November now and then

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a scene from November 2013 that easily stands in for November 2019
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Berkheya purpurea in June 2018 also sends out a flower spike in November

My rapturous opinion of November hasn’t changed much over the years (the cooler days, the slanted light, the chance of rain!), but certain patterns in the garden do escape my notice. Perusing past November entries, I find that Berkheya purpurea sends out the odd flower bud in November, as it’s doing now. The tetrapanax is sending out blooms right on schedule, which was anticipated, but I didn’t remember that berkheya felt comfortable blooming in November as well. Something else I’ve noted: reseeding clumps of Ruby Grass, Melinus nerviglumis, only begin to flower in November in my garden and not before. Maybe I will stop being surprised by this fact next November.

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Ruby grass August 2017 — but the clumps that have reseeded are only starting to bloom now
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Also predictable for November, the flowering of Bocconia frutescens November 2016

And these posts (here and here), talking about the effect of sooty smoke on leaves and the palapable relief garden and gardener experience post another hot, dry summer, could easily have been written this November as well. So some things remain consistently the same — and like all Novembers, I indulge in quite a bit of plant shopping.

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I’m really starting to appreciate small agaves like Agave potatorum ‘Ikari Raijin Nishiki
I found this one local and thought the colored tag meant it was on sale like other nearby sale plants — which didn’t mean that at all when I inquired — but I was offered it half price anyway because of my “confusion.” Confusion never paid off so well!
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Like this ‘Royal Spine,’ the small agaves just hang out in their pot, increasing in stunning good looks if not size, requiring no intervention for years. (Although they do occasionally burst through their pots, as ‘Royal Spine’ did in 2017.)
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Helenium puberulum from the Huntington’s fall sale seems to think November is a good time for flowering. Fall planting and winter rains may make the difference for this helenium, getting it firmly established before having to endure the rigors of summer
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Orthophytum magalhaesii 
Bought this bromeliad in summer already in flower, which lasts forever, and now a couple new pups are forming — chartreuse flowers and bronze-flecked leaves is a delectable pairing
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Senecio dendroideum is a weirdo of a succulent that I always see for sale at the summer succulent shows. Mine is multibranched and over 3 feet tall now. Now top-heavy, the 6-inch pot will topple over if not secured.
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More from the tall and strange succulent aisle — Senecio ficoides’Mt. Everest’ is reaching 4 feet. I moved it out of a large pot to see what it can do in the open garden. A Blue Chalksticks with legs…
The brownish shrub in the background is Berzelia lanuginosa, moved back to a pot because it really craves more lush growing conditions. ‘Blue Hobbit’ eryngium have replaced the berzelia.
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Eryngium planum ‘Blue Hobbit’
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Alcantarea imperialis, another good deal I couldn’t pass up. This Brazilian bromeliad is one of the biggest and will take years, maybe a decade, to gain mature size (over 4 feet wide!) before blooming and dying, leaving some pups

The buzz is we’re going to get some rain for Thanksgiving — thank heavens! Have a great holiday yourself.

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5 Responses to November now and then

  1. Hans says:

    Perfect timing. First raindrops in 6+ months just falling now. Plants should be happy -as long as we don’t get quite as much rain as last year 😉

  2. Kris P says:

    I wish my ruby grass would reseed and bloom in November. Maybe the rain will work some miracles. Weather Underground cites a 99% chance of rain in my area at 9am tomorrow so you should certainly get some of that too! I turned my back on the interior of the house today and spent the entire afternoon working in the garden.

  3. ks says:

    Raining here as we speak. Happy to wave goodbye to both hose dragging and fire season. Oct and Nov are definitely among favorite garden months for me, though the fire thing has put a negative edge on it. Still the light and the temps are so very pleasant.

  4. Elaine says:

    What a bonus to have the Ruby Grass reseed itself. A really pretty accent. Always fun to go back and see what was happening in the past and how the garden evolves. Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. hb says:

    A rainy Thanksgiving it was–hope yours was a happy one.

    Just got a ‘Julietta’, a “complex hybrid” of among other things Alcantarea imperialis.

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