In news of the solstice today, the loropetalum chinensis 'sizzling pink' has cleverly arranged to be seen in the company of some common, lime green montbretia leaves, occasioning a positive comment from Mr. Mulchmaid regarding the attractive contrast. Perhaps it will manage to find a place in the gardens of Longview Ranch after all.
The tropical elements of Longview Ranch are coming into play as the cannas increase in size and leaf pattern. It should be known that these cannas were a "bargain buy" mixed bag from Fred Meyer, so they cannot be expected to rival any choice cultivars purchased by name. But the Mulchmaid was looking for big leaves and summer color here, so she's happy that the leaves, at least, are showing some character.
The common callas are still in bloom, but a smaller species zantedeschia is showing its wonderfully speckled leaves as it matures. Having dug up and potted the dormant calla over winter, the MulchMaid was delighted to find she'd missed a piece of the rhizome, which came up just as robustly as the one she'd potted. Two for one - always a good deal.
The trachelospermum jasminoides is putting on a show. The Mulchmaids had grand plans for two of these vines to smother parts of the chainlink fence where they are planted. After barely surviving winter, they are looking surprisingly perky this spring. Maybe the plans aren't too grandiose after all.
Achillea millefolium 'paprika', planted last year, has come back like gangbusters and is overwhelming the front of the border. Funny, the Mulchmaid just didn't remember this bluish-red...isn't paprika usually sort of an orangy-red color?
And speaking of bluish-reds, a couple of Don Featherstone originals arrived on Father's Day, just in time to add a little over-the-top Solstice style to the tropics at Longview Ranch.