Showing posts from October, 2013

Old Gold: Annus mirabili (ending the growing season with a BANG!)

Of course, Autumn is pretty wonderful everywhere. New England and Northeastern Asia are famous for the brilliant fall foliage of maples and oaks. We have our own leaf-peeping season the last week in September when aspen turn bright yellow throughout the Rockies. Fall can be a hit or miss affair in Denver: a few years ago things were shaping up nicely when an arctic front crisped the green leaves up and down the Front Range in early October. No fall color that year. And then there is this "year of miracles": Denver Water declares drought just in time for the wettest summer in history (in Boulder and Aurora at least). The extra moisture was probably the reason trees have the most prolonged season of fall color I can ever remember. EVERY tree seems to be turning--above is a random shot showing the predominant Old Gold color in Denver--more and more punctuated by bright scarlet Acer x freemanii and purple Ash. But practically every tree is turning brightly--including the normal…

Autumn's last blossoms

A seedling of my namesake that was grown by Alan Tower in Spokane, was tested for Plant Select and struck the committee as too close to Mesa Verde TM (aka 'Kelaidis')--although I have to say it seems to me to be quite a bit more orange in color--in my garden.

That's the same delo above--below is the form of Aloe aristata derived from my Semonkong, Lesotho, collection that made it through winter at Timberline gardens a few years ago in a rather exposed spot. Here it is tucked under a rock...check back in April and I'll tell you how it fared!
 The delospermas are fabulous year around--and seem to bloom at all but the coldest seasons: this cultivar is one of the best--positively SMOTHERS with flowers in spring...but I like them sparse like this too...An Eastern Cape collection--I think by Dan Johnson.

 Closeup of same. Hard to believe a few decades ago there wasn't a single species in the genus in cultivation outside a botanic garden or two in E…

Monochromatic succulence: the Autumnal move.

Once you get beyond the spines, most people associate cacti with their miraculous flowers--which are so often garish magenta, scarlet, yellow, orange--you name it! Anything in the flagrant hot end of the spectrum...and then there are the other ones. You may be amused to compare the specimen above to what it looked like just two years ago! And to think I got a blue ribbon with that squinny little plant then: I should do pretty well with this one this coming March (show time!) if all goes well!

 Not in bloom right now, the wonderful texture shape of Bishop's cap cactus makes the flower almost irrelevant (although it can be quite pleasing in bloom). If you clicked on that URL you could see the flower, and compare the plant which has grown considerably in two years as well. This time of year cactus and succulent enthusiasts all over the Northern Hemisphere have moved most of our collections into greenhouses (if we are very clever or lucky) or more often, onto the window ledges aro…