Far Out Flora

Ripping Out Spring


Papaver 'Drama Queen' alive

Word on the street is that it’s officially summer. Ummm, it rained a couple days ago. That shouldn’t happen this time of the year in our parts. So far the fog hasn’t been too bad, but it’s not August yet. Above is sweet innocent ‘Drama Queen’ maybe a day before I ripped it out. I think it knew it’s time was coming. It suddenly put on the best flower show ever in an effort to woo me from killing it.

Compost heaven

It didn’t work. Look, I’m not even sad about stuffing it in the compost bin. When I pulled it out not a lot of root action was going on.  There was a gopher attack on Papaver ‘Greek’ right next to it and I think that it hit her, too. That might explain the sudden floppiness. Next year I want to give Papaver hybridum ‘Black Swan’ a shot.

Bright light, bright light!

This is the sketchy super sunny “after” shot. I’m giving three dark leaved Dahlias a shot. Everyone told me they’ll get powdery mildew being in the foggiest part of town, but I want to see which of the three holds up best out here in the outerlands. So far so good. I probably planted them too close together, and now I’m a little worried it’s not sunny enough. We’ll see what happens. That sad looking guy in the pot is Dianthus superbus ssp. speciosus (it was getting smooshed by the queen). Oh yeah, those sticks are puppy plant guards. The neighbor’s dog likes to mess with newly planted plants.

The three test subjects are:
Dahlia coccinea‘Orange Hybrids’

Dahlia ‘Dark Side of the Sun’
Dahlia x hybrida ‘Bishop’s Children’

Here’s a shot before I ripped out ‘Barry Dare’. Can’t say this was the best sweet pea choice I’ve ever made. I now know that I like the smaller leaved, old school sorts like ‘Cupani’ (best sweet pea ever) more. Barry had powdery mildew issues, and it’s flowers were more of a deep hot pink than red. Keep an eye out for the coolest new sweet pea ever from Annie’s next spring (I forget it’s name, but it looks like a purpley blue watercolor and smells great).

Matti and the Tropaeolum tuberosum

Matti and I had our eye on this nasturtium vine thing at Flora Grubb a few weeks ago, and then like magic it turned up in the loser (free for Matti) plant pile! After a little clean up Matti planted in the sweet pea spot.

Tropaeolum tuberosum

It sounds like Tropaeolum tuberosum (Mashua) can go crazy and take over the world, but we’re willing to take the risk. It’s tuberous roots are edible, and have been shown to reduce testosterone levels in rats in tests. If we end up hating it, we can always dig it up and eat it. It’s native to the Andes. I’m excited to see it in flower.

New plant excitement!

A week ago I posted about wanting Salvia africana-lutea.  Matti brought one home for me! Hope everyone has an awesome 4th of July weekend! We’ve got all kinds of gardeny projects planned.




  1. Love your beautiful garden and envy you those Drama Queen poppies! Too cold in winter and too hot in summer for such lovelies here. I enjoyed the cooler weather this past week. Hoping to find someplace to ‘chill’ on Sunday and the 4th of July when it is expected to be 100-102. . . Too hot for much heavy gardening – will connect with the garden early in the morning with the hose!

    • Whoa! It rarely gets over 70 where we live. We’re lucky to hit 65 even in the summer. It still weirds me out after living Wisconsin for so long.

  2. Gophers ate my drama queen, too! I saved the stalks and pods as roosting poles for my two crazy chickens…

  3. if i had a gopher problem i would be a very sad person.

  4. My Salvia africana-lutea is just leaves now. There is nothing else that flowers in those colours!

  5. Ever see a gopher go fer a gopher! LOL Those nasty varmints! What is he doing in your garden eating your precious roots! Everything looks really happy! Love Matti’s sweet pea! Should grow really great where you have it. Should be 105 in Sacramento this next week. Yikes! But Stan and I are with his family in Oceanside, CA. Yeah! I am going to find some succulent houses to shoot pics of!

  6. Oh, Papavers! I just decided yesterday that they’re my faves. The geometry of the fruit is to die for. It was shocking to see their gorgeousness in the compost bin, but I’ll get over it…..Lovely garden, my dears!

  7. Gardeny projects “planned”??? It already looks and sounds like you’ve done a lot of work. Can’t wait to see what those projects are. I still have to have a go at the succulent table. Haven’t found the time yet. :(

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