(Shhh...I come here after work every day. Some days I even come here for lunch.)
The first thing that captures my attention tonight...
Do you recognize the green foliage growing over the lamium? Do you know what it signifies?
Hint: The mental association I have with this plant reminds me how shocked I am to recall the summer solstice is just a couple weeks away.
Bah! Let's not linger here. Let's go to California.
Here, it's still spring.
Albeit late spring, as this tree's flowers would attest.
Strybing has the cv. 'Canyon Pink' too. The inflorescence is half as large, but just as fragrant.
No sign of any flowers yet on the Calycanthus occidentalis in my garden. These flowers smell like last night's wine.
California gives way to South Africa. I weeded this particular area of this particular bed the very first day I volunteered here at the Botanical Garden.
That was December 2005. I didn't know a single South African plant then. I had never heard of, or ever seen, Protea cynaroides.
I didn't know what Leucospermums were, or that Restios were considered fashionable. I didn't know that geraniums were really Pelargoniums and that some have nice fragrances.
I didn't know about Watsonia--bulbous plants that make 5' tall flower spikes in spring and summer and want no summer water.
I didn't know about Wachendorfia, or the Silver Tree behind it in this picture.
I do recall reading a letter to the editor in Fine Gardening about Melianthus major sometime around then. Someone from Los Angeles wrote to say, "Excuse me, but here in southern California Melianthus reaches the eaves by the end of summer."
In the cactus garden, the Agave chiapensis inflorescence is spectacular.
The basal foliage is relatively small and compact for a tall inflorescence.
A wider view.
I'm generally not a Phormium lover. But I like the dark blades behind this yellow Kniphofia. So cool.
Cantua buxifolia comes in both red-flowering and yellow-flowering forms (and apparently this red+pink-flowering form). I put both the red and the yellow in my garden this year. (Yikes...)
The flowers look good, but this shrub needs some rejuvenation.
A vaguely similar plant but with bigger leaves, Iochroma cyaneum.
This one's flowers seem unusually purple to me.
Speaking of purple, Fagus sylvatica 'Atropurpurea' next to...
this tree which has amazing wood.
On the way out, I cut through the cloud forest where I'm momentarily entranced by Passiflora membranacea
And I see a little grove of Dahlia imperialis that I planted after the big storm last January is coming along well...
Tree dahlia is the easiest plant in the world to propagate. Just stick a piece in the ground--as long as it includes a node, you're good.
This rose is 'Jude the Obscure'. It would be a wild overstatement to say that I'm a novice when it comes to roses... So far, this is the most fragrant rose that I have ever encountered.
It's a David Austin rose, and he has this to say:
'Jude the Obscure' vies with 'Golden Celebration' for the first place as the most magnificent of the English Roses. Its flowers are very large and of incurved chalice shape. Their color is a pleasing medium yellow on the inside of the petals and a paler yellow on the outside. It has excellent, strong and almost completely disease-free growth. This rose is particularly fine in a dry climate, although it may ball in the rain.Well, I planted 'Golden Celebration at my client's house. It's nice, but if you want my opinion it's no 'Jude the Obscure'. Are you familiar with this rose? Am I wrong?
A very strong, unusual and delicious fragrance with a fruity note reminiscent of guava and sweet white wine.
I'm so obsessed with Jude, I added two of them to my garden this year.
I'll end here tonight with Chiranthodendron pentadactlyon.
The bat-pollinated flowers fill with 2-3 tablespoons of sugary nectar. When I've tasted it before it reminded me of hibiscus cooler. Tonight it reminded me of the milk left in the bowl after eating a particular sugar cereal popular in the 1970s--like Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, but with faint notes of nutmeg.