Wednesday morning garden

Is it really August already? Fall is just around the corner.

The San Francisco summer sky is the same white as the background color on my blog.


The usual summer fog prevails...still. I am over it.


This Tibouchina is a little pot-bound and thirsty. The flowers are smaller this year than normal.


I'm going to cut it back hard like they do at Living Green. But later.


If you cut back Ceanothus after the winter/spring bloom, it will re-bloom in the fall like this one is about to--without any summer water.


Behind it, on my north-facing back wall, the climbing hydrangea is starting to develop some nice form. I guess it takes a few years for this plant to do very much.


Its growing stems seem to have no trouble articulating themselves around the fence posts. I was concerned about what would happen when the stems encountered those hard right-angles, but all seems fine...

That fuchsia's a little blurry. Here's a better shot.


Also, no summer water for So Cal native Verbena lilacina.


Constant flowers.


And it goes with everything.


We just had our first tomato of the season. I think it's a 'Beaverlodge Slicer', but I'm not sure anymore. (It was just alright.)


Usually I don't grow determinant tomatoes. This one doesn't look so good, does it? Next year I'm going back to 'Stupice' and 'Early Cherry' and that's it. I don't have the patience necessary to experiment with tomatoes in San Francisco.

Dahlia atropurpurea (via Old House Gardens) is the sweetheart of the garden right now. It's much prettier in real life. I need a new camera.

Dahlia atropurpurea

That's its first flower, and it's two weeks old. Dahlia flowers last a long time on the plant. I've also got some dahlias growing from seed. Very easy to do. I guess I'll see the flowers and decide which ones to keep.

Speaking of sweethearts, this rose 'Charlotte' could be one. I bought it for my client but kept it for myself when I couldn't find a spot for it in her garden. I have it in a pot because I can't find a spot for it in my garden either.


Charlotte's first flower.


She looks better than 'Jude the Obscure' who seems moody and troubled.


Back to the subject of growing from seed, I sowed a flat of checkerbloom (Sidalcea malviflora), a compact, pink-flowering malvaceous groundcover--a western native with widespread distribution.


The true leaves are slow to emerge. Hopefully these will be ready to plant out before the most substantial winter rains. I want to have this plant everywhere.

This Stachys byzantina is another spreading groundcover that does well for me, even in the shade. Although it's never flowered. Flowers would be nice, but it's fine as a foliage plant.


I did some other editing recently and dug up this Douglas iris in the process. One plant divided into six.


That's jumping the gun a little bit for doug iris. Usually November is a good time to divide iris. But these look good. (Frances, this is the particular iris you expressed an interest in earlier this year--still interested? I can send you one of these pots.)

This Tithonia diversifolia is getting quite large. I'm going to plant it in a semi-shady corner. But I wanted it to get some size before I did that, so I put it in a pot of compost in full-sun. It's big enough to plant out now.


Now that I've come to know this plant, I'm beginning to see it everywhere. There are a couple gigantic stands of it in the Botanical Garden. It will require regular pruning and size management in my small garden. That could be a good thing.

The winter-flowering vine Hardenbergia violacea is another one I have to stay on top of lest it take over the whole garden. Here are its twining stems turning woody.

IMG_2478 IMG_2480

They look like arteries, spreading and engulfing the deck like this. And in a sense, that's what they are.




I still plan to put up some more pictures from Seattle. Soon, hopefully.

In the meantime, enjoy some sunflower seeds before the birds get them all.




Anonymous said...

I am jealous of your tomatoes...must be all that Bernal sun you must be getting.....us in Glen Park...I still have yet to see 1 tomato off my two plants.

Please no more tomato shots.....I can't take it..... lol.


CiNdEe's GaRdEn said...

You have a garden full of beautiful things!(-: I enjoyed the tour today(-: We have clouds in the sky here today. Amazing!(-: We even had a tiny sprinkle of rain. Lots of thunder though and I hope that did not start any new fires.
I am not ready for summer to be over yet. It seems like it just started here for me.

Frances, said...

Hooray, a drop dead opening shot, lots of flowers, tomatoes, baby seedlings and a pot o' iris for me! This is the best post yet! Your garden is looking fantastic, the quality of the light is very different than it has been of late. New camera? It has been said blogging is a gateway drug, first you need a new camera, then a new computer, faster connection, photography classes, video classes..... Yes please send me the iris. I will send me email in a separate comment that you can delete. Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

What kind of mulch do you use for your plant areas? I notice that a lot of growers use it.

chuck b. said...

I'm not sure what you're identifying as mulch, but I generally tend to use compost and cocoa hulls.

Brent said...

Love that first shot.

I've been coveting Sidalcea malviflora for a long time too and finally ended up purchasing two in 1 gal pots locally. They haven't done so well in the midst of my front yard meadow - perhaps too much competition from the yarrow. I sure am envious of that flat.

Frances, said...

Hi Chuck, I forgot to say that your lamb's ear may be the non flowering type, the flowers are pretty for a short time but the stalk should be cut for a neater look. I of course have not cut mine out front and that is the reason we have this plant coming out our ears. Would you like some of the flowering kind? It can be arranged. There will be seeds too, or do you just want the seeds?

lisa said...

My climbing hydrangea is really slow too...I'd figure it to be quicker in a warmer climate. Huh. "Beaverlodge slicer"? Heh, there's a bar in Beaver, Wisconsin growing tomatoes, I'd better inform them of this selection! :) Amazing how the birds harvest your sunflower seeds when the petals are barely wilted, they must be hungry!

Anonymous said...

Love the tibouchina and I grew tithonia this year also. It is just starting to flower but I really like the leaves! LOL at your comment on stachys as I have bought the cultivar that doesn't bloom! It just looks neater.