As you can see from the photo, this week’s garden was dominated by the invasion of the pom-pom flowers. The other major development is the heat. It is absolutely blazing out right now. In fact was already so hot by noon (when I took this photo) that I had to switch out one of my original choices because it started wilting seconds after picking it. I couldn’t keep it happy in the box long enough to take a decent photo!
I’m glad I didn’t register the name of this hollyhock (Alcea rosea) variety, ‘Peaches ‘n Dreams,’ before I bought and planted it because… The Cheese. God knows I will buy and grow a plant specifically for The Cheese, but there is some cheese that is just too much Lifetime, made-for-TV-movie, Sunday afternoon drama for even me. It was probably the “‘n” that took it over the top. No, I retract. It was the wistful use of “dreams.”
This soft and creamy version of the typically orange California native poppies are just starting to bloom in my Dry Garden Bed. Despite my love of orange I went with the cream flowers because there are too many other colours in that bed and it would have been chaos. I also love the unusual.
The highlights of this week are my breadbox poppies, which are treating me every day to a new colour and form, and the cold hardy opuntia that have made me so very, very happy to have chanced into the good fortune of exceptionally well-draining soil that is on the sandy side. This garden is an absolute pain in the butt to water, but the growing possibilities are mind-blowing for someone like me who has a longstanding fixation/fascination with dry land flora. It’s going to be unreal next year when all of the new opuntias I have added are abloom. I may pass out from the sheer joy of it.
I grew these annual flowers last year and saved their seed with the hope that they would be viable — and then spring rolled around and I forgot all about them amidst the millions of other seeds that needed to be started.
So when I happened upon ready-to-go transplants, 3 for $10 at a local garden shop, I decided to splurge. They were so gorgeous last year; I had to have them in the garden again.
I have grown other salpiglossis flowers from seed, and while they were lovely, like stained glass married to a soft watercolour painting, they do not compare with the velvety softness of ‘Chocolate Royale.’ These large blooms are so rich, dark and dreamy, I half expect them to smell like a steaming glass of hot cocoa.
They don’t. But they get me every time.