Monday, May 26, 2008

Another euphorbia

This is another euphorbia, a perky plant with orange flowers. Too bad it flops. By the way, the weather turned cold. I had to turn the heat on to keep my wife happy and Saturday was rainy. The climate is lovely here in the foothills.


Two plants from my first order from Digging Dog.
This was three years ago when I had high hopes of developing beautiful perennial beds around the level part of my backyard,
Euphorbia characias and aster 'Lady in Black'.
I had euphorbias all over my socal yard. They were wonderful fillers with soft blue green foliage and chartreuse flowers. They would do the same for me up here, I thought. The aster was something new - a plant I had never grown and couldn't have grown in socal. It was supposed to be beautiful with achillea 'Inca Gold' and I was trying to develop beautiful beds so I bought the pair. 'Inca Gold' has thrived (you can see it in the lower right corner of the picture) but 'Lady in Black' and euphorbia were never seen after the first year.

Until now.

After a year when I did not see any traces of either (and you can see that my beds are far from a state where you can easily lose a plant), here they are again looking reasonably happy.

I have no explanation but I am happy to see them.

Verbenia Bonariensis

Ten years ago when I was living in Southern California, verbenia bonariensis was trendy. Everybody was talking about it and how wonderully it worked as a 'see through' plant. I had a few plants growing in my rose bed. I liked it because it was easy, had a presence and looked good as a cut flower with my roses.

I did not think that it would survive in my new garden despite seeing plants my first year in the local nursery. Next year, no plants at the nursery so I bought seeds two years ago. I am terrible with seeds and manated to grow only two plants from a packet. This plant is the only survivor but is looking quite happy. There are even some seedlings growing at the base which I keep forgetting to pot up and transplant.
It's a lovely plant.
My problem is knowing what to do with it. Art and design have very little to do with my garden style. I have a plant. I find a hole and plant it. If it looks good, then I have an unexpected benefit. Right now it is overwhelming my 'Ceclie Brunner' rose since despite being a 'see through' plant, it's got some hefty branches. I won't move it because I know it would die but I need to find some places for it's babies where they will complement other plants. My first thought is to plant them in my summer hyacinth (galtonia candicans) bed. Since I have never grown it (galtonia, not verbenia) before and have no idea what it will look like when it grows up except it will be four feet tall this is a lame idea. Heck, it's the only idea I have so here we go. You see my problem.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Too Darn Hot

The fourth day of over 100 degrees. And without our normal Delta Breeze cooling at night. They promise that it will cool down next week. I caught several of my potted plants looking dead and shriveled by the time I got around to watering yesterday. Happily, they all pulled back to some semblance of life. I fertilized, sprayed and thought about pruning but I.m done for the day. My roses are already past their prime. Next week I will be pruning off dead flowers to prepare for the next wave.

First up today is 'Midnight Blue'. Earlier in the week when it was cooler the flowers were very deep purple. No more.

Below is 'Mermaid' starting around the top of my courtyard.

Raised Bed

Here is my raised vegetable bed completed just two weeks ago with three tomatoes, a pepper and an eggplant. There is room for more but I don't know what to plant.

At bottom a partial completion shot from about a month ago. I have completed two of my resolutions.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Summer is acumen in

The weatherman says it will be 100 by Saturday. Spring is over. We will be rivaling Polecat.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

View from the Baclyard

When you leave our house to enter the backyard, you see the slope which is on the way (in it's fifth year) of becoming a tapestry of various greens and textures. Walking out, you enter a covered area which frames the hillside between the columns. The neighbors to the rear are currently visible but as the plants grow to full size, the one story house will be hidden.
The third picture is from our outdoor sitting area looking north and the final picture is of the north end of the slope where one of the three maples is beginning to create some shade

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Some Like it Hot

Not the weather which will be more than hot soon enough. Today was perfect Spring weather which we seldom get in Sacramento.

What's hot is 'Hot Cocoa' bursting into bloom. I love the smoldering ashy color of the mature flowers in contrast to the orange flames of the buds.

At the bottom, 'Graham Thomas' just opening it's first buds. It promises to be spectacular.

Calling Ethel Merman

"Everything's Coming Up Roses'

These pictures from my front courtyard show 'Ginger
Syllabub' climbing the bell tower. This is its second year and it looks like it will pull its weight this year. The buds are just beginning to open showing full quartered flowers. They are lighter than I expected but since my few flowers from last year were white in the summer heat, I will take the blush. This variety is supposed to be fragrant but I don't notice much at this stage. The second photo is a closup of the flowers.
Finally at the bottom is 'Mermaid' Only one flower open yet and I don't see many buds so far.