Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tropical Solstice

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.


  1. So what are their names? I had a pair, Mai Thai and Margarita, living in the window of my dorm room, I lived on the 10th floor, you could see them all over campus! Yours look so happy next to the Canna!

    That combo of loropetalum chinensis 'sizzling pink' and lime green montbretia is a keeper!

  2. The loropetalum is stunning against those green leaves, I'm hoping it ends up winning its way into the garden. Isn't it a treat when you accidentally divide something and it actually works? I'm just learning how to divide plants and it always seems like a miracle.

  3. Did you really put plastic flamingos in the garden? How very retro. There's a corner lot in Sierra Madre, right on the boulevard, that has electric flamingos, big ones.

    Now seriously, the trachelospermum. Is that what everyone, including me, calls "star jasmine" because we don't know any better? I've wondered for a long time what the latin name is.


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