Mid-week morning in the back 40

Lots of new flowers this morning...

The first Echium wildpretii flowers opened this morning. Of course they opened on the "back" of the plant, making it necessary for me to reach around the spike to take this picture...which unfortunately includes a view of the gardener's face.

Echium wildpretii

Since Pam is delightfully blowing everyone's facial anonymity with her Spring Fling pictures, I might as well join in. After all, I like to think I was present in spirit if not body. This isn't the first time I've posted a picture of myself, but it's been awhile.

The garden blogger in the cold light of day:


Back to Echium wildpretii (my constant blogging of which must cause mediterranean climate-type gardeners to laugh or shake their collective heads and sigh every time I post)...

Let's see: the inflorescence is a single 5' tall, scorpoid spike with clusters of 4-14 bisexual flowers found in the leaf axils along the terminal spike. Petals are red and the anthers are dusted with blue pollen. I believe the technical word for it is, fabulous.

Echium wildpretii

Also opening today, or beginning to; it's only half-open, my one Clematis, the name of which I have completely forgotten. Do any of you gardening brainiacs by chance know the name?


Another native wildflower, Gilia tricolor, commonly called Bird's Eye. There will be tons of this in the next few months. I think it's my favorite of the common California wildflowers, after poppy. And it's fragrant.

Gilia tricolor

And, the Fuchsia boliviana 'Alba' which I never tire of pointing out that I grew from seed. Sorry this picture's not so good. It is very sunny today.

Fuchsia boliviana 'Alba'

Also from seed, but less remarkable, the foxglove inflorescences are forming.

digitalis purpurea

This one is forming five inflorescences. I don't get it...I'm fairly certain I did not plant five foxgloves right next to each other. Interesting...

digitalis purpurea

Note to Emma: the iris divisions from your garden which you gave me last year are making flowers--all of them. (This is one I already had.)

Iris douglasiana

Regular root onions tend to bolt in San Francisco. Some people grow top-setting varieties instead. This is what they look like when they start to top set.

top-setting onion

The longer they go on, the more picturesque they become.

top-setting onion

I slapped this tomato cage together the day before yesterday, made out of spare bits of old trellises that I sawed apart and put back together with nails and wood glue. I'm going to paint it green or orange, I haven't decided.

i built this tomato cage

It's no offspring of Faire Garden construction, but it will do. I underestimate how tall the indeterminate tomato vines grow every year and they fall over and bend and break and generally make it look like no one knows how to garden around here.

But are they going to get seven feet tall?

I dare 'em to try.


Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Beautiful Clematis - any guess would be a shot in the dark - Google "Clematis on the Web" for the University of Hull's Clematis ID guide. Lots of photos of flowers at all different stages & descriptions of flowers & list of Type. It's also just a fun place to waste a lot of time.
Yes, I've been "outed." If I hadn't been so busy & tired b4 Spring Fling, I'd have gotten a pair of Groucho glasses, nose, eyebrows & mustache & worn them in all the pictures. (Ok, I have a weird sense of humor.)

Christopher C. NC said...

I expected the Echium to be blue. There is some other plant that grows well out there with tall blue inflorescences yes? What am I thinking of?

I don't think I'll be doing the anonymity breaking shot. It took 20 trys to get one acceptable mug shot of myself for another purpose.

My foxglove seedlings have been repotted and sent outside where I hope they are happier, at least until the predicted SNOW this weekend.

chuck b. said...

MMcGD, thank you for that tip--just what I need: an extensive website of beautiful flower pictures. :)

Christopher: You're thinking of E. piniana. The wildpretii is always a variation on red, and the simplitica, white. There are assuredly exceptions, and others.

"It took 20 trys to get one acceptable mug shot of myself for another purpose."

I do believe I know exactly what you're talking about. Heh--it took me awhile to get that mugshot too.

Tho', I lost it a while back.

Anonymous said...

Chuck, you know I always love to see what your echium is up to. I didn't know it could get even better than it already was, but those red-and-powder-blue flowers! My god, I must have one of these plants.

Yes, we Spring Flingers are out like never before. In my defense, we all agreed to abide by certain rules when posting photos: first names only (except for those of us already out there) and "no butts, no guts." When we posed for the group photo, I was prepared to have two sittings: one for posting online and one for private use. But no one opted out of the public shot (even though you can see that Annie in Austin was hiding behind someone), so perhaps we're all losing our shyness.

Anonymous said...

And I meant to add that it's delightful to see your face too, Chuck. You were missed in Austin.

Jenn said...

That's a great shot of you behind the plant. Essence of the gardener!

chuck b. said...

Daughter, Clematis on the Web seems to be down. I just remembered Chalk Hill Clematis has lots of pictures. I'll check there too.

Pam, as far as I'm concerned you and the other organizers deserve some kind of medal for garden blogger community building. And Carol too, for instituting Bloom Day.

Jenn, I like that picture too if I do say so myself. The other one makes my nose look big. It is big, but not that big.

Annie in Austin said...

You posted a couple of pictures of yourself long ago, Chuck, but an update is nice and you look good. Yes, our anonymity has been blown. Pam is pretty gleeful about it, isn't she. It will probably be okay.

'Ramona' has similar lighter bands on the petals but the stamens might be darker. Good luck getting an ID - there must be thousands of named clematis.

I think you should go ahead and keep posting Echium wildpretii- it's a fine plant!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Frances, said...

Chuck, you match the wildprettii you are standing behind with that silly grin. I always imagined you with a big smile and a twinkle in your eye, but my what a big nose you have! HA, just teasing, my nose is bigger! I also love you calling MMD, daughter, you are just too much. And many thanks for the link to the Gardoctor's work, he will be pleased to see it. And finally, our tomatoes regularly get that tall and fall over beyond the six foot reinforcing wire cages built for them. Your structure looks like it is up to the task.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Chuck - there's a recently published book on Clematis ("Enclyclopedia of Clematis"?) that has very good photos & descriptions. Sorry I can't remember the name or author, I checked it out of the library last summer. If I can track down the name, I'll let you know, although Chalk Hill's photos are pretty good. (Another place to waste lots of time.)

chuck b. said...

Too funny about the Clematis. It's nothing rare or spectacular, I'm sure of that. I saw it flowering at the nursery and I thought "I want a clematis that flowers this time of year." And I have some kind of weakness for purple and its relations.

I wonder if it could be General Sikorski. I'll get down to the garden in a bit see if it's opened up some more.

Frances, I can't wait for too-big-tomato plants. What a fine problem to have.

Phillip Oliver said...

I like the fuchsia and the iris is really beautiful. It took me 10 years to post my photo online so I know what you mean. But, I agree with Annie, you look good! :)

lisa said...

I like your mug...very easy to look at! ;-) That echium is the shit...I really want to try one as a houseplant!

Anonymous said...

What I like about my garden is that I don't have to think about the wear and tear the years have put on my face. You are all brave people.

That echium... wow. I need a BIG hothouse.

Anonymous said...

Hubba hubba ... you are one good looking plant guy! And I like a big nose on a man - you know what they say, big nose, big ...

...handkerchief ?

Unknown said...

I was going to ask Christopher's question... but since you're gone for the weekend I'm glad he beat me to it. Now I don't have to wait for an answer.

They're both nice photos but I like the one of you behind the echium best. Because you look like you're cracking yourself up. *grin*