Something Was Missing

Calylophus in the morning

For a couple of years, it has felt like something was missing on the left side of the path.  Missing...what?  

A tallish accent, I decided.  Last fall I moved three fans of 'Bella Rossa' Hemerocallis to that side of the path, to see if that would do. 
 No, the daylily is too small.  I thought further.  What about a pot raised by a base, containing either a vertical grower, or a fountain of foliage with a contrasting color?   Canna? Cordyline 'Festival Grass'?  I braved a quick trip to the big box store.  Their plant area is largely open to fresh air circulation and everyone was wearing a mask, including me.  No 'Festival Grass' for sale, but plenty of Canna 'Phasion'.

There. How's that?  I like.  All (all?) the Canna need do is grow and flower. 

In addition, there will be an arresting back lighting effect when early morning sun shines through 'Phasion's striped foliage.  In the winter, while the Canna is dormant, switch out to a potted 'Festival Grass', or perhaps Aechmea blanchetiana 'Orange', or one of the Alcantera imperialis, once they grow larger.  That should work.   

In other garden developments of the moment, yes of course Lobularia maritima (sweet alyssum) is weedy, but look at the ridiculous perfection of this random volunteer: 
And lots of pink tips on Adenanthos cuneatus 'Coral Drift', though perhaps better paired with Agave 'Blue Glow' than with 'Joe Hoak':
Finally, what's up with the Pacific Slope Flycatcher?  I've been trying to get chick pics, but the parents have been very protective.

Lady F:

Lady F perched on an onion leaf, her peeps, menacing--if a peep can be menacing:


Mr. F, too:
Still hard to see, but on July 3rd, recognizable chicks:


And on July 5th, hooray!  Two little beaks:


Sweet!

Comments

  1. Backlit is good. I have been enjoying the low winter sun spotlighting the leaf edges of coral aloe

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    Replies
    1. That's a beautiful Aloe. Here, too, in winter the edges are lit and glow.

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  2. They're not bald anymore! Sweet indeed.

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  3. I love the photo of the flycatcher on the watering can spout. That is priceless.

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    1. The past couple days that has been her lookout spot.

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  4. I like your canna addition. Alyssum is not weedy here. I do like the way it brightens a spot. Yes, those little PS flycatchers are sweet. The parents picked a perfect spot to raise their chicks.

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    1. I think your winters must regulate the alyssum. I do like it, but it can over-seed rather a lot here.

      Lady F. did seem to pick the right spot. So far they are doing well. I hope to see the chicks successfully thrive and fly off to eat mosquitoes and flies to their hearts content in a few days.

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  5. I love your Cannas and they do grow in Phoenix. Do you leave in the pot after the leaves die back. Do you water when no leaves. Do you ever feed them? I know they could only take some morning sun here! It is 111 at least all week and over 85 at night! Ugh! My poor plants can’t breathe!

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    1. There's a really good youtube from a guy in Australia on growing Cannas. He said basically you cannot over-water them and youalmost can't over-fertilize them. That has proven good advice here.

      I grew one for the first time last year; when it died back in October(?) I cut all the stems to soil level and left the pot dry in a cool, full shade spot. It might have gotten rained on at some point, or it might not have.

      When the first sprout emerged (end of March?) I potted the clump up and watered, watered, watered, and fertilized heavily. Rapid healthy growth followed. I've been watering almost every day since.

      The bloom process: A good strong stem from a mature clump: the flower stem will produce several rounds of flowers. When the first topmost group of flowers is finished, a new bunch will emerge a little lower down on the same flower stem, then possibly others, up to five. When that flower stem is complete, you can cut that entire stem down to the soil level because that stem will never bloom again.

      Your summers sound scary, that hot. Take care!

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  6. The Canna is a nice touch. Love the Flycatcher chicks. We have some house wrens nesting in our back garden at the moment.

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    1. We see house wrens here, too. They have a lovely call. Cool you have a nest!

      Coming home from a rare trip out I passed a house with a patch of the same Canna 8' tall and 6' wide...mine will stay in a pot!

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  7. What's your secret for Adenanthos cuneatus 'Coral Drift'? I've tried and failed trwice. Maybe it just gets too hot in Davis....

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    1. Could be the heat, yes. Native range is said to be within 25 miles of the ocean. Prefers light soil (which is what is here), not clay. Also reported to be vulnerable to Phytophthora cinnamomi. It's growing with Grevillea 'Coastal Gem' which is also very happy in that spot.

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    2. Thanks, Hoover! I bet it's a combination of things. I wonder if you can test for P. cinnamomi....

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    3. "Cultural control measures include alleviation of high soil moisture levels and improving aeration by increasing drainage, and attention to mineral nutrition. Elements of the soil microflora suppress P. cinnamomi in some soils and may be potential biocontrol agents. These factors were reviewed by Weste (1983). Soil solarization also controls P. cinnamomi on young avocado plants (Kotze and Darvas, 1983). Smith et al. (1983) reviewed the combination of measures for controlling the disease in nurseries.

      The use of mulches rich in cellulose will often reduce populations of P. cinnamomi. Microorganisms which decompose cellulose also degrade the cell walls of P. cinnamomi, which are composed of cellulose and laminarin (Downer et al., 2001). Composted and uncomposted animal manures suppress P. cinnamomi (Aryantha et al., 2000) but the active ingredient is often ammonia which can be toxic to plant roots. Chitosan also inhibits fungal growth of P. cinnamomi (Napoles et al., 1997). Gypsum amended soil reduced root rot of avocado seedlings (Messenger et al., 2000a, b). In hydroponic conditions, increased copper (Toppe and Thinggaard, 2000), sand filtration (Os et al., 1999) and reduced oxygen (Burgess et al., 1998) significantly reduced disease. Soil solarization, in isolation and with cover crops, significantly reduced P. cinnamomi populations in avocado orchards (Lopez Herrera et al., 1997) and sunlight exposure reduced heart rot of pineapple (Yang RongYang and Zhou Chang, 1998)."

      See: https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/40957#topreventionAndControl

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