Saturday, March 31, 2012

Yellow and purple

I always look forward to Saturday when I have all day to putter around. I had all kinds of plans for today, including much-needed sweeping and weeding as well as some planting and repotting. But the weather decided not to cooperate so I’m stuck inside watching the rain fall. I keep telling myself that we do need the water but I still feel a bit stir-crazy.

120330_Sedum-confusum- -Aloe-maculata
Lesser Mexican stonecrop (Sedum confusum) and soap aloe (Aloe maculata)

I was able to sneak outside during a break in the rain to take some photos of plants in flower along the front yard perimeter. Most of them are yellow, a color I love in plants, offset by a purple Spanish lavender in full bloom. The other lavenders are still a bit behind.

120330_Bulbine-frutescens- -Phlomis-fruticosa
BOTTOM: Cape balsam (Bulbine frutescens)
TOP: Jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa), soon to bloom—in yellow
120330_Yucca-filamentosa-Color-Guard- -Euphorbia-martinii
Variegated Adam’s needle (Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’) and
Martin’s spurge (Euphorbia × martinii)
120330_Bulbine-frutescens- -Bambusa-oldhamii
Giant clumping timber bamboo (Bambusa oldhamii),
Martin’s spurge (Euphorbia × martinii) and
Cape balsam (Bulbine frutescens
Cape balsam (Bulbine frutescens) and
Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas ‘Otto Quast’)
French lavender (Lavandula dentata),
Cape balsam (Bulbine frutescens) and
Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas ‘Otto Quast’)
120330_Lavandula-stoechas- -Bulbine-frutescens
Cape balsam (Bulbine frutescens) and
Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas ‘Otto Quast’)
Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas ‘Otto Quast’)

The standout of the yellow-flowering plants above is cape balsam (Bulbine frutescens). If you live in zone 9 or above and you love the color yellow, no plant will give you as much satisfaction for 10+ months out of the year.

Cape balsam is super easy to divide: Simply pull off as much or as little as you want and replant. The roots are very shallow and pop out easily.

Cape balsam is the perfect pass-along plant. In fact, I passed along a bushel full a few weeks ago. All the cape balsam we have originally came from two 4” plants!


  1. The yellow looks fantastic with the purple!

    I love Spanish lavender blooms, and wish it was more cold-hardy so I could grow it here. Of course, it probably would have survived this winter just fine.

    1. I love Spanish lavender, too, I just wish it would rebloom better. The first bloom is always the best. After that we only get occasional flowers. French lavender, in contrast, blooms all summer and fall.