Although our temperatures have fallen a few degrees this week, it's still been very warm here and humidity has been unusually high, which continues to make working outside uncomfortable. California is known for dry heat but this tropical bent has become increasingly common year-to-year. I've still managed to get in a little time in the garden but I haven't tackled any new projects or planted anything new, with the exception of a large sunflower I popped into a pot on the patio to replace a plant that had seen better days.
I've continued to take photos in the garden, though, and my Wednesday Vignette this week focuses on some unusual sights. The first is the flower of Drimia maritima, aka sea squill (formerly Urginea maritima). I've admired the foliage of this drought-tolerant plant at my local botanic garden for some time but had the devil of a time finding the bulb at a reasonable price. I finally succeeded last year and, even though I'd understood the bulb was large, I was surprised by its nearly bowling ball size and how heavy it was. I planted it in the driest area of my dry back slope, an area that receives no irrigation, and somewhat to my surprise it produced foliage over the winter months. The foliage died back in the spring but a flower stalk appeared this month.
|I snapped this photo of the plant's foliage on New Year's Day. The plant should get much larger with more years in the ground.|
|I checked it again yesterday. It's even taller and florets are opening at a steady pace but the lower flowers are shriveling as new ones appear. The bees love it regardless. It's not a display like the one you see here but I have high hopes for it in the future and I'm seriously considering buying one or two more bulbs.|
The second surprise in my garden came in the form of a bloom on one of the Epiphyllums growing in my lath house. I have three plants, only two of which are identified in my records and I originally thought the one with the flower bud was 'Monastery Pink' but, as the bud developed, I realized I was wrong.
|I subsequently concluded that this is Epiphyllum oxypetalum 'Queen of the Night'|
|I'd been checking on the bud every couple of days, looking for a full-blown bloom, but once I correctly identified it, I realized I was going to have a hard time getting a photo of it in bloom. According to online resources, it rarely blooms and, when it does, it opens only at night and, once that happens, it wilts.|
So a photo of the 'Queen of the Night' cactus flower may not materialize this year but, as I was passing through the cutting garden late yesterday afternoon, I caught a rare photo of one of the many hummingbirds that buzz through my garden all day every day.
|This little lady (I suspect it's a female but I'm not sure) had just chased away a competitor seeking access to "her" cutting garden and was still on guard watching to see if it returned. It did and she set off on a chase.|
Little things like these add elements of joy to days that often feel mundane and repetitious (or infuriating) these days. I'll end this post with another thing the brought me joy this week, the new pot of sunflowers on our back patio.
|Here's another view from the garden, where the sunflowers echo the bright color of Lantana 'Samantha' in the foreground|
For more Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna of Flutter & Hum.
All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party