Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Mexican Tulip Poppy

Here is a wonderful Poppy from Mexico, Hunnemannia fumarifolia. It has leaves similar to our California Poppies, Eschscholzia californica but bigger and a little bluer. This perennial grows to about 2' tall.  With a big show in the spring, it then blooms off and on through the year with those bright yellow flowers with orange anthers.  You can see the long seedpods forming in the pic below. 

Named after John Hunnemann, an English botanist. And the species part means "like Fumaria", of which I had never heard.

Super easy to grow and drought tolerant, it's the brightest thing in my garden this week! I bought mine at Matilija Nursery a couple years agp.  But I have seen them at other nurseries around lately.  Do you grow Mexican Tulip Poppy?


Happy Gardening!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Easy 🌼 Groundcover

I love the fluffiness of Santa Barbara Daisy - Erigeron karvinskianus. It's a fabulous ground cover. 

I thought it was a California native. But research says that it is native to Mexico and Central America. It likes full sun and tolerates part shade. It's drought tolerant but can take more water. The flowers start pink and then turn white. Or maybe the opposite. I'm not sure. But you get that multicolored Daisy thing happening.

It does reseed and spread. That might be a problem for some. But it is easy to yank if it comes up in the wrong place and smells like carrots when you do.

These photos were taken at one of my jobs in Glendale where I planted Santa Barbara Daisies about 3 years ago. It's filled in nicely and softens the edges of the flagstone. Do you grow it?

Happy Gardening! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Dwarf Alstroemeria

 Alstroemeria or Peruvian Lily is native to South America.  For me it is a cool season grower.  It comes up in winter and blooms through Spring. It dies back in the summer heat.   

It used to be that one could only find the old fashioned tall Alstroemeria plants in people's yards.  I got some from a friend. They grew about 3' tall and flopped on other plants.  

 I saw these dwarf varieties growing in a client's garden and she let me have some divisions.  They are fabulous, play well with others and are way more versatile in the garden. They only get about 1' tall. Even though they are short they still make great cut flowers, lasting almost a week in a vase.  

When it's dormant, I have to try and remember not to plant anything in that empty spot. The client from whom I got it originally sees hers grow through summer. She has way better fertile soil than I do.   

A tip - instead of cutting the stems for a vase or when cleaning up the spent blooms, place your hand as far down the stem as you and and gently yank out the stem.  It will pull away cleanly from the plant. It is better than cutting because it keeps the plant cleaner, less mess and no chance of rot.  

You should be able to find them in the nurseries now. But they tend to be a little spendy.  This purple one I got at Trader Joes about 4 years ago.  The flowers kind of burn in the sun.  It's planted on the south side and gets sun almost all day.  But it's very happy.   

Wikipedia lists 122 different species of Alstroemeria.  But I think all my dwarf varieties are hybrids.

I think I have most colors.  I have seen a mostly white one and some reddish orange with splashy veins that I want.  They are so wonderful that I need to collect them all! 

I finally got this variegated variety called Rock & Roll last year. It is one of the taller growing varieties.  But the variegated foliage lets me forgive it's floppy habit.  It is even more expensive that the regular Alstroemeria.   But I got a deal from a local under-the-power-lines nursery. :-) 

Do you grow Alstroemeria?  Do you have a color that I don't?  Do tell! I enjoy your comments here.  Thanks for visiting.  

Happy Gardening!