In my part of the world, fall is the very best time to plant. The soil is still warm but air temperatures are cooler so plants can develop good roots underground without getting stressed above ground. Combined with the prospect of rain, conditions couldn't be better. My area doesn't experience freezes so there's no risk in that regard.
I've been on a plant buying spree.
|and this is what I brought home from Terra Sol on the same trip|
I've made a few trips to my local garden center too. And I'm expecting a mail order delivery today as well.
There's plenty of space for my recent purchases and more to come since I cleared the native aster (Symphyotrichum chilense) and the Liriope spicata out of the bed extending from our backyard fountain.
Many of the new plants went into the bed shown in the foreground of the above photo (on the west side of the flagstone path).
|I'm going for a blue and white mix with a touch of yellow in this area but there's a lot of space yet to fill|
|The preexisting plants in this area include blue-flowered dwarf Jacaranda 'Bonsai Blue', Barleria obtusa (just now beginning its annual bloom cycle), and Echium webbii. The Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold' develops small pink flowers but its foliage is chartreuse year-round. Achillea 'Moonshine' bears yellow flowers from late spring through early summer.|
|New plants, top row: Agave attenuata 'Ray of Light' (2) and Lomandra 'Platinum Beauty' (3)|
Middle row: Hybrid Salvias 'White Flame' (7) and 'Mysty' (3)
Bottom row: Cistus 'Little Miss Sunshine' (2) and a still unidentified plant I picked up on a whim (3)
I hope the unidentified plant doesn't turn out to be a weed! I like its growth habit and bees love it. Many Salvias don't do well for me but Salvia 'Mystic Spires' has been an exception and, like that plant, Salvias 'White Flame' and 'Mysty' are both hybrids of Salvia longspicata x farinacea so I have high hopes for them. The agaves will take time to develop in size but the Lomanda 'Platinum Beauty' should reach mature size relatively quickly.
|These are the Lomandra 'Platinum Beauty' I have growing in the front garden after just over 2 years in the ground|
I continue to cut back and tear out plants in the back border on the east side of the flagstone path.
|This area has always had mostly blue, purple and pink flowering plants. That color scheme will probably continue, albeit with a different, more drought-tolerant mix of plants.|
Just this week, I've removed the Echium handiense 'Pride of Fuerteventura' I'd planted in 2016.
|This Echium is native to the Canary Islands and it has much longer bloom period than other Echiums in my experience; however, it got just too big for its spot at the front of the border and very woody. The photo on the left was taken in February and the photo on the right was taken this week.|
|Having had surprising success with cuttings of Echium handiense last year, I took more before we dug out the parent plant. (The cuttings on the right came from a lanky Pseuderanthem 'Texas Tri-star' which I haven't previously succeeded in propagating but I'm trying again.)|
|This is one of my Echium handiense seedlings from last year. Planted in an exceptionally dry area in my street-side succulent bed, it's already grown a foot tall and wide with very little supplemental water.|
I dug up a large sweet pea shrub (Polygala myrtifolia) too.
|This photo was taken in May. The plant looked a lot worse in October and it'd also grown too large for its spot at the front of the border. While it's pretty in bloom, it also proliferates like a weed. It's out but its progeny is doing fine in another area.|
Two plants from last weekend's shopping trip went into the vacated spots.
|Westringia fruicosa 'Morning Light' (left, aka Australian rosemary) filled the spot previously held by Echium handiense. It grows about 3 feet tall and wide and produces small white flowers. Grevillea 'Pink Midget' (right) filled the spot previously occupied by the sweet pea shrub. The Grevillea should grow no more than 2 feet tall but has a spread of 4-6 feet. It has tiny mauve pink flowers very similar to those of Grevillea sericea.|
I'm also looking to order some more plants by mail to help fill in more of the east border, notably Melinus nerviglumis.
|Also known as ruby grass, this plant (shown here in my north side garden) stays a manageable size and looks good in and out of bloom|
Other purchases were popped into areas elsewhere in the garden.
|Correa reflexa 'Cape Nelson' found a spot in an area where the backyard border merges into the south side garden. Having lost one Correa this summer, I couldn't resist this one.|
|Mahonia 'Soft Caress' found as spot in a partial shade area between the back border and the north side garden|
|Two other plants, gifted to me by Denise of A Growing Obsession when she was reorganizing her plant collection, found spots too. Dombeya burgessiae has a partially shaded spot in one of my front borders. Sonchus palmensis, a relative of the dandelion (!) was squeezed into an area in the back garden between a Grevillea and a Melianthus. (Let the battle for space begin!)|
The mail order plants delivered today will go in this weekend, along with pile of Freesia bulbs dislodged in the process of removing the asters. Now, if we could only get some rain! There's a small chance of drizzle this weekend with a greater prospect of real rain next Monday. Fingers crossed! Best wishes for favorable weather wherever you are this weekend.
All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party