Fuchsia fulgens took off this year. I had to cut it way back last year, for whatever reason I don't recall. It didn't care one bit. The fuchsias from South America thrive in the San Francisco's cool, foggy climate. You could make your whole garden a fuchsia garden and it would bloom all year.
Chocolate-scented, "winter-flowering" Tithonia diversifolia blooms for a much longer season that the plant tag says, too.
It's a behemoth in the garden, growing big and very fast... Really not appropriate for my small garden. I had a brugmansia here once upon a time, but it got broken and shredded anytime we had strong winds and looked like heck for months afterwards. We have a strong winds every year, so that was a problem for me. Other people seem to have better luck with that plant than I did.
Speaking of things that look like heck... ugh, this lily. Je déteste. I tried to dig it out last year, but couldn't without destroying the whole bed. That bulb really settled in. I have to say it looks okay at a distance, especially with its colors echoed in surrounding plants, like the white Shasta daisies in front of it and the dark red cordyline 'Cherry Sensation' (or 'Cherry Sunrise'..?) behind it.
I think it would even look fine in a different garden, but it's completely out of place in mine... unless maybe I add a few more harmonious companions to help it blend better.
Just so not my style... ugh.
This nameless variety from the neighborhood nursery, otoh, is perfect.
I started this Campanula medium from seed, and it's doing very well. I have some pink ones too.
It keeps on blooming with a little deadheading now and then. Well, I assume the deadheading helps.
Dahlias, also from seed. This one is my favorite this year, although it flowers very sparingly. I gave it some water and fertilizer today. Maybe that will help, if the neighboring Phormium 'Black Adder' and Stipa arundinacea don't drink it down first.
If you've every thought about growing strawberry from seed, I say go for it. These are four Fragaria vesca from seed, going gangbusters. They don't fruit very heavily. Could it be because they don't care for the acid soil in that pot? Maybe I'll try re-potting them this fall.
Growing fennel from seed is not much of a gardening accomplishment. Keeping the anise swallowtail caterpillars that feed on it alive might qualify, however. I've moved a few larvae to a different plant that I cover with bird netting. I hope that helps them from getting eaten. Of course, I'm not sure that they get eaten every year. But something happens. One day, they're just gone and I've never seen a chrysalis. I'm pretty alert to things in my small garden. I think I'd notice a chrysalis.
Dill is another good one for butterflies and caterpillars. I put the dill out late this year and it didn't get very tall. Plant it out in April in San Francisco if you want my advice.
I enjoy all my phallic garden ornaments.
And the non-phallic ones too. This ball needs to go live near a better color complement.
There's a lot of red in my garden, which is a puzzlment considering how apprehensive I am about about it growing too close yellow. Well I have a lot of yellow too. Odd that it feels like all I ever do is add pink.
Do you think blue and purple look good together? Well, that's a lot of red too. I think pink and purple look good together. Not that I'm deeply preoccupied with "what goes together". As long as it's not red+yellow.
Oh, there's another lily.
And a dahlia with some daisies.
And a kitty!