Friday, September 23, 2016

Orchid Show

Last weekend I took a quick trip to my local botanic garden to take a look at the orchid show and sale they'd advertised.  I spent less than an hour there so I can't claim I made a thorough study of the specimens on view but I do have some photos to share.  Here are some of my favorites (all from the local orchid society's show area):

I loved the spots on this Cattleya (labeled as C. caudabel, although I couldn't find a species listing under that name on-line)

The spots and unusual color combination were what attracted me to this Rhyncholaeliocattleya 'Penny's Spot' (Orchid genera names can be a mouthful!)

I liked the unusual flowers of this Dendrochilum magnum

The camera's focus wasn't perfect here but the flowers colors did have a watercolor quality to them.  This is a Laeliocatonia grex Renate 'S&W'.  

Miltassia Aztec 'Nalo', a bigeneric hybrid with Miltonia and Brassia parents, has a nose-like protuberance that gives it the appearance of a face

Miltonia moreliana gives you an indication which parent gave the Miltassia its nose

I loved the color of this Oncidium 'Pacific Sun Spot'

Professional growers had a few display tables:

My profile photo of one grower's Dendrobium 'Andre Nishii' didn't come out but this photo shows the flower's curling form

And here are some of the winning entries among the amateur growers' submissions:

I think the top 2 photos are Dendrobiums.  The plant on the lower left is Vandachostylis 'Deep Blue Sea' and the one on the right is a noID Phalaenopsis.

Of course, there were deals to be had in the sale area and I had to bring a couple of orchids home.

A noID Phalaenopsis with pale yellow, almost green, flowers which almost match the color of the Hoya multiflora 'Shooting Star' I already had in my home office

A noID Oncidium with elaborate yellow, white and red blooms

I'm not very attentive to my orchids but they're surprisingly forgiving plants.  My collection seems to be expanding.

I recently cleaned up and repotted all my orchids, dividing some, and moved most of the collection to a shady corner on the southwest side of the garden.  The shelves my husband made me many years ago, already falling apart, may need to be replaced with a larger version.

All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesday Vignette: A steely stare

Today's Wednesday Vignette was a lucky catch.  I was sitting at my desk late yesterday afternoon and looked up to see a hawk gliding gracefully over the harbor.  He surprised me by landing at the top of the neighbor's tall pine tree.  I grabbed my camera and headed for the backyard, even though I expected that he'd fly off before I could get out the door.  He hung around for just one shot, although I did manage a second as he flew off into the distance.

Something, presumably another bird (or a squirrel committing suicide), showed up as a blurry image in the corner of my shot on the lower right but, at the time, all my attention was focused on the hawk

The hawk moved quickly and my second shot was only a blur but this one shows him headed out toward Angel's Gate, the entrance to the Los Angeles Harbor.  You can see a cargo ship and a small sailboat just beyond the breakwater.

While on the bird theme, I'll also share a few photos of finches enjoying a pool party in the fountain.  The still photos are a poor substitute for a live view but you can get some sense of the birds' enjoyment of their bath.  Birds splashing in the fountain always puts a smile on my face and a song in my heart.

For other Wednesday Vignettes visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.

All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

Monday, September 19, 2016

In a Vase on Monday: Berry good

I headed into the garden with one idea as to what I wanted for "In a Vase on Monday," the popular meme hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, but I came back with something entirely different.  Unlike Cathy, I don't usually do much with props but today's vase did bring one thing to mind: breakfast!

Yogurt and berries are my regular breakfast

Unfortunately, I was hungry so I ate my prop before arranging my vase but here it is, prop-less:

Front view: The blue Eustoma grandiflorum were a last minute addition - they're perfect floral stand-ins for blueberries (and they were flopping in the garden on weak stems)

Back view: Abelia x grandiflora has been blooming for months now

Top view: The pink Eustoma (the color of my strawberry yogurt), almost hidden here, is not nearly as heavily petaled as those that bloomed earlier

I hadn't planned on using Eustoma grandiflorum (Lisianthus) this week, at least not the blue or pink forms, but the flowers I initially cut needed something to punch up the arrangement so in they crept.

Clockwise from the left, the vase contains: blue Eustoma grandiflorum, shown with cinnamon basil stems peeking out below; Abelia x grandiflora; Angelonia angustifolia (possibly 'Archangel Raspberry') with a noID pink-flowering Hebe; pale pink Eustoma; and burgundy and dark pink forms of Pelargonium peltatum (aka ivy geranium)

While the vase shown above featured berry colors, it didn't include any actual berries.  I remedied that with a second vase.  Simpler than the first, it has only 3 ingredients.

Front view: The orange berries are making a solid effort to eclipse the Grevillea and Leucadendron here

The back view is all about the Leucadendron

The top view looks more balanced

From the left, the vase contains: berries of Auranticarpa rhombifolia, Grevillea 'Superb' and Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder'

As other participants in this meme have commented, this meme can become addictive.  Every time I consider skipping a week, I ask myself if I really want to go without flowers and/or foliage of some kind on my dining room table and, once I walk into the garden, the process takes hold and I find myself clipping a little of this and a little of that.  So here we are, two vases to brighten the week:

One in the front entry

One on the dining room table

Visit Cathy to find what she and other participants have gathered from their gardens this week.

All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

Friday, September 16, 2016

Foliage Follow-up: The Southwest Corner

When I went out to snap foliage photos for the monthly feature hosted by Pam at Digging, the first thing that caught my eye was the curtain of Agonis flexuosa (Peppermint Willows) lit up by the late afternoon sun on the southwest side of our property.

There are still some bare spots in the bed in the foreground, which was hit hard by the start-of-summer killer heatwave

That photo led me to focus my attention on the surrounding area.

This photo captures the same 2 Agonis and the nearby Arbutus 'Marina' from a different angle, looking south instead of west.  The remaining 2 Ceanothus shrubs, shown on the lower right, once formed part of a hedge but are declining just as the 3 we took out last year did.  In the near future, I expect I'm going to have to bite the bullet and remove these too.

This photo, taken from the left of the one before, shows Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' with Carex testacea at its feet, Duranta repens to the left, Agave 'Jaws' to the right and the same Arbutus in the background with Pennisetum 'Fireworks' nearby

The Leucadendron shown in the photo above, planted in November 2014, has grown a lot but it still has a way to go to catch up with the specimen I planted shortly after we moved in December 2010.

This Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' is on the northwest side of the house, NOT the southwest side.  I brought it from our former garden, where it spent its life in a pot until I plunked it in the ground not long after we moved in here.  It's well over 6 feet tall now.  (It's in its glory so I couldn't pass up a chance to show it off.)

Back to the southwest corner of the property, the dwarf Agonis flexuosa 'Nana' I planted around the small patio in that area has filled in nicely.

The dwarf Agonis were planted in September 2013 after we tore out the grass on the south side of the house, as were the Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey' on the right and the left.  The noID Aloe, Aeonium arboreum and Sedums in the foreground were planted more recently.  (Earlier plantings were routinely dug up by my raccoon friends.)

This is another view of the dwarf Agonis from the backyard looking west

In the upper right hand corner of above photo you can see Kalanchoe orgyalis (aka Copper Spoons), which has done well in a large pot.

The Kalanchoe sits outside the screened porch my husband built for our cat.  The succulent in the pot next to it is a new acquisition I picked up at my local botanic garden last weekend: Echeveria 'Raindrops'.

The raised dots at the end of each leaf account for its name

I'll conclude this foliage follow-up post with a shot of one of the groundcovers I've used extensively in the shadier areas of the southwest side of the garden.

Pelargonium tomentosum (aka peppermint geranium) can cover a lot of ground quickly under the right conditions.  Planted from cuttings, it's done particularly well in the shade, spilling down the front slope.  You can see it here threatening to engulf the Aeonium cuttings I planted below.  Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum' is visible above, as is the Durata shown in an earlier photo.

For more foliage coverage, visit Pam at Digging.

All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Bloom Day - September 2016

Despite the rough start with a horrific plant-killing heatwave, the rest of the summer in my area of Southern California has been relatively mild, not that I'm counting summer quite over yet - another warm-up is expected next week.  Still, the generally cooler temperatures over the past month, combined with an easing of our water restrictions (now set at a 10% reduction of 2013 water use levels as opposed to 36%), have produced a number of surprises, the biggest of which were these:

Although we've had no rain, perhaps high levels of humidity and increased irrigation finally prompted these blooms from the 3 clumps of Zephyranthes candida (rain lilies) I planted in 2014

I was about to replace this Clematis terniflora (aka Sweet Autumn Clematis), planted in 2013, when it bloomed

Last month, I had a few blooms here and there from my roses but this month Rosa 'Medallion' surprised me by producing a dozen large blooms

Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi', planted in a pot in 2013, was another plant living on borrowed time when it bloomed.  To be fair, increased water again probably made the difference.

I grow Correa 'Wyn's Wonder' mainly for its foliage but it's currently sporting off-season flowers rose-pink flowers

The timing of other blooms was more to be expected but were pleasant to discover nonetheless:

Bauhinia x blakeana (aka Hong Kong orchid tree) produced a few blooms last month but it's loaded with them now

The Osteospermums are blooming again in response to cooler weather.  Osteospermum '4D Silver' is shown on the left and O. 'Berry White' on the right.

Two of the small Hebes sported blooms.  I've noID for the one on the left.  The one on the right is Hebe 'Purple Shamrock'.

A berry-colored Angelonia, planted last year, burst into bloom alongside burgundy Pelargonium peltatum, mixing nicely with the variegated Pseuderanthemum 'Texas Tri-star' in the same area.  The classification of the latter plant has always posed an issue.  It was labeled as Pseuderanthemum when I bought it but I've also found it labeled as Strobilanthes.  Things were complicated further this week when I found Australian growers calling it a variegated Barleria obtusa 'Purple Gem'.

No, these aren't flowers but their pretty color makes them just as compelling in the garden (even with the raggedy foliage).  These are 'Hachiya' persimmons.

There are also a couple of oddities:

This Duranta was purchased as D. repens 'Gold Mound'.  Not only did it significantly exceed its forecasted 2x2 foot size but it's also producing far more pale blue flowers than anticipated.

I came across this bloom on succulent Faucaria tigrina (aka Tiger's Jaw) by accident

And then there are the garden stalwarts:

The Abelias are STILL blooming

While the Eustoma grandiflorum (Lisianthus) planted in prior years are mostly bloomed out, those planted this spring are now throwing up blooms.  Clockwise from the left are a pale yellow form tinged with pink, a white form, a blue variety and one of the pale green ones. 

Gomphrenas continue to produce masses of bloom.  From left to right: Gomphrena globosa 'Fireworks', G, decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy', and G. hybrid 'Pinball Snow-tip Lavender'.

Some Grevilleas bloom for a season.  Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream' (left) and G. 'Superb' (right) bloom all year.

Ornamental grasses are the stars of my late summer and fall garden.  Pennisetum 'Fireworks', shown here in 2 different areas of the garden, are making a big splash.

Blue Salvias of various species are all in bloom, to the delight of the bumble bees.  From left to right here are: Salvia greggii 'Mesa Azure', S. chamaedryoides 'Marine Blue' and S. hybrid 'Mystic Spires'.

I'll close with some honorable mentions:

Top row: Cuphea vermillionaire (newish), Gaillaridia 'Goblin' (self-seeded), and Gaura lindheimeri (refreshed after a trim)
Middle row: Leucanthemum x superbum (2nd flowering), Limonium perezii (2nd flowering), and Liriope muscari
Bottom row: Nierembergia caerulea, Pentas 'Nova', and Trichostema 'Midnight Magic' (easier to grow than most Blue Curls)

Visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens to find Bloom Day posts from all over the world.

All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party