Garden Update 28-8-11

This week my latest order from Lambley arrived. These are designed to develop some plantings started with the previous order. This shipment comprised the following: Agapanthus Inapertus Hollandii ‘Lydenberg’, Cotyledon Orbiculata ‘Tall Flowered Form, Penstemon Barbatus, Penstemon Isophyllus and Eryngium ‘Oxford Blue’.

Agapanthus 'Lydenberg'

Agapanthus ‘Lydenberg’ came to Australia from the Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens 20 or 30 years ago. It always stirs the blood of visitors when it’s in flower in the dry garden. Tall strong stems carry pendulous light blue flowers in great abundance during mid to late summer. In our dry garden A. ‘Lydenberg’ barely makes a metre in height, but if well fed and watered it will grow up to 160cm tall by 70cm wide. Herbaceous.

Cotyledon Orbiculata Tall Flowered Form in Flower

Cotyledon Orbiculata 'Tall Flowered Form'

Cotyledon Orbiculata ‘Tall Flowered Form’ This is a very tall flowered, frost hardy summer blooming form of Cotyledon orbiculata. Many forms are grown in gardens but this is by far the most impressive. Shrubby in habit, its evergreen large leaves are powdery grey edged with maroon. Metre tall stems are produced in summer, capped with many-flowered heads of large waxy coral orange pendant bells, each one flared at the tips. One of the stars of our dry climate garden.

This will be planted in a group with Cotyledon Orbiculatum ‘Queenscliff‘ and Agapanthus Lydenberg and Eryngium Oxford Blue outside Tom’s bedroom.

Penstemon Barbatus

Penstemon Barbatus is another dry climate plant unlike most other forms of Penstemon. To be planted under the Powton tree opposite the shadehouse.

Humming birds pollinate this native of Arizona, Utah, Texas, Colorado and Mexico. Different in habit from most Penstemon grown here, P. barbatus makes basal rosettes of glossy fresh green leaves. 100cm tall spires carry from top to bottom hundreds of good-sized scarlet red tubular flowers. It’s the only Penstemon to make it into our dry climate garden where we have a decent patch. 100cm x 70cm.

Penstemon Isophyllus

 Penstemon Isophyllus I’ve grown this species from the Mexican states of Pueblo and Oaxaca for 25 years. It has got by with no watering at all these last few drought years. From a woody base metre tall stems carry red flowers with a hint of salmon, during the warmer months. All it need is a sunny spot.

Eryngium Oxford Blue

Eryngium Bourgatti ‘Oxford Blue’ This has been growing in our dry climate garden for ten years or more. The flowers, a metallic blue thimble, are circled by a metallic blue ruff, as intricate as a snowflake. This Sea Holly has interesting evergreen foliage, much cut and two toned green and silver. If spent flowers are removed ft will bloom from late spring into winter. 50cm x 50cm.

Garden Seat No.1

This week I oiled the new garden bench with Feast Watson Outdoor Furniture Oil, Clear colour. The wood soaked up the oil in no time. I decided to give several more coats during the next week until it is nicely sealed. It looks to me that it will be obvious when enough oil has been applied as it will take no more with pooling on the surface.

Verandah Renovation

Continued with verandah renovation. Last segment of the ceiling has now been painted over the walled area. Probably 2 sessions left to paint. First the ceiling over the verandah outside the family room window then the incomplete sections at each end. From there I will paint the fascia boards, silver was the consensus so silver it is. From there some filling and repair of the wall render and that will painted followed by the trims and finished. The most interesting phenomenon associated with this paint is that the condensation that used drip from the ceiling has stopped. Water still condenses but in much smaller droplets that never fall. The unpainted corrugated iron would collect all the drips together and drop them all over the verandah.

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