Wednesday miscellany

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Progress report on Rudbeckia maxima. Snails love this rudbeckia, so I’ve been cutting out a lot of chewed-up lower leaves. Believe it or not, it seems to be forming bloom stalks already. Zone 10 can be a topsy-turvy home for true perennials, which sometimes develop a bad case of insomnia as they are constantly prodded out of dormancy, or fail to enter dormancy entirely. Whatever happens with the blooms, I still love those leaves, so the snails have a fight on their hands. With ‘Sundiascia Peach,’ Melianthus ‘Purple Haze.’ Blue grass is Leymus ‘Canyon Prince.’ I’ve pretty much given up on the parkway/hellstrip the past few years but am thinking of making a stab at planting it again, with this wonderful grass. Wildly swinging car doors, careless stompers, trash throwers, all you negative forces in the universe, I’m putting ‘Canyon Prince’ up against everything you’ve got. We’ll see who wins! Along with planting parkways, I continue to be of two minds on just about any subject. As much as I love flowers, the diascias look a bit much to me. I think I prefer big floral displays in OPG (Other People’s Gardens). And it’s doubtful anyone would count this as a big floral display, but still it’s a bit too foo-foo for me. Of course, insects love the foo-foo, so there’s that to consider.

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This, however, is my kind of floral display. The beschorneria bloom stalk has topped out at about 5 feet and the individual buds have opened. This has to be one of the most colorful bloom stalks ever to grace my garden.

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Strobilanthes gossypinus is looking fine this spring too and continues to astonish. Silver and gold? Seriously, you can do that?

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My mom’s neighbor’s graptopetalum is covering itself in its unique galactic bloom strucuture again. It’s hard to sneak a photo because I have to stand directly in front of their window to do so. Being a gated community, there’s not a lot of love for strangers with cameras fawning over their plants.

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I don’t remember the lemon cypresses producing these last year. Nearby plantings were getting coated in a golden dust that had me mystified as to its source, until I knocked a cypress branch and unleashed a mini golden dust storm. Of course I couldn’t leave the cypresses alone and have forced them into double duty. Passion vines and solanums are threading their way up.

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And I keep forgetting to credit Abutilon venosum for blooming all winter, so thank you!

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5 Responses to Wednesday miscellany

  1. Renee says:

    That graptopetalum flower structure is very interesting! And definitely not froo-froo… Thanks for sharing!

  2. ks says:

    So I went back into the archives because I was pretty sure I saw Rudbeckia maxima the first time at the ‘Farmers Daughter’ in Rhode Island, and sure enough there it was . I took a photo of the plant and then a photo of the label on the pot. I’ve never seen it offered around here. How fabulous those leaves are , but the snail thing -reason number one I don’t grow Hostas. I hope you’ll report further !

  3. Kris P says:

    I love the plant mix in the first photo! As to the snails, perhaps I could bring you a raccoon – or two? The one thing they do right is take out the snails. Think about it. You could keep the trap ๐Ÿ˜‰

    That Graptopetalum galactic bloom structure is impressive. I saw a smaller version on some succulents up at Terra sol last weekend and almost bought the plant just for that. (I managed to spend enough without the extra purchase.)

  4. Denise says:

    @Renee, I was so tempted to lift the pot off the ground to get a better photo!
    @Kathy, I just noticed the bud peeking out this morning. Fast mover! Yeah, I bet this one caught your attention. Wonder if Monique grows it?
    @Kris, we’ve got plenty of racoons, thank you very much! They mostly dig around the margins of plantings for grubs. I watched a couple siblings head home from a night’s work early one morning recently. They sometimes sleep in the neighbor’s garage that peeks over my back garden. They looked fat & happy ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. David Feix says:

    Denise, very envious of your Strobilanthes gossypinus, I haven’t been able to find this again since mine died after blooming 10 years ago. Here’s hoping it does become more available, that color combination is wild. Somehow I doubt it will ever grow as big here as it does in Sri Lanka, where I first saw it, 5’x 5′!

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