Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wednesday Vignettes: Pure Gold

The skies are cloudy today but there's no rain in sight.  For this week's Wednesday Vignette, the meme hosted by Anna of Flutter & Hum, I have a couple of photos taken under sunnier skies.

The first was taken from my bedroom window looking out across the front garden late last week after the rain had stopped.  It's a view I've shown before but the focus of this shot is the color echo created by the yellow succulent flower in the hanging basket in the foreground and the bright gold of the shrub in the middle background.

I believe the yellow flowering plant in the hanging basket is a Kalanchoe of some type.  The golden shrub is Duranta erecta 'Gold Mound'.  At least that's the name under which it was sold.  It's much taller than the 3 feet originally projected by the grower.

The second photo - or second and third photos as I was unable to pick just one of the five I snapped - shows a Monarch butterfly resting on the bright yellow foliage of Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold'.

Butterflies don't usually allow me to get anywhere near this close.  There was a scattering of pale pink flowers on the Coleonema in late December when this photo was taken but I've never heard the plant identified as one attractive to butterflies so I'm not sure why it was hanging about.

Western Monarchs generally winter in San Diego or Santa Cruz so it seems I'm not the only one late to the garden party.  I hope she (or he) made it to the proper destination.


For more Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


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

24 comments:

  1. Great shots of the monarch butterfly!

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    1. That's because she didn't flitter off when I got near. Although it was sunny, it was also on the cool side so maybe that's why she was so docile.

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  2. It looks tropical Kris, such warmth!

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    1. It was sunny but our temperatures have been running cooler than normal this winter, under 60F (15C) for days at a time. We consider that cold!

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  3. My duranta 'Gold Mound" is doing the same thing, tops out at about 6 feet. Funny thing the tops leaves all turned purple with the cold. Shy bloomer, how 'bout yours?

    The kalanchoe in the pot, might it be a senecio? somewhat like Senecio barbertonicus (Succulent Bush Senecio or lemon bean bush)? I just bought one, no blooms yet, however leaves and color are right.

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    1. The Duranta produces a few blue flowers now and then but it's nowhere near as floriferous as Duranta 'Sapphire Showers'. This one hasn't developed that purplish leaf color in response to cold but I've seen that effect on other Duranta. My temps probably don't go as low as yours, which may make the difference.

      The yellow flowers in the hanging basket are coming from the red-foliaged succulent in front of the Senecio vitalis behind it (which has cream-colored flowers when it blooms). The foliage of the 2 plants is hard to distinguish from my photo. My best guess is that the flowering succulent is Kalanchoe longiflora coccinea.

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  4. http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantqrs/seneciobarberton.htm

    it says 'finger-leaved'?

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    1. I do have that Senecio elsewhere in the garden but the Senecio (behind the Kalanchoe) in the hanging basket is S. vitalis. In this case, the yellow flowers are springing from the red-foliaged succulent in front of the Senecio but the distance from which the photo was taken makes that difficult to discern. I did a little research and I think the Kalanchoe is K. longiflora coccinea, which gets redder in response to drought and cold and also produces yellow blooms on long stems.

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  5. So, you're saying that there are places where the sun shines in the winter? What crazy stories will you think of next? Great shots of the monarch!

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    1. The sun shines but the rain seldom falls - El Nino or not!

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  6. The last photo of a Western Monarch Butterfly deserves a National Geographic award. Just beautiful!

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  7. How wonderful that you had a monarch visitor!

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    1. Gulf Fritillaries are more common here so seeing the Monarch was a treat, Eliza. I do worry that she was quite a distance from her winter haven in late December, though.

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  8. Your bedroom window view is just so pretty. It captures a lot of lushness.

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    1. I think I actually prefer that view to the one of the harbor from the other side of the house, Emily.

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  9. Nice observations, your temperatures are similar to ours at the moment but here they are considered very mild.

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    1. We've had a few nighttime lows in the upper 30sF, Christina, although we haven't come too close to freezing. Still, the temperatures are lower than we've become accustomed to during the past few years.

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  10. From the back of your house, your view is a stroke of good luck, but you can take all the credit in the world for your bedroom window view - it is beautiful, Kris! Sorry I didn't get to your Vignette earlier - that's what I get for responding to posts late at night... sometimes I miss something. Glad I finally found it!

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  11. what a great view! I also like that you can see your bench(?) around the tree with the pots on it. If i had that view out of my bedroom window, i would never get out of bed!

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    1. If I didn't get out of bed, I couldn't see out the window as my husband always leaves it to me to open the blinds! Yes, that is a bench/plant table (constructed by my husband) ringing the Magnolia tree.

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  12. I love the view in the first photo. My eyes were drawn to the vine climbing up the arbor, and the trunks and branches of the two trees. How lucky to see that monarch. I've never seen one here. It seems when they fly north they are more likely to go to eastern Washington than western Washington. I think there's more milkweed east of the mountains.

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    1. Gulf Fritillaries are more common than Monarchs here so it was a thrill for me to see it - and even more of a thrill to actually get 5 photos without it taking off.

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