My last post on the state of the garden was a bit of a downer and in the comments a few folks thought I was being too hard on myself. Never fear there is a lot of good stuff going on in the garden! I’ve been really busy the past few weeks but I’ve been saving up cool pictures of some of the exciting things that are working really well.
This plant was labeled Aloe aristata X Haworthia but doesn’t regular Aloe aristata look more or less like this? At any rate it is a beautiful foliage plant with nice blooms too.
I love Viscaria oculata ‘Blue Pearl’. This make me think of a blue star fish reclining on a water color painting.
Moluccella laevis (AKA bells of Ireland) is a popular cut flower with florists. It is actually from areas of the Mediterranean middle east and has a reputation as being a bit difficult to grow as it doesn’t like hot humid weather. Well that is something I don’t have to worry about here. It is generally 65 degrees every day and the only humidity comes from fog.
Moluccella is in the mint family and the white flowers (surrounded by the showy green bracts) resemble Salvia flowers with large lower lips.
I first posted a picture of Lupinus pilosus in my silver post when it was just starting to open. As you can see it continues to live up to its description of “heartbreakingly beautiful”. Put it on your wish list at Annie’s folks!
Clarkia rubicunda ssp. blasdalei has been super annoying to get a good photo of. So many flowers and all on different planes and levels so getting the correct focus has been a hassle. But this one came out reasonably well. And what a great California native this turned out to be.
You can greatly prolong the bloom time of California poppies if you constantly dead head them but I have close to two dozen plants of several different cultivars and there are only so many hours in the day. Once most of the plants were more seed pods than blooms I cut them back all the way to the ground. All except Eschscholzia ‘Mahogany’. This one is such a beautiful color and in such a prominent spot that I have been keeping up with the deadheading. The plant is covered in powdery mildew now and the flowers are fewer than before but it has been worth keeping it going. As nice as it is I am not sure I can recommend this cultivar. As I mentioned earlier in the year out of the three plants I bought only one was this color. The others were just generic California poppy orange and I pulled them out.
Next to the poppy is Gaillardia aristata ‘Gallo Red’. A nice compact little mound covered in deep red flowers. Deadheading these is a prickly affair. I recommend gloves as I think I had some sort of allergic reaction afterward. But well worth the itchy hands.
It is hard to believe that Echium ‘Mr. Happy’ was just a four inch pot when I planted it in late February. He is a monster now! Next year when he blooms he can reach 15 feet tall (if the strong Los Osos winds don’t knock him over). In retrospect I planted the larkspurs much too close. I didn’t realize he would grow so big so fast!
Berkheya purpurea is definitely a weirdo of the plant world. Silvery spiny foliage that looks deceptively soft but is painfully sharp followed by a tall inflorescence with a clump of purple daisy flowers at the end.
The poppies have come to an end but there are still some fruit hanging around. I’m going to save seed and sprinkle them around next winter. The fruit of the genus Papaver is a capsule and most of them are pretty fantastic looking but perhaps Papaver somniferum most of all.