Friday, October 30, 2015
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Rambling in the Garden.
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Just had to share this!
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Agave angustifolia "Marginata" is fairly common around here, which promises well for its survival. I have it tucked back into the southeast corner, which is currently being worked out and planted up. It must like its position since it sent up a pup overnight after planting! Its fresh, almost mint, green is very refreshing in the garden.
Clearly not leaves, but still playing the role of foliage in the garden, are the wonderful stems of Euphorbia trinculli "Firesticks". They make a good splash of colour and are growing well.
There are many other fine foliage plants right now: lavender, hamelia, and eremophilas; but they will have to wait for another day. Linking with Christina at Garden of the Hesperides for this October's Garden Bloggers Foliage Day, which is an excellent time to take a look round at the plants that often make up the main structure of the garden.
Weather Diary: Fair; High: 77 F (25 C)/Low: 57 F (14 C)
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Monday's vase came together of its own accord and is, in its rather quiet way, becoming a favourite of mine. Unfortunately, some of the material had wilted when I managed to get the photographs, leading to a decision to postpone sharing until today, when I anticipated taking a second round of pictures. However, this morning we are in the midst of a luscious autumnal rain, with dim light all through the house and no interest in going outdoors to get a bit more light! Therefore yesterday's photos will be used a day late, and I will ask my viewers to imagine the artemisia leaves properly perked up and bushy (which they now are)!
It began with the grass plumes. Muhlenbergia capillaris "Regal Mist" is now beginning a royal blooming spree. I have waited exactly one year for this as it was about the first plant that went into the garden last autumn. It sent up a few plumes last year - just to give an idea of what it could do, I suppose - and now in its second year it is loaded. None of the stalks are fully opened yet, but they already combine nicely in a vase.
Perovskia is blooming happily now that the weather has softened and I am no longer trying to water anything much (except the new plants, more on them later). It remains considerably wider than it is tall, but it looks healthy and I found a new bloom stalk yesterday. At first I hesitated to cut any stems because the bees were enjoying it so much! But there is plenty of bee fodder in the garden, and I was able to stuff a good handful of Perovskia in the vase.
The other blooming stems are from Leucophyllum frutescens "Compacta", the so-called Barometer Bush, which true to name has opened a scattered few flowers ahead of last night's and today's downpours. It is a good source for foliage in a vase, and all the better when in bloom.
Artemisia "Powis Castle" supplied a cluster of foliage as well. As I say, it has brightened up considerably since these pictures were taken.
All of the material used was fairly large-scale - enough to go into one of my larger handthrown vases: an unglazed stoneware vase with a narrow mouth and neck and some extra texturing around the shoulder.
So the Monday Vase was a day late due to weather and wilt. Finally linking, of course, with Rambling in the Garden, where there are always many wonderful vases to be found...
Now for a few digressions...
I am happy to say that the male hummingbird has established his rights to the apricot tree outside our dining room window. He clearly perceives himself as part of the garden now. And we have seen the pair of them swooping and chasing in the yard. No pictures, I'm afraid!
I have also been planting out my assortment of plants-in-waiting as well as this autumn's order from High Country Gardens. The South Border is rapidly filling up, from Eremophila hygrophana and Ozothamnus diosmifolius at the top to Agave angustifolia "Marginata" at the bottom. More on all that in a much-delayed post later today, I hope!
The southeast corner of the garden took on a new sense of space this morning as I finally squared it out with pavers (must go buy some more...) and found that my eyes had been deceiving me as to the depth of the bed. This gardener was delighted to find extra planting room available...!
The Alnwick Rose has bloomed and is looking much healthier overall; I think it's past the worst of its woes.
And Salvia reptans has been flowering also: a wonderful haze of brilliant, deep blue blossoms on a fairly upright plant. This one is a treasure for the desert garden!
With rain (even hail last night - no damage done that I've noticed) the whole garden is looking greatly refreshed. Autumn is here!
|Berlandiera lyrata is once more blooming happily every morning|
Weather Diary: Rain with occasional thunder; High: 83 F(28 C)/Low: 63 F (17 C)
With the rain, the high temperatures have dropped about twenty degrees (F) over the last twenty-four hours, down to 64 F (18 C) now!
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Monday, October 12, 2015
Wollerton Old Hall has been very reliable and the blooms have such a delicate beauty. They are less formal than I expected, creating a soft, cottage garden effect with their perfect, shell-shaped petals. The hues vary a bit from rose to rose. Perhaps it's the temperature, or perhaps not. At any rate it adds to the charm! Just now there is a good deal of primrose yellow and a whisper of apricot.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
This little male showed up in our yard only a few days ago. I had seen the female around for awhile so I was delighted when I realized the male had arrived. His brilliant flash of violet throat and crown was a happy sight. Then I began hearing his exuberant, scratchy song from the apricot tree. He loves to perch in among the leaves, a post from which he can easily dart down to feed in the garden.
And I have made sure there is nectar available! Russelia and the three Salvia greggii plants are the favourites, and supposedly the new Hamelia patens will be another though I haven't seen the birds on it yet.
Yesterday, knowing he was around, I decided to try to capture some pictures. I brought out the camera and approached the apricot tree. He has been fairly wary so I was anxious not to close the distance too much. I could hear him warbling squeakily to the afternoon breezes. I made a poor imitation with a whistle. He responded enthusiastically.
We talked to each other for a long time, he in the tree, I below, trying to get shots of him between times. But he was against the light and a bit too far away. Eventually he left to feed in the flowers. I went around to the patio and settled into one of the chairs there, just behind the Russelia he was so busy at. He was fine with my presence, and I began snapping pictures. At last I got some that could at least be shared for the record.
I believe this is a Costa's Hummingbird. Each of the pair is a little smaller and a little more wary than the birds we had last year, which were probably Anna's Hummingbirds. And the male's flash of colour when the light hits is distinctly violet. But I certainly won't be dogmatic about the ID as I don't have much experience yet. Whichever they are, they are marvelous to have around.
Today I saw them flying together for the first time. It would be thrilling to host a hummingbird nest...
Friday, October 9, 2015
...not to mention a surprising little flush of its yellow blooms, mostly high up in the canopy.
The bark, always a lovely green, has a very nice sheen and particularly rich colour now as well.
The whole look of the tree says more than words about the nature of autumn in the desert: it is very like spring in the temperate zones. This is when plants begin to revive after the most stressful season, the new leaves come out and blossoming begins again, though Parkinsonia florida's main bloom season is unquestionably April.
Many tiny leaves...
...once more veil the shapely green trunks.
While I was in the vicinity, I looked around a little more. A bird (still unidentified) in the nearby Lycium had caught my attention so I took a closer look. I found a nest -- empty, I think, now, though I haven't figured out nesting seasons here.
I really do not know where the builder found the plastic, but I know precisely where the hairs came from because our horses live just the other side of the wall. I'm happy to know some of those carefully combed tail hairs helped build a nest!
And just in front of the Palo Verdes is a stand of wild grasses.
I love them; I don't know what kind of grass they are, but I love the graceful stems and the rather ornamental flowering heads.
So there is a quick look at the wild tree for Lucy's meme at Loose and Leafy, where there is quite a selection of interesting trees to read about.
Weather Diary: Fair; High: 91 F (33 C)/Low: 63 F (17 C)