May has been a great month this year, lack of rain notwithstanding. With daytime highs almost 10 degrees below average, i.e. low 70s instead of low 80s, I felt like I was in San Diego County instead of the greater Sacramento area. Invariably the weather will heat up and summer will descend upon us, stressing both humans and plants. For now, though, the floral display in the front yard continues. Time to take a stroll!
Penstemon ‘Firebird’ (complex hybrid involving Penstemon cobaea, P. hartwegii, P. campanulata, P. gentianoides and P. isophyllus)
Parkinsonia ‘Desert Museum’
Driveway bed tapestry
Fallen flowers from Parkinsonia ‘Desert Museum’. This is the biggest “mess” yet from any of our palo verde trees. I’m still trying to debunk the “palo verdes are messy” myth that’s floating around on the Internet.
Parkinsonia ‘Desert Museum’ still going strong. The flower power of this palo verde is unbelievable!
Parkinsonia ‘Desert Museum’ flowers in my hand
LEFT: Asian lemon bamboo (Bambusa eutultoides ‘Viridividatta’)
RIGHT: Baby blue bamboo (Bambusa chungii ‘Barbellata’)
FRONT: Agave bovicornuta BACK: Encephalartos lehmanii
LEFT: Agave salmiana ‘Butterfingers’ RIGHT: Yucca rostrata
LEFT: Old man of the mountains (Cephalocereus senilis)
RIGHT: Old man of the Andes (Oreocereus celsianus)
Old man of the Andes (Oreocereus celsianus)
Sphaeralcea ‘Newleaze Coral’. This globe mallow is extremely vigorous and free-flowering.
Verbena bonariensis adding pops of purple in many places
Second Parkinsonia ‘Desert Museum’ behind potted cacti on front yard fence
Same Parkinsonia ‘Desert Museum’ seen from the street
I love this tapestry of textures and colors
Verbena bonariensis and Parkinsonia ‘Desert Museum’
Tower of jewels (Echium wildpretii)
Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’. This elderberry has never been as stunning as it is this year. The leaves are a deep purple where it gets full sun—almost black.
Globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus). I’m growing it for the leaves and the flowers.
Red aloe flower stalk (Hesperaloe parviflora) in front of globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus)
First artichoke flower (photo taken 5 days after the two photos above)
Agave macroacantha and Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha)
Agave gentryi ‘Jaws’ coming into its own
Agave gentryi ‘Jaws’
Agave gentryi ‘Jaws’ and Aloe cameronii
Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) and Aloe cameronii
Baja fairy duster (Calliandra californica) and Aloe ferox
Baja fairy duster (Calliandra californica), Aloe ferox and NOID agastache
Aloidendron ‘Hercules’, almost to the top of the fence now
BACK: Bush marigold (Tagetes lemmonii ‘Martins Mutant’)
CENTER: Yucca rostrata
FRONT: Agave americana ‘Mediopicta alba’
Agave americana ‘Mediopicta alba’ and Agastache ‘Kudos Coral’ (a Terra Nova introduction)
Agave ovatifolia. This is the smallest of the three whale’s tongue agaves I have. Just 15 months ago it was in a #1 nursery pot. Now it’s 19 inches in diameter.
Mexican hat (Ratibida columnifera var. pulcherrima)
Yellow bird of paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii)
Chocolate flower (Berlandiera lyrata)
And finally a set of wide shots of the desert bed:
Hard to believe this was an inpenetrable pittosporum hedge just 15 months ago!