Thursday, September 30, 2010


Cinnamon Cactus (Opuntia microdasys var. rufida)

I saw this Opuntia in the window and I just had to have him! Actually, I decided he was too expensive so I left without him. I couldn't get him out of my head so I returned the next day just to look at him. To my horror, he was gone! I asked about him and nobody knew anything about him. It finally dawned on a sales person that he might be in the half price pile in the back. I walked back to check and there he was. They had thrown him on the ground like last night's dinner. I felt so sorry for him I decided it was my lot in life to come to his rescue. I picked him up paid for him and took him home. Little did I know that he must have been happier laying on the ground in a heap because he stuck his little needles in me from head to toe. Those pretty little cinnamon colored polka dots were weapons in disguise! After I soaked in a hot tub to remove those little instruments of pain, all was forgiven andI'm happy I adopted him. He seems to be adjusting to his new home fine, and he's even made best friends with a near by Salvia. They not only enjoy each other's company but they compliment each other well, don't you think?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Swamp Sunflower 'Santa Fe'

It's that time of year again! The Swamp Sunflowers are just beginning to bloom. They aren't at their 'Kodak Moment' yet, but I couldn't resist getting an early picture. The scent is already amazing! I got this variety at High Country Gardens a few years ago. They have multiplied like rabbits!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Black Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Moundry') surrounded by Salvia coccinea and Castro Bean Plant (Ricinus communis)

I have devoted an area in my backyard to ornamental grasses. This one grew from seeds I scattered. It has grown to a significant sized clump considering it is one of the smaller grasses. I love the purple tone in the blackish plumes. I see it popping up everywhere in my pseudo-meadow. It is such a beautiful grass that I'll most likely let a few of them stay.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Salvia farinacea 'Henry Duelberg'

This year I finally decided to toss the Cannas that were at my front door path. I replaced them with a native Salvia 'Henry Duelberg.' I have not regretted the change one bit! The Cannas required constant care. The spraying, the watering - oy - no more! In contrast, The Salvia has had absolutely no care and has been in bloom since mid April. I did save a couple of Cannas and put them in pots. As usually however they look ratty and sad. I may let them die in their pots. I guess I do have my limits when it comes to plant selections. That at least is nice to know!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Euphorbia cotnifolia

A couple of nights ago I looked out my back window and saw a plant glowing that at first I didn't recognize. I realized it was my Euphorbia c. with back lighting. I quickly ran and got my camera. Some plants are even more beautiful when the sun shines behind them. I now know Euphorbia c. is one of them.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Senecio scaposus and Euphorbia anoplia

It's interesting that so many succulents look like sea creatures. I came across Euphorbia anoplia (Zipper Plant) and thought it looked like an octupus. When some Senecio scaposus (Silver Coral)
caught my attention I knew the two had to go together in the same pot. I surrounded the Euphorbia with the Senecio in a pot that reminded me of the ocean. What I ended up with was a strange looking sea creature. I kind of like it.

I owe this spurt of creativity to Debra Lee Baldwin who wrote a fantastic book titled Succulent Container Gardens. I decided to throw my own mix together after reading her book. I have a feeling I'm hooked!

Friday, September 10, 2010


Potted succulents
I've begun to add potted succulents to my flower beds. If I had it my way I'd plant them in the ground. I live in Zone 8 however and most of them would perish. People ask me why I wish I lived in my birth state of California - this is one major reason! The grass is always greener...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Oxblood Lily
Last fall I transplanted all of my Oxblood lilies into one bed. Before that they were scattered here and there. I decided they would look great in my circular bed of variegated Liriope. The show is not quite as spectacular as I had hoped. They are popping up sporadically rather than en masse. I have hope for future displays though since the lilies multiply rather quickly. One year in September I will look out my kitchen window and see a circle of bright bright red and green.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Re-seeding 'Balcony' Petunia

I grew this heirloom petunia last year. It almost made it through the summer. I was hoping it would re-seed. I gave up thinking it had until this one popped up in the middle of spring. It has been going strong all these months. It soared through August and this is what it looked like last night. I do believe this one will make into the fall. It is a climbing petunia and it's almost 4 feet high on the arbor I have it growing up. It grows beside a bright bougainvillea. Balcony Petunia is a real winner!