Bloom Day August 2015

There’s not much difference between July and August, or even June Bloom Day posts, but I suppose it’s useful to see what has survived, who’s stalwart and who’s a wimp.
And I have been dropping some new stuff into the garden all summer.

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New to me is this Begonia ‘Unstoppable Upright Big Fire.’ Sounds like the title to a U2 album. I was looking local for Begonia boliviensis but it was unavailable.
This UUBF hybrid has dark leaves and large, non-pendulous flowers. I’m not convinced that’s an improvement over boliviensis, which has such an elegant, cascading habit.

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Begonia ‘Unbelievable Lucky Strike,’ another boliviensis hybrid. I guess we’re way beyond the peaches-and-cream kind of names now.

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In light bloom all summer and now having a good bloom flush is Grevillea ‘Robyn Gordon,’ an old cultivar dating back to 1968, from Grevillea banksii and G. bipinnatifida.

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Obviously crushing on Agave ‘Blue Flame.’ Me too.

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The potted Abutilon venosum is enjoying dappled morning sun after emergency transport to this more protected spot due to the current protracted heat wave.

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Lotus jacobaeus is a lot tougher than it looks, very long blooming. It seems to prefer container life to the garden.

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Here it rests against an adjacent potted agave.

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Crassula ovata, probably ‘Hummel’s Sunset,’ in a low bowl on a table, where it makes this great draping effect.

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I dropped these Bulbine ‘Athena Compact Orange’ into the garden sometime in July.

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Bog sage, Salvia uliginosa, is never too venturesome in my heavy clay, dryish soil. The rugose, crinkly leaves are always clean from disease or insect damage.
These are mid-summer additions from gallon sizes.

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Crocosmia ‘Solfatare’ is about as shy a spreader as a crocosmia can be. Slow to build into a sizeable clump.

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Not a bloom but Tradescantia ‘Greenlee,’ new this summer. It already seems destined to be one of those plants that knits together beautifully with its neighbors.
Shown here with Plectranthus zuluensis. I have a bloom to show of that.

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Plectranthus zuluensis loves the dappled sun under the tetrapanax.
By July I usually cut back Melianthus ‘Purple Haze,’ in full sun just behind, and the plectranthus does a nice job of filling the gap while the melianthus bulks up again.

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Not a flower but one of my favorite colors in the garden, Euphorbia ammak. It’s almost doubled in size this summer.
Behind the row of pots are two clumps of Pennisetum ‘Sky Rocket,’ the mother plants of the other, bigger clumps in the garden.
These are much smaller, having to deal with competing roots from the lemon cypresses.
Everything else in front of the grasses is in containers, including the Leycesteria “Jealousy’ and some taros out of frame at the far end.

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Glaucium grandiflorum is still sending up bloom trusses.

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Eryngium pandanifolium has never attained the height it did the first season in the garden. This one was grown from seed of the original plant from Plant Delights.

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Dark brown nicotiana seeded into a pot of yellow Russelia equisetiformis

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Gomphrena ‘Balboa’ in its first summer here. It lets you know when it’s thirsty so you have to keep an eye on it, but still a fairly tough plant for full sun.

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I’m already a big fan of Peruvian Feather Grass, Stipa ichu, after just one season in the garden. Nicely upright, columnar habit.

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The Bloom Day summer mainstay, Gomphrena ‘Fireworks,’ with Pennisetum ‘Sky Rocket.’ Not surprisingly, this grass grows into a much bigger clump than the two in front of the cypresses.

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The Desert Mallow, Sphaeralcea ‘Newleaze Coral, has also won me over in its first summer in the garden.

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A nameless gift aloe.

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Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ always wakes up in the heat of August. I’ve pulled out handfuls but a few roots always remain.

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I’m assuming this is Asarina scandens, a self-sown seedling of the mother plant grown in 2011.

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The furry leaves are always in good shape, and nothing seems to bother it or chew on it. From Mexico.
I’m not in love with the light pink flowers, but it’s healthy and robust, and all that counts heavily in a drought.
Excitement is building as the predictions of a wet El Nino winter look more and more solid. Visit May Dreams Gardens for more August Bloom Day reports.

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17 Responses to Bloom Day August 2015

  1. Kris P says:

    As usual, you have a lot of interesting blooms. I’m intrigued by that Lotus jacobaeus every time I see it in your posts but I had in mind that it was unwieldy; however, your statement and Annie’s testimonial puts it on my fall planting list. That Tradescantia is another one I need to look for. And I can’t think how I missed adding Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’ to my garden again this year.

  2. Alison says:

    You have some wonderful blooms. I have Eryngium pandanafolium in my garden too, but it has never bloomed yet. I’m wondering how old yours is? I also wonder when/if that Stipa will start showing up at nurseries here.

  3. Anna K says:

    Thanks for the giggle! I’m totally with you on the name thing… Who comes up with these names??? Anyway, I was set to write how intrigued I was by that Lotus jacobaeus, but then you just kept so many cool plants coming, I lost track. That Eryngium is wonderful, as is the brown Nicotiana, and the red Mallow. I lost count – you have such fabulous plants!

  4. commonweeder says:

    What fabulous pphotos of a beautiful garden. I hope you will visit the commonweeder and leave a comment to enter a Giveaway http://tinyurl.com/p9mn5n6. The drawing is on Aug 19 and I hope you visit.

  5. Nell says:

    You might singlehandedly be creating a region-wide (or even national) surge in demand for that Glaucidium. I’m a sucker for anything poppy-like. Very few of the large family are happy for long in our clay, which only adds to the mystique… Love to see it, let’s see if it can appear in *every* GBBD in 2015.

  6. Nell says:

    Oops, I meant Glaucium. Glaucidiums are pygmy owls — cute, but not as colorful and probably more high-maintenance…

  7. Les says:

    I love your begonias. I’ve admired B. boliviensis at work and decided to try one at home this year, and it has been a blooming machine. I just need to remember to be conservative with the water. I hope your El Nino brings you what you need, and nothing else.

  8. hb says:

    Very, very elegant. Thanks for all the delicious eye candy this hot hot day.

    Yes, the names are wince-inducing. The plants are not.

  9. Fawn says:

    Your garden is lovely and you have such a talent for capturing it on camera. I’d love to Gomphrena in my garden, such a pop of color!

  10. Jane Strong says:

    How are you without AC and your garden doing? NWS LOX is reporting 110 degrees for Long Beach/Rossmoor, that’s unheard of!

  11. I love the pictures. August blooms in the Arizona desert are bare and sparse, these photos bring me joy!

  12. Denise says:

    @Kris, I’ll get a piece of the tradescantia rooted for you. The only place I’ve seen it is Lincoln Nursery in Pasadena. That lotus can be iffy. Now that it’s formed a little trunk it seems to make sense, and blooms all the time.
    @Alison, I ordered that eryngo in June 2012 and it bloomed its first year — very odd for this garden where eryngos take their sweet time. Seed from that plant has bloomed quickly too.
    @Anna, crazy names, right? I’m glad you found some plants of interest. That mallow in particular is an amazing plant for a dry garden, but just keep the clippers handy because it wants more room than I can give it. Still worth any trouble for a lush plant all summer.
    @CW, thank you for the kind words and the link, I’ll take a look.
    @Nell, I used that spelling first too! The glaucium has been fantastic this year but they’re notoriously short-lived, so I’m wondering if I’ll have any next year. There must be some reason why it’s not seen more often.
    @Loree, it’s been an interesting summer, with enough successes to offset the tragedies. I thought I’d cry when a creature dug up a healthy Leuc ‘Safari Goldstrike’ which was sited just behind the Acacia baileyana purpurea. Wouldn’t that have been amazing?
    @Les, it sounds like you have the boliv. I’ve been looking for. These are a little too fancy for me. I get you with the El Nino wishes — it will undoubtedly be too much of a good thing, esp. with all the land denuded by fire, lawns ripped out. It will be a muddy winter.
    @Hoov, I hope the pups are holding up. I wonder how many more heat waves before fall planting?
    @Fawn, that gomphrena is not for pastel fans! It is a strong jolt of color. Thank you for your nice words, which encourage me to keep at it with the camera.
    @Jane, we’re doing OK, thanks. There’s been so many power outages in Long Beach that even the folks with AC aren’t doing much better. It is amazing how much heat plants can take if they’ve been gradually acclimated to sun all summer. I moved a little agave a couple days before the high temps from dappled sun to full sun — not a good idea. The leaves were baked.

  13. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Your begonias are gorgeous, especially the second one! Your garden is looking full and lush despite the lack of rain!

  14. Denise says:

    @Brian, and your comment brings me joy! The Arizona desert is a beautiful landscape, just not very gardenesque in August 😉
    @Peter, yes, these were the ones I mentioned on your blog. Our July water bill was encouragingly low, so that’s reassuring. August’s bill might see a slight uptick tho!

  15. Amy says:

    So many beauties. I love that Peruvian feather grass too.

  16. Pam/Digging says:

    Your images are like dreamy watercolors, Denise. I love looking at them. And that Fourth of July-named combo of Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’ and Pennisetum ‘Sky Rocket’ — pow! Love it!

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