Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

September Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

It's time for September Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! The best thing about trying to prepare a garden for a wedding is the opportunity to mentally excuse myself for spending tons of money on plants since, after all, the amount of extra money I'll spend on gardening this year compared to most years is still far less than most people spend money on flowers and decor for their weddings. Gardening is the only form of wedding decor we're buying, and I get to keep all the plants for as long as they live.

This is a coyote mint (Monardella villosa) in the garden bed under our front window. The flower is at the end of a two-foot-long stem, so I pulled it onto my lap yesterday to photograph it with my purple corduroy skirt as a background. (Yes, I know the background looks blue rather than purple. No, I don't know why my camera decided to make my purple skirt look blue. The other colors seem true to life, though.) Coyote mint doesn't normally develop two-foot-long stems, but I think this plant is getting more shade than it's comfortable with, so it's reaching out to try to find some sun.

Monardella villosa (coyote mint)

The larger of my California asters (Symphyotrichum chilense) is approaching its peak bloom in the back yard. The smaller one in the front yard, which receives less sun, still only has buds.

Symphyotrichum chilense (California aster)

One California poppy plant (Eschscholzia californica) has been blooming lately. The others are mostly brand-new seedlings.

Eschscholzia californica (California poppy)

All my different kinds of California fuchsia (Epilobium canum) are blooming now.

Epilobium canum (California fuchsia)

My scarlet monkeyflower (Mimulus cardinalis) is also blooming.

Mimulus cardinalis (scarlet monkeyflower)

And a new plant I just bought this month arrived already in bloom. This is Cedros Island vervain (Verbena lilacina 'De La Mina'). It's native to Baja California.

Verbena lilacina 'De La Mina' (Cedros Island vervain)

And here's a native praying mantis (Stagmomantis californica). I found her on the back lawn, picked her up to rescue her from our dogs and my feet, and transferred her to the pecan tree, where I took her picture. I haven't seen her since. She looked like she was due to lay eggs soon.

Stagmomantis californica (California praying mantis)

Here is a native rock masquerading as a native insect. Our former neighbor Jessica and her children painted some rocks and glued eyes on them and gave them to me for my garden.


But let's turn our attention back to plants. In the food garden, I planted a sunflower (Helianthus annuus 'Mammoth') that is known for producing large quantities of sunflower seeds.

Helianthemum annuum 'Mammoth' (sunflower)

Here it is again. No seeds yet, though.

Helianthemum annuum 'Mammoth' (sunflower)

And another sunflower (Helianthus annuus 'Cappuccino') that is known mostly for having red flowers. It almost looks to me like a very large zinnia.

Helianthemum annuum 'Cappuccino' (sunflower)

I recently harvested my second pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo 'New England Pie') of the summer.

Cucurbita pepo 'New England Pie' (pumpkin)

And I'll soon be able to harvest my second watermelon (Citrullus lanatus 'Klondike R7').

Citrullus lanatus 'Klondike R7' (watermelon)

Many people think California native plants only look good in the spring, but although we inherited plenty of non-native plants from the original owners of our house, allmost everything in bloom right now in our yard is native to California. All the flower pictures I've shown you so far in this post are of species native to the California Floristic Province. Only the Cedros Island vervain is not native to the actual state of California. (The pumpkin and watermelon aren't native to California either, but I haven't shown you pictures of their flowers today, only pictures of their fruit).

One of the few non-native plants blooming in our yard right now is the canna lily (Canna 'Alberich').

Canna 'Alberich' (canna lily)

Another is this plant that I haven't been able to identify. Anyone know what it is?


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