Thursday, October 15, 2015

Bloom Day - October 2015

It's been hot and, despite unexpected rain in July and September, after 4 years of drought and watering restrictions, the garden is also very dry.  However, after looking back on my October Bloom Day posts for 2013 and 2014, I find I'm not doing as badly in the bloom department as I thought I was.  There are some no-shows but these are counter-balanced by blooms on plants like the Grevilleas and the Gazanias, which weren't introduced to my garden until last year.

The star of this month's garden is Plectranthus ciliatus 'Zulu Warrior', which did have a prominent place in my garden in prior years.  I brought cuttings of this plant with me from my former garden.  I now have it in 2 areas of my current garden and plan to try it in other areas as well.

Plectranthus can handle a little sun but does best here with shade during the hottest part of the day


In terms of plant combinations, 3 areas are looking good, at least relative to the rest of the garden.

Gaillardia 'Arizona Sun' could use some dead-heading to neaten it up and Agastache 'Sunset' is getting a bit ragged but both are still looking pretty

Hebe 'Wiri Blush' is surrounded here by Pentas 'Nova' and Celosia 'Intenz'

New-ish plantings of Polygala fruticosa 'Petite Butterfly' and Euphorbia 'Breathless White' are combining nicely with older plantings of Tulbaghia violacea (aka Society Garlic) and Eustoma 'Echo Blue', returning for another round of bloom (I hope)


Selected genera are also putting on a good show at the moment.

Eustoma grandiflorum 'Mariachi Pink' (right) and 'Echo Pink' (not shown) have been blooming heavily for 2 months after an earlier spring flush; 'Echo Blue' (left) and 'Borealis Yellow' (middle) have been less floriferous but have still put on impressive performances

Despite becoming the newest salad bar for the resident squirrels, Gazanias 'New Day Yellow', 'White Flame' and 'Golden Flame' still have some unmolested blooms

Grevilleas 'Ned Kelly', 'Pink Midget' and 'Superb' have flowered continuously for a good part of the summer. G. 'Peaches & Cream' (not shown) has produced flowers sporadically but seems camera shy whenever Bloom Day comes around.

Pennisetum 'Fireworks' (left) is smaller than Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum' (right) but no less impressive in bloom this summer. (Yes, I know it's officially fall but apparently Mother Nature's local representative hasn't gotten the message.)

During the past month, roses have appeared here and there, although not in significant numbers.  'Californa Dreamin' (left) and 'Pink Meidiland' (right) are currently making appearances in the front garden.

The Salvias soldier on, with the exception of 'Amistad' which appears to have given up the ghost.  From left, Salvia discolor, S. 'Mesa Azure' and S. 'Mystic Spires'.


And here are the best of the rest, organized by color groupings.

Orange, yellow and white flowers include, clockwise from upper left: Portulaca 'Carrot', Abelia 'Kaleidoscope', Clematis terniflora, Coreopsis 'Redshift', Gaura lindheimeri 'Snow Fountain', Hemerocallis 'Double Impact', Lantana 'Lucky White' and Leonotis leonurus

Pink and magenta flowers include, clockwise from left: Bauhinia x blakeana, Angelonia 'Archangel Raspbery', Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy', Nerium oleander, and Pentas 'Kaleidoscope Appleblossom'

Also my noID Hoya carnosa with what I thought was a bee making a casual visit (left).  She turned out to be the prisoner of an unidentified white and black spider which is still on hand waiting for its next victim (right).

The blue flower group includes, from the left: Aster frikartii 'Monch', Duranta 'Sapphire Showers', Felicia aethiopica "Tight & Tidy', and prostrate rosemary


That's it for my Bloom Day post this month.  I'm hoping that summer, which is apparently loathe to let go of Southern California, will come to an end this month and cooler weather will bring the "second spring" we usually enjoy during the autumn months.  Some rain would also be nice.  (Do you hear me El Niño?)

For other Bloom Day posts, please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens, the esteemed host of the monthly event that is Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.


All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

26 comments:

  1. You have beautiful flowers in your garden!

    Greetings, Sofie #26
    http://sofies-succulent-beads.blogspot.be

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  2. never seen a black and white crab or flower spider before.
    Ours are white or pink or yellow.

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    1. Unlike the orb weaver, this spider gives me the creeps, Diana. Maybe it's just a response to seeing it with its prey.

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  3. That's an impressive spider - I haven't seen one take a bee before but sure enough when you look closely that is exactly what's happening. Not so casual a visit as it turns out...

    So many lovely flowers, though I know it is hard to properly appreciate them in the heat. With any luck that will soon abate, and maybe we'll both get some much needed rain before long.

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    1. Well, the El Nino prediction is sounding a lot more certain every day, Deb, so we may indeed get rain this winter. However, given the mudslides that came with the non-El Nino storm to the northeast of us this week, I'm not sure SoCal is ready...

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  4. I always enjoy seeing your Bloom Day selections Kris. So many gorgeous plants that I would so love to grow.

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  5. I'm not a fan of spiders, the crab spiders especially. Although many are tiny, they still creep me out. I hope you get some relief from the heat and drought soon. Happy GBBD! You have an impressive array of blooms.

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    1. I wasn't sure what kind of spider this was so thanks for the ID, Alison. S/he was rather spooky. There was no web that I could see - it looks as though it reached out and grabbed its prey.

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  6. So many pretty blooms, Kris. Also, I forgot to leave a message on your previous post--the view from the bedroom window is one I don't recall seeing before and I really liked it.

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    1. Thanks Emily! I'm pleased with how the front garden has turned out thus far.

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  7. You have no shortage of color there Kris ! Your weather sure has been unfortunate , but you've managed to accumulate many plants that seem to soldier on in spite of it. I just don't recall such persistent heat back in the day when I was an LA girl--we more coastal/south bay folk thought The Valley was the real hell-hole-it must be even worse now !

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    1. The SF Valley is a hell-hole, Kathy - I grew up there. And it is worse now. When I was a kid, there was still green space out there but now it's one big concrete heat sink.

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  8. I really like that plectranthus too. With the drought and the heat, summer 2015 will be one for the record books. Give yourself a pat on the back -- you've done a great job with your garden, Kris.

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    1. Thanks Denise. It's easy to get stuck seeing just the losses but Bloom Day helps me put things somewhat in perspective even if a lot of what I have in bloom now is "floral flotsam" as Carol of May Dreams Gardens phrased it in her post.

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  9. You have a lot going on in the bloom department. That's great to see after such a long, hot summer.

    Your gazanias inspire me to plant more your them in my own garden. I waited a little too long this year.

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    1. That Gazanias are having a bit of a come-back (except for those in the 'Sunbather' series), Gerhard. I think putting out more seed for the birds and our ripening persimmons have diverted the squirrels' attention from the Gazanias, at least for a time.

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  10. Reading your intro about the heat and drought one would expect to see (at best) a tired bloom or two, then you show us all the beauties your garden has to offer, I am continually impressed with your gardening skills.

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    1. With a few exceptions, as in the case of the Plectranthus, it's a matter of a little here and a little there, Loree.

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  11. I think you have an impressive selection of things in bloom, Kris. I'm not very good at watering, so I take lots of cues from you as to future selections. We're going toward drought up here too, so we all may need to rethink what we're doing. I for one, need to plant more Portulacas.

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    1. The Portulacas are a nice surprise, although they're annuals even here.

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  12. The Plectranthus ciliatus 'Zulu Warrior' is doing amazingly well in your garden, Kris! You know that I have fallen for your Eustomas already, but how can one not, when they are putting on a flower show like that in October? I also love the plant combination of the Gaillardia 'Arizona Sun' and the Agastache 'Sunset'. The rose 'California Dreaming' looks certainly like a dream and your salvias are beautiful. In my garden salvias also seem to do well, so I plan to add more of them to the garden over time.
    Wishing you a lovely weekend, with hopefully some cooler gardening weather!
    Christina

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    1. I hope we both get some cooler weather (for a sustained period!) and rain, Christina!

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  13. I don't know, Kris, your garden always looks great to me. You are the master of working with whatever conditions Mother Nature tosses your way.

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    1. Not a master, Sue - more like a diligent servant.

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