Friday, April 1, 2016

Happy April Fool’s Day

Happy April 1st to all you fools out there! I’m not saying that gardeners and plant lovers are fools, but a healthy dose of foolishness doesn’t hurt. Taking yourself too seriously is never a good thing.

This post has no real theme because, to be honest, after a long work week my brain is fried. As fried as the poppies you see in many of the photos below will be in another month if we don’t get any more rain. It’s been warm and dry—so much so that I will need to turn on the drip irrigation this weekend.

But for tonight let’s leave all the unpleasant things aside and look at some pretty flowers.

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Front yard, outside the fence

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The ×Mangave ‘Macho Mocha’ is sending up a flower stalk. I’m ignoring it for now because it spells almost certain death.

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Close-up

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Even in spite of my ruthless thinning there are plenty of California poppies everywhere

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I’m very excited: my Banksia blechnifolia is blooming for the first time

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Grevillea ‘Peaches and Cream’ has 10 or 12 flowers in various states of development

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This one will open first

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Leucadendron ‘Safari Sunset’

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Leucadendron ‘Safari Sunset’

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Leucadendron ‘Jester’ photographed through ‘Safari Sunset’

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Leucadendron ‘Jester’

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Beavertail cactus (Opuntia basilaris), loaded with flower buds

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It’ll be spectacular this year

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Gazania ‘Sunbathers Totonaka’

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Athanasia pinnata

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Meyer lemon in bloom

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Mexican tulip poppy (Hunnemannia fumariifolia) in front of Agave ‘Sun Glow’

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Arctotis ‘Wine’

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Aloe elgonica

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Agave ovatifolia ‘Frosty Blue’ in front of Salvia officinalis

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Leucospermum ‘Goldie’, my one surviving leucospermum with its one surviving flower bud. I check on it several times a day, keeping my fingers crossed that it will open.

16 comments:

  1. Ai-yi-yi. How did gt all thosee buds on the beavertail???

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    1. This is the second year in a row. It must be happy baking in the sun with little water. I think I'll reward it with a larger pot after it's done blooming.

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  2. Your California poppies are way ahead of mine! Actually, despite multiple attempts, few of the seeds I sowed have germinated - we just got too little rain, I think. I finally resorted to planting a few seedling plugs but even those haven't developed blooms as yet. The Opuntia made my laugh because the pads look so much like feet with toes. Where did you find the Athanasia? I saw several giant specimens on a recent trip to The Getty and was very impressed by that plant but I don't think I've ever seen it in a nursery.

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    1. I wasn't immediately lucky with poppies either. I scattered seeds two years in a row before I finally got lucky.

      As for the opuntia, you're right! I also thought some of the pads looked like feet, wrinkly feet. What a hoot.

      I got my Athanasia pinnata from Annie's Annuals. I neglected to cut it back last fall, now many of the flowers are 5 ft tall and gangly. But still a great plant.

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  3. Sometimes all you need is pretty flowers! My opubtia also has a ton of buds... I can't wait until they all bloom.

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    1. I bet opuntias do really well in your desert climate! Like you, I can't wait for the annual flower show, as brief as it is.

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  4. Everything is just gorgeous and your photos are like the finest portraits that show them off so well. By the way, the 'Mangave ‘Macho Mocha' takes after the Manfreda side of the family and won't die after blooming. It will divide to produce several smaller plants.

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    1. Ragna, that's fantastic news! My only prior experience with ×Mangaves was with 'Bloodspot'. I had two, and they both died after flowering without producing offsets. I'm glad that 'Macho Mocha' will live on.

      Thank you also for your kind words. They made my day!

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  5. I have had both Mocha Madness and Bloodshot pup prolifically at the same time they were blooming, but yes the rosette which blooms does die off.

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    1. That's very good to hear. The two 'Bloodspot' I had died without leaving any offspring but that might have been the exception. The info I found online is conflicting.

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  6. Really beautiful and cheery! I don't have Mangave experience but happened to see some potted specimens for sale at the local nursery. Each had a bloom stem "stump" so they must have just finished blooming, but each also had several pups. I think I'd be willing to sacrifice a beloved plant if I knew it was going to produce a dozen copies of itself! :)

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    1. More good news. My ×Mangave from Greg Starr is blooming, too. Hopefully it won't forget to multiply before it kicks the bucket.

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  7. No April foolishness there, just beauty. Burnt tips on your Leucospermum leaves--is the plant well mulched? They like cool soil.

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    1. That leucospermum is in a large pot. I'm sure the soil warms up during the day, possible more than is comfortable for the plant. That would explain the brown leaf tips.

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