Wednesday, July 1, 2015

CSSA Show At The Huntington 2015

 It was hot!  We normally avoid the Huntington in the summer.  It can be 15 degrees hotter there than at home, which is closer to the ocean.  But plants called.  Cool plants for a hot day. 

A highlight for me at the Huntington show is this trophy.  The winning pot is a bit disappointing this year:  should not the pot be cracked, scuffed, dirty?  Beautiful Dyckia, though I'm not a big fan, having grown one that turned into a big nasty clump that slashed the bejezus out of me.  I gave it to a neighbor.
 The trophy table:
 A crested Stapelia leendestziae.  I don't think I've ever even seen a regular Stapelia leendestziae.  Compared to some photos one can search up, this beauty seems to have been grown slightly too hard, as if I know anything. 
 The big winners
 A beautifully grown Leuchtenbergia principis.  Look how fat, sleek, and spotless the leaves are:
 Best Aeonium.  Which species, you ask?  I took a photo of the tag...
 ...but it wasn't my best photo of the day.
 Utterly gorgeous Gasteria:  Gasteria 'Shining Star'.  And it is.  It looked as if it had been buffed up with paste wax.  It looks so happy, healthy, pampered. Mr. de Mille, she's ready for her close-up.
 Portulaca group.  The one trimmed like a lolli-pop is kind of fun. 
 Is this a Euphorbia platycladus, or a pile of sweet potato fries that has been run over by a truck?
 Lovely, lovely Aloe suprafoliata.  Loved this one.  So elegant!
 Cool Stapelia with amazing color.  Blue ribbon winner.
 Another cool Stapelia.  Didn't win a thing, but so nicely grown. 
Pseudolithos cubiformis, even cooler than the Stapelias.
 The Sedum group.  Yes, that tall, tree-shaped plant is a Sedum.
 There's that beautiful Aloe suprafoliata again.  Not 100% apparent, but the blue/green/grey in the pot exactly matched the color of the foliage. 
 Aloe krapohilana
 I thought I photographed the tag on these two,  but I didn't. 

 Those blue splotches around the Epiphyllum flower are shadows.  This photo came out cool, because of how the light blued up in the camera.
 Yet another cool plant for a hot day, a monstrose Pedilanthus macrocarpus, and loved it in that footed pot. 
 Fun show:  enjoyed it despite the heat. The rooms were nicely air-conditioned--an excellent reason to linger!
The sale was somewhat small--since it was the last day, the best stuff was long gone.  
 Came away with two pretty small pots and Tricocereus 'Flying Saucer', aka Echinopsis 'Flying Saucer'.  One pot got an Aloe suzannae that's been in a plastic pot for years.  
 The other pot is ivory, brown, and green.
 'Flying Saucer'.  Maybe flowers next spring, if I grow it well.  A plant I have wanted since I first saw it in bloom in 2010. 
Beloved has a new phone.  He and his phone got some good photos of the transition from lawn to xeric landscaping by the front entrance.  The past in the foreground, the new, beyond.  The Huntington is in the process of transforming nine acres (half) of their lawns into more xeric plantings. 
 And a wide-angle shot of the entrance with the monsoonal clouds in the sky.  All the marigolds are gone from the rill planters.
 Great job, sweetie!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Drought At The Huntington

Poseidon quietly considered whether or not the Mondo grass needed dividing.  He was happy to be out of the temple and into the Cycad garden--people had been phoning non-stop, pestering him with desalinization schemes.  

Later, while he knocked soil off his trident, he saw Amphitrite rush out towards him, alarmed, with a yellow bottle in her hand.  It was only then he realized he'd forgotten to apply sunscreen.  That scamp Apollo had burnt him again.    

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Mixed Memes

I thought about doing a "favorite plant of the month", but a particular favorite did not jump out at me.  The new(ish) Calistemon 'Slim' (above) does appear to have flower buds--flowers might have made it the favorite.

Favorite plant not readily apparent, how about favorite new garden addition--the table we picked up off the side of the road, a few weeks ago now, that has become a potting bench.  It's actually fun to repot plants now.  Who would have thought?    

But I was out looking for favorites for June.  No, this Platycerium isn't any more favorite than the rest of them this month...though it does look nice with new growth and the spider webs washed off. 
Bloom Day post?  Favorite plant meme not working.  Nah, Bloom Day is the 15th.  Wrong day.  Got blooms, though...

Monthly wide shot?  That one's easy!  Well, it would be if I was organized...
In A Vase On Monday?  Oh gosh no.  When will I ever be organized enough to do that? 
How about a Foliage Follow Up?  I usually miss that one, even though the garden usually has foliage in it somewhere.  Gosh, lovely color on Aloe capitata...
...and variegation on Aloe noblis. 
A Wednesday Vignette?  Haven't gotten to that one, either.  And it's nearly Sunday.  But now since vignettes are mentioned, I like this trio of Agave desmetiana, Agave lophantha 'Quadricolor', and Carex testacea, a trio entirely due to having extras of all these, and wanting them planted somewhere.  Funny how well that worked. 
Huh.  Crow feather in the Agave.  Is there a bird meme? 
Is there a "This Plant Should Really Be Named..." meme?  I would say Grevillea 'Austraflora Fanfare' should be Grevillea 'Rapunzel', as in Rapunzel Rapunzel let down your hair, that I may climb the golden stair...this particular plant needs to do some growing to be Rapunzel--I bought another to replace the one I killed.  It's a fabulous plant...but...wait, wasn't I talking about memes? 
Memes, all mixed up, and likely many I forgot.  This is exactly how I garden--I go out there with focus and intent, but focus and intent all seems to vanish in wonder amidst the green and alive. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Oh, No--It's Summer!

Summer:  time to skulk around in the shade and wait for autumn.  Briefly dashes into the heat to water and pull out dead plants.    
Noooooooooo!  Not 'Austraflora  Fanfare' Grevillea!  Noooooooooooooo!  It was grooowwwwing!  It had it's own dripper!  It had excellent drainage!  Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy!
The roses look like crap.
 At least there are Dahlias.  
And infant pumpkins.
In the meantime, I'm rebuilding a gate (in the shade).  The wood was crumbling.   
A new gate required only four trips to the hardware store--so far.  It will soon be five.  I primed the lumber but still need paint.  Five trips doesn't include the trip to the lumber yard, or walking over to the neighbor's house with tongue and groove redwood in my arms.  Neighbor was kind enough to cut a couple of pieces lengthways for me, with his nifty table saw.  A copper cap would protect the top of the new gate...that's another trip...and wood putty...
It's been a good distraction, and is Useful Work, and is in the shade.
There were a couple of other garden plants besides Dahlias I could inspect without cringing at what the summer will do to them.

The seedling Oak, in February of 2014:
    Baby Quercus agrifolia photo oak4054_zpse25f3df9.jpg
Yesterday.  Well over six feet tall now (2 meters)
I need to start thinking about whether or not we want a big oak tree in front of the house.  At least it wouldn't need summer water.

Also growing like a weed is, surprisingly, the Leucospermum.  
The end of April 2015:
Late June 2015 (yesterday).  Yes, the same plant.  You can see a couple of the flowers in the photo above, now fading under new growth:
Wow.  I guess somebody likes summer.