Weekend Wrapup (WeWu) for 3/10/19: rain, flowers, and foliage

As I'm typing this, the sky is much darker than it should be at 5:00 pm, and the rain has started to fall. I don't even bother looking at the forecast any more. Just like I'm sure people further north are sick of the snow, I'm sick of the rain. I'm careful saying it because it seems sacrilegious—not long ago we would have given anything for rain. There doesn't seem to be an in-between anymore, it's all one extreme or the other.

Maybe because of the long cool winter (or spring? not sure what season we're in!), the Grevillea 'Flora Mason' in the backyard has been flowering far longer than it usually does; this is month 4!

Grevillea 'Flora Mason'

Grevillea 'Flora Mason' has finely dissected foliage that looks great year round.

Grevillea 'Flora Mason'

Cape cowslip (Lachenalia aloides 'Quadricolor'), a bulb from South Africa, has shown more floral staying power as well:

Lachenalia aloides 'Quadricolor'

A nice segue to the flowers of Aloe ferox:

Aloe ferox

No flowers here, but still plenty of color: Ferocactus emoryi, with Agave applanata 'Cream Spike' in the background:

Ferocactus emoryi, with Agave applanata 'Cream Spike' 

Sometimes it's all about the foliage: 

Nandina domestica 'Filamentosa' and Casuarina glauca 'Cousin It'


Ceanothus 'Julia Phelps'

Grevillea synapheae 'Picasso'


Eucalyptus gunnii


Felicia aethiopica ‘Tight and Tidy’
Grevillea lavandulacea 'Tanunda'

Foliage (and branchlets):

Sophora prostrata 'Little Baby'


×Mangave 'Purple People Eater'

Foliage paired with flowers:

×Mangave 'Mission to Mars' and hellebores at UC Davis Arboretum

Aloe striata and helleborus at UC Davis Arboretum

Speaking of the UC Davis Arboretum: This weekend was the first plant sale of the year. To my surprise, there were far fewer people there than last year although the inventory was a broad as ever. I imagine the fact that it was drizzling had something to do with it. It didn't stop me, but I may be a bit more crazy than most home gardeners.

For the record, as a reminder to myself down the line, here's my haul:
  • Arctostaphylos edmundsii 'Big Sur' — low-growing manzanita, said to be particularly floriferous
  • Arctostaphylos uva-ursi 'Massachusetts' — groundcover manzanita
  • Berzelia albiflora — South African coffeebush
  • Delosperma 'Red Mountain® Flame' — I've found these newer delosperma hybrids to be challenging but I'm giving this one a try because the flowers are retina-burning red
  • Eremurus isabellinus × ruiter — experimental since nobody seems to have tried eremurus in our area
  • Fabiana imbricata 'Violacea' — Chilean heather; actually a member of the nightshade family, not a real heather
  • Pyrethropsis hosmariense — Moroccan daisy, only 8" tall, perfect for the very front of the bed along the sidewalk
  • Teucrium ackermannii — mat-forming groundcover with gray lavender-like leaves
  • Tulipa clusiana var. chrysantha — species tulip from Central Asia

I didn't take any photos inside the teaching nursery, but I grabbed a few walk-by shots on the way out.

Agave americana 'Mediopicta Alba'

Agave americana 'Striata'
Meanwhile, the rain is continuing. I keep telling myself that we need the water. But I'd much rather be out puttering around. Maybe next weekend!

Acacia baileyana 'Purpurea' from upstairs window

Bambusa eutuldoides 'Viridi-Vidatta' from upstairs window

Sunday update: All plants are in the ground. Yeah!

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  1. The photo of the flowers of Aloe ferox with the raindrops is superb!

  2. Another great haul! You'll have to provide a status on the Eremurus. Pyrethropsis hosmariense is a fantastic plant. Your plants appear to be enjoying the rain, even if you're a little tired of it. We were supposed to get some today but it looks as though it's passed us by and, even though I've lost a few plants to rot, I was sad about that as it feels as though our rainy season is coming to an end. I like the thin-leafed Nandina and may consider pairing it with my own (Acacia) 'Cousin Itt'.

    1. The eremurus are poking their heads out of the ground. Knock on wood!

      I saw that Casuarina 'Cousin It' (one t) in several places in Arizona. I wish it would become more available here. It's a cool plant!

  3. I so wanted to go to the plant sale but the weather was awful yesterday,it was pouring here. I am right there with you Gerhard, I am sick of the rain. Yes I said it. I am really looking forward to the dry week coming up and maybe at last I can spend the weekend pulling the damn weeds. I had a few rain-free hours today but the soil is so saturated weeding is just about impossible.

    1. I did pull out the grass growing in between the concrete slabs in the sidewalk.

      Weeding seems like a losing battle right now, at least until it gets a little hotter.

  4. I have a mystery aloe first time in bud -- maybe principis or excelsa or some ferox/arborescens combo? -- and wish I had your input on its identity! Love the growth habit of G. 'Flora Mason' and will keep an eye out for it. As Kris notes, rain passed us by this weekend but possibly some early this week.

    1. Denise, I'd love to help with your mystery aloe. Please email me a photo.

      'Flora Mason' really came into its own this year. It took a while. I love the fine-cut foliage.

  5. Sophora prostrata 'Little Baby' looks amazing when wet!

    1. To me, it's such a "Portland" plant. In fact, I bought mine in Portland, and have only ever seen it in Portland. Funny when you think it's a New Zealand native!

  6. Your garden looks exceptionally healthy and happy. A quick question about your Acacia Baileyana purpurea. How old is it? How long have you had it? Do you find that it is a fast grower as they claim?

    1. Our Acacia baileyana has been in the ground for 4 years. I'd gotten it as a give from a friend. It was a seedling about 4 ft. tall. Yes, they are FAST growers for sure.

  7. All plants planted? Good work. Morocco daisy has been an outstanding performer here for many years--hope it is as excellent for you.

    I must really like rain, because I'm not tired of it at all. I think of the roasting heat and sun burnt plants to come and hope winter lasts a while longer.

    1. Funny, a week has gone by, and now I'm looking for rain in the forecast. I think most plants (with the exception of succulents) would appreciate another good drenching before spring comes in full force.

      Based on what you and Kris have said about the Morocco daisy, I may just get a few more.


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