Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! We’ve got all kinds of sweet stuff blooming right now, but this Ferraria crispa is the freakiest. It’s our first fancy South African bulb. The foliage on this guy is what sold me. So often SA bulbs have lame grassy leaves, but this guy is almost succulent. Blooms are super fragrant, smelling like a combo of vanilla and butt. They’re fly pollinated, so the stank works for them. Check out all our pics of it here. Now for some of the California natives that have started to bloom.
Coreopsis gigantea & friends
During our first big rainstorm in what seemed like forever ago one of the branches took a dive, but it didn’t break off. We think it might help counterbalance the giant poofy top. It’s growing a with a bit of a tilt, but we’re going to get another big bunch of blooms soon. The Aeonium nobile above the bowling pin is going nuts! A shout out to Jenn at Dirty Girl Gardening for giving it to us last summer.
Three years ago I went on a mission to find this plant. I had seen cool pipe covered pictures of it via google and thought it was the coolest thing ever. Matti and I went to our first SF Garden show in 2009, where I tracked one down from Bay Natives. It was a little slow to establish and I thought it was dead the first year it went deciduous… right now it’s about to do the amazing thing I saw online. It put on a decent show last year, but this year is going to be nuts. If it wasn’t deciduous I don’t know if I could deal. Hopefully this is the year the Pipevine Swallowtails will sniff it out. They’re welcome to eat as much of it as they want.
Eccremocarpus scaber 'Cherry Red'
It’s the vine that won’t quit. Last year our Eccremocarpus died back quite a bit, but this year our masses of them (them reseed like crazy, annoying cut off the pods crazy) are keeping the hummingbirds happy.
Fuchsia fulgens with Aeonium 'Cyclops' friend
Crested Euphorbia 'Tiny Tim'
Pretty much all the flowers on ‘Tiny Tim’ are cresting with bizarre monster like flowers. My crackpot theory is that aphids had something to do with it. They were all over this guy and I didn’t really do anything but blast it with the hose once. We have another big honking Euphorbia that’s currently under attack. I’m keeping my fingers crossed it will have a bunch of freaky blooms in a few weeks, too.
Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! We’ve got tons of cool stuff blooming right now including the tallest plant we’ve ever grown Dahlia imperialis ‘Double White’. There were a bunch of big babies in one gallons at Annie’s that needed a new home, so I took one home not knowing which tree Dahlia it was going to be (we’re usually pretty anti-white flowers). It’s pretty awesome, but I kind of want to try Dahlia tenuicaulis or crazy awesome Dahlia campanulata next year. There’s another shot of it in the container here (it’s kind of skinny).
Maybe a month or two ago I hacked this puppy back pretty hard since it was getting scraggly. Now it’s covered in flowers again. I think this is one of our very first Fuchsias. It loves a good hacking every few months.
Quite a few of our Fuchsias are blooming right now and Fuchsia denticulata is one of my faves. Hummingbirds are having brawls and it’s December. The Wisconsinite in me is still in awe that it can be sunny and 65 sometimes even 70 degrees in December. January through March used to be my most hated time of the year and now it’s my favorite. Bring on the rain!
While I love Fuchsia fulgens, I’m more excited about the Kalanchoe carnea growing behind the flowers. We started this guy from a stem we picked up on the ground in Santa Barbara last winter. I keep moving it around and pissing it off, but it seems to like the new spot.
Cyanotis somaliensis (Common Name - Furry Kittens or Pussy Ears)
A big shout out to Plants Are The Strangest People for helping us ID this purple poofy flowered thing several months back. I’m pretty sure this plant withstood dog pee in its not so great spot in the yard back in the day, but it now lives happily in a pee free zone. Everything I’ve read says it needs to be in zone 10 or above and I remember it dying back pretty hard after a frost. It’s been a great houseplant for us, too. We picked it up at Lone Pine Gardens a nursery that specializes in succulents and bonsai trees in Sebastopol. Cool place.
Matti picked up this bizarro Oxalis herrerae at Cactus Jungle last Spring. If we put it in the ground, kept it watered and fed it could potentially turn in to a three foot tall leafy shrub. We like the freaky succulent petiole action, so we keep it abused in a little pot. I wasn’t all that excited about it at first since Annie’s had some pampered plants leafy plants at the time. It’s pretty dang cool.
Eccremocarpus scaber 'Tresco Gold'
It took Eccremocarpus scaber ‘Tresco Gold’ a little longer to take off this year since most of it sprouted from the abundant seed of one crazy floriferous plants from last year. It seems to be lasting later in the season. Snip off the pretty seed heads if you don’t want lots and lots and lots of babies, but they’re easy to spot and pull, too. The hummingbirds go crazy for it. I’m convinced they like it more than any of our Fuchsias.
I planted this Anagallis monellii in a big container last May or June. It bloomed like a little trooper for a couple months, got rangy, hacked it back and it’s coming back. It’s seriously one of the prettiest shades of blue out there, but it’s tough to capture in photos. I severely abused (moved at least three times in a not so nice manner) a different plant last winter that olerated my cruelty no-problem. Annie’s almost always has them available, so I started fresh with this guy.
We’ve had a couple of Kalanchoe marmorata hanging around for at least a year. They haven’t loved life in our garden (honestly, they’ve usually been jammed in sub-prime real estate), but this one finally liked it enough to shoot out some crazy four inch long flower. One of our favorite succulent bloggers Candy got a great shot of it looking happy, but not as spotty at Huntington Gardens this fall. From what I’ve read it sounds like the more sun it gets to more pronounced its leopard spots are.
San Francisco, if I haven’t told you how much I love you lately I apologize. Gardening in Winter is one of my favorite activities, especially after checking the temp in Wisconsin and giggling. I’m going to shut up now and show some more pics of stuff that’s blooming out back. Hurray for December!
Froofy Fuchsia (don't really know what hybrid it is)
Helenium autumnale 'Helena Red Shades'
Crassula erosula 'Campfire'
Graptoveria 'Fred Ives'
Okay, I can’t keep my big mouth shut… Back in early October I was walking the dog around the neighborhood with the camera and took a pic of a house using Lotus maculatus as a ground cover in the middle of their driveway. It looks nice, check out the pic here.
Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! A big shout out to May Dreams Garden for hosting the worldwide flower sharing fest. Lots of repeats from recent months past, but we still have plenty o’flowery action happening out back. We’re not really sure which Scabiosa this is (it was a mystery freebie from Annie’s I planted in a pot last winter). The dang thing hasn’t stopped blooming since May and the butterflies love it. I love how the little periwinkle dots on the wings match the bloom.
Our Brugmansia sanguinea has busting out the blooms left and right. We’ve actually had a decent amount of rain for October, which nearly collapsed the entire thing (I feel like a pruning failure). It’s super floppy… which means as soon as the flower fest is done I’m going to hack it back. Anyone have any advice about pruning it in to a lovely small tree?
Not really sure what this cultivar is, but it’s an Echeveria gibbiflora of some sort. I’m going to call it ‘Fancy Panties’ since I have no idea what cultivar it really and truly is.
Now I haven’t really looked at a donkey tail lately, but what’s up with the common name “Donkey Tail Spurge”? Nothing about this plant reminds me of an equine creature, but I do love it.
Look at that lovely flower! The actual plant itself is all spotty and weird. I’m thinking it’s getting too much water, not enough sun and is in a pot with probably sub-standard (crappy recycled so-so draining soil). We have a couple in the ground that have never been that happy either (they more sun and less water). I see them everywhere around town (even in the fog belt) looking huge and awesome. Perhaps we have the Calandrinia curse?
I’m still loving our Petunia exserta (almost extinct in its homeland of southeastern Brazil). When we look out over the garden from the living room, the flowers look like floating red stars. I dead head it religiously.
My fingers turn purple when I deadhead this one. I’m curious to see how things go for it this winter.
Grill looking pretty
We flipped the grill around a week or two ago, since the Lotus maculatus was putting on a show for the fence. Echeveria pulvinata is back in action again, too. Anyone else out there orange flower fans? I think we need more orange flowering friends.
Still looking good despite my half-assed transplant.
Dahlia ‘Dark Side of the Sun’
Oh geez, I just looked at our previous Bloom Day posts and back in August I posted almost this exact same picture. I’ll be honest. We almost spaced Bloom Day, so some of these pictures are a week or two, maybe three old. Right this very second there are no Dahlia blooms in action.
Are you sick of ‘Fanfare’ yet? It just keeps blooming and blooming and blooming.
Tis the season to go crazy ripping things out & moving them around. I’ve been on a rampage lately. Earlier in the month I went nuts on a succulent section. No plant is safe right now. This little corner was so pitiful I didn’t even bother taking a decent before pic of it (sorry about the glaring sun). About every three or four months I get pissed off at the Echium candicans for dropping it’s crappy little leaves all over the spiky Aloe below about to be pulled out. It starts with a couple snips here & there, but always ends with the Echium looking very sad. It’ll fill back in, in a couple weeks. Does anyone think my aggressive pruning could be the reason it’s never bloomed (we’ve had it for at least three years)? We threaten it verbally every Spring when all the other Echiums are blooming all over the place, maybe we made it sad?
Ripping it out
The Aloe you see strewn about was bought when we first moved here in a two inch pot. It’s hard to believe how huge it got in only a couple years. Someone in the neighborhood hit the free succulent jackpot with this rearrange. When we have extras, they get thrown on the curb & we tweet about it. I think we put out five succulent cutting filled flats this time.
Looks a little sad, but give it a few months
Matti brought home a Banksia blechnifolia from the loser pile at work (to the left of the piece of wood holding up the rickety fence). It’s our first Banksia & sounds like it loves life in sand, on the coast. It’s a prostrate, shorty. As long as I remember not to fertilize it with anything that has phosphorus it in. Eventually we’ll have to move the deformed Echeveria subrigida & Agave vilmoriniana (they were both crammed in an unfortunate spots earlier).
This corner was too sad for before pics. It’s still looking a little crazy, but much better than the mess it was before. I ditched two of the Dahlias due to powdery mildew & just being sick of them. Check out the nice trunk forming on the Senecio cristobalensis. Maybe this winter it won’t get totally pummeled by the rain & winds. There’s a Phygelius in the container where our Dianthus superbus sat unhappy for about six months. In another couple months, I’ll probably have to redo this section again. Now that we have ridiculous quantities of plants, moving stuff around has become my favorite thing to do.
After doing a little flickr searching, I realized that I didn’t even take pics of my Fuchsia glazioviana massacre a couple weeks ago. Of all the Fuchsias we’ve grown (we currently have over ten) F. glazioviana has been my least favorite. Crappy little flowers you can barely see, along with runners going all over place… it had to go, so I could move poor Fuchsia fulgens in to the spot of glory it deserves (it was crammed behind our Cestrum).
This weekend two of our favorite nurseries are having shin-dings. Succulent Gardens is having their extravaganza today & Saturday & Annie’s Annuals is having their fabulous fall party (plus all plants will be 20% off, this goes for online orders, too). I”ll be working at Annie’s party on Sunday, so stop on by & say hi.