Saturday, August 10, 2013

Alphabetical August stroll through my garden, and why not?

Abronia fragrans
One of the unintended consequences of working at a Library in college is that you learn how to alphabetize easily. My buddy Bill Adams (a banker, for God's sake!) is horrified that I planted my Arilbed irises on East Ridge IN ALPHABETICAL order: should I have done it phylogenetically, Bill? At any rate--I  already labeled these pix from the last week--and they're in alphabetical order-- Starting with the universal sand verbena of the West. It grows natively in little prairie remnants near my house: I can't remember where or how I got these, but they have enlivened West Ridge for over a decade, popping up here and there. With the monsoons this year this display has been heavy and protracted. For an hour or two in the evening the smell is powerful and sweet (and strangely acrid too close)...nevertheless, a plant I love and wish were more widely grown.

Abronia fragrans

Alcea rugosa
I struggled for years to establish this in one of the drier corners of the garden, but Jan plunked it in her border and it's going gangbusters. Life isn't fair! And it must like a little extra moisture...

Allium prostratum
First of all, it's not prostrate. It's cuter in real life than in the picture. Waiting for a comment from Mark...

Amorphophallus konjac
Over a meter across--I can't say how proud and pleased I am that this classic came through last winter. A gift of J.C. Raulston arboretum--one of my all time favorite spots...

Beesia deltoidea
This was purchased at a local garden center, thanks to Monrovia. Now if it will only settle into the garden...

Campanula coriacea
One of dozens of incredible campanulas from the Caucasus and Turkey that are little known. It picks a good time to bloom...

Campanula fragilis var. cavalinii
Queen of midsummer campanulas, this is the much hardier subspecies introduced by Votech Holubec--one of the most traveled and accomplished gardeners in the world.

Clematis integrifolia ex Lake Baikal reblooming
A random seedling of this dwarfer form of integrifolia--and it's a good rebloomer.

Escobaria vivipara
This picture is almost life sized (assuming you're looking at it on a laptop and not a phone)--I lost track of which subspecies. But the enormous flowers and late bloom rate highly in my book...

Gladiolus 'Atom'
This was hardy several years at DBG--this is my first summer with this, but it's already become my favorite Glad...unless flanaganii decides to overwinter.

Incarvillea sinensis
I'm not sure what to make of this lacy thing---it's decided to grow with various tiny morsels in my rock garden--but it's not really in scale..but the fine tracery of the foliage and the outrageous flowers argue for leaving it...

Incarvillea sinensis closeup
The flowers are really delightful close up...

Inula verbascifolia
From Mt. Olympus--reason enough to grow this Inula. The foliage does look ridiculously like a loves my garden and seeds just enough to perpetuate itself and share a few...

Inula verbascifolia
From further back so you can enjoy its contrast to Erodium--rapidly becoming one of my favorite genera...erodiums never quit blooming,and their foliage is gorgeous and evergreen. What's not to love?
Leontopodium alpinum
Good ol' to get all those Himalayan forms again I've grown over the years...

Lilium concolor
The flowers are awfully small for a lily--but with that color, who cares?

Lilium concolor
Pictures taken at two times of the day show the way the flower color morphs in the light from orange to crimson. I would like to grow every species of lily one day...

Mentha longifolia
One mint I would never want to be without. Not just because it ranges from Africa to the Himalaya--but the silvery leaves make a wonderful contrast to the pinky-lavender flowers, and the smell! Not as impossible to control as most mints.

Monarda 'Lambada'
Looks as though it's finally settled in--this Western annual pops up here and there, much more compactly in the dry garden. I love it...and its smell.

Opuntia sp.
Possibly a form of O. cycloides from Big Bend, this is currently my biggest Opuntia. Bigger ones on the way!

Penstemon barbatus (flesh colored)
I don't know if I love or hate this color.

Platycodon grandiflorus (dwf. pink)
I was a bit disappointed the pink was so pale--but the plants love the spot I put them in--so it will probably stay put...

The Pond
Views around the garden this summer...lush with all the rain.

The scree bank in my rock garden

Another view of the scree bank 
The big screes are looking more and more like meadows. Oh well..

Closeup of the waterfall wall garden
I love the way the wall is filling in.

Pot ghetto by waterfall
One of many clusters of pots. I've overdone it as usual. I should count them up. I know they are in the multi hundreds...

Edge of veggie garden

Neglected veggie garden overgrown with Amaranth and Red Orach
We didn't plant the vegetable garden properly, but lots of goodies have naturalized, including some edible ones. I love the maroon of Red Orach and amaranth.

Path to back gate

House glimpsed through veggie madness...

West Ridge: that's 'Snow Leopard' on the right

Path along West Ridge

West Ridge in Sunflower time...that's Salvia 'Raspberry Delight'--the toughest greggii type
Just views around the garden--subtle, but easy to live with!

Salvia 'Raspberry Delight' (S. greggii x microphylla v. wislezinii)
By far the toughest of the greggii-type, 'Raspberry Delight' blooms heavtily for a week or two after every heavy rain--which means all the time this year!

Closer view

Closer yet!

Saponaria x lempergii 'Max Frei'
Another stellar performer--albeit the spot it's growing in is a tad dryish for it....the rains compensated this year and it's doin' its thang...

Trough with Talinum rugospermum
This little known succulent from the Midwest is a wonderful addition to troughs for summer interest. Seedlings are many, but easily pulled (and transplanted)...

Closeup of same

Uvularia grandiflora in seed
This Uvularia is so gorgeous in bloom--but even the seedpods are cool. Seed sheds while moist--not one for the exchanges I fear...

No pix of zauschneria or zinnia--sorry! That's it! Gotta go garden--see ya later...


  1. I was looking at the Beesia pic and kept thinking "what? that looks like an Asarum!" It took me a minute to notice. Wasn't familiar with the Incarvillea. Looks like a Campsis on sticks. Will have to put it on my plant lust list.

  2. Beautiful! Hard to pick a favorite, so I won't. The Mentha longifolia is pretty nice, though.

  3. Do you not have M. longifolia, Kermit? I have plenty to spare (can post in pots in Sept. if you like)....and I shall have more than enough Incarvillea seed this year, Susan, if you drop me a snail mail...

  4. Clever idea, PK. Inula verbascifolia, "From Mt. Olympus--reason enough to grow this Inula" it! Your Opuntia cycloides guess...not sure...mine collected from near Santa Rosa and Conchas Lake in NM are more round.

    I'll try to complete your X, Y & Z! In my new, tiny place, I certainly don't have to worry about much of the A-U worth of plants.

  5. No, this mint is not living here yet. Would love to try. Many thanks!

    Do you mulch your Salvia x 'Raspberry Delight' for overwintering? One of our Facebook fans asked after I posted a link to this article.

  6. Very Nice.

    James McGee

  7. I don't mulch anything, Kermit: it makes it or it doesn't: I grow dozens of salvias--can't show everything: I am especially pleased that a bright yellow S. x jamensis from Suncrest came through last winter (a cold one) and is blooming. I have 'Hot Lips' a meter tall and across with hundreds of flowers, S. darcyi, lots of greggii cvs., lycioides, and lets not even talk about the Eurasians--all growing here for years without protection. Salvias are tougher than people suspect, and 'Raspberry Delight' is the most drought tolerant and toughest of all.

  8. This garden is amazing and I love the gladiolus. All of your plants look so natural like they have been there forever.


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