Occasional Daily Weather report 3/7/16 (palms on fire!)

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from The Los Angeles Times

Marty, both parakeets, and I were jolted awake a little after 6 a.m., when the predicted storm slammed into town, escorted by raucous thunder, lightning, and high winds. (Nothing wakes increasingly deaf Ein.) In a quintessentially LA touch, the lightning struck and fired up several palm trees across the county, some of which could be seen from that major player in all our lives, the sclerotic 405 freeway (pronounced in the local dialect as “four-oh-five.”)

I can’t leave you with that end-of-the world, palm-on-fire photo, so how about some soothing photos from the garden in the last week or so?

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My beloved ballota. I think mine is Ballota acetabulosa. I always thought the name was interchangeable with B. pseudodictamnus.
Apparently that’s not the case, and one kind is slightly superior to the other. It’s not an easy plant to track down by any name, so I’ll probably never know the distinction. Whatever this one is, I love it. Reseeds for me. Buy it under any name if you’re in zone 7 and above and want some knobby, woolly texture for a dry garden. And be patient, for it doesn’t look like much the first six months to a year after planting.

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This maroon osteospermum just might keep me from throwing money away at chocolate cosmos this year. Thank goodness for the osteospermum’s unflagging, robust nature. If only it had Cosmos atrosanguineus’ extra long stems too.

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Bulbine ‘Athena Compact Orange’

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First bloom on rat-tail cactus.

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Echeveria agavoides are in bloom all over the garden. Offsets quickly make new, thick colonies of this echeveria, one of my faovorites.

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Glistening from the previous rainstorm a couple weeks back, my potted Leucadendron galpinii is going to love life in this container all summer. Right? Are we agreed? I’ll take that as a yes.

N.B. Read here on how to check your citrus for signs of the Asian citrus psyllid.

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13 Responses to Occasional Daily Weather report 3/7/16 (palms on fire!)

  1. Alan @ It's Not Work, It's Gardening! says:

    Ooh, I need to get a rattail cactus. Also, burning palm trees are scary but fascinating!

  2. rusty duck says:

    Good grief! Burning palm trees are quite a sight. But rain is good, right? Even if it did come in with a bang.

  3. Sheila says:

    Thank you so much for including that link to the Asian citrus psyllid information. Now I know more clearly what to look for and that I’m in an area where the psyllids have been found (maybe even on my own trees as there are often traps placed there) and a mile or 3 from beneficial parasites, which will direct what controls I can use. What a great resource that is!
    And those maroon osteospermum look so lovely against the green and silvery foliage. Thank you for sharing. I must find some…. but not today. We started with the T&L shortly after 4 AM!

  4. Alison says:

    Whoa! That shot of the flaming tree is scary. The bulbine and the maroon osteospermum are fabulous!

  5. Les says:

    Treehugger that I am, I still enjoy a good fire.

  6. ks says:

    It’s still the San Diego Freeway to me. I have to say, a flaming palm tree is not in my experience.

  7. hoov says:

    I love the Ballotas! Beautiful plants, thank you again. All growing and hopefully soon as beautiful as yours.

    Not a palm fan, (bad pun), so that’s a cheery sight. The tree news here was an 80 ft Araucaria heterophylla; it snapped in the blustery morn and part of it nearly impaled a couple in their bedroom in Anaheim. No injuries save to the home.

    I’m sick about the citrus disease–our orange trees produce fruit that is beyond sublime. Guess we’ll enjoy the fruit while we can.

  8. Kris P says:

    Yikes! The lightning and thunder had us up at about the same time when it seemed it was right on top of us. The flaming palm makes that possibility seem all too real. At least this time the phones weren’t knocked out. I still have 2 of the 3 Ballota you gave me (the raccoons having pulled up the third one too many times) – they’re still very small but alive!

  9. Sean (Cistus) has a story about setting a palm tree on fire. Only it was his doing and one in his own garden…

    Love the Agave and blooming Echeveria agavoides shot, so beautiful…so your garden…

  10. David Feix says:

    Flaming palm trees seems so LA! But probably much more common in Florida. I also am thrilled by that maroon Osteospermum, frankly I’m amazed the nurseries and Big Box stores don’t pack all the different color forms in all winter, they can be hard to find. I swear I just don’t understand how nurseries don’t stock MY favorite plants when I want them :-). Glad to hear you’re getting rain down there too, let’s hope there’s more to come.

  11. Luisa says:

    That Leucadendron galpinii and its gorgeous perfect pot [swoons]. Gorgeous photos (and a skeery one).

    Thanks for posting information on the citrus psyllid, which is responsible for much stress and heartache here in one of CA’s oldest citrus-growing regions. I drive through beautiful groves each day on the way to work, and worry about the ACP every time. Just bought a new lemon tree, too [/stubborn].

  12. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Oh my goodness, you Californians sure know how to do dramatic garden torches!

  13. Pam/Digging says:

    My god, I’ve never seen a palm torch like that. How very L.A. Glad you got some rain though.

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