Sunday, July 30, 2017

The hardest working plant in my garden

I need to give a shout out to my Brugmanisia 'Double White'. This was what it looked like in mid-June:

Brugmansia blooms aplenty

Brugmansia 'Double White', rear right

If I throw some fertilizer down (I like Rabbit Hill Farm Buds & Blooms or Rose Food) and give it some water, it blooms obediently.

I guess there was still some fertilizer on the ground, because after a good soaking this is what it looked like on July 19th, a mere month and some change later:

This Brugmansia is a trouper!
(Those are new blooms, in case you aren't familiar with the plant.) This heat is beating the crap out of it, but it still blooms on command! What a champ!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Foliage Follow-up: July 2017

I had a little trouble narrowing it down this month, so all of this:

And since I posted about the Pennisetum (at right) last month, I decided to focus on the Yucca 'Lonestar' (left and far rear).

I purchased them in 1 gallon containers 2, maybe 3 years ago? They grew MUCH larger than I expected. They were marketed as kind of a "brighter" soft-leaf Yucca, but if you looked at them side-by-side I don't know that you'd put them in the same category: they aren't floppy or soft. (The ones that get more shade have a few leaves at the base that flop down.)

Their upright habit is more like that of a Spanish Dagger, but the leaves are broad like the soft-leaf.

I love how the leaves of this Yucca look painted. I would buy more, but I haven't seen them at a nursery since.

Yucca 'Lonestar'

The second runner-up is my new plant crush, Datura wrightii. I love the gray-blue leaves, and the way it spreads out like an umbrella.

Datura wrightii

The one good thing about the gawd-awful heat of late is the way it affects some of my stabby plants. The Opuntia santa-rita 'Tubac' and Agave striata 'Live Wires' have both taken on reddish-purple hues:

Opuntia santa-rita 'Tubac'

(I tried to get better close-ups, but with my iPhone being my only camera these were the best I could do.)

Agave striata 'Live Wires'
I can't find any more Agave striata 'Live Wires' either. I bought 3 online at the same time maybe year-one of being in the new house, and only this is the one that made it. (I bought one just a year ago, and it has struggled mightily. It got off to a bad start by being in soggy soil.)

Tons of thanks to Pam Penick of Digging for hosting the monthly Foliage Follow-up!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

I'd rather be lucky than good

I obsess and over-think things, and then my best plant combos tend to be complete accidents. Exhibit #437 is this:

You probably can't tell, but this was the Yucca I was given last year to rehab. It bloomed last year when I had it in a totally different spot getting full sun.

I didn't know where else to put it, so I stuck it in my least-shady-but-still-semi-shaded spot of the back yard. That spot is where I planted my first Peter's Purple Bee Balm (because I didn't know where else to put it), a large pot-bound Almond Verbena I bought on impulse (without having a place in mind), and some divided Canna Flambe.

It never occurred to me that:

  1. It would bloom again so soon, or ever for that matter.
  2. The bloom/buds would complement the canna so well, or vice-versa.
Here's a shot from just a few days earlier, when I realized it was re-blooming:

Note the Castor Bean in the lower left corner, and the last gasps of the Peter's Purple Bee Balm in the background. 

It all looks so harmonious you'd think someone planned it...nuh-uh. 

And what's the story with the Yucca re-blooming so soon? I'd like to pretend I'm a gardening savant, but I have no idea what I did or how to reproduce that next year. Maybe it responds to stress by sending up a bloom, and when I moved it I stressed it? I DID use a heavily enriched soil in that planting spot because the dirt over there was/is so poor...and here I worried that it was going to harm the Yucca. What do I know?

I'll take dumb luck any day.