Monday, July 17, 2023

Garden puttering and bloom appreciation

I've reached that point where all of this year's major garden projects are complete and now my time time is spent puttering rather than intense "move it ahead" work from the early morning until time to shower and fix dinner project-focus. Puttering means watering, pulling a few weeds, cutting a few branches, planting a new plant (or three, or four), maybe adding a bromeliad to the vertical fence garden—but most importantly a lot of time spent appreciating and enjoying. Here are some of the things I've been appreciating, with a bloom focus because I missed posting for Garden Blogger's Bloomday on the 15th.

Santolina chamaecyparissus ‘Lemon Queen’

Feijoa sellowiana, pineapple guava

Bletilla ochracea, a surprise as the dormant pot I purchased was marked Bletilla striata (pink blooming).

Lonicera x brownii 'Dropmore Scarlet' without aphids! This is the first year in a long time that I've been able to leave the flowers to bloom rather than cutting them to rid the garden of their aphid infestation.

Yucca filamentosa

Lysimachia paridiformis var. stenophylla—sad flower showing, there should be dozens of yellow blooms. It's gotten very shaded over the years.

A few of the sempervivum I planted in the updated dish planters are blooming.

I shared this photo on my Instagram account and a commenter called sempervivum blooms "death aliens"... it fits! (the plant that is blooming will die, but it lives on thru it's "chicks" hence the common name of hens and chicks).

This blood red lady beetle really stood out against the rusty patina on one of my hose guides.

Photo from the hellstrip, I was surprised to see those all-yellow pups from the Yucca filamentosa ’Color Guard’, and yes, they're growing quite far from the mother plant but there is nothing else in the hellstrip besides the yucca, sedum and two lame trees (that's their dried blooms hiding the gravel mulch) so that's definitely what they are.

Such a cool little flower that is virtually impossible to photograph well, Fuchsia procumbens.

Agave lophantha 'Splendida' growing in a hanging container on the front of the garage.

Side view, with pup on a rope.

I feel sorry for it, after all it wants to be in the soil, but I am also kinda curious about what it will become.

Spore patterns on the back of a Pyrrosia sheareri.

Fine foliage appreciation: Pittosporum patulum.

Lomatia tinctoria

Sophora prostrata

It's showtime for the Arctostaphylos x 'Austin Griffiths'... 

This is a first, my "little miss figgy" aka Ficus carica ‘Little Miss Figgy’ PP27929 has set fruit! The folks at the Sunset Plant Collection sent me this plant back in May of 2021.

That's it in the black pot. It's a compact fig that stays small and yet is said to bear larger and more prolific fruits. This could be the start of a very happy relationship.

Green (NoID) cactus bloom.

Passiflora ‘Aphrodite’s Purple Nightie’

Bam! My NoID epiphyllum just keeps producing these huge (7" wide) flowers. 

I'll do a post about it and the surrounding plants later in the week.

It's July, so the Hibiscus syriacus 'Red Heart' must be blooming.

The flower-power of the garden was doubled when I brought home a vase full of lilies from Heather's garden.

Over on the fence I'm enjoying a growing assemblage of tillandsia, other bromeliads, staghorn ferns, rhipsalis, etc.

I recently posted a video to Instagram, a quick tour of the fence garden: here.

One last flower, Clematis repens 'Bells of Emei Shan'. I was pretty sure I killed this last winter, so I'm thrilled to see it flowering again, even just one.

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All material © 2009-2023 by Loree L Bohl. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude. 


  1. Such beautiful blooms! Thanks for sharing your garden with us. I don't think I've ever seen a ladybird (as we call them in the UK) without any spots before.

    1. Word is these are Asian beetles which have displaced our local lady beetles with spots.

  2. Isn't it nice to be able to relax and enjoyed what you've created? I rarely feel I can take a break, so that is something to work towards...

    1. Definitely! I make a point of doing it even in the hectic month of May, but July is on an entirely different level!

  3. All the truly beautiful blooms and shades of green are making me grin from ear to ear. I needed this beauty on another dry, sunny, hot day.

    1. What you all are going thru in the SW is just too much. I am sorry.

  4. That was a fun - and varied - post! I'm amazed that you have flowers on the pineapple guava now as mine are but a memory. (Hopefully, you don't have any mockingbirds to eat the flowers.) I love the Sempervivum flowers and wish the plants were happier here. The noID Epiphyllum is outstanding! I found a look-alike classified as Disocactus ackermannii (formerly classified as Epiphyllum).

    1. Just a couple of pineapple guava flowers finishing up. Mine started a lot latter than yours (no mockingbirds). As for your research skills, WOW! I had no idea there was an entirely new (to me) name for that plant. Thank you!

  5. Some great flowers but it’s the foliage in your garden that is showstopping.

    1. It will always be about the foliage for this gardener.

  6. I just ordered a Fuchsia procumbens from Annie's Annuals and Perennials. I should receive it this week! It is a sweet plant. I had one previously, but it died during the time I spent in Northern CA (too dry for the poor thing). Our more moderate Mediterranean climate here in the South Bay is more suited to them.

    BTW, that photo of the blood-red beetle is to die for! The exact color of my red patent leather pumps!

    1. Fuchsia procumbens is theoretically not hardy here in Zone 8, but I'm hearing from several friends that it's lived over for them, so we shall see. The lady beetle did such a good job of positioning herself right in the sun, I had to capture that color!

  7. The red beetle looks as glossy as a vintage Corvette at a classic car show.

    Garden looks happy. Happy plants, happy gardener! Enjoy the appreciating.

  8. I enjoyed counting the anthers on the Sempervivum flowers - 20 on one, 22 on the other. Two for every petal. -Count von Count.
    I think some of the smallest flowers are some of the coolest looking ones. I am a little envious you've finished your major projects for the summer. I've got three gates to construct once I get back and some more concrete work. Love the idea of spending more time enjoying the garden though! I try to do that for at least a few minutes every morning before work.

    1. Thank you Count von Count! Your garden and it's projects are so much bigger than mine. A small city lot does have it's advantages.

  9. AnonymousJuly 18, 2023

    Great post. So much to love here... Bletilla flower is a good surprise: yellow is preferable. Lady bug: wow, where are the spots? Yucca ’Color Guard’: a fun, unstriped variety? I'd be curious to see how it develops. The amazing "peeling show" of 'Austin Griffiths': I love the bark's color and 'curls'.
    Finally, the best of all, the Instagram video: so many new, imaginative, rusty and delightful creations: fabulous!

    1. The lady beetle is an Asian beetle that typically doesn't have spots, or they're insignificant (so I read). I'll be keeping an eye on those yucca, and I'm glad you enjoyed the video!

  10. All your earlier hard work is paying off. Lots of neat stuff happening. Austin's bark looks amazing as do the spore patterns on the fern leaf. My Yucca 'Colour Guard' puts out lots of little offshoots with the patch about a foot or so wide now. Must admit I am a bit jealous of your just being able to putter. This has been a very odd Spring so am way behind in planting. However, catching up and looking forward to smoke free relaxing on the porch and patio.

  11. AnonymousJuly 19, 2023

    I had one of those happy surprise moments too, when I saw that my Clematis florida sieboldii survived the winter. That was NOT expected! I think that yellow Bletilla was akin to a winning lottery ticket. It's so pretty! I'm still in my get big projects done phase/aka spring cleanup, but little by little... I spent a chunk of last weekend on a ladder trying to open up the canopy a little. It felt really good. But mere puttering? Not by a long shot - lucky you!


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