Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Passion For Passionflowers

This Purple passion flower, could be Lavender Lady, though it seems more purple. I don't know if that's it's proper name. Is a dependable cheerful addition to the garden. Grows and flowers well in partial shade, though it rambles towards the sky. Here you can see it 15-20 ft up in a mesquite tree. It's evergreen, flowers on and off throughout the year, but mostly in the cooler half. It's loaded whit blooms now, a bit earlier than usual. It's best shows are usually in Dec. Though vigorous, its not as invasive as the native, May-pop variety(small pic. above),which pops up literally EVERYWHERE. I need to get more well behaved passionflowers, and have my eye on some red and white ones.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Got a couple of tropicals last year that's still doing good. The first one is Heliconia Psittacorum. Kinda looks like a cross between a birds of paradise and a canna. Slow to sprout in spring. Really slow, if I hadn't been such a procrastinator, I would have thrown it out, thinking it was dead. Didn't really get going til June.
The other is a Curcuma Ginger. Lush foliage, and gorgeous pale lavender blooms. The color in the pic is not true to the color of the plant. It's much paler. The flower last a long time. It's still slower than many similar plants (cannas) to get going in spring, but not as slow as the Heliconia.
They have both multiplied, and I need to divide and spread them around the yard. Even when not in bloom the 3-4ft tall foliage will be a nice backdrop to shorter plants.
The Heliconia can take more sun than the Ginger. Ginger gets a little sunburned when exposed to afternoon sun.
Despite our almost record breaking hot summer, they have been doing good. A sure sign they are keepers.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rain....Rain... Rain...

.....and did I mention rain. I so wish this would have been spread over the summer, but there's always next year. My 1 week tally is close to 7inches. This weeks rainstorms have also brought a cool front, we have temps in the 70's brrrrrr... feels so cool and fall/wintery. Brought out my big jackets for this.
Even the Yuccas are appreciating the cooler temps and sending up flower stalks

Still bummed that the official tally of 100+ days has ended at 68. That's 2 shy of a record and seems like a waste... and no, we don't have to go for a repeat performance next year. I would appreciate a summer where I can go out in the garden for more than 5min intervals.
Back to the rain....its been slow and steady, and the ground is soaking up every drop. Trees that looked half dead a month ago, is now getting fresh foliage. Its like a new beginning.

Since the plumbago had been doing very well despite our deplorable conditions this summer I have spread some babies around. this new rain is helping them adjust to their new homes quickly. I have been thinking and looking for inspiration, browsing the net for cool new plants to add. Have only made some bulb purchases. Daffodils and Alliums...when we get closer to the holiday season, I'll check the stores for some amaryllis. They are really wonderful in the yard.

One thing the summer heat and drought hasn't hurt is the pomegranates. The tree is almost flat to the ground COVERED in fruits. Even had new flowers on one of the trees, wonder if we'll get any fruits from them.