, plentiful new foliage.  Huh.  How 'bout that?  Still doesn't look like much, but given signs it will eventually grow, it gets more time.  In an out-of-the-way place, it is intended to be habitat for native birds currently partying with Aussie Callistemons. 
Also unexpected, a cluster of "Dutch" 'Eye Of The Tiger' iris I planted back in '18 didn't reappear last year, so I assumed they died.  Surprised about that, because the "Dutch" iris have proven so reliable.  This year they're back.  Huh?  Their cool feature was bronze/brown "falls", the lower part of the flower. 
Another,  a seedling Hellebore with flowers that sport little dots.  Up to now they've always been plain.  Silly to be happy about little dots, but...they are sweet!
Unintentionally surprised a scrub jay while I was looking around.  Sorry, bro.   
Another surprise,  the Itoh Peony 'Misaka'.  I thought it was terminal.  All the new growth every spring came from an increasingly woody and dried up crown.  However, new stems have now sprouted straight from the soil, so it's okay!  It's glory is far too brief, yet glory it is.   
Two stems from the soil on extreme left, the rest from the woody old crown:

Last happy surprise,  'Cloudbank Ginny's glory lasted near three weeks.  Not as brief as the Itohs. 
The tight red pom-pom becomes a shaggy yellow
The pale yellow bracts become pinky-orange

 'Tango' and the Aloe x megalacantha(?) put on a much longer show.  No surprise there, but the blue foliage of Dasylirion wheeleri add an unexpectedly fine contrast. 
  Good unexpected, bad unexpected.  There is both these days.  The bad stuff looms outside of this little garden.  Stay home, stay patient, stay well.  

Comments

  1. The Melaleuca look like they are on fire. What a gorgeous show to lift the spirits especially if the birds are partying in them. How tall will they eventually get?

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    1. They are joyful, and all the birds feeding in them joyful too. Wonderful to watch. They will get to 10' (3 m) easy, long term probably taller than that, but I'll try to keep them to 10'.

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  2. So many reasons for joy in your garden! I wonder what prompted the "super bloom" by the Callistemon/Melaleuca? Lots of rain all at once, cooler than usual temperatures?

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    1. Our rain may not have been generous, but it was timed in such a way to keep the soil really moist for a while. Maybe that was it. I also gave them all a soaking of collected rain; that always helps, and they are all more mature this year, too, after the wonderful rain of the previous 18-19 season.

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  3. Callistemon are beautiful work horses in your garden. Those surprising little dots is what we always look for in our gardens. Such a fun find. It was also fun for me to get a glimpse of the Scrub Jay in your garden. What a handsome bird. Have a nice weekend. Cheers.

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    1. The dots, like freckles on a little nose. So cute! The scrub jays are beautiful and very bold. They will eat peanuts from your hand if you hold one up and sit motionless for a few minutes. A docent in the Huntington Desert Garden greenhouse was doing it when we were there once. He said it took about two minutes to train the bird. Guess they really like peanuts!

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  4. Its been a few minutes of exotic escapism...love the bird in flight too.

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    1. Ha! Seeing your beautiful rural area in your blog is my exotic escapism! :)

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  5. The oak growth is the most exciting development to me. I bet it picks up speed in future seasons!

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    1. Was just out looking at the oak. Amazing growth the past 3 years. The first 5 it was about 6" tall. Supposedly they slow way down once they hit about 20'. Birds adore it.

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    2. Oops, I mean the other oak, the big one. Forgot about the scrub oak picture!

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  6. Yes, to your advice at the end. Patience is tough, but so important. The Callistemon are strikingly beautiful! I remember seeing some beautiful Bottlebrush trees at the San Diego Botanic Garden, and the hummingbirds were loving them! The Leucadendron is pretty awesome, too--the colors the shape, everything about it. Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks! The same wish for a good week to you, Beth.

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  7. Those Maleleuca are amazing!

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    1. And so many different birds are feeding from them. The garden is alive with song birds.

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