|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.
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.