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

27 comments:

  1. Rain lilies?? Omigosh! You must have a leak somewhere; hope not! Love the color of the Medaillion rose and thankful you haven't got chilli thrips.

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    1. I always wondered why rain lilies never seemed to respond to irrigation - the higher-than-normal humidity we've had, along with more hand-watering in the area, may have made the difference. God forbid, we have another leaking pipe! I suspect I don't have enough roses to interest chilli thrips.

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  2. I am always amazed by the number of flowers you have on Bloom Day, given your water restrictions. I want to add lots more drought tolerant plants this winter, so that I can spend next summer watering less.

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    1. Most houses here come with automated irrigation systems, which is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that it reduces the work of watering but the curse is that it reduces control and promotes waste. I'm actually doing more hand-watering of late, while racheting down use of the automated system but, once my plants are more well-established, I hope to reduce the hand-watering too.

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  3. Gosh Kris, I said it before and I will say it again, it always amazes me what a huge variety of plants are blooming for you each month and September is no different!
    I really love the delicate looking Zephyranthes candida (rain lilies). This plant is new to me. I think they would make such a lovely addition to my White Garden Bed.
    So glad that the rosa 'Medallion' is gifting you with plenty of flowers right now. Roses do need water and if you have been cranking up the irrigation a little bit that could very well be the reason for the increased blooms. I find that my roses are doing much better when I deep water them by hand if needed in the heat to tie them over until temps get back to a more kind, rose friendly level.
    One of my favorite plants in your post is gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy'. I would buy this plant in a heart beat, but I haven't seen it available in my area. Maybe I have to order it online.
    Enjoy your September Blooms, Kris, for all your hard work you really deserve it!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. I've come across the Gomphrena occasionally in local garden centers but it's not commonly available. Annie's Annuals & Perennials, my favorite mail order nursery, offers it as G. decumbens - it looks pink in Annie's on-line and catalog photos but it's the same plant.

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  4. Are you happy withyour garden now? It certainly looks lovely and happy.
    I prefer hand watering, but that works for me as I only do an urgent few.

    Will be interesting to see which name wins for your mystery plant!

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    1. I'm happy with some areas of my garden but not all. There are still a lot of blank spaces and the back slope is in horrible shape because I cut back its water rations dramatically this past year, which killed off a lot of plants. I'm still hoping that winter rains will be sufficient to restore the ivy and honeysuckle that's the mainstay of the slope's upper area but, even then, I need to get to work on the lower area.

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  5. Lots of flowers, your garden looks great--no wonder since you work so hard on it. Funny I just saw my rain lillies blooming--they are engulfed by a dwarf Lantana, with the flowers just peeping out. My golden Duranta has never bloomed--lucky you!

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    1. The baby blue flowers of the Duranta don't seem to go with its gold foliage. I've been tempted to clip them off but I figure they won't last long.

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  6. Looking great Kris! Hooray for a little more water and things coming in to bloom, with or without. Maybe this winter has surprises in store? (Meaning lots of lovely rain for you, but not too much)...

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    1. I really hope that the winter rains are better than the gloomy predictions of the forecasters suggest - or at the very least, better than last year's totals. My empty rain barrels are waiting!

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  7. Love your rain lilies Kris. Everything looks amazing. You've done a great job selecting and curating what will perform well.

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    1. That's still a work in progress, Susie. The next phase is to address my soil's pH I think.

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  8. How exciting to have the rain lilies blooming :) Hope it is a good omen for autumn/winter... Your Medallion roses are lovely and look perfect with the September light in your photo. I will definitely be looking for some Gomphrena, given the way yours has performed; I finally located Limonium perezii and now have a pot just waiting to be planted. Thanks for the advice on cutting back my Gaura; it really helped :)

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    1. My Limonium perezii are putting out new flower stalks now that the weather has cooled a bit. I hope they do well for you too, Amy. They require relatively little care here. When they get ratty looking after a few years in the ground, I usually just replace them with plugs and everything's good.

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  9. Wow - rain lilies??? THAT must have been a surprise! You know, I've started to notice that every time I see a Eustoma, I think of you and your marvelous bouquets. :)

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    1. The Eustoma growers organization should take notice - and send me new Eustoma to trial! ;)

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  10. Glory, glory, hallelujah - that's what pops into my mind when I view your garden, Kris! I looked up Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy' and no one had seeds for sale. Humph! I'd love to try it as an annual. Your Grevellia, Rosa 'Medallion' and Pennisetums are awesome!

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    1. Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy' is also sold as 'Little Grapes', 'Airy Bachelor's Buttons' and, I'm sorry to say, 'Teensy Weensy', but I didn't see any seeds offered under those names either. Annie's Annuals, a mail order nursery based in NorCal, sells the plants. I can try collecting seeds if you'd like, Eliza, although I've seen no sign of self-seeding in my own garden and Annie's doesn't mention self-propagation either.

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    2. Thanks, maybe I'll try Annie's in the spring. I really admire its look.

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  11. As many of the other commentators have said you always have a lot of blooms given your dry hot climate, you manage it very well. After a whole day of heavy rain here on Friday every thing looks different, I hope you do get a good rain day soon Kris.

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    1. Most likely, we won't get a really good rain until November. There was a slight chance of rain forecast for today in the form of a thunderstorm but it's not looking good at the moment.

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  12. Yours is always the blog to come to for the most exotic and gorgeous blooms. I am in total awe how you do it with hardly any rainfall. Difficult to pick out favourites,but maybe the Grevilleas, Pentas and Eustomas are my particular winners. Probably because I would so love to grow them myself and I can't.

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    1. The Eustomas continue to surprise even me but, thus far, the pink varieties seem to be the toughest of the lot - I wish the blue, yellow and green forms did nearly as well. As to the Grevilleas, they're all fabulous but 'Superb' and 'Peaches & Cream' are by far the most impressive in the bloom department.

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  13. It looks so summery and warm there. Here the nights are getting cooler and the leaves are looking a bit tired but your garden looks so fresh. Looks like maybe you'll get to eat some persimmons this year before the pesky squirrels get them all!

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    1. The scrub jay has discovered the persimmons so I've picked a few , which I hope will ripen on the kitchen counter.

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