Once a month, Loree of danger garden invites us to celebrate the plants in our garden making the biggest impression at the moment. Most of my selections this month aren't exotic or unusual. However, in each case, the plant's either at its peak of performance or it's done something to surprise me.
First up is Ajuga reptans 'Mint Chip'. A very low grower, it fits in nicely alongside the backyard walkway. Its pretty blue flowers seemed to appear overnight.
Another low groundcover that suddenly burst into bloom this month is Anagallis 'Wildcat Mandarin', a hybrid I planted 2 years ago. It needs to be cut back after it finishes blooming but that's virtually all the maintenance it requires.
Felicia aethiopica is providing another burst of blue in the backyard. This variety, called 'Tight & Tidy' by the grower, is just that. Its projected size, 16 inches tall and 30 inches wide, is shorter than the variety usually offered by local garden centers. (It's currently in danger of being engulfed by Lupinus propinuus, which is growing larger and faster than I imagined it would.)
The front garden has its own bolt of blue in the form of the noID Ceanothus hedge that is currently near full bloom. This hedge, trimmed frequently to keep it within the bounds, probably doesn't have a long life ahead of it. Since we moved in, I've already lost 3 sections of the front Ceanothus hedge and one section of the backyard hedge. I've considered removing the entire thing but, when it blooms, granting it mercy and letting it exit on its own terms is an easy decision to make.
The garden has also produced some jolts of hot pink this month. One of the plants providing that bright color is Callistemon 'Hot Pink', a hybrid I acquired last year. The plant is still relatively small but it does its best to make an impression. The only problem with it is that its floral color clashes with that of a number of its bedmates so it may have to move.
More hot pink color is provided by Pelargonium cucullatum 'Flore Plenum' (aka 'Golf Ball'). This was one of several Pelargoniums I picked up at a Geranium Society sale at my local botanic garden last year but it appears to be the most vigorous of the lot. There's a nice red edge to the bright green leaves that complements the flowers well.
A more subdued bloomer sits on the back slope, where it gets little attention. Carpenteria californica (aka Bush Anemone) is a drought tolerant, native plant that tolerates sun or shade conditions. It seemed a perfect choice for the back slope when I planted it in 2012 as the area was in shade most of the day but it struggled to adjust to the increased sun exposure when we took out the giant Yucca Elephantipes there early last year. It benefits from tip pruning, which I neglected to do last year. Full of round, balloon-shaped buds now, pruning will have to wait.
My last entry, which also grows on the back slope, may be mundane but it falls into the "surprise" category. It's an artichoke. It was leftover from 6-pack of plugs I planted a few years ago. With no more room in the vegetable garden, I stuck the seedling on the slope. While it hasn't produced any chokes, it's out-lived the other plants I put in that year. It gets very little water and dies back each summer but it keeps reappearing after our meager winter rains, flaunting its attractive gray foliage.
For more favorite plant entries, visit Loree at danger garden.
All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party