Friday, June 15, 2018

Bloom Day - June 2018

Despite the heat that's been scorching some areas of Southern California and a flurry of wildfires across the Southwest US, we're still benefiting from an early morning marine layer most days here, which has held local temperatures down thus far.  I anticipate the situation is temporary but we're expecting below average temperatures (low 70sF) this weekend and I'm going to enjoy that while I can.  Summer flowers have begun showing up in earnest and the late spring blooms have yet to take cover from the heat so the garden is colorful to say the least.

Unequivocally, the stars of my June garden are Achillea 'Moonshine' and the Agapanthus.

I've lined both sides of the flagstone path in the middle of the back garden with 'Moonshine'.  On this side of the path, the yellow color is mirrored in the tiny blooms of Cotula 'Tiffendell Gold' and the foliage of Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold'.

Clumps of Agapanthus are spread throughout the garden.  Most bloom in shades of blue but there are some white blooms too.

The front garden is especially colorful right now, as you can see from the photo on the left.  The highlights include: more Agapanthus, Gaura lindheimeri, Hemerocallis 'Spanish Harlem', Cuphea 'Starfire Pink' and Rosa 'Pink Meidiland'.


While the Echiums are fading, the daylilies are pumping out new blooms

Echium candicans 'Star of Madeira', shown here, is waning and I've already cut back the spent bloom spikes of Echium webbii (not shown) in the back garden

New blooms of (left to right) Hemerocallis 'Indian Giver', 'Plum Perfect' and 'Spanish Harlem' greet me every morning.  'Spanish Harlem' has been especially prolific this year despite our very dry winter.


Like the front garden, some areas of the garden are putting on an especially strong show this month.

The bed shown on the left sits outside my home office window.  Clockwise from the upper right, the blooming plants include: Grevillea 'Ned Kelly', Lantana camara 'Irene', Leucanthemum x superbum, Leucospermum 'Brandi', Lobelia laxiflora, the first ever bloom I've had on Melianthus major, and Phylica pubescens.

The arbor over the gate between my cutting garden and my dry garden is once again blanketed in blooms this June.  The photo on the left shows the view from the cutting garden and the photo on the upper right shows the view from the dry garden side.  The flowering plants include: Pandorea jasminoides, a dark pink flowered Pelargonium peltatum that's chosen to climb, and Trachelospermum jasminnoides.

On the back slope Bignonia capreolata is sprawling over property boundaries into two neighboring gardens (photos top and lower left).  It's a beautiful but aggressive plant.  I didn't put it in but its trunk sits on our property.  I believe the neighbor on our north side planted it as she'd originally gardened on our lower slope, believing it was part of her lot until a prior owner of our property had an official survey done.


A few other areas offer more subtle displays of color.

In addition to Catananche caerulea and Convolulus sabatius, there's some noID Brachyscome and thyme in the mix here

Crassula pubescens ssp radicans has filled in the areas between various agaves and aloes on the south side of the house

Penstemon x mexicali 'Carillo Purple' and Polygala fruticosa 'Petite Butterfly' provide subtle color echoes of one another here


And here are some other plants just too pretty to ignore.

NoID Anigozanthos

Arbutus 'Marina'

Eustoma grandiflorum (Lisianthus) - so far, most of the blooms have been produced by the blue-purple varieties.  This is 'Rosanne Black Pearl'.  It didn't flower well last year but the plants that lived to bloom a second year look better than the first year blooms.

Gaillardias 'Arizona Sun' (left) and 'Fanfare Citronella' (right)

Globularia x indubia - it's also known as Globe Daisy but I call it my hairy blue eyeball plant

Hesperaloe parviflora 'Brakelights'

Magnolia grandiflora

Melaleuca thymifolia - the plant itself looks ungainly but the blooms are extraordinary

Romneya coulteri (aka Matilija Poppy), beloved by bees


I'll close with a few collages capturing the best of the rest.

Top row: Consolida ajacis, Erigeron glaucus 'Wayne Roderick', and Geranium incanum, a weed in an unreachable spot
Bottom row: Limonium perezii, Ozothamnus diosmifolius, and Plectranthus neochilus

Clockwise from the upper left: Alstroemeria 'Indian Summer', self-seeded Anagallis 'Wildcat Mandarin', Cotula 'Tiffendell Gold', Euphorbia 'Dean's Hybrid', Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream', Hunnemannia fumariifolia 'Sunlite', Hymenolepsis parviflora, Tagetes lemmonii, and, in the center, Grevillea 'Superb'

Top row: Abelia grandiflora, Antirrhinum majus, Cistus x skanbergii, and C. 'Sunset'
Middle row: Dorycnium hirsutum, Grevillea 'Scarlet Sprite', Hebe 'Wiri Blush', and Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl'
Bottom row: Mimulus 'Jelly Beans Crimson', Pelargonium peltatum, P. cucullatum 'Flore Pleno', and P. 'Pink Blizzard'

And a fond farewell to Lathyrus odoratus, the remains of which I pulled out of my cutting garden on Wednesday evening


For more Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day posts, visit our host, Carol of May Dreams Gardens.


All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Wednesday Vignette: Little wonders

Instead of focusing on a single event in the garden or otherwise, my Wednesday Vignette features three images that captured my interest this week.  They're unrelated except that each gave reason to pause and feel wonder at nature's mysteries.

I've expressed concerns about the large mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin) that serves as a centerpiece of sorts in my backyard garden.  It produced a few random sprigs of foliage off-season this past winter, then failed to leaf out as normal in March.  In late May, it was still bare and, with evidence of shot hole borer, I said I thought it was a goner.  Within a week or so of that pronouncement, I finally began to see leaves appear throughout its canopy.

The tree isn't leafing out uniformly and the coverage doesn't begin to approach what would be normal for this time of year but the event may have earned the tree at least a temporary reprieve


The next surprise showed up among my Agapanthus, which are nearing the peak of their annual bloom cycle.  In one area, I located two mutant stems, each sporting two separate flowers.

In addition to producing a normal flower at the terminus of its stalk, the stem in the foreground shows a second smaller flower emerging mid-way down the stem.   Another such stem can be seen in the background.  An example of fasciation perhaps?


The last observation wasn't unexpected like the first two but it did make me smile.

After rolling about in the anthers of a Matilija Poppy (Romneya coulteri), this bee took off locked and loaded (with sacs of pollen)


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


All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

Monday, June 11, 2018

In a Vase on Monday: Experiments

I tried some new combinations of flowers for "In a Vase on Monday" this week, with mixed results.  I'm relatively pleased with the first one, although I think a vase with a wider mouth might have given the arrangement a looser, more pleasing structure.

The starting point for this vase were recent blooms of Arthropodium cirratum (aka Renga Lily).  It's one of my favorite flowering plants; however, its plentiful but small blooms often get eclipsed by larger blooms when they're combined in a vase.

Back view: This time, with the exception of 3 Shasta daisies, I combined it with other smallish blooms

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Arthropodium cirratum, Centaurea gymnocarpa, Polygala fruticosa 'Petite Butterfly', Leucanthemum x superbum, and Pelargonium cucullatum 'Flore Pleno' (which isn't as fuchsia in color as it appears in the photo here)


After finding that I'd managed to lose 3 dahlia tubers to rot, I picked up a new plant from my local garden center a few days ago.  It already had buds and I cut one open bloom with little thought as to what I had available to combine with it.  The dahlia, 'Otto's Thrill', is pink with yellow highlights.

This is a mature bloom I cut when I put the plant in the ground last week


I've noticed that pink flowers can be a surprisingly difficult to mix as some have strong yellow undertones while others are decidedly blue.  I sat the flower I'd cut down next to Lantana 'Irene' which varies in color from yellow to pink to fuchsia and decided on the spot to try them together.

Although the 'Irene' is described as a mix of yellow and pink, it reads as more orange than pink here.  I considered removing both the Lantana and the yellow Achillea but that made the arrangement dull to my eyes so I left it alone.

Back view: I reused the Heuchera blooms from last week

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Dahlia 'Otto's Thrill', Achillea 'Moonshine', Heuchera maxima, Leucadendron salignum 'Chief', Leptospermum scoparium 'Pink Pearl', and Lantana camara 'Irene'


I'd cut stems of a peach-colored sweet pea too but it was way too far off for the second vase so I tossed those stems into a tiny vase with other leftovers.

The ancillary buds of Eustoma grandiflorum 'Black Pearl' (Lisianthus), used in one of last week's vases, had bloomed and the stem was still in good shape so I combined it with stems of Lathyrus odoratus 'Blue Vein', a small off-shoot of Arthropodium cirratum, and the foliage of Abelia 'Hopley's Variegated'.  The smoky purple Lisianthus flowers might have been better with the foliage alone but it was a chance to show off the blue veins of the sweet pea before I pull all of them.


For more Monday vases, visit our host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.



All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

Friday, June 8, 2018

Tanglewild Gardens (2018 Garden Bloggers' Fling)

Tanglewild Gardens, the last stop on the second full day of the 2018 Garden Bloggers' Fling in Austin, Texas, is the creation of Skottie O'Mahony and Jeff Breitenstein, who relocated to Austin from Seattle in 2011 and established Tanglewild Gardens in 2013.  Their plan to create a daylily nursery to operate upon their future retirement eventually morphed into a plan to create a botanical garden.  While continuing to work in the tech field, their garden provides an opportunity to "unwind and recharge" and plenty of room for their beloved daylily collection, as well as space to entertain friends.

To my eyes, although the garden is only 5 years old and the owners are still caught up in their day jobs, the infrastructure to support their future plans seemed well-established.  The first thing I saw as I walked through the gate into their property were raised planters with neatly labeled daylily specimens and an impressive greenhouse.

In addition to these in raised planters, there were daylilies in beds throughout the property.  Their collection contains more than 800 cultivars.

The greenhouse extends back to the fence


Early May isn't the peak season for daylily blooms, even in Texas, so there weren't many flowers at the time of our visit but I found a few to pique your interest.

Clockwise from the left: 'Gladiator's Shield', 'Alberene', 'Sweet Patootie', and 'Indigo Dragon'


Tropical plants were plentiful.  I couldn't get over the Cannas, which I saw everywhere I looked.

The large plants under the tree here were Tetrapanax papyrifer (aka rice paper plant) - what a groundcover it makes!

Few flowers are as pretty as backlit Cannas


The area for entertaining friends and visitors centered around the pool and patio adjacent to the house.

Two carved wood guardians marked the entrance to the pool courtyard

This was one of the smaller seating areas adjacent to the pool

The large covered patio felt like an outdoor living room.  A dining table can be seen in the distance.


There was great attention to detail throughout the property.  Although there were a lot of decorative elements, they felt well integrated and supportive of the garden's tropical vibe.  Here are a few of my favorites:

This griffin looked just right seated in a bed of daylilies

Moroccan-style screens like these decorated the walls surrounding the pool courtyard, allowing glimpses of the garden beyond

Three carved figures decorate a fence.  I understand that they represent Thai rice goddesses.

More seating surrounded the fountain here

I didn't have good light to capture the elephant or owl sculptures shown here but I hope you can appreciate them anyway


Intriguing as the front half of the property was, I found the back half even more compelling.

This stately tree drew my eye first

The Tar Branch Creek weaves through the back half of the property.  When water is flowing it's a home to fish and turtles.


A tree trunk bearing a Texas star provided a decorative element suitable to this natural area

Still more seating was provided in this area alongside the lawn.  This place was made for parties!


There's still a lot more Fling to cover and I'll continue to chip away at it.  In the meantime, have a great weekend!


All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party