Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Flowers and Foliage Together!

Since the 15th completely caught me by surprise, I'm combining Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens, with Foliage Follow-up, hosted by Pam at Digging. And, since I haven't managed a Wednesday Vignette for several weeks, I'm linking up with Anna at Flutter & Hum, too! Since I lack both incentive and inclination to focus on any particular group of plants, this is going to be a long post. I'll keep the text to a minimum and get straight to the eye candy.

Starting out with a wide shot of the driveway island for my vignette of the Japanese maple flanked by Aster x frikartii 'Monch'. I would have preferred the asters to stay more upright, but that August storm flattened them a bit. Will I stake them next year? Probably not.
I've been pondering the removal of this Heliopsis 'Summer Pink', being not particularly fond of either yellow or pink, but darn it if it isn't absolutely beautiful in this photo.
Clockwise from the top left: An aberrant late bloom from Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus (I miss calling it Hem. flava), Salvia x jamensis 'Sierra San Antonio' in pale yellow and peachy pink, evergreen (evergrey) foliage of Erodium chrysanthum, a pale cream bloom of the erodium. 

 

 Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm' is past its peak, showing a few faded blooms, but I actually like the mix of colors the faded petals add. It also looks good with Zeltnera muehlenbergii


And that makes a good segue into the pinks. Clockwise from the top left again: Fuchsia 'Delta Sarah' starts out with very blue-purple petals that age to almost pink. I'm less certain about keeping it now. The new growth on this unnamed Agapetes (or possibly Vaccinium) from the RSBG emerges a fleshy pink and ages to a glaucous blue-green. I finally have fireweed! I knew it must have been around somewhere. I think we always just pulled it before it could bloom. Geranium robustum tends to flower most in the morning. My favorite part about this plant, though, is the silvery, ferny foliage. I'm really hoping the seed ripens before frost so I can have more of this beauty.



Origanum dictamnus, or dittany of Crete, is one of the "hop-flowered" oreganos. Much daintier than 'Kent Beauty' (next pair of images), dittany of Crete also has the best foliage of the group, thick, almost succulent quarter-sized leaves covered in woolly hairs. There was a light rain the the night, and the slightly cupped leaves hold water as tiny mirrors on their surface.


 I have so much Origanum 'Kent Beauty'. Seriously, I have swaths of it. (Huh, I seem to be abandoning my promise to minimize text. Oh well!) I began with one plant and took cuttings. Now I have seven or eight patches ranging from three to nearly five feet in width. They look wonderful spilling over the edge of the driveway island, provided there is a heather or something growing next to it as they get a little bare in the middle and need something to cover up their legs. Some of the inflorescences are nearly four inches long!

Strictly speaking, the heathers (Calluna vulgaris) are nearly done blooming, but their fading blooms and developing seed capsules will remain attractive through winter. Nearby, a sempervivum is nearly finished blooming, too.

Newly-acquired Cyclamen purpurascens holds its dark pink, fragrant flowers above beautiful foliage. In another part of the garden, Cyclamen hederifolium blooms before the foliage emerges. It's been in the ground for 5-7 years, and has bloomed better than this before. It is still getting started, but I wonder if this spot at the base of a Douglas fir is too dry even for a cyclamen.

 In the greenhouse, my peloric Phalaenopsis equestris continues to pump out one flower after the next. Next door in Stump St. Helens, Daboecia cantabrica is finally blooming after a very deep watering and a couple rain falls. Originally white, a seedling or mutation has arisen to produce purplish pink flowers as well. This bog plant is remarkably tolerant of drought provided it has acid soil, but I plan to relocate it to a moister part of the garden so that it will bloom all summer, as it is supposed to.

 I can't take credit for the magnificent blooms of this next plant. The incredibly lush, waxy flowers of Lapageria rosea are a dark, saturated pink, verging on red, with a bloom covering them (like on a blueberry) that gives it darker purple shadows that shift depending on the viewing angle. A fine marbling of white dots covers much of the surface as well. These 4-inch long tubes of fleshy petals are hefty, too! They look so delicate, but they have a lot of weight to them. These were available at Cistus, but this sole remainder was hiding in the back. Don't worry, there will be more. Only hardy to zone 9, this vine will be wintering in the greenhouse.

Purples are up next. Ceropegia woodii 'Variegata' has odd little genie bottle-flowers, complete with ominous dark smoke, I mean anthers, coming from the top. Begonia 'Little Brother Montgomery' is one of my favorite begonias.

 Heliotropium arboreum is enjoying the cooler weather and the buds that have been growing ever so slowly are expanding quickly. In a bought of color coordination, I placed one next to Strobilanthes dyerianus. The Persian shield is also blooming a bit, with lilac-colored flowers like little foxgloves.

 Calceolaria arachnoidea has fuzzy purple blooms that start out almost black and age to an almost amethyst color, slightly more red. It also has pretty wonderful fuzzy white foliage.

 Sedum 'Bertram Anderson' has dark burgundy foliage, topped in late summer by red-violet blooms, both of which are striking against the orange-touched chartreuse foliage of a Calluna vulgaris. Across the driveway, on the island, Salvia nemorosa 'Ostfriesland' (East Friesland) pokes out between another Calluna vulgaris (which will turn orange in winter) and Molinia caerulea 'Variegata'.

 Clockwise from top left: Astelia 'Red Devil' contrasts with the blue foliage of Andromeda polifolia 'Blue Ice', the oft-photographed Acer metcalfii has not ceased putting forth garnet-red new leaves all summer, still loving the combo of Euphorbia 'Nothowlee' (aka Blackbird) with Erica arborea 'Estrella Gold', the recent rains and cool temperatures have revived the primroses.




Next up: Developing bud on Crinodendron hookerianum, Lobelia cardinalis 'Queen Victoria' with Cedrus atlantica 'Pendula in the background. Moles may have contributed to the red color of my seedling of Mahonia 'Indianola Silver', which should be a metallic sea green. I've tried to water it, but that whole bed has been too dry this summer. The inflated seed pods of Nigella damascena takes on reddish hues that show up nicely against silvery Carex comans.


The Eccremocarpus scaber that I got at the Garden Bloggers' Bazaar from Ann, the Amateur Bot-ann-ist. This one is much more red. The one struggling at the south end of the house is more orange. Alchemilla ellenbeckii makes a wonderful, low groundcover less than 3 inches tall, with bright red stems. Like most members of the genus, the leaves hold water droplets beautifully.

This Acer circinatum, planted near the mahonia shown above, has been kept just moist enough to hold on to its drought-reddened leaves. If the darn moles would stop digging around all the things that have only been planted for a year. I worry that the voles are following the mole tunnels and inflicting further harm, too. Not really a good thing, but it is pretty.

Clockwise from top left again: The airy blooms of Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold' add another texture to this wonderful grass. White buds rise above the variegated foliage of Liriope muscari 'John Birch'. It might stay warm long enough for them to become purple blooms. I simply love the brilliant orange blooms of Calceolaria 'Kentish Hero', especially now with nothing else orange in the garden. Sorry, another photo of Daphne x transatlantica 'Blafra' (aka Eternal Fragrance). It just has such an impressive bloom period!



 I had to stop to admire the foliage textures of Agapetes 'Ludgvan Cross' and Blechnum gibbum. They're both such attractive plants, and the agapetes isn't even blooming! The fern is starting to produce spores, though. I plan to collect them when they're ready.

And I'll finish off this lengthy celebration of flowers and foliage with my favorite group this summer, the silver/grey/blue-leaved plants. Berlandiera lyrata has glaucous blue-grey leaves with paler undersides. You can also see one of the fascinating developing flowers, looking a bit like a green lotus bloom, near the center. The petals will expand, turn yellow, and the flower will smell deliciously of chocolate. Artemisia schmidtiana has beautiful silver foliage and clouds of little yellow flowers that never quite emerge from their silver-white buds sepals. The molten silver foliage of Geranium harveyi becomes even more mercurial when covered in drops of rain. Lupinus sericatus is like Lupinus albifrons on steroids, bigger and even more silver. The leaves are almost succulent.


 And there you have it. If you made it this far, thanks for reading! Don't forget to follow those links at the top of the post to see more of Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, Foliage Follow-Up, and Wednesday Vignette.

16 comments:

  1. Lots to love here Evan! Thanks for the reminder that I need to (again) move my poor Mahonia 'Indianola Silver', someday I'll find the perfect spot for it. Also, wondering where you got your Lupinus sericatus. I brought one home from Annie's last fall but it didn't make it through the winter...

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    1. I think I'll be moving my Indianola Silver, too. Poor thing. I got my Lupinus sericatus from Annie's, too, by mail. I'll have to make sure I protect it this winter if it gets too cold. I did plant it in one of the best-draining spots I have.

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  2. I found a couple of Fireweed flowering recently too. They're gone now. I just don't want to give them even a tiny toehold. I love the ornamental Oreganos too, but I only have a couple of different ones.

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    1. Fireweed doesn't seem to be much of a problem here, maybe because it usually tries to grow in the driveway and they get sprayed. I only have two different ornamental oreganos, too. I just have a ton of 'Kent Beauty'. I want 'Amethyst Falls', too

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  3. Your foliage and fall flowers look smashing together. You have a lot of nice combos. Thanks for joining in!

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  4. So much to see! Hopefully the little Acer circinatum fares alright given the ravages of drought, moles and voles!
    I really must get my hands on some origanum - I always admire it in other peoples gardens, but keep forgetting to plant it in my own!

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    1. Ornamental oreganos are great plants. I wish they were evergreen, but you can't have everything.

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  5. So much to see! Hopefully the little Acer circinatum fares alright given the ravages of drought, moles and voles!
    I really must get my hands on some origanum - I always admire it in other peoples gardens, but keep forgetting to plant it in my own!

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    1. I'm going to loosen the soil in that bed this fall so the rain and roots can penetrate better. That should help. I love the hop-flowered oreganos. They're so beautiful and tough.

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  6. Your garden is loaded with beautiful specimens, Evan! Your Aster x frikartii put my puny plants to shame. That Heliopsis 'Summer Pink' would be worth growing for its foliage alone. And you've provided me yet another reminder that I need more ornamental oregano.

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    1. Thanks, Kris! That aster is a great plant for my climate, though it usually flops to some degree. I need to remember that as I'm redesigning that bed. What can I plant next to the asters that will support them? I should take pictures of some of my huge patches of 'Kent Beauty' oregano. They're ridiculous.

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  7. Are voles as destructive as gophers? We're tearing our hair out over the voracious little monsters. You have so much beautiful stuff that there's no way they could eat it all.

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    1. Thankfully not. I'm not even sure the voles are doing anything here. They were a problem in the vegetable garden until we put wire screens in the bottom of four of the raised beds so we could grow root crops without pulling up half-inch nubs of carrots. I think the moles and the dry, compacted soil are the main issue. The moles are actually helping, I just wish they'd be more delicate around recently planted things.

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  8. You have achieved quite a few plants in the silvery range, they are very tempting. I like the Kent's Beauty oreganos but killed them a couple of times and gave up. I have extensive vole difficulties, and my main ally is lava rock, they don't like the sharp edges. I used to lose my daylilies, roots eaten off, but I started putting lava rock in the bottom and sides of the planting holes and rarely lose them now. Your asters are pretty, I went out to check on my 'laevis' blooming for the first time, just opening last time I looked, in a small bed with wire fence on the front and a tree in the back, and a deer apparently got in under the tree and the 2 plants were broken and the buds mostly nipped off. Arggh. So I'll have to enjoy yours instead.

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    1. That's terrible about your vole problem, and your asters. Glad you like my silvery selections. I'm still going nuts for those types of plants.

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