Weekend garden

We have to enjoy this now, because I'm not sure if we're going to have it again next year or not.

Echium wildpretii

Kirsten says you don't get a sense of its true size on the blog. (She obviously wants me to put more pictures of her on the blog.)


Another wildflower, newly blooming. Mentzelia lindleyi, Blazing Star. I'm at a complete loss for how to describe its fragrance except to say that it's good.

Mentzelia lindleyi

The Carpenteria californica is blooming now too. Its fragrance is like vanilla.

Carpenteria californica


Gillia tricolor

Platystemon californicus

Sidalcea malviflora

Squash is blooming in the vegetable garden.


And the peas are just huge. Daily tip-pinching is vital to keep them under control.

Snap peas

I made some new acquisitions today at Dry Garden in Oakland. Or maybe Berkeley. Aloe polyphylla. It seems like it was always just a matter of time before I got one of these.

Aloe polyphylla

And I bought a small agave. The guy said it won't get more than a foot wide, or so. Agave verschaffeltii. (If you've seen a picture of its inflorescence, please point me to it.)

Agave verschaffeltii

And one more thing, this Abutilon.


At this point, I think I'm well-stocked to replace the foxgloves when they go down. 'Apricot Beauty' is a real stretch for the name.


They're pink.




Christopher C. NC said...

OMG she's huge! And you were complaining about your landfill soil last year. You must have vastly improved it.

You really do have a California meadow back there. At that size it would be easy to keep it perfect. Every plant has to preform to your satisfaction to stay. Plus by its nature there could be a lot of constant rotation.

chuck b. said...

The perennial bunchgrasses will grow in a little bit by next year, and that should increase the meadow effect.

Tira said...

Lovely pics, that echium is impressive! The green and blue of the aloe and agave are also nice. I actually like the shade of pink on the foxgloves.

Frances, said...

Hi back to you Chuck. Your foxgloves are beautiful and pink, where are they seeing apricots that color? Always stretching the truth aren't those naming guys. What do you mean pinching the peas? Where are we to pinch them, mine already are taller than me and have fallen over in the middle and regrown upwards? Too late already? Still no peas, but lots of flowers.

chuck b. said...

Frances, start pinching! You know the leaves and tendrils are edible, right? I eat the tip pinchings as I go.

Nicole, I like the pink too. Tho' I had my heart set on apricot.

Christopher, that particular bed with the Echium was amended heavily. In fact, I once dumped one whole 2 cu ft bag of compost there.

Frances, said...

The leaves of the peas are edible, raw? like salad material? Cool. Yesterday searching for pods, there were lots hidden under the jungle of foliage about three inches long. Ready to eat?

chuck b. said...

Yes, and yes! :)

I think you will find the youngest pea shoots to be the most palatable. I've never tried to eat any foliage other than the young shoots.

And definitely pick those peas. Leaving them on will slow down fruit production on the rest of the plant. Three-inch long pods may be tough eating. The longer they are, the harder they get. Sample them in all sizes to see what tastes best to you.

Anonymous said...

You're tearing my heart out with these echium pics. It looks like a skinny, bejeweled Christmas tree. I've never seen one in Austin. Boy, would it be a standout, but my guess is our occasional freezes would kill it?

chuck b. said...

I checked Sunset--their coldest recommendation for this plant has it down in the 21-28 degrees F range. You could always try throwing a couple layers of row cover over it, too.

Anonymous said...

I'd be willing to try it against a southern exposure. I wonder why we never see it here in the nurseries though. I will have to investigate.

chuck b. said...

It's uncommon in the trade here too. I think it's just uncommon, period. (Perhaps because it's a biennial?)

The only vendors of it here are Annie's Annuals (pretty much a specialty nursery), those independent nurseries that stock her inventory, and botanical garden plant sales.

I grew mine from seed because I couldn't find it anywhere two years ago. Now that I'm more alert to things, I've seen it for sale here and there.