I'm still here. Just a few more weeks left in the quarter and I'll have more free time to BLOG and visit gardens and all that fun stuff.

In the meantime, winter has returned to the Bay Area for a few days this May. Brrr. Rain, even.

Here are some pictures from the garden yesterday.

This Clematis was a freebie or a sale item. I wish I could remember from whence it came, but I'm pretty sure the name is 'Pistachio'. I've had it for a few years. I like the rather small flowers which are just starting to open.


Another Clematis 'Comptesse de Bouchard' (possible spelling error) is also coming along, climbing its way into Tithonia diversifolia. No way to say Clematis 'Comptesse de Bouchard' without sounding totally gay. What are you gonna do...


Under the deck Bartlettina sordida (Asteraceae) is having a banner year. It's one of the first plants I planted when I started gardening in 2005. I started another Clematis in it last year, but the flowers have already faded.


This is a close up of the disk flowers just opening up. They are fragrant, like vanilla. You'd think bees would love this plant, but I rarely see bees on it. That might be because it grows under the deck and bees tend to avoid shade, don't they?


Fuchsia boliviana 'Rubra', dropping on to a bit of bronze fennel. Will I still be able to grow these fuchsias when we move to the 'burbs in a few years? Will I even want to? They're such San Francisco plants in my mind.


If I were starting over, I might be inclined to make a whole fuchsia garden as the species is so well served by San Francisco's particular climate. This is 'Miep Aalhuizen'. I've had it's parentage explained to me but it's not something I've been able to memorize. With school, a lot of my botanical learning has gone out the window.


The understory here, if I may be so pretentious as to refer to my garden's groundcover as an 'understory', is native redwood sorrel (Oxalis oregana). It's a phenomenal plant for shade. Great texture, huge spread. Nice flowers even. Love, love, love. It thrives without any summer water, owing I assume to San Francisco's foggy summers which very much resemble any redwood forest ecosystem from which the plant hails.


In the sunny parts of the garden, my preferred ground cover plants are native perennial bunch grasses, but I've also been experimenting with exotic carexes which come in different colors. I want to explore that some more this summer when I'm out of school. In a bigger space I would dedicate a large area for just monocots. Are there any good blog posts on monocot gardens out there? Tell me in the comments. I'd like to check them out.


I'm sorry to say I have not been too diligent about refilling the bird bath this year. I feel lucky to visit the garden at all right now. Well, I filled it up today.


I haven't had foxglove in a couple years. The seed packet promised me a range of colors, but they all came up purple. Why do I still believe those things?


Anagallis monelli with the very chartreuse leaves of Fragaria vesca. It's a fine blue, but I prefer the purer blue of native desert bluebell Phacelia campanularia (who's already come and gone this year). I'm thinking about starting some more tho'.


I'll end with the Beschorneria which is slowly attaining gigantic proportions. This is another plant from the cloud forest that goes with the fuchsia and tall Bartlettina. I have a feeling it will flower in the next year or two. I hope it does before when/if we move.


Thanks for coming by. I'm sorry there's been so little new content here lately.

It's just a temporary situation in the big scheme of things.


Jenn's Cooking Garden! said...

Chuck your garden is always so gorgeous! I love the Asteraceae I think thats how you spelled it! I have never seen this plant before. Do you think it would grow well in a Sacramento climate? Thanks for sharing your blooms!

Annie in Austin said...

Your neglected garden looks better than any I ever tended, Chuck... too many purple foxgloves does not seem like a problem!

So to get a Comptesse to grow you have to be gay? Must be why the clematis I bought, tagged 'Comptesse de Bouchard', did not bloom pink but grew into 2 clematis plants instead, one off-white & one red-purple.

Love that redwood sorrel, too.


Anonymous said...

Tended or not, your garden looks as beautiful as ever. I notice a lot of repetition of the Beschorneria form - compare the sedges (with Oxalis and in the picture below that) and even the fern in the 'Miep Aalhuizen' picture. It seems to help visually link all the different plants together.

chuck b. said...

Jenn, the Bartlettina (in the Asteraceae family) would probably not survive winter in Sacramento. No frost tolerance.

chuck b. said...

queerbychoice, I am learning the virtues of repetition. That strappy, bladed, monocot form really lends itself to repetition.

Annie, you don't have to be gay to grow it, but if you **say** the name it turns you gay, right away.

rainymountain said...

Great to hear from you, understand completely why studies keep you from the garden. The garden is gorgeous.

Fairegarden said...

Hi Chuck, so nice to see you posting, and having time to visit you. It does look great, just showing how the gardens don't really need us as much as we need them. Moving? How exciting!


Anonymous said...

Moving? AW... I would really miss your series of photos of interesting/odd/funny things to be seen in your city area.
Have you seen the Crimes Against Horticulture posts? Very funny and I bet you could find plenty of them to photo for us.
I always love seeing your garden too.

Flowering Pear said...

I agree with Fairegarden..
Thanks for sharing with us..