Monday, October 22, 2012

Introducing Encelia 'Gimbel's Gold'

Working in horticulture for years, I am always looking for new varieties either in nurseries or out in nature etc.  Wherever I am I keep an eye for variations in habit and foliage.  Two years ago, while in hiking Griffith Park I noticed a strange stem on an Encelia californica, our beautiful and abundant brittlebush.  I snapped a little yellowy stem off of the plant and crammed it into a plastic water bottle.

Fortunately the cutting struck,  and after several months I took many more cuttings from that new plant.  This spring I planted several in the ground to see how they would perform. Below are some photos that I took this morning.  I think 'Gimbel's Gold' is a winner, what do you think?  I can't wait for the plant to be covered in those yellow daisies!  The only drawback is that the variegation only shows on the new growth.

Monday, October 15, 2012

In the category of flowers so large they're silly, relatively speaking of course... Stapelia gigantea


It has been such a long summer.  So much for autumn, the heat waves roll on.  I really do want to blog... Sorry for being away for so long.  And for those of you who asked, yes I will be blogging about my trip to Europe.  :)

Sometimes plants bloom even when you neglect and de facto abuse them.  Put sun plants in shade, shade plants in sun, water the dry plants and dry out the water plants. You might think I don't like plants. And there is much justification in the name of testing and discovery.  This is the case of my Stapelia gigantea. Given to me  a while back from my friends Sue and James of The Folly Bowl, I did have every intention of integrating this succulent into the garden, but the spots in the garden keep shrinking. So there it sat on the side yard in partial shade nearly rotting in moist potting soil... for about a year and a half!  Why did I finally take pity on it and move it to the sun? Pity I guess.

So, seemingly out of spite it bloomed this week. I've been watching the pregnant podlike blooms swelling for quite a while, waiting waiting waiting.  Yesterday it happened the alien was swarmed with flies. Yup, carrion scented, just what you want in the garden. Still, its a keeper.

If you want a cutting, let me know.