It's a random sort of day, and I've accumulated plenty of random pictures that haven't made it into other posts for whatever reason. Many of these are post-Bloom Day blooms most of which, given the warm temperatures predicted, I don't expect to last until next bloom day.
Leptotes bicolor is a cute little orchid with surprisingly large flowers almost 2 inches across (the longest leaves are only 3-4 inches long). Since many orchid flowers have long lives and these are inside, they may very well last until next bloom day, but just in case...
Turns out the inflorescence of Guzmania musaica does age from yellow to orange. And then the waxy, candy corn-like flowers poke out. I vastly prefer this candy corn to the edible kind. Never was a fan.
Prostanthera cuneata has started blooming. I love the odd white flowers with purple speckles inside. Their size always surprises me, given the tiny leaves. Since they've just started, you'll probably see more of these on Bloom Day in June.
Smoky has opened its rich purple flowers. They're actually a bit darker than in this photo, but you get the idea.
In addition to flowers, it's loaded with smoky red new growth that glows in the sun.
Had I more presence of mind, I would have timed this shot to get maximum back-lighting to show you how that foliage glows. It does give you an idea of the color this rhododendron provides. Smoky is another big, vigorous cultivar that, though gawky in youth, promises to be a big, beautiful mature specimen.
I was so happy to find Billardiera longiflora had survived the winter. I'm even happier that it's loaded with blooms! I'm so happy with the pairing of this vine growing on my Acer griseum. The fine, glossy green foliage of the billardiera contrasts with the larger, fuzzy leaves of the maple, and the greenish-cream flowers, followed by blue-purple berries, contrast with the peeling copper bark. Something seems to be chewing on the billardiera, though. Given my discovery with the poncirus, I'm thinking ants are the likely culprits. They appear to be chewing off the ends of some of the shoots, which I find annoying but not overly upsetting. Even though it's a small vine, I still don't want the billardiera to overwhelm the young maple, so maybe the ant-pruning is a good thing in this case.
The odd, double blooms of Rhododendron 'Fastuosum Flore Pleno' are sometimes described as "orchid-like." Possibly one of those gaudy, ruffled cattleyas that I don't grow. It is an interesting curiosity, though. This plant was the annual target of bucks rubbing velvet off their antlers, so it's been in a cage for several years and is finally blooming well and no longer looks like a mangled stump.
Not all rhododendrons are grown for their flowers. Though I don't dislike the dark pink flowers of Rhododendron 'Kimberly', the real reason I added one to the garden is this gorgeous new growth. The whole plant is covered in it. It also seems to be growing much faster than I expected and will likely outgrow the space I allotted for it, at least eventually. Isn't that the way it usually goes?
My Mahonia 'Indianola Silver' seedling is an endless source of beauty. The first flush of new growth was somewhat marred by hail, but this later growth will (hopefully) mature to its usual pristine metallic platinum sea green.
Medusa is fading, though she had a very long showing, with flowers popping out several times over winter during the several warm stretches. I finally took the trouble to get a shot without the cage. In fact, the cage is gone, since I don't expect the deer to bother this rhododendron except in winter when pickings are slim. I did spray it with deer repellent just to make sure.
The buds on Rhododendron rex are finally expanding. It looks like it's even going to branch, and I just planted this last year. I'm going to have lots of fun watching the big leaves grow.
I have to admire my variegated dove tree every time I walk by. Every leaf is unique. Several of the first leaves to emerge have these interesting green streaks in the central grey patch.
A new addition, Renanetia Sunrise has vibrant red and orange flowers. Actually, since one of the parents, Neofinetia falcata, has been reclassified as a Vanda, I suppose this should be called Renantanda Sunrise. Orchid taxonomy and intergeneric hybrid names. What a joy. The plant is blameless in all this, so I'll just call it beautiful. Sorry for the blurriness. No single bloom is on the same level and it was so hard to get them into focus.
My amsonia surprised me by blooming this year. I planted it last spring and it only had a couple small shoots. It seems to be happy in the terrible clay soil of the bed off the patio.
I mentioned before that I thought my new Erica arborea 'Estrella Gold' and Euphorbia 'Nothowlee' (Blackbird) were a great match. I took this photo to illustrate that. I think it's because the Euphorbia has some subtle olive tones that match the darker old foliage of the heath as well as its white flowers aging to brown (though it could also be the hazelnut shell mulch on the euphorbias that I'm finding complimentary). The new growth on the heath is bright chartreuse, which will contrast well with the dark foliage of the euphorbia. For some reason I just find this combo very striking and I'm so happy I found them.
The fence contractor finally showed up again! Maybe complaining actually works? No, better not encourage that kind of thinking. We'll see how far they get today, but actual fencing is being put in! Now I'm off for a Portland nursery adventure. Happy gardening!