Saturday, July 29, 2017

Hoya Kerrii - Favorite Plant

Danger Garden identified a shady combo of ferns and mahonia as her favorites for July - so i took a look at my favorite shade plant (of which i don't have very many!)

I have a hoya kerrii that lives in a pot, that i've had for years. It spends the summers hanging by my front door. This year, a mourning dove built a nest in it, and i left it alone the whole time the baby birds were in there. When they finally left the nest, the plant celebrated by promptly bursting into bloom:

funny looking flowers

yes, they will drip nectar all over my front patio

and the leaves

but they are cute, funny looking things!
This is the whole plant - it's in the shade for most of the day, minus a few hours in the morning. It does not like our full sun at all. 
it looks like some kind of weird sea creature with too many legs
Hoya kerrii gets to be my favorite plant right now, and hopefully no more birds will build nests in it!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Huntington Gardens - Palm Gardens

The first weekend in July, i went down to the Huntington gardens. There are so many different parts of the gardens, and they are all great. I flooded Instagram Stories with pictures, but here i wanted to show one of the gardens i usually don't spend a lot of time in - the Palm garden. Warning - this is a very picture heavy post! [is there such a thing as a blog post about the Huntington without a lot of pictures?]

The palm garden is across the walkway from the desert garden, which is normally what distracts me. They have all kind of palm trees, and they are all labeled. I of course didn't pay attention to the labels, so only some of them have names.

this is near the middle of the garden, which is on a pretty steep slope

a lot of the palms were blooming

i'm not sure how the staff decide which to trim and which to leave natural like this one

the path leads into the jungle garden

this is a bismarckia nobilis -its blue!

so many textures

this one was "cute" - i'm not used to seeing short palms like this one

most of them were giant

this is near the bottom of the garden - there's an entire forest of small/short palms here

this one is caryota gigas - there were several of these along the upper path.

palms and cyads
Speaking of cyads - the Huntington has a bunch of new ones, received as a bequest from Loran Whitelock (Huntington Magazine Article). There are several in the palm garden, and they're building a new area (behind the mansion) for a large number of them as well. They somehow managed to move over a thousand plants, with only 10 casualties!
in the palm garden

also in the palm garden

this one was blooming/making a seed cone

this is new area - looking towards the palm garden (mansion is on the left)
One last set of pictures from the Palm garden - all the different bark/stem/truck textures were awesome:
caryota gigas - with a crack

young caryota gigas

mature caryota gigas

bismarkia up close

cleaned trunk!

with all the shaggy stuff still on it
And here is something that i'm going to assume is not common, unless your world-class palm garden is across the way from your world-class cactus garden:
cactus in a butia capitata

different palm - but this cactus had been there a while!
I may not have any palm trees in my own garden, but they are pretty cool to see, especially all together!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Foliage Follow Up - July 2017

The day after Bloom Day, Pam at Digging hosts Foliage Follow Up - to look at foliage in the garden. With our heat, most of my foliage comes from agave and cacti. Here are some foliage-focused views right now:

this agave does not care much about heat...

I love the banding on the big furcraea in the front garden.

the opuntia is happily basking in our heat. 

my a. ovatifolia in actual shade from my palo verde tree.
 I'm probably far too excited about that tree finally making some shade for other plants.
my new plant lust - xMangave (here is 'Tooth Fairy') has lots of colors

a. 'Cream Spike' seems to mind the heat the least of all my variegated agaves
a. 'Royal Spine' (or 'Little Shark') is happy in the summer.

yucca rostrata lets the sun flow through its hair (um, leaves)

a. shawii looks like flames coming out of it's tube. 
It's not all spiky though - some soft leaves are adding some cooling silver tones to the garden:
centaurea gymnocarpa (here with seed heads) adds big pools of silver to the hill side

eucalyptus macrocarpa may never make blooms, but the silver foliage looks great over the warmer rocks
Go visit Pam's blog for more great examples of foliage in summer gardens!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Bloom Day - July 2017

It's bloom day! You can see lots of gorgeous blooms at Carol's blog - as always she is a most gracious host!

Most people have lots of great pictures of summer flowers in their garden, and are waxing poetically about summer evenings... Here, it's been over 100 deg F for 8 out of the last 12 days. And 12 out of the 15 days before that. Let's say there's a lot of room for improvement in how my garden looks in the summer. Especially since i'm not spending a lot of time out there right now.

Enough whining! Some flowers are toughing out the heat with me here:

some buddleja is still in bloom, here and there in the tree.

lantana (this is l. camara, which is the only one that's ever come back) just laughs at the heat.

the hoya kerrii, hiding in the shade, is making blooms and buds since the dove nest got moved.

does this still count as a bloom? Dasylirion quadrangulatum bloom

dicliptera suberecta is doing a lot better at making blooms this year. 

the grasses are kind of blooming - purple fountain grass here.

my vitex agnus-castus still has some washed out blooms

2nd flush of the daisies (i should dead head this one!)

a few erythrina x bidwillii blooms - more will come later!

you know it's hot when the russian sage looks washed out.

Coreopsis 'route 66' doesn't mind the heat.

here and there, a few sage blooms are still there - this is Salvia "Silke's Dream" which is new. 

most blooms wish they had protection like this late opuntia one...

Hey, one of the cacti is blooming! (wait...)
That's it for here! I'd say we're waiting for cooler temperatures, but that won't happen for a while. Maybe i just need more tough flowers - i'll spend between now and fall planting season thinking about all the potential heat lovers i could add to tempt me out into the garden in the heat of summer!