Saturday, November 15, 2008

Garden Blogger Bloom Day November 2008

Fall days that have cooled into the 60s and 70s have brought a flush of blooms to Davis gardens. Solanum rantonnetii has bloomed all summer and after getting pruned back over a month ago it has burst forth with another round of color. This is a very forgiving plant matter how much I cut it back to keep some degree of control (I admit there may have been a better plant for this spot) it just stays happy. Except for a month or so midwinter (when it can show its semi-deciduous tendencies if the weather gets cold enough) S. rantonnetii is a trooper.
The potted wax begonias are equally happy, not realizing that soon they will die back and disappear for a month or three before returning in the spring.
I'm happy to see this pink chrysanthemum blooming. I accidentally uprooted it when digging and dividing some overgrown agapanthus a couple months ago. It appears to have forgiven me.

I was surprised to see pea blossoms on these Sugar Ann peas...they are only a few inches high but are beginning to put out a few blooms...maybe we'll have peas for Christmas!
Solanum jasminoides brightens up the west fence .
My new-this-summer Dwarf Indigo Spires is sending up some intense blue blooms near the front door. I'm hoping they were telling the truth and it stays under three feet...I'd have to do some thinking if it ends up needing staking.
Rosa Flower Girl is an old favorite. Although the leaves look a bit worse for the wear by the end of summer, it just keeps blooming and has regained some pink color now that the days are not quite so hot.

Lavandula pinnata bucchii is another long bloomer and is seen here in front of the potted Meyer Lemon with Felicia amelloides and Plumbago auriculata and pelargoniums in the background. Actually, aside from a few chrysanthemums, some annual vinca and the peas, most of the bloomers today are plants that bloom a good part of the year. Here is the list, hopefully fairly complete despite the fact that it is too dark to go take a last look.

Solanum jasminoides
Solanum rantonnetii
Glossy abelia Edward Goucher
Lavandula pinnata bucchii
Plumbago auriculata
Anisodontea Elegant Lady
A. Hibiscus Bits
A. Very Cranberry
Pink Pandorea
Annual Vinca
Wax begonias
Dwarf Carnation Evermore
one clueless tomato blossoms
several clueless pepper blossoms
Salvia Friesland Pink
S. Mulberry Jam
S. Dancing Dolls
S. Victoria Blue
S. greggii
S. Dwarf Indigo Spires
Rosa Flower Girl
Abutilon Pink Parasol
Abutilon unknown pink
Bat face cuphea
Bush mallow
For more gardens around the world visit Carol at
Carol began GBBD over a year ago and continues to provide a meeting place for gardeners to share blooms each month.

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Walk On The Dry Side

I recently visited Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in the southern California town of Claremont. My dad, niece and I arrived early on a cool, cloudy morning following an evening of rain which included thunder and unusual SoCal event. The garden was having a plant sale so I worried about parking but luckily for us, although maybe not them, there was plenty of space in the lot. We headed down the path and soon came upon what in the spring is a wildflower meadow. We saw only cleared soil...through which a wonderful path made in the shape of a snake slithered!
As we continued on we saw lots of cacti and other drought tolerant and native plants...not my usual favorites but quite interesting to see in large plantings.
This pretty rock caught my eye...I wonder if anyone else sees what I see in the dark spot?We saw lots of wildlife...a hawk (maybe a sharp-shinned), monarch butterflies, squirrels, lots of warblers and other songbirds... and a cute little baby turtle trying to soak up some sun on a rock when the clouds parted.
I actually got a shot of a hummingbird, although when I saw the one my niece got I realized why I might want a better camera. Then again, she is the better photographer, so maybe I'll stick with what I have for now.
On our way out I was tempted by several plants at the sale, but the thought of a one gallon cactus as carry-on luggage slowed me down. Seriously, there were several salvias that I might have tried if I could have thought of anywhere I might have an empty spot to fill back home. But for some strange reason my better sense prevailed and I left with only photos and the memory of a quiet, enjoyable walk through a very different garden from those I usually frequent.