Blooms September 2023 -- Thanks, T.S. Hilary!


Lagerstroemia 'Dynamite'

 'Bolero 2004':

 Russelia equisetiformis

Leucophyllum candidum 'Thunder Cloud':

As many wide shots as possible because everything looks pretty great thanks to double our typical yearly rainfall total, and August's Tropical Storm Hilary.  

The rain and the plants did wonderful things together.  A September garden as happy and bloom-filled as April's is unprecedented. 

A Sanseveria flower!  Plus the Pyrrosia foliage all clean and glossy from Hilary's steady rain:
The actual flowers on this Aechmea are the lavender bits--the pink structure is a lure to pollinators:

The bee appeared to have slept on the Zinnia all night--it and the Zinnia were both dewy.  I was unsure it was alive, but it buzzed the dew off its wings and flew off a few seconds after I took the photo:

'Northern Lights Blend':

I ended up using a chunk of concrete to straighten up Mangave 'Kaleidoscope' because its leaning flower stalk blocked the path.  It appears to have used up its root system creating this towering stalk:

Whoa!  There goes Agave parrasana:

And Drimia maritima:
Eriocapitella 'Pretty Lady Emily'.  That's a lot of pink:

The Leucophyllum again.  In person it is simply marvelous.  I went out several times just to stare at it.
Yep, a lot of pink:

Dahlia 'Duet' I worried about, because it was buried under a mass of sweet peas all spring.  Though it took  time to get going, it looks good now.  (Thanks, T.S. Hilary!)

Protea 'Sylvia' has many flowers, some lightly toasted by the weekend heat wave we suffered. 

There were bees around the 'Sylvia' flowers, attracted perhaps by the scent of nectar they were unable to reach.  There's a smeary bee above the flower here--it flew off quickly, giving up trying to figure out a way into the nectar pool:
A bee here was trying to find a way in, and not finding it:
The bees eventually fly off to surrounding Grevillea flowers, which are easily accessible.  

I sorely missed summer roses the past several years.  They were mostly all ruined by chili thrips.   

"Scirtothrips dorsalis is an extremely successful invasive species of pest-thrips which has expanded rapidly from Asia over the last twenty years, and is gradually achieving a global distribution

For whatever reason, they didn't arrive this year.

Happy, happy!
The view from the Pergola:

The Salvia 'Amistad' mass I chopped to the ground a month or two ago has growing back (Thanks, T.S. Hilary!--I think.)

One last picture, not a flower, but a critter.  The photo made me smile because everything was out of focus except for the orb weaver spider, which is visible and in focus in the top far left of the photo.   These spiders make big webs across paths and we must watch out for them at this time of year: 

Nothing says "Summer's almost over" like walking face-first into a spider's web:

 Happy September Blooms!


  1. WOW! It almost looks fake it's so good. The Leucophyllum spilling over the wall, oh my - I'd be going out several times a day to take that in. Beautiful!

    1. Rain is magic!

      The Leucophyllum--beyond wonderful. Glad you liked the picture.

  2. That walking into a spider's web thing is happening here too. I feel bad destroying their hard work everyday! Thank you for the Russelia equisetiformis photo, I love that plant so much and live vicariously through images of yours, since it's a beauty and I can't grow it here. The pyrrosia foliage indeed looks fantastic, glad you are experiencing success with it.

    1. Happy you enjoy the Russelia picture. They've added even more flowers since I took it and the male hummers are fighting over them. In the meantime the females sneak in from below and feed, unseen. Pyrrosia one of the easiest plants ever! Beauty-to-effort ratio is way up there.

  3. I got a boost from Tropical Storm Hilary but it's not as clearly evident in my garden as it is in yours, although as I recall you got twice the amount of rain as we did. My Leucophyllums didn't bloom, which is odd as they usually respond to the slightest amount of rain.

    I'm glad to hear that the nasty thrips gave you a pass this summer - could that be the result of the cool prolonged spring weather? No Japanese anemones here yet but there are a few buds. I also saw what just might be the first bud on my Protea 'Pink Ice' but I'm trying not to get too excited yet. I have to check what's up with my Drimia - I only made it halfway down the slope this morning as I began chopping down the gazillions of Centranthus stalks down there.

    1. It really is evident--I guess when we are out there nearly every day for years staring, after a while we can see it clearly.

      It is bud time for 'Pink Ice' here, so maybe some Protea flowers will star in one of your beautiful bouquets soon. Won't that be fun?

      I was thinking either the cool winter and spring, or all the rain destroyed the thrips eggs. It was an unexpected good thing in a weather-year of unexpected goods.

      My Drimia at the bottom of the front bank bloom much earlier than the Drimia at the top of the bank. Only they know why.

      Good luck with the Centranthus!

  4. When we were down in the Southwest this summer, I kept admiring all the Leucophyllums. There is something about all that silver foliage and then a pop of bright purple. I keep getting drawn back again and again to silvery foliage. Also, the Agave parrasana shot - with the echoes in form from the larger Agave and the green leaf shrub - all of them growing, opening up towards the same direction - and the contrasts in color from blues to vivid green - gosh, I'm meandering in thought here, but I really find that type of composition very pleasing.

    1. Leucophyllums--wonderful genus. I feel lucky to be able to grow some.

      Glad you liked the picture of the foliage--I like the mix of them, too.

  5. Wow. I mean I've said it before that Roses have a special place in my heart, but everything else looks healthy and colorful, too. The Protea 'Sylvia' is beautiful and fascinating. Happy GBBD!

    1. I love roses too. They are sometimes so gorgeous and sometimes they look dreadful, but their ups are worth the downs.

  6. Leucophyllum candidum 'Thunder Cloud' is absolutely stunning. I'm pretty sure I comment on it whenever you shared a photo: silver-gray leaves and purple blooms make me swoon every time.
    A dewy bee... kind of adorable, really. Don't bees have a more secure place to rest at night?
    If bees can't access Protea's nectar, who can? Do hummingbirds show interest?

    1. I was wondering that about Protea flowers myself.
      "Proteas use a variety of pollination strategies. Many rely on nectar-feeding birds, especially African sunbirds and sugarbirds. Others are pollinated by flower-visiting rodents or insects. There is even a specific protea beetle Trichostetha fascicularis, and as many as 2,000 of these insects have been found in a single flower head." -- see:

      Bees seem able to easily access Leucospermum and Grevillea flowers by crawling around the pollen presenters ("pins") but not the long dense mass of the Protea genus--at least the ones in my garden. They are so dense I can't even get my fingers through them.

      I read bumblebees falling asleep in flowers is quite common. The wee beastie waking up and flying off was adorable.

  7. Can see why you take time to stop and stare and the leucophyllum. It's stunning as is everything else. What a treat to see so much beauty instead of crispy brown. Thrips tend to like it dry so with all your extra rain they have been discouraged. We are very dry but the garden is lovely with autumn colours. Enjoying it for as long as possible before frost. A treat to see your garden just gearing up.

    1. Double our normal yearly rainfall--it has been gobsmacking good.

      It's usually dry here so thrips thive. (try saying "thrips thrive" fast 3 times.) ;^)

      Enjoy those glowing autumnal colors! There is nothing like them.

  8. So many jaw-dropping flowers. But I kept scrolling back that Leucophyllum 'Thunder Cloud'. SPECTACULAR! Not just the flowers, the foliage, too!

    1. I got an amazing crop of flowers from little 'Lynne's Legacy' a few weeks back. If I can grow it to a good size, it will be a gem, too. :)

  9. Entomologists have found a variety of insects scattered thru single protea flowers. A microcosm of life in there!

    1. That is not surprising--they are huge, complex flowers that are very much worth visiting--for insects---and looking at--for human flower lovers.


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.