Saturday, July 16, 2016

Digiplex-who? Is that a Movie Theater?

I began seeing this new plant called Digiplexis(say didge-eh-plex-iss) a few years ago in nurseries.  The name sounds like a movie theater, I know.  The plants were beautiful and looked like a brightly colored Foxglove with beefier green foliage.  They were too spendy for me then and always seemed to come in big containers. And as you know the bigger the plant/pot, the more it costs.

** The following 3 pix taken from the internet to illustrate. 

Research tells that Digiplexis, a perennial

is a cross between Digitalis(Foxglove), a biennial

Digitalis or Foxglove
 and Isoplexis which is a tender perennial that one hardly ever sees in nurseries.


So, I was at Home Depot this week and found Digiplexis in one gallon containers for only $5.99!  I broke my own rule(like I often do) of not buying plants in our summer heat and bought 2 of them.  I couldn't help it!  I had been wanting them for several years and they were cheap!!

So here is one that I planted in my garden yesterday and watered many times.  They are supposed to take full sun to part shade. And I have seen them in sun at a big wholesale nursery.  But I planted mine in part shade on the east side. They'll get morning sun.  Wish me luck that I can keep them alive through our hot SoCal summer.

The other one was starting to wilt so. So I cut off the flowers to save the plant and put them in a little vase making a quickie bouquet with an orangey red tacoma and an Erica discolor.  
Are you growing Digiplexis?   

Happy gardening! 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

New Backyard Arbor

The weather has been cooler here in SoCal. Thanks goodness! Supposed to be low 80ºs all week. 

  Our backyard BAKES. I have there three raised beds for vegetables plus all my potted Pelargoniums.  First I painted the inside of the fence green instead of the blinding white. That didn't seem to help. Then I planted a Silver Dollar Eucalyptus tree.  It is growing but has yet to make shade.  So I thought the more upright things I put back there, the more shade I can make, the better.  This weekend we put in another arbor for climbing plants.  I drug home after asking my friend Diana if I could have them (you can read her blog Life Well Blended) 2 long pieces of rebar that were in her garden she said were left over from house construction.  We bought 1/2" metal conduit and cut it into 4 3' pieces.  Those were pounded into the ground. After bending the rebar together(not so perfectly) Rick and I just slid the rebar legs in to the conduit and wired the top together.  No cement at all!  

I planted a Tropical Lightning rose on the left side. 

And I plated a Petrea volubilis on the other.  

Should make an interesting color combination.  I'll post again when they grow up! Thanks Diana! 

Happy Gardening! 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Chelsea Flower Show Part 2

My roses are still recovering from the blowtorch weather we had almost 2 weeks ago. Funny, they've got burgundy new growth just like Spring!  Thankfully we've got 80ºs all week. I think we had to have that 110º weather to appreciate 80ºs and low 90ºs. I'll take 93º over 110º any day! But I would love 65º! 

So here we are at part 2 of our Chelsea Flower Show London pix.  Enjoy! 

The Fuchsias were gorgeous and abundantly in bloom!

More Fuchsias

Lovely Fuchsias
 The Alliums were so interesting. We can only really grow the small white weedy one here.
The Allium display was fabulous! 

Upside down Alliums 

Green Alliums
 The Sweet Peas were beautiful!
The Sweet Peas were gorgeous! 

I was SO captivated by this new variety called Lisa Marie with it's silver gray with pink/red edged flowers that I did buy a packet of seeds for  £2. 
Sweet Pea Lisa Marie

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Chelsea Flower Show Part 1

Well, summer is here in SoCal! We had 111ºF  BLOWTORCH weather last Monday that fried many of my roses.  And we are still in a drought!  My garden has sandy soil.  Yes it IS fabulous for drainage, but the water just goes right through! I have added too many truckloads to count of horse manure mulch. But it's not enough. Had I been smart enough I would have added a lot more mulch before I even planted. But I had waited 1 year and a half to plant and could not wait any more.  I pulled out 6 bushes so far. And most of the rest have brown leaves that I tried to hose off waiting for new growth to occur.

So, while we wait for my garden to recover here are some pix from the amazing Chelsea Flower Show in London, England last month!
Me with the logo

The cactus at first glance looked like dessert plates! 

Nerines were beautiful! 

Daffodil display was spectacular! 

More Daffodils

Wow, those Delphinuims and Tuberous Begonias! 

That's it for today. Stay tuned for more Chelsea Flower Show pix.  And keep cool. We are expecting upper 90ºs through Weds.  Happy Gardening! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


I have grown this plant several times. I seem to get a few years out of it. But I LOVE it! It's a tender perennial called Trachelium caeruleum(say Trak-EL-EE-um) or Blue Throatwort.  It is called that because it used to be used for throat ailments. It grows best for me in part shade but is said to grow in full sun too.  It is native to the Mediterranean and grows 2- 3' tall.  It is a fantastic cut flower filler.  Trachelium is hardy in zones 7-11. It also comes in white and some lighter blue/purples.  I have a friend who says it reseeds in her yard.  

Happy Gardening! 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Little Spot of Color

While I work on our London & Paris pix(stay tuned for Chelsea Flower Show pix!), here is a little spot of color blooming in my garden today. It's Anomatheca laxa, a dime sized flower on a tiny bulb that is now called Freesia laxa. Grows only about 6" tall. Not sure why they changed the name but they must have a reason. I hate when they change plant names! Most Freesias are easy to find in nurseries. But I bet there's a ton of exotic varieties of which we've never heard. I've never seen this plant for sale. I have a client who has a ton of them that come up and flower every Spring who shared them with me. These are in a bit of shade and that's why they're blooming later than the rest of mine that are in sun. We had 98* here yesterday and it's supposed to be 93* today. My roses are frying so it's nice to see a little color.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Double Feverfew

In SoCal Feverfew can be an invasive weed. Tanacetum parthenium is a perennial herb that has been used as a fever reducer and headache remedy. It has single Daisy flowers and I have to pull it from many jobs. But this is a double flowered variety that I love! It doesn't reseed all over like the common variety. And the flowers are like cute buttons. The plant grows best in full sun to about 2' tall and blooms in warm weather.

It used to be classified as a Chrysanthemum but was changed to Tanacetum. The leaves do look similar. But they smell way more herby than Mums. This double variety is difficult to find but is worth it if you can.

Happy Gardening!