Monday, September 20, 2010

Another neighborhood walk-about

Returning from the first dog walk of the day my husband was full of enthusiasm about some small electric-blue flowers in a nearby parking strip. He was so adamant that they were worth seeing that when it came time for a later dog walk I remembered to head that direction and take the camera. Can you see them? If he had told me they were common little Lobeila the plant snob in me probably wouldn’t have bothered to have a look, I’m glad he didn’t know. They were worth seeing; little electric splashes in a dirt brown strip. The kind of unexpected surprise the makes me smile.Just up the street a bit is this tree, I love its cool cartoon shape. This is what my photo assistant does while I snap the pictures, it’s a tough gig but the pay is good (free room and board).
I’ve blogged before about a crazy haunted house with a brick planter full of Dracunculus vulgaris out front. Someone seems to have thinned them out a bit since my last visit, all the better to appreciate the colorful seeds. My friend Erin bought one of these plants at the HPSO sale over the weekend (yes I bought a couple of things too...more on that tomorrow) and a helpful fellow shopper told her she could very easily propagate more plants by planting the seeds from the pod in the fall. Have any of you had success with them?
I love these luscious large Datura blossoms. CORRECTION....make that Brugmansia (thanks for catching that one ricki!)
I missed them in the garden this year. Next year I'll be investing in a good size plant early in the season.
I did start Amaranth seeds this spring. Mine never amounted to anything. Seeing these makes me want to give it a go again next year.
Somewhere under the Ivy is the rest of this house. Yikes.
Verbascum seedlings taking hold between the street and the curb. Free apples! Oh only 'apple,' does that mean you can only take one?
I passed.
Lastly I tried to get a picture of this grass that would show you the beautiful shimmering patterns that I see every evening. I failed to capture the true beauty.
Still, looking through this post one thing is obvious. Fall is here. There I've said it. The calendar even says 3 more days of Summer! But I am conceding the loss now, besides I bought two new sweaters this weekend which I am excited to wear.


  1. Interesting walk. I like the contradiction in the blue lobelia and the dry, arid dirt. Free apple was funny. Free for the worms? Your friend Erin bought the strangest looking plant.

  2. Celebrating sweaters! Now that's the spirit! We'll make a Portlander of you yet.

    I've never had any luck with Amaranth either...but keep trying because they are so cool.

    Small correction: I think the upward facing blossoms are datura and the dangly ones are (scratch that: I just looked it up in the Sunset Western Garden Book, where it lists Angel's Trumpets as Brugmansia (Datura) so silly me, getting all smarty pants for nothing.)

  3. gardenwalkgardentalk, yep...very strange plant! And that is part of why we are still friends after so many years!

    ricki, no I think you are correct, I can never remember which is which but I do know that the last Datura I had bloom did face upwards. My bad. Thanks for catching that!

  4. Brugmansias have pendulous blossoms and daturas have upward facing, rather more rigidly held blossoms. The seed pods differ as well. While brugmansia has an elongated ovoid ,smooth (with a little peach fuzz)seed pod, that of datura is round and covered with pointy bits (sort of like a horse chestnut seed pod or jousting equipment.) They are closely related and the names are often used interchangeably by growers.

    I LOVE your assistant, she is adorable!

    While I've never tried to propogate Dracunculus vulgaris from seed, the birds seem to scatter it everywhere. Takes at least a couple of years for seedlings to bloom. While they pop up everywhere, even in the deep shade and heavily littered ground of my timber bamboo grove, they only seem to bloom for me with a little more sun.

  5. I have to contradict you...the photo of the grass is really stunning. Breath-taking actually.
    Love the rest of the pix too; what a cute pooch!

  6. So which apple was the free one?

  7. Those little electric blue flowers would look super duper in a blue pot! Nice tour. :-)
    David /Tropical Texana

  8. Hee hee, you had me giggling with this post, Loree. Those apples look well, a bit past their prime. Great for the compost pile maybe.

    We've got tarpitis. Maybe we should consider "ivy-itis" which is exactly what the owner of this poor house has.

    I've got a few of those little lobelia babies in my yard too. Since I haven't grown lobelia for at least five years, the seed must be coming from the neighbor. I don't have the heart to pull out them out.

  9. Nooooo I don't want it to be fall yet! I have so much yet to do. Such a huge delay because of my back. Boy I would have passed on those apples too. I see why they were free. Love those big yellow blossoms whatever they are called. LOL

  10. That apple was asking to be applesauce...with its friends, that is.
    Walking regularly in ones neighborhood is the BEST way to appreciate the minute and the subtle we'd miss in a car. Glad to see you and your husband (and very cute assistant) are doing that - and sharing!

  11. Peter, thank you for the clarification info! And I wish that the birds would plant a few Dracunculus vulgaris in my garden.

    Aerie-el, thank you. I appreciate that.

    Les, the one with the most worm holes.

    David, you must be a blue guy!

    Grace, I had no idea that the Lobelia could reseed, I thought it was strictly an annual here.

    Candy, something finally clicked in my head and I can deal with the change. But of course the sunny warm forecast is VERY welcome.

    MulchMaid, it really is the best. We even sometimes get in the car and drive aways to walk in a new neighborhood.

  12. I think Dracunculus vulgaris seeds have a coating that inhibits germination. This why they take so long to pop up. If you remove the coating and scrub them they germinate a lot quicker (or so I have been led to believe).


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