Tag Archives: Echium gentianoides ‘Tajinaste’

Bloom Day September 2011

No use in dancing around the fact that my Bloom Day posts can be a bit repetitive. Seems it’s the same cast of characters every month.
But if you’re in zone 10 and lack the space for big herbaceous drifts but still looking for months of bloom, you can’t go wrong with any of the following.

The dahlia I posted on earlier in the week, ‘Chat Noir,’ livens up the roster this month, nestling up to silvery Athanasia acerosa.

Photobucket

Continue reading Bloom Day September 2011

Foliage Follow-Up August 2011

Thank goodness Pam at Digging hosts a Foliage Follow-Up to May Dreams Gardens Bloom Day. The blooming lineup in my July Bloom Day post can stand in with very little revision for August. Holding down the fort and keeping the hummingbirds and insects happy in August is the same bunch of long-blooming salvias, gaura, knautia, echium, verbascum, euphorbia, Persicaria amplexicaule, kangaroo paws, valerian in bloom since early summer. I throttled back on annuals, so not much new is erupting into blossom this August. Gardens for me are still all about the eruptions, not the staid, unchanging formalities, but this year August looks a lot like July and even June. Would I take a couple lines of track from the High Line, including every last grass and perennial, and plunk it down in my garden? Oh, hell, yeah. I’m a wannabe prairie garden companion. But that would leave me with nine months in a very small garden staring at nubby perennial crowns when there can be evergreen grevilleas in bloom in winter. (Why must the garden be such a heavy-handed teacher of compromise? Work with what you’ve got. Bloom where you live. Know thyself. I get it already!) With the last rainfall over four months ago, arid zone 10 can sometimes turn planning for flowering herbaceous plants in August into a dogged military campaign, but planning for gorgeous leaves is a walk in the park.

Arundo donax ‘Golden Chain,’ Phormium ‘Alison Black,’ Aralia cordata ‘Sun King.’

PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Continue reading Foliage Follow-Up August 2011

Bloom Day March 2011

Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts this exciting monthly event, inspired by garden writer Elizabeth Lawrence’s urging that “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.” Some days are so bleak, it seems astonishing that flowers could bloom at all, but indeed they always do. Some newer things in bloom in my garden here in Southern California, zone 10, a mile from the Pacific Ocean:

Geranium maderense ‘ Alba’ opened its first flowers this Bloom Day morning.
Photobucket

Variegated Solanum rantonnetii, now pruned into a standard, to cram more plants under its skirts. Amazingly long-blooming shrub.
Photobucket

Euphorbia mellifera
Photobucket

Shrublike Impatiens sodenii, flowers so sugary sweet they make my teeth ache. Bit of overkill by Mother Nature.
Photobucket

Anigozanthos, a good winter bloomer, with new blooms still coming for spring
Photobucket

Not in full bloom yet, just this one inflorescence on Echium gentianoides ‘Tajinaste.’ I shouldn’t have moved it a month ago. Oh, well.
Photobucket

Self-sown Nicotiana langsdorffii, seedlings found mostly in dry paving, where I pry them up and plant in the garden.
Photobucket

Ein passing by the poppies near the porch, Papaver setigerum
Photobucket

Thanks again to Carol and all the bloggers participating in this Bloom Day, whose blogs I’ll gratefully read while toggling back and forth between news reports about the crisis in Japan.

Dedicating my Bloom Day post to the good people of Japan.
(Huntington Botanical Gardens, Japanese Garden, photo from HBG site)

Photobucket

While You Were Away

I swing between elation and despondency upon returning from an absence to be confronted by a garden that obviously carried on beautifully while I was away.

Bravo, everyone is alive and thriving vs. sniffle, I am clearly superfluous.

As usual, I overstate the case just a bit. I was away for only a week, and rain arrived while I was gone. Never a threat of frost. A garden that couldn’t survive for a week in such cushy conditions is less a garden and more an intensive care unit for plants.

But still, it is surprising how quickly my tenuous ownership of the garden cedes to other creatures, like this guy cheekily casting his web now in high-traffic areas.

Photobucket

And what on earth was making those strange snuffling sounds in the creeping fig-covered wall?
No doubt animals who had taken up residence in my absence and were now beating a hasty retreat upon my return. Yes, that must be what it is.
A red-tailed hawk landed in one of the garden’s trees this morning. Never has this happened before. Evie the white cat must have been under raptor surveillance while I was away.

Unseen tempests caused cannas to crash and Solanum pyracantha and golden tansy to cling to each other for support.

Photobucket

Echium gentianoides ‘Tajinaste’ opened its first flowers with no one to pay the slightest attention to this momentous event.

Photobucket

(If a flower blooms in a garden, and no one is around to see it, is it still a garden? Hmmm…)

Photobucket

The “end of times” rain we had, as the son who remained behind for classes described it, scrubbed the agaves clean of the accumulated grit of summer.
Velvety Agave attenuata ‘Kara’s Stripes’ (who I’ve mistakenly referred to on the blog as’ Kara’s Choice.’)

Photobucket

The medio-picta agave was due for some rainy spa treatment after a recent pruning for work on the house.

Photobucket

‘Yellow Gem’ anigozanthos hoisted five flower scapes.

Photobucket

Which prompted me to appreciate the inadvertently brilliant choice of planting the orangey-gold Libertia peregrinans at the kangaroo paws’ base.
(Which prompted me to race to the nursery and buy another pot of libertia to emphasize this newly intentional pairing.)

Photobucket

The oddity from the pea family, Amicia zygomeris, planted a couple weeks ago, put on lots of fresh growth.

Photobucket

The ‘Campfire’ crassula burst into bloom, but what happened to the smoldering leaves?

Photobucket

The trailing crassula, C. sarmentosa, suspended from a height of 4 feet, is nearly touching the ground.

Photobucket

Photobucket

So nice of you all to carry on without me. (But how dare you!)