Friday, August 15, 2014

Bloom Day - August 2014

Unlike some areas of the world where mid-summer brings a bounty of flowers, summer here in Southern California is a slower, more somber period in the garden.  Although temperatures have been relatively moderate since the early blast of heat we received in May, seldom exceeding 90F (32C), limiting the water we give our gardens in response to our current state of drought has the consequence of limiting the blooms we find there.

The summer stalwarts can still be found in flower although the number and vigor of the blooms is diminished.

The Angelonia planted in an area providing afternoon shade are doing better than those in full sun

Bougainvillea loves the heat (although this particular vine has remained mid-sized, which is a good thing as my husband hates Bougainvillea)

Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold' is still blooming and Gaura linheimeri has come back after a severe haircut

Duranta erecta, in a pot, produces a steady smattering of violet-blue flowers

Gaillaridia x grandiflora 'Goblin' has produced fewer flowers this year

Many of the re-blooming Hemerocallis, including 'Persian Market,' have made strong come-backs

This lavender is happy in the vegetable garden, although little else is

Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum' is coming into its glory

Tanacetum parthenium has slowed down but hasn't entirely stopped blooming


Only a few plants are blooming en masse:

The Bauhinia x blakeana (Hong Kong orchid tree) has more flowers than leaves at the moment

Coreopsis 'Redshift' is at the peak of bloom

The thyme in the side yard is keeping the bees busy



However, other plants are putting on a rather disappointing show:

Tibouchina urvilleana has produced only a few flowers and most of its foliage is burned

The Zinnias needed more water than they got and thus failed to flourish 



But there have been some pleasant surprises too:

This Aster x frikartii 'Monch' is small but it's holding its own despite being moved mid-year

My 'Sweet Autumn' Clematis has bloomed despite a horrible battle with aphids and a severe pruning earlier this summer

This Cymbidium is blooming again despite receiving almost no attention 

And this Phalaenopsis, also left largely to its own devices, continues to pump out blooms

Russelia equisetiformis is finally beginning to establish a presence in the backyard border

The hard-to-photograph Salvia discolor seems happy in the extended fountain bed



It probably doesn't come as a surprise that some of the best-looking specimens are succulents:

Adenium obesum, featured yesterday as my favorite plant of the week

Echeveria pulvinata 'Ruby' has produced flowers almost as pretty as her foliage

And this unidentified succulent, identified by Denise as Senecio fulgens (thanks Denise!), continues to produce one bright orange flower after another



That's it for my August Bloom Day wrap-up.  Please visit Carol, the creator and host of the monthly event that is the Gardener Bloggers' Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens to see what's currently in bloom in other parts of the world.


All material © 2012-2014 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

27 comments:

  1. I just love it all! You have so many beautiful and unusual plants blooming in your garden. That Hong Kong Orchid Tree is unbelievable. Is that Duranta hardy for you outside? and what about the Cymbidium? Do you have to take that in for the winter? It's a different gardening world you live in over there than what I'm used to. TFS

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    1. Both the Duranta and the orchids remain outside all year here, Deanne. I've never had to haul anything inside to over-winter but, after researching the Adenium obesum, it appears that will be the exception - we do get night-time winter temps down to 40F (and, very occasionally, a little lower)

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  2. Happy GBBD! It's always so interesting to see what's blooming in your garden that you have in the ground. So many plants I'm not familiar with, or that I have to take in for the winter. I tried ignoring the two orchids I had, but instead of pumping out blooms like yours, mine just up and died.

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    1. I'm sorry you lost your orchids, Alison. Perhaps I should characterize my treatment of the orchids as benign neglect. I do pour water on them occasionally and I think I gave them some fertilizer once this year. They belonged to my mother-in-law before she passed away last year so maybe they're surviving on her good karma.

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  3. As usual I come to your blog to gaze in amazement at glorious, exotic plants. Duranta? I have never heard of it. It is so pretty. So many beautiful plants in your sombre period. I love all your succulents.

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    1. The Duranta's common name is Brazilian Skyflower, which suggests tropical roots. Some get very big - the one I planted at our old house grew to 10-12 feet (3-3.6 meters) tall but I think the pot keeps this one to a reasonable size.

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  4. Kris, I think your NOID succulent might be Senecio fulgens -- I remember because the flowers are similar to Emilia javanica. Wonderful peachy russelia!

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    1. Thanks for the ID, Denise! I love that plant. I bought it because of the foliage but I'm delighted with its floral display, which, based on all the buds, should continue for quite a while.

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  5. Kris you have so much growing in your garden and so many lovely blooms especially your succulents.

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    1. Thanks, Donna! I seem to be accumulating more and more succulents.

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  6. Duranta is a reluctant bloomer here this year, but tiny cuttings in a cramped pot seem happy to start blooming. Next year I'll look for another Tibouchina. Rusellia does well in a pot for me.

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    1. The Duranta planted in the ground at our old house seemed to have a well-defined - and much shorter - bloom period than this one in a pot. I don't know if the difference in the flowering schedule is attributable to the variety, or my watering schedule. I love the flowers of the Tibouchina, Jean, but I think I'm going to try T. heteromalia next time - T. urvilleana always seems to get leggy here.

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  7. You still have a great selection of blooms Kris! That pennisetum looks particularly good and echeveria ruby...lust!

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    1. That Echeveria was a great find. I have to make it a point to get to the local cactus and succulent show again next year.

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  8. So many beautiful blooms that seem very exotic to us in the cool summer northwest! Your Bougainvillea is gorgeous and is one of those plants that we can grow as an annual or in containers and bring it in during the winter. Seeing it grow with abandon in California gardens is a treat no matter what your husband thinks:)

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    1. We had Bougainvillea planted along the driveway at our former house, which I'd swear grew a foot per week in summer, and it scratched my husband's precious car (an RX-7 Mazda he converted to electric power) so he decided Bougainvillea was "evil." Although he took out that Bougainvillea, he's never forgiven the plant.

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  9. Love that shot of your Russelia equisetiformis, I still lust after that plant (even though it's not hardy here). My Salvia discolor has only bloomed once this year, I am very bummed. Thank you for sharing yours, oh and thanks also for referring to this time of year as "mid-summer." With so many people rushing the season and saying summer is almost over I start to believe it. But September is just as summery so we've got a whole month and a half to go!

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    1. I'm afraid the plants here are showing a few signs of the coming autumn here, Loree, but that may only be a response to the decidedly odd summer weather we've had this year. More subtropical moisture is on its way!

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  10. Looks great, Kris, despite the heat and dry. Your 'Ruby' is really pretty.

    I'm desperate to get outside more, but it's just too hot.

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    1. Morning marine clouds had been keeping it cooler here, Hoover Boo, but that pattern has been broken and we're heating up too. The AC's back on and I'm restricting my own trips outside to early morning.

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  11. Everything looks so colorful and happy! Surprised that you have many plants that do well here in the subtropics of South Florida. Wish we could grow more of your type of flora here though I think our hot & humidity environment would just make it insufferable for them to survive...like how it does to some of our visitors, lol. Happy Gardening!

    Best wishes,
    Sheri
    www.pompanobeachgardening.blogspot.com

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    1. We've had more tropical moisture here this year, Sheri, although I don't expect it's anything like yours.

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    2. Oh my goodness yes, between the Everglades, Gulf of Mexico & Atlantic Ocean, even during our weeks of no rain we are still humid. We must be a great testing ground for hair product companies LOL :)

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  12. I love the way you group your succulents I'm thinking of trying some together in the large island border after seeing yours. Not so many would be hardy here but lots would do well, I can't expect a rainy summer next year so I want to be prepared.

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    1. You can't beat succulents for their sculptural shapes, Christina. Given the vagaries of your climate, it might be best to start by putting some in large pots. In that case you could always move them into a protected area if that errant hail you received this year returns again next year.

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  13. I could not stop my coreopsis if I tried. It's similar ( "Autumn Blush") to yours.
    Ray

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    1. I plan to put in more varieties of Coreopsis for next year's garden (provided I can find it). I'll have to check out 'Autumn Blush,' Ray!

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