Monday, December 24, 2012

Sweet Garlic

Merry Christmas 
to you, your friends and family!    

I wanted to share this wonderful plant called Sweet Garlic or Tulbaghia fragrans.  Most people know Society Garlic. That is Tulbaghia violacea green(yuck) or variegated and is planted often in SoCal because it is easy. I use the variegated one all the time. But that is whole other post   This is in the same family but doesn't have that strong garlicky odor and it blooms in winter instead of warm weather.  T. fragrans flowers have a wonderfully perfumed odor! The plant grows 1-2 feet, likes full sun, is a little frost tender and is blooming right now!   It is most often found in lavender but also comes in white.   I had so many in pots when we moved and didn't know what color they were when I planted them. Most ended up being white.  I'll have to find more lavender.  

We are having family over tonight for Christmas Eve.  I didn't have any decent roses for a bouquet so I cut a bunch of Tulbaghia.  I of course couldn't find just the right vase for 11 stems for my kitchen windowsill.   So I got into my little bottle collection and made a multiple vase bouquet thing going on!  

Try to find some Tulbaghia fragrans in your local better nursery.  I bet you'll like it.  

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Red Salvia

Oh, it's not the Red Salvia you think. This is Salvia splendens  Van Houtii.  Originally from Brasil, this Saliva grows to 4ft and is blooming it's head off now.  When I used to grow it in a pot, it would sit all year and then bloom in Autumn.  Now that it's in the ground, it has grown quite a lot and blooms a lot longer too.  I'm growing this one on an east side.  It gets tons of summer morning sun and is shaded by late afternoon.  It's not getting that much sun now as the sun is low and over our Cedar tree.   Compared to the common Red Salvia that grows to about 2 feet and had red-orangey blooms, this one has burgandy-red blooms.    I love it but it's only fault that I can see is that it's brittle. If you tripped over it, you would break off branches easily.  Not easy to stake after it gets big. It must be staked when little.  It is easy to deadhead by snapping off the spent stems.  Salvias are super easy to propagate and this reminds me that I must do so maybe in Spring.  Enjoy this dark flower this Autumn and Winter.