Friday, April 29, 2016

April Favorites

On the last Friday of the month, Loree of danger garden celebrates her current favorite plants and encourages other gardeners to follow suit.  April is usually a high point in my garden but the lack of rain this season (after unrealistically inflated hopes of ample rain associated with El Niño), early heatwaves, days of freakishly ferocious wind, and a neighbor's threat to contact the city about the height of my trees have had me viewing my garden through jaundiced eyes.  I had to force myself to blink to see the beauty in my garden.  Fortunately, the exercise of looking at plants individually helped me shake off my doldrums and see what's good about my garden right now.  I offer just a few examples.

Globularia x indubia (aka globe Daisy), which I personally refer to as my hairy blue eyeball plant, is in full bloom.  I added it to my dry garden in October 2012 and it is finally bulking up in size.  A second plant, added last July, survived last year's hot summer and this season's limited rain but it's still small.

I originally bought this plant for its foliage and wasn't sure what to make of the flowers when they first appeared but they've grown on me


In the front garden, two Leptospermum 'Copper Glow', planted a month apart in the fall of 2014, are reaching maturity.  I was afraid they might get too big for their spots but so far I think they're fitting in nicely.  The shrubs are supposed to produce white blooms but have yet to do so.

This specimen, planted in December 2014, is the larger of the two shrubs

This one, on the opposite side of the path leading to the front door, was planted in November 2014 after we'd cleared the area of lawn

The two shrubs can be seen in juxtaposition in this view

Close-up of the Leptospermum's foliage, which I often add to vases


In the backyard, it's impossible to ignore Achillea 'Moonshine'.  Despite cutting numerous stems for vases, the flowers continue to dominate the backyard border.  The first of these perennials were planted in 2012 but I added a few more in 2015 after removing the remainder of our lawn.

The foliage is grayer than it appears in this photo


Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt' has a more low-key presence in the backyard border but it never ceases to amaze visitors.  Three of these shrubs, planted in part-day shade below a tall peppermint willow (Agonis flexuosa) in the fall of 2012, have created a sea of fluffy green foliage despite dry soil and competition from tree roots.

I've planted more of these shrubs elsewhere in the garden but none have done as well (to date) as these three


To conclude, I'd like to shine a spotlight on Leucadendron 'Pisa'.  This silver-foliaged beauty has surprised me this year.  Planted in 2014, it produced a mass of "blooms" in March.  Since then, it's developed lovely silver-tinged cones.

Photograph taken in March

The enlarged cones photographed this week


If you've got some plants deserving of special mention this month, jump onto Loree's bandwagon at danger garden.


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

26 comments:

  1. hairy blue eyeballs are rather lovely!

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    1. They really are! They might work well in your climate too, Diana. They'd certainly fit in with many of your lovely blue-flowered specimens.

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  2. Your garden looks so good! It's developed even since I saw it in person.

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    1. The front area has filled in nicely but the back is still very much a work in progress. Tearing out all the lawn back there also meant moving many of the smaller plants forward and filling in with larger new plants in the rear - they haven't fleshed out yet and I'm still juggling the mix.

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  3. 'hairy blue eyeball' is a great plant! I also like the Leucadendron 'Pisa'. Both seem like worthy favorites!

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    1. Both those plants are definitely keepers, Renee.

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  4. Your Cousin Itts are to die for. Tiny ones are still so expensive. I wonder if they'd do that under the half shade of my fringe tree?

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    1. I'm honestly a little perplexed about why those 3 'Cousin Itts' have done so much better than the rest, Denise. Admittedly, they do have a year or more time in the ground than my others but they never struggled as I see the others have. I've wondered if they actually like intermingling their roots with those of the Agonis. The other one I have that seems to be doing well sits beneath the Leucadendron 'Pisa'.

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  5. I love the hairy blue eyeball plant! What is your neighbors problem??

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    1. I really think she hates trees, Tammy. She claims to have been involved with the creation of the "view conservation" ordinance adopted by this community in 1989 (before my time) and that's what she holds over my head with each complaint that my trees impinge on her view of the harbor. I've already removed 2 trees in an attempt to achieve a good-will resolution and I'm keeping all my remaining trees "laced" but nothing satisfies her for long. I've told her that the next move is hers - she can take me to the city's "view restoration commission" but I'm done with the appeasement strategy.

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    2. A tiger would devour her in a hot minute and then poof! No more problems! Just something to think about.... ;o)

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    3. I wouldn't want to be responsible for giving the tiger a bad case of indigestion.

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  6. I love the hairy blue eyeballs. I wish the shrubby Globularia was hardy here. My Globularia cordifolia is blooming now. I think it's going to make a nice ground cover. The only one of your favorites that's hardy here is the yarrow. I'm rather envious of all the others, and the Agonis flexuosa. Anything with peppermint scented foliage goes on my wishlist.

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    1. Agonis flexuosa 'Afterdark' is supposed to be hardier than the large tree-form or the dwarf form ('Nana'), tolerating temperatures down to 20F. I grew one in a pot at my former house, so that might be an option for you if cold winters present a problem.

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  7. That Leucadendron is a smashing plant. I love the cones. Don't lose heart Kris. Your garden is the envy of many. Me for one.

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  8. It is hard when your view of the garden becomes overly filtered through the lens of what isn't performing as desired or is shaken by a neighbor's ill will.

    I'm glad the hairy blue eyeballs and friends were able to win you back for the time being. Those blue flowers are attention grabbing, no question, but it is those silvery cones on your bottlebrush that I'm eying with envy. How unexpected on a tree that is already exotic in appearance!

    We are finally getting rains in our area but they've come bundled with large hail and flooding in many regions so appreciation has been muted. Here's hoping May brings a gentler and more plant friendly wrap up to Spring weather for us all!

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    1. I've heard that the weather in Texas has been hellish, Deb. I hope your hail wasn't baseball-sized like some of that I saw on the news. We have another chance at rain toward the end of next week but, as the last 2 rainstorms passed us by without a drop, I'm trying not to count on it. It would be nice to refill my rain tanks, though.

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  9. Ah Kris your favorites are all lovely, and I wish I could grow them! The Globularia x indubia is so crazy cool, the Leptospermum's foliage is perfection and on and on and on...(I want them all!).

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    1. I'm surprised the Globularia isn't more popular here, Loree. I got my original plant through the local botanic garden. I've only seen it in my local garden center once.

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  10. I'll take one of each, please! Seriously, these are plants I would pick myself in a heartbeat. I lost three 'Cousin Itt' but in hindsight I realize the soil was too rich and moist. I'm always ready to give it another try.

    That Leucadendron 'Pisa' is a stunner. If only I had room for another larger shrub...

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    1. 'Pisa' is a great Leucadendron. I had mine in a pot for the first 6-9 months and it did fine - it didn't take off in size until I planted it in the ground.

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  11. I love the textures in your front borders. A. 'Moonshine' is so happy in your dry climate!

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    1. That yarrow is doing better this year than it ever has, despite our trivial rain total.

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  12. Love the Globularia x indubia and your name for it! It is so sad that the garden is causing problems; the lack of rain is bad enough but the interventions of your neighbour are horrendous.

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    1. My neighbor seems to have backed off, at least for now, and there's another chance for rain at the end of the week so things are looking up a bit.

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