Monday, June 17, 2019

In a Vase on Monday: The Dahlias have Arrived!

Well, the first blooms on Dahlia 'Enchantress' have arrived in any case.  There are buds on 'Labyrinth' too and at least 4 other dahlias look as though they're preparing to set buds while several more have produced promising foliage.  Only the 'Shockwave' and 'Ben Huston' tubers I planted failed to sprout.  I'm in the process of pulling out the spring flowers in my cutting garden so I can get the remaining dahlias out of their temporary pots and into the ground where they can spread their roots.

'Enchantress' was unfurling a third bloom but I thought it was still too tight to open fully after the stem was cut so I made due with 2 stems

I was pleased to find that my Renga lilies (Arthropodium cirratum) nicely complemented the dahlias

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Dahlia 'Enchantress', Abelia grandiflora 'Edward Goucher', Digitalis purpurea, Arthropodium cirratum, Dorycnium hirsutum, and Fuchsia magellanica 'Hawkshead'


Another of my favorite summer flowers, Eustoma grandiflorum (aka lisianthus), also produced its first blooms last week so of course I had to create a second vase.

Although several stems of the blue lisianthus had blooms, I could only bring myself to cut one.  My recollection is that the unopened buds don't usually unfurl if the stem is cut prematurely. 

I filled out the arrangement with my beautiful ruffled Shasta daisies, as well as some of the spring blooms currently facing eviction from my cutting garden

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Eustoma grandiflorum (lisianthus), Consolida ajacis (aka larkspur), Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta daisy), Globularia x indubia (aka globe daisy), and Nigella papillosa 'Starry Night' (aka love-in-a-mist)


You may have noticed that our kitchen is still intact.  We finally have our construction permit and late last week we had the small amount of asbestos found in our attic removed.  Work on the footing for the kitchen extension should begin later this week.  In the meantime, we've packed up everything but the furniture in the living room, as well as half the contents of the kitchen.  We're getting closer to demolition but, with the slow roll on the project, I'm afraid the remodel won't be done by Christmas.

Meanwhile, my vases sit on the remaining items of furniture in the dining room and front entry, surrounded by boxes


For more "In a Vase on Monday" posts, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.


All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Bloom Day - June 2019

Summer usually kicks off well before Memorial Day here but the heat that marks its arrival didn't show up until the very end of May this year.  The return of the morning marine layer on Wednesday took the edge off the heat for several days but I know it's not going to last.  The only question now is: how high will it go?  Last year we hit 110F in early July, incinerating many of my plants and causing the loss of every piece of fruit on our lemon tree nearly overnight.  I'm hoping we won't have a replay of that event this summer.

I checked last June's Bloom Day post and, even if summer got off to a slow start, most of my plants seem to be right on track.  Like last year, the stars of my backyard garden this June are Achillea 'Moonshine' and Agapanthus.

There's a lot of yellow in my garden right now but Achillea 'Moonshine' leads the parade

The Agapanthus were at least 2 weeks late in getting started this year but they're now making up for lost time


Meanwhile some of my cool season bloomers are still putting on a good show.

Wind and the first heatwave of summer have taken out some stems of Arthropodium cirratum (aka Renga Lily, a New Zealand native) but there are still plenty in full bloom

Dorycnium hirsutum (aka hairy Canary clover) is still delighting the bees


Other plants that get their bloom on in late spring can be expected to continue blooming into early summer, absent another heat apocalypse.

Erigeron glaucus is doing particularly well this year.  'Ron's Pink' is shown in close-up on the lower left and 'Wayne Roderick' is on the right.

Globularia x indubia (aka globe daisy) is also blooming heavily this year


Plants that appreciate a touch of summer heat are also off and running.

I love the artichoke-shaped buds as much as the full-blown flowers of Centaurea 'Silver Feathers'

Among the Cistus (aka rockrose) 'Sunset' is currently making the biggest statement

Gaura lindheimeri peaks in early summer.  I understand that it's been reclassified as part of the Oenothera genus now but it's still better known as Gaura.

Gaillarida 'Arizona Sun' isn't the flashiest cultivar but it's surely the toughest

Gazanias are mutating - and proliferating - throughout my garden

Daylilies don't put on a spectacular performance in my garden but that hasn't prevented me from tucking them in here and there.  Hemerocallis 'Spanish Harlem' (top photo, backed by Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy') is one of my favorites.   Also blooming at the moment, bottom left to right: H. 'Plum Perfect', 'Indian Giver', and 'For Pete's Sake'.

The flowers growing over the arbor between my cutting garden and the backyard are performing their annual dance (marred a bit by the conduit set in place for the temporary kitchen necessitated by our remodel).  I inherited the Pandorea jasminoides 'Alba' (lower left) and Trachelospermum jasminoides (lower right).  I planted the dark pink Pelargonium peltatum (aka ivy geranium) when we moved in, never expecting it would climb as it has.

Romneya coulteri (aka Matilija poppy) is becoming a thug on the back slope but I'll cut it back even harder this winter in the hope of controlling it

Salvias love summer heat.  The top photos feature Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman'.  Bottom left to right: Salvia lanceolata, S. heldreichiana, and S. canariensis.

I'd rather my Santolina didn't bloom but I can't seem to stop it from doing so.  Santolina chamaecyparissus is on the left and S. virens is on the right (mingling with Helichrysum 'Crystal Ice').


Some plants appear to ignore seasons entirely.

Grevillea 'Superb' literally blooms year round.  Cuphea 'Vermillionaire', growing next to it, also flowers through all seasons, although the blooms seem heaviest at this time of year.

Tagetes lemmonii is supposed to bloom in the fall and winter months.  It's confused.


I also have a few favorites this June I want to share.

I've let some of the artichokes on my back slope bloom.  Each flower always seems to have 3-5 bees wiggling through it.

I really love Calendula officinalis 'Zeolights'

Sideritis cypria, with its gray foliage and red stems sporting lime green cups containing tiny yellow flowers, is truly unusual

I've had Wahlenbergia 'Blue Cloud' for years and it's slowly spread itself around in this bed consisting mainly of succulents


Another group of plants deserve a wave goodbye as they prepare to exit the garden scene for the year.

Centranthus ruber (top) doesn't look as good as it did a month ago but the butterflies don't mind.  Also waning, bottom left to right: Leucospermum 'Brandi', Limonium perezii, and Ozothamnus diosmifolius.


But as some plants prepare to exit, others are only just arriving on scene.

Still in limited release are: Leptospermum 'Copper Glow' (top) and (bottom, left to right) Eustoma grandiflorum (aka lisianthus), Leucanthemum x superbum, and Magnolia grandiflora

And the very first Dahlia, 'Enchantress', not quite fully open


I'll close as I usually do with collages showing the best of the rest currently on display.

Top row: Buddleja davidii 'Buzz Purple', Consolida ajacis, Corydalis flexuosa 'Porcelain Blue' and Iris douglasiana
Middle row: Lathyrus odoratus 'Celeste Blue', Linum perenne, and Pelargonium peltatum
Bottom row: Melaleuca thymifolia, Polygala fruticosa, and Teucrium cossonii majoricum

First row: noID Anigozanthos, Bignonia capreolata, and Cotula 'Tiffindell Gold'
Second row: Euphorbia 'Dean's Hybrid', Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream', and Hymenolepsis parviflora
Third row: Leucadendron 'Pisa', Lonicera japonica, and Mimulus 'Jelly Bean Buttercream'
Fourth row: Pelargonium  hortorum 'Tweedle Dee' and Rosa 'Lady Emma Hamilton'

First row: Abelia grandiflora, Alstroemeria 'Indian Summer', Arctotis 'Opera Pink', and Arctotis 'Pink Sugar'
Second row: noID Bougainvillea, Cistus 'Victor Reiter, Cuphea 'Starfire Pink', and Grevillea Ned Kelly'
Third row: Hebe 'Wiri Blush', Lobelia laxiflora, Lotus 'Amazon Sunset', and Lotus jacobaeus
Fourth row: Oenothera speciosa, Oscularia deltoides, Pelargonium peltatum, and Rosa 'Pink Meidiland'

Top row: Agonis flexuosa, Agrostemma 'Ocean Pearls', and Alstroemeria 'Claire'
Middle row: Coriandrum sativum and Orlaya grandiflora (similar in form but not size)
Bottom row: Nandina domestica, Nigella papillosa, and Scaevola 'Surdiva White'


My Bloom Day posts haven't gotten any shorter, have they?  Oh well, one never knows when summer may kick my garden to the curb.  For more Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day posts, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.


All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Wednesday Vignette: The Price of Inattention

Back in April, in a Tell the Truth post, I included photos of the clover (Trifolium repens) overtaking the flagstone pathway in my front garden.  I justified leaving it alone based on the arguments that clover fixes nitrogen in the soil; its dense foliage prevents the raccoons from digging; the bees like it; and the flowers are pretty.



I also said that, when our long-awaited remodel started, the clover would get trampled down anyway.  What I failed to consider was how far it could spread, especially as we continued to get rain into May and as the date for our remodel got pushed out time and again.  It spread last year too but not to the extent it has this year.

Not only can you not see much of the path here, you can barely make out the Artemisia versicolor 'Seafoam' (the silver gray foliage), Cordyline 'Renegade' (burgundy foliage), or Phormium 'Tom Thumb'.  The clover is also encroaching on the surrounding Leucadendrons, hellebores and other plants on the left.


Yesterday morning, before the temperature climbed into the 90s on the second day of our first heatwave of the summer season, I spent a good hour cutting back the area immediately surrounding the flagstone path.  (I need to buy a string trimmer.)

You can see most of the flagstones again and I cleared much of the clover choking out the Artemisia

but the clover's steady march into the beds on either side of the flagstone path still needs to be curtailed


Lesson learned.  In addition to cutting back "weeds" like Erigeron karvinskianus (aka Santa Barbara daisy) and Centranthus ruber (aka Jupiter's beard), I should be cutting back the clover in late spring.  Hopefully, next year I won't allow myself to get distracted.

This post owes credit to both Alison of Bonnie Lassie, who spearheaded the idea of "Tell the Truth Tuesday," and Anna of Flutter & Hum, who hosts Wednesday Vignette.


All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

Monday, June 10, 2019

In a Vase On Monday: In Remembrance


My first vase was originally inspired by the flowers of a Hebe I've been admiring for weeks.

Yet Pelargonium 'Rembrandt' and Cistus 'Sunset' took over the front of the vase

And Digitalis purpurea grabbed attention in the back

With the ruffled Shasta daisy, a gift from my friend Daria following the death of my mother years ago, rising to the top

Clockwise from the upper left: Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta daisy), noID Alstroemeria, Cistus 'Sunset', Digitalis purpurea, Hebe 'Wiri Blush', Helleborus 'Anna's Red' (with Abelia grandiflora 'Edward Goucher'), and Pelargonium 'Rembrandt'


My second vase was prepared to take advantage of the blue Delphiniums and larkspur in bloom in my cutting garden before the summer heat diminishes their beauty.

Two stems of Delphinium elatum stretch heavenward

The wispy white stems of Coriandrum sativum provide light

Larkspur and love-in-the-mist round things out

Clockwise from the upper left: Delphinium elatum 'Pacific Giants', Consolida ajacis (larkspur) in various hues, Coriandrum sativum (aka cilantro/coriander), Lathyrus odoratus 'Blue Celeste', and Nigella papillosa 'Starry Night Mix' (love-in-the-mist)


The third vase contains peonies I picked up tightly in bud at a local market last Wednesday because the two plants in my garden refused to bloom again this year.

The buds have been opening ever so slowly since Wednesday


All my vases this week are offered in remembrance.

In memory of: Daria, dear friend
Nothing will be the same without you


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


All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party