Friday, September 29, 2017

September Favorites

I'm once again joining Loree of danger garden in identifying the plants that earned my favor this month.  The exercise, which has me making the rounds of my garden to see what's doing well, is always useful in providing perspective.  This time, it also led to the discovery that my adversaries, the raccoons, had made their own extensive examination of my garden, in the process of which, among other things, I discovered that they'd dug up some of the bulbs I'd planted only days ago.  But they also left me empty snail shells here and there so I'm trying to see the yin and the yang of my relationship with them.  Everything's been tidied up again and, hopefully, they'll employ their skills elsewhere for a time and give me a break.

On to this month's favorites!

I've presented the large mass of Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt' that grows under the peppermint willow in my back border on other occasions but this time I'm sharing the 'Cousin Itt' growing elsewhere in my garden.  All took their time to beef up but I think I can now say they've reached a mature size.  The plant on the left, which sits underneath the Leucadendron 'Pisa' outside my home office window, is almost too enthusiastic and I fear it may someday swallow the plants surrounding it.  The plants in the middle and right-hand photos sit on opposite sides of a flagstone path that extends through the front garden.  If you look closely at the middle photo, you can see an exposed branch, which we were able to attribute to breakage resulting from a battle between 2 of my raccoon friends after viewing video from our security cameras.

As I've recently spent considerable time working on the succulent bed in front of our garage (described here), I'd plenty of time to admire the large, multi-trunked Agave attenuata I inherited with the garden.  Not only is it a beautiful specimen of its species, it's also the source of many of the pups I've cut and relocated to other parts of the garden.  As the photo on the right shows, there are more good sized pups available now, which I may soon move elsewhere.

I planted the 3 Cuphea 'Vermillionaire' pictured here just over a year ago.  They also took their time bulking up but, despite the hot, dry summer, they've finally taken off.  This is the first of the orange-flowered Cupheas I've tried that's done well.

Erigeron glaucus 'Wayne Roderick' wins a spot on this month's list just because it's so darn pretty.  It blooms intermittently throughout the year.

I featured Gaura lindheimeri as a favorite sometime this past spring but, as it sprung back this month after a severe haircut in June, it deserves another mention.  Its flowers are among the most noticeable in my front garden at the moment.  In the late afternoon, the flowers tend to look sad but every morning the plants shine once more.

Leonotis leonurus is another plant that I cut back in June only to have it bounce back with a new flush of flowers in September.  The taller of the 2 plants shown here was inherited with the garden but it never before looked as good as it does this year.  I don't know if I can credit the hard pruning I gave it last year for its revival or our heavier-than-usual winter rains but I'm pleased by its rebirth (especially as I'd been close to digging it up and tossing it out).  The shorter plant was added last fall.

I featured Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum' last month and warned that the plant would probably be even better looking in September.  It is so I'm showing it again.  There are 4 of these plants spaced at intervals along the moderate slope facing the street in the front garden.  You can see 2 in this photo.

Plectranthus ciliatus 'Zulu Wonder' is just now coming into bloom.  While I grow the plant mainly for its quilted green leaves with purplish undersides, I love the graceful flowers too.  The mass planted by the back door grew from cuttings I brought from my former garden.  Although I've planted cuttings elsewhere, this is the only spot in which it's done really well; however, I'm trying it once again in a shady spot in the front garden. 

Pseuderanthemum 'Texas Tri-star' always looks its best at this time of year.  I think it responds to the increased humidity we often get in late August and September as a by-product of the monsoonal rains in the desert areas to the east.  The plants do bloom but the flowers aren't nearly as colorful as the variegated foliage.

Salvia elegans, commonly known as pineapple sage, produced only a smattering of flowers all through the summer months but now it's finally blooming heavily.  I wonder if that's because I left the hose running there too long a couple of weeks ago?  In any case, both the bees and the hummingbirds love it.

Trichostema 'Midnight Magic' is a hybrid form of our native wooly blue curls.  The latter is an extremely finicky plant that I've killed twice.  This one is much more at home in a garden setting.  It flowers sporadically.

The 3 clumps of Zephyranthes candida (aka rain lilies) I planted years ago surprised me by blooming earlier this month without any rain.  Since then we've received light rain twice (tallying a whopping 0.15/inch) and the rain lilies have just kept producing new flowers.  Despite the common name linking their flowering to rainfall, it seems more likely that flowering is triggered by seasonal weather or light shifts as a review of old blog posts indicates they also bloomed in September last year.


That's it for this month's favorites.  Visit Loree at danger garden to find her picks.  And, if you'd like to see what's looking good across the pond right now, visit Chloris at The Blooming Garden.


All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

14 comments:

  1. I loved your September favourites Kris. I am enjoying Gaura lindheimeri and Erigeron 'Wayne Roderick' at the moment too. I am envious of your magnificent agaves and two plants which are new to me; Pseuderanthemum and Trichostema. I always find new and exciting plants on your blog.

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    1. FYI, I've never had full confidence about the classification of Pseuderanthemum 'Texas Tri-star'. I've found it sold locally as Strobilanthes (which is almost certainly an erroneous classification) and advertised on Australian sites as Barleria obtusa (a plant I also grow, which seems to bear no similarity to 'Texas Tri-star'). I've never been able to track its parentage within the Pseuderanthemum genus.

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  2. Lovely collection of faves, and wow, the Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum' and smaller grasses look spectacular!

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    1. Pennisetum 'Rubrum' has always been the star of my fall garden. It's a great plant.

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  3. Looking fabulous! Of course the Acacia and Agave are high on my list of personal favs, but that Leonotis leonurus is once again making me regret not finding any this spring. It’s such a cool plant! Thanks, again, for playing along with the month end Favs, I always look forward to seeing what you feature.

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    1. I'm surprised you don't have a Leonotis (or 2), Loree. The plant has you written all over it. I just picked up another in a 4-inch pot and potted it up so it can beef up a bit while we both wait out the waning days of summer-like heat here.

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  4. several of my favourites here - lots of plants doing well in spite of raccoons having a stake in your garden!

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    1. I really am trying to come to terms with the raccoons, Sue, but they do push my patience sometimes.

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  5. Very beautiful & useful post, thank you :)

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    1. "Useful" is the highest complement in my book, Holly - thanks!

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  6. I always love seeing those acacias. Such great form and texture. It just struck me that they actually look somewhat like Hakonechloa in the landscape, only they're better because they're evergreen!

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    1. 'Cousin Itt' also spreads far wider than any Hakonechloa I've ever seen - and it gets by with less water!

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  7. Kris, your plants looks beautiful! The Agave attenuata is a plant I covet madly but can't find them here in any nurse. Have a wonderful sunday!

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    1. I've no idea what the costs or regulations associated with mail ordering plants from the US or within south America might be, MDN, but, when I have difficulty finding succulents in local nurseries, that's what I do.

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