Monday, April 20, 2020

The garden is giving back when I need it the most

We take care of our gardens year in and year out. Sometimes, especially when there's a long list of chores to do, it seems like the work never ends.

But remember that this is a two-way street: Whatever we give to the garden, the garden gives back—with interest. We invest time, effort and money, and the garden rewards us with beauty.

Beauty may be a simple six-letter word, but like most simple things, it's a powerful force.

Agave ovatifolia and Alyogyne 'Ruth Bancroft'

In times of turmoil, the garden can help us escape reality, if ever so briefly, refocus, and recharge our mental batteries. In short: It can help us stay sane.

Here are some recent photos from my personal sanctuary. Spring is my favorite time of year—it's easy to see why.

Yucca rostrata 'Sapphire Skies', Agave ovatifolia, and Alyogyne 'Ruth Bancroft'

Arroyo lupine (Lupinus succulentus), a very fast grower—not surprising since it's an annual

Great foliage combo along the sidewalk

In the middle, almost buried in the foliage: Agave gentryi 'Jaws' and Yucca linearifolia

The red-flowering shrub on the right is one of the three Baja fairy dusters in the front yard (Calliandra californica)

Osteospermum 'Astra Purple Spoon', almost done with the first wave of flowers

Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' and Felicia aethiopica ‘Tight and Tidy’

Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' and Felicia aethiopica ‘Tight and Tidy’

Sundrops (Calylophus berlandieri)

Engelmann's daisy (Engelmannia peristenia) and Aloe bulbillifera flower

Ferocactus glaucescens

One of my favorite inflorescences: Billy buttons (Craspedia globosa)

Salvia 'Little Kiss'

Abutilon × 'Tiger Eye'

TOP: unidentified ×Sincoregelia (intergeneric hybrid between two bromeliads, Sincorea and Neoregelia)
BOTTOM: Unnamed Deuterocohnia species from Tucumán, Argentina (ex Bill Baker)

Flowering Echinocereus in recently renovated community planter

Echinocereus triglochidiatus

Echinopsis ‘Johnson Hybrid’ will flower any day now

Horse crippler (Echinocactus texensis)

More garden beauty in this post.



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19 comments:

  1. It looks fantastic, Gerhard! I think I "need" Alyogyne 'Ruth Bancroft' - my Alyogyne huegelii isn't nearly as attractive. Is that Sideritis cypria in the 4th photo?

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    1. Alyogyne 'Ruth Bancroft' is a hybrid between A. huegelii and A. hakeifolia that popped up in the RBG. I'll take some cuttings for you!

      Yes, that's Sideritis cypria - from Annie's Annuals, of course. I also have a Sideritis oroteneriffae.

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  2. Gorgeousness...I adore the Abutilon × 'Tiger Eye'.

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    1. It took three years to finally get going, but it's looking superb right now.

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  3. Wow! You have an amazing amount of spring color. That mix of foliage perennials with the blooming salvia(?) along the sidewalk also makes my heart and eyes happy. Keep enjoying this unique time in your beautiful garden!

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    1. The amount of color surprised even me. I plant so much stuff every year, I never know what will be successful. Yes, the purple flowers are from a salvia, Salvia leucantha.

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  4. The first photo, of the Agave ovatifolia and Alyogyne 'Ruth Bancroft', is a poetic color combination! Absolutely beautiful.

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    1. That was pure coincidence, but I'm so happy with how it turned out. I'm a big believer in serendipity!

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  5. Everything looks so healthy and vigourous. The renovated cactus planter glows. Comforting to see that even though our lives are turned upside down the natural world carries on unabated.

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    1. Well said. I think the natural world is actually breathing a sigh of relief at the moment.

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  6. Your garden is looking fabulous Gerhard, and your photo of the Craspedia globosa with the agave backer is simply gorgeous. WOW!

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    1. Thanks! I'm a sucker for Craspedia globosa. I have four or five now!

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  7. This post really shows how many shrubs and perennials you mix in to such amazing effect. I remember the great alyogynes at the RB garden with their thread-like leaves, so different from our commonly grown huegelii.

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    1. Alyogyne 'Ruth Bancroft' gets the more refined leaves from A. hakeifolia. It's a vigorous grower, and I've already resigned myself to having to give it a haircut after this current wave of flowers is over.

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  8. Yucca linearifolia really adds classy texture to almost any setting. It's a particularly fantastic contrast with Agave 'Jaws' and that ecstatic-looking Salvia leucantha.

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    1. Is that Salvia l. 'Midnight'? Much more vibrant than the regular with white among the purple.

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    2. I couldn't agree more abou Yucca linearifolia. It's probably my favorite yucca although a well-grown Yucca rostrata is hard to beat.

      The Salvia leucantha is just the regular form. It does have white in with the purple.

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  9. If conditions are right,you've got to find a way to get that red intergeneric hybrid bromeliad in the same visual field as the 'Tiger Eye' abutilon. Wowza!

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    1. Since the Sincoregelia is in a pot, I can easily move it into the backyard where the 'Tiger Eye' abutilon is. I'll give it a try on the weekend.

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