Friday, August 30, 2013

My Favorite Plant in the Garden---This Week

 August has not been kind to my garden . The cruelty of spring ? Nope, not at my house . Everything here has just about grown to death-and a week on the road with no recuperation day before returning to the office didn't help much . Looking perky and lush in the bosom of destruction is my new Restio, Elegia capensis. Not only a new Restio, but my only Restio- a souvenir of the farewell cocktail bash at Flora Grubb on the last evening of Garden Bloggers Fling .

 It sat in it's 4inch nursery pot for at least a month until I was able to acquire a nice blue pot for it to live in. It looked pretty silly when  first planted it , and still is out of proportion, but I expect by late spring of next year it will look just fine. One of the few things in my garden right now that isn't overgrown, flopping, or browning out.




This image from a visit to UC Berkeley Botanic Garden a couple years ago may or may not be Elegia capensis, but it is similar so I'll include this photo as an indicator of things to come. I do love the Restios !


 Thanks to Loree , our fave plant hostess...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Visiting Deanne

  Travel on business to Boston put me in close proximity to my New England Idyll friends, so it was clearly imperative to squeeze out a couple of days to visit at least one of them. A rental car and an easy one hour drive on Saturday afternoon and I was in garden nirvanah ..Deannes wonderful garden in New Hampshire , with great food, great wine and sterling company. I'm still in recovery.

The Tropical Border. I often speculate about the reactions of people who innocently wander on to Deannes street and are confronted with this..



 I wonder how many private gardens in New Hampshire have Bromiliad Trees ? Two views of this one.




Deannes collection of Bromiliads will be the subject of a future post. She seems to be making no attempt to control her addiction to this genus..



More from the tropical border





The driveway garden...a personal favorite. This area has changed quite a bit since I first saw it; Deanne is transforming this into a shrub border . It's a great screen from the unattractive yard next door.


The mailbox garden...expanded this year , with more expansions to come .



A view of the tropical border from the mailbox garden..we suburban SF Bay Area dwellers can only dream of this much lawn to remove !




In the back garden: Phil Specter had The Wall of Sound, Deanne has The Wall of Plants...


Look, it's Sue !



Deanne also has some really cool Begonias.


 And of course there are some splendid succulent combos.




 Luke...not a plant , but beautiful ..check out those eyes !


 Thinkin the Fling needs to hit New England someday. Theres more where this comes from.

Friday, August 16, 2013

This Weeks Fave..Crassula falcata

 I love this plant..


I think it's the basic architecture that appeals to me ; and since it is not hardy here I bring it inside every winter without fail and give it a place of honor in the house where I can look at it all winter. I've had it a few years and it hasn't grown much; I repotted it in spring and added another small 2" plant that I got at the SF Garden Show. This is the first time it has bloomed, and I am ridiculously excited.



But I love the foliage most of all. Maybe that makes this a quasi Foliage Follow Up  post ???




San Marcos Growers says it is native to South Africa , and grows to 2ft tall. At the rate mine is growing by the time it hits 2 feet I'll be shuffling around the garden with my cane and a bottle of Geritol.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

August Bloomday Caboose

 Checking in from the left-coast here, where the time zone stragglers post as the folks back east are pulling up the covers and dozing off.


Sanguisorba 'Chocolate Tips' ..I'm having a great time collecting Sanguisorbas-they are never seen in garden centers here .All of mine have either been purchased n Washington/Oregon or at Digging Dog.




I'm thrilled with this Persicaria, but it absolutely clashes with almost everything in it's immediate area. It will have to be moved in fall.



 One of my ever diminishing Roses, this is 'Jeane Giono' , a keeper.


Clematis 'Rooguchi' , it's in the top 5.



Clematis 'Arabella' ..ditto above. Flowers, seedheads, puffy seedheads. Hail Arabella.



More Persicaria action..no clashing here.




This Lantana in the hell strip dies to the ground every winter-this year it has some reversion going on.



It's high Dahlia season..this is 'Bahama Mama' .



A Fuchsia..it's name escapes me, but I got it at Annies and it seems to be mite resistant.



Good old reliable Ceratostigma plumbagoides.



 Thanks Carol !

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Photo Walk at The Ruth Bancroft Garden


 Saturday morning I attended a members-only photo workshop at the Bancroft Garden, which happily started at 8am, a full two hours before the garden opens to the public. I never turn down an opportunity to get entry to a public garden when light conditions are relatively conducive to getting decent images.

 Our leader was photographer John Ricca, and class size was limited to 10 -we all had ample opportunity for one on one consultations . Though Mr Ricca is not a 'garden' photographer per-se , there are principles that span all genres and much of what he said was useful to me . Best of all, the light was wonderful , transitioning between bright overcast and mild sunlight as the marine layer burnt off.

 The workshop emphasized light and composition; garden bloggers the attended Saxon Holts workshop during San Francisco Fling will recall it was suggested that we 'fill the frame' and 'tell a story' . John Riccas approach had to do with shapes, and light. I was really learning the same lesson, expressed a different way.


























Wednesday, August 7, 2013

This Weeks' Fave Rave


 This week I have spent a great deal of time looking at and touching Chasmanthium latifolium, 'Northern Sea Oats' . A freak June rainstorm caused a bit of splaying and flopping , but it does swish and rustle pleasantly when I brush against it as it reclines toward the path.



 I also own a variegated version of this, though it is much less vigorous and desperately needs to be moved , for it is in the root zone of a  large, mature  Liquidambar . I find the tactile characteristics of the blooms very magnetic..I can never walk past this plant without touching it..even better than popping fuchsias if you ask me, and lets face it , popping fuchsias is pretty damn compelling. Chasmanthium makes me think of flat , warm coins. Thin coins, like dimes .

 




As with most grasses , it is vital to site it where the low sun illuminates. Mine is planted where it gets morning sun , afternoon shade, and evening sun. It has never shown signs of spreading or re-seeding in my Northern California Garden.






Check out the action over at the Danger Garden, for more weekly faves !