Friday, December 19, 2014

Pig's Ears, My Favorite Plant (today)




I bought this several years ago as Cotyledon macrantha.  But today I learned that the correct name for this plant is Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga 'Macrantha'. Actually I never call it Pig's Ears, but it makes a catchier title.








A peal of bells is the group name; also I like the appeal of the bells, very appropriate to this season.

This post is linked with Danger Garden Favorite Plant This Week.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

12 Months of Flower Portraits





 January
Camellia japonica 'Chandler elegans'



 February
Wall germander (Teucrium chamaedrys)



 March
Navel orange (Citrus sinensis


 
April
Siskiyou Pink Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri 'Siskiyou Pink')





 
May
Cleveland sage (Salvia clevelandii)




 June
Rosa 'Tamora'



July 
Calabash Long Gourd (Lagenaria siceraria)




August
Snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata)



 September
Gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia hirta) and  French marigold (Tagetes patula)






 October
Morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea)



 November
Senna bicapularis



December
Aloe arborescens


This has been a very revealing exercise for me. I did not post in July and August because there was nothing pretty enough to show even though I did work in the garden, while some months like March and April I was overwhelmed by good choices.

I got this idea from Crafty Gardener in Canada who did Twelve Flowers for Christmas.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

California Gold







Fruit, no flowers here, after all, it's almost winter on the shady north-facing slope; lovely lemons though, both green and gold




Tips and Margins edged in gold

Juniper leaves are very tiny scales;  here you can see how each is edged in white, in the strong summer sun they are golden. This is probably Juniperus x pfitzeriana, but I don't know the selection.

Box, a delightful plant unpruned, always looking fresh; new gold-tipped growth and older leaves with gold margins. Oh, dear! I looked up the scientific name and it is Buxus sempervirens. However, the plants shown in the photos have opposite leaves. Mine has alternate leaves. So, what have I got? Does anyone know?

 

Leaves, sun-drenched evergreens 'n' golds

Two kinds of sunny yellow Euonymus fortunei and variegated ginger, Alpinia zerumbet 'Variegata'; how did the term "alpine" get attached to a lush tropical plant?



The Centerpiece, does the platter count for a vase?
The candles are old used ones held together with rubber bands near the base and pushed into a frog to keep them stable. In this arrangement, there are lemons, juniper and subtropical evergreens 'n' golds.
This post is linked to Mosaic Monday and to In a Vase on Monday.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A New Path from Old Terracotta





Forecast from NWS LOX
A wet and windy weather pattern will return to the region for late this week as a storm system moves over the state. A significant rain event is forecast across Southwest California Thursday through Friday.
In anticipation of needing a higher, drier walk after reading the forecast heavy rains, also known as "the Pineapple Express" or "atmospheric river",  for tomorrow,  I laid a new path using broken pots and roof tiles topping over an old path of red lava rock that had disappeared into the soil.



The new path using broken up roof tile and cracked pots




 Pretty patterns on old pots





 The old path of recycled brick unchanged. 
One of the things I love so much about this pre-war 1939 house is 
the early use of recycled materials in the hardscape, 
long before sustainability and re-purposing became buzzwords. 



Aloe flower stalks looking like bright candles





 Aloe is so photogenic and so cooperative.


Fleur-de-lys, a pattern not sold anymore that I know of





 The valley looking a bit gloomy today, but I'm not complaining! Oh, no!



 A 'Wonderful' pomegranate showing daytime and nighttime color.



  Continuing down the garden path;
these old bricks have grooves





 To a perch built into the corner of the retaining wall
 to visit with my garden friends





Sunday, December 7, 2014

Fruits of the Season





Definition of fruit
In common language usage, "fruit" normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of a plant that are sweet or sour and edible in the raw state, such as apples, oranges, grapes, strawberries, bananas, and lemons. On the other hand, the botanical sense of "fruit" includes many structures that are not commonly called "fruits", such as bean pods, corn kernels, wheat grains, and tomatoes. -- Wikipedia





Two kinds of cotoneaster, 'Coral Beauty' on the left and a very common kind on the right. I don't know the name; it came with the house.  Doesn't the fruit look like tiny red apples?



Ripening citrus fruits, 'Eureka' lemon, a navel orange and a Valencia orange. The Valencia is the lighter one; it ripens about two months later than the navel.


Christmas Senna, Winter Cassia, Senna bicapsularis, is a legume from South America. I didn't notice the beautiful yellow margins on the leaves until I saw the photos.



Odds and Ends

Garlic chives
'Golden Showers' rose hip

Glossy abelia seeds; the small birds love them and so do I. They add a reddish tinge, that along with the crimson-colored leaves, enlivens the whole bush later in the season.



This post links to Mosaic Monday.