October 2012 garden updates: what looks good/awful in your garden

grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)October 4, 2012

Hi everyone,

Wow, it's October! Time to get those pumpkins ready for Halloween and to enjoy the vastly improving weather. I know, I know, afternoons are still hot to some, but c'mon, mornings are lovely as are evenings. It's getting better!

What looks good, or awful in your garden? Here are a few things looking good right now:

A Matucana madisoniorum that, along with its siblings, has been blooming non stop all summer long (6 years from seed).

Good old Zauschneria californica blooming all over the garden. Nothings says "autumn" to me here more than their fun, red-orange autumn blooms. Fun little fluffy seeds blow around the garden, sprouting wherever they think it best, often among cacti and succulents. Here's one of several plants blooming away--this one among the truly succulent Euphorbia royleana.

An early start to our long, easy, wonderful Aloe season, this Aloe glauca is blooming away (as are the many Aloe dorothea in the garden, and A. harlana). By picking early-, mid-, and late-blooming Aloe species and hybrids, we can have aloe blooms every single week from late September through very late May. Lucky us!

What's not looking good? Aloe aristata is doing its usual end of summer slump. I swear, each summer I think the thing is DEAD, but by Thanksgiving it looks good, and by New Year it looks great!

Your turn, what's looking good, or awful in your corner of the world?

Take care and happy gardening!

Grant

(Grant Meyer on G+ (Google plus) and on Facebook too)

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics, so far, from my garden, October 2012

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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Here's one of my favorites: African Poinsettia

Grant, you'll like this spiney one, Fairy Castle Cactus

Lovely - and large - agave, anyone want pups, there's lots.

Don't remember what this one is called, a gift from HawaiiSam - Where is that girl??

What has made this one fall over like this? Too much water?

What can I do to make this guy happier?

Bower Vine growing in a cedar stump

Pepper Garden (light's a bit off), two jalapeno's, two serrano's and the pretty varigated bush is Aleppo Big Jim peppers, I have three of these plants and all are just loaded with peppers:....hmmmm, don't know why this one is so small, did everything the same as all the others. Anyone know?
    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 11:11AM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Mary, that cereus (?) pic is so funny, it deserves a caption. I suggest, "Come here, you gorgeous girl!" or "No, no, get away from me!" I know it was unintended, but I got a nice laugh from that one.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 12:46PM
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hellbound

finally fall or at least az's version of is thank god only 100 yesterday but 68 am the am nice....

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 1:14PM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

Yes, it is a beautiful morning!

Mary, I think you're right about too much water. Might could use a little more sun? And I love your agaves, but I have no idea why you're watering them! Careful that they don't rot out on you.

Love the Zauschneria californica, Grant - one of the big ones on my list. Lovely.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 1:39PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

I water mostly just to get the dust off.....I'm over there with the hose because of the bower vine and then just get carried away giving everyone a drink. Maybe I'll move the bower vine and stump to another location so I'm not tempted to water what does not need it. Thanks for the input. And sun might be what that other guy needs too, it's a north facing bed so no sun now.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 2:18PM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

Oh dear, yeah - I'd say they need at least some filtered sun. Be careful about moving them into direct sun as they'll probably scald, after being on the N side for a bit.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 6:25PM
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Juttah

Grant, those Zauschneria californica are intriguing. Seems I can never get enough fall flowers. Where did you get them and what are their growing conditions?

My brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi' has rapidly gone from 'good' to 'awful'! This pic was taken 9/25. I bought it in a 4" pot in April, when it only had a few leaves. It grew like something out of "Little Shop of Horrors". Now that the blooms have faded, some leaves are shriveling and the nonshriveled leaves are dropping like crazy, as if exhausted from all that rampant growth!

Fun plant, but I'd never get another one. The flowers don't have much scent; at night they smell like Ivory soap (hubby thinks they smell like Ben Gay!) and it's a major water hog. I watered it with the morning coffee pot rinse and rainwater, so I didn't feel so guilty :)

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 1:31PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Fun new updates, all! The pics are so fun to see, and the updates and comments are great. Thanks for taking the time to post them! I am IN LOVE with the weather right now, nice warm afternoons and pleasant mornings without a tinge of nasty cold (I'm a heat lover). Love this time of year!

Mary, I think the two cacti you want to be happier probably want more light? I think they look good, but more light wouldn't hurt I imagine, as long as it's a gradual transition. I love how you're growing your peppers and that Bower vine. So fun! The 'Fairy Castles' Cereus is awesome and in just great shape. So nice! And I'm a huge fan of Synadenium grantii (no relation, hah!) too, although none of mine look as awesome as yours! I'm envious. How do you keep yours so happy???

Juttah, I love the brugmansia pic of course. Sorry to hear the plant is fading. I've done them here a couple of times and eventually grow weary of their down time. I'm a Datura Man nowadays. Big fragrant blooms, and very happy here. Love the pic of yours, I can see why you're growing it. Nice!!!

Zauschneria is super easy to find all over the valley. The big box stores usually have plenty of them in spring and autumn, and most reputable nurseries carry them year round. I got my original plant at Baker Nursery several years ago. They are awesome plants, but just remember, the stems are super brittle, and snap off if you look at them funny, so keep them away from hose-track areas!

If you can stomach it, here's yet another Stapelia in bloom in the garden. There are several dozen blooms out there now on several different plants, including my own little hand-pollinated hybrids. Love them!

And finally, here's a pic of some flower buds on my Hibiscus mutabilis ("Confederate rose"). Yes, these are the ones I started from pencil-like stem cuttings mid-winter last winter. They've become huge plants with really nice foliage. And now, finally, some flower buds are appearing! Me so happy!

Good ol' chocolate flower (for once, a common name that makes sense as it really DOES smell like chocolate, especially on a sunny warm morning), Berlandiera lyrata growing through an Aloe parvibracteata. The chocolate flowers self sow all over the garden and really smell wonderful. Such great, very xeric little short-term perennials. They're welcome anywhere they pop up!

Keep the pics and updates coming!
Grant

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:50PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

"Synadenium grantii"

Ah, the African Poinsettia. On a covered front patio, facing east - early morning sun, not too much water, toss some compost or fresh Roots Organics soil on top from time to time. It's a great plant. Want a cutting? It would travel well via mail. LMK.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 10:27PM
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Juttah

Datura... is that Jimsonweed? The bluish-green plant with big white flowers and stinky leaves that grows on the side of the road? (Which puts a few not-so-bright teenagers into the hospital every year)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 3:14PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Thanks, Mary. I'm already growing Synadenium, but thanks so much for your offer. I wonder if I'm growing mine too xeric and too lean? If we ever have a "What's looking mediocre in your garden?" them maybe I'll post pics of mine, LOL. They can't even begin to compare to yours, envy envy envy. You're right, they do travel well as cuttings and root easily if allowed to callous over first. Yours is just great!!!

Yup, Juttah, jimsonweed is one of the common name for several species of datura.

Here are a couple of cuties in the garden this weekend:

A bistro table with a rosemary topiary that I've carted around for over ten years, plus a nice variegated Gasteraloe (Gasteria x Aloe hybrid) variety 'Green Gold', and a 'Terracotta' Calibrachoa ("mini-petunia") blooming away, plus a tennis ball to show size.

'Lemon Slice' petunia blooming away in a bright blue pot on the patio. Like most petunias and calibrachoas, it will grow and bloom for many months with a minimum of care. I love me some petunias!

Take care and happy gardening everyone! Hopefully you're loving this magnificent weather!
Grant

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 3:40PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Grant, my Synadenium gets only early morning sun then bright shade all day. I squirt some water on it almost daily, but just splashes really. That one is very happy. I have another, smaller one, on the back patio and have given away many many cuttings. Anyone else? It was an open offer. Mine needs trimming and I can send anyone interested a cutting.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 4:28PM
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euqruob(Phoenix, AZ)

Kiwanos! I got loads of them. I bought a few from Singh farms many months ago and saved a few seeds, put one in a hot spot in full sun and barely even watered it, now I have at least a hundred of these weird little guys growing. Very deceiving as the flowers are tiny and the plant is so thick you hardly even see the fruit until they get big. And they grow fast! I saw some at AJ's for $7 each! Heck, I'll sell you mine for $3.50 each LOL. Also, I have some papayas growing nicely, plumerias growing like crazy, and huge banana leaves every week.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 9:30PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

That's awesome euqruob! What do you do with them? Are they fruit like or veggie like? I'd love to see/hear more! It's cool for sure!

Here's a rescue adenium that I picked up for just a couple of bucks early this year. It was terribly abused and had gotten stuck in the holes of its cheap plastic pot. No leaves, no blooms, and virtually no soil. Now it's got a ton of leaves (and a nice pot after I cut away the old plastic one) and blooms. I really like the peppermint look of the fancy double flowers!

Here's some Merremia dissecta ("Alamo vine" or "mile a minute vine") that I got as seeds from old Mr. Baker at Baker Nursery years ago. This spring I planted three seeds at the base of this 6 foot tall iron obelisk/armillary and they have quickly consumed it. Talk about house-eaters! The vines are covered early summer through very late autumn with nice morning-glory-like blooms that stay open well into the afternoon. Full, hot sun (yes even here) and fairly regular irrigation keep these vines looking great, and blooming.

Take care and happy gardening! Keep the fun updates coming!
Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics, so far, from my garden, October 2012

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 12:43PM
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euqruob(Phoenix, AZ)

Kiwanos are related to cucumbers, when you open them, they are full of green jelly like cucumber seeds.

Also got some plumerias going:

And, my papayas are finally fruiting!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 9:25PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Wow! Nice looking plumeria and papayas, euqruob, thanks for sharing the with us! Keep us posted on how those papayas develop for you. Looking good!

Here are a couple of plants looking good in my little garden these days.

First up is a bulb I've been growing and enjoying in the Phoenix metro since 2000: "Formosa lily", Sprekelia formosissima. Please enjoy the beautiful, dramatic bloom without focusing on its typically ratty, grassy foliage, LOL.

And of course, I can't forget petunias! I do love petunias for autumn-through-early-summer color. Here's the variety 'Vista Bubblegum Pink' growing and blooming around a potted 'Bearss' lime on the patio. Easy, effortless months of color. As usual in winter, I've gone overboard with petunias, but why not, they're so easy colorful and fun!

Happy gardening all!
Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics from my garden, October 2012

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 9:38PM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

OMG, Equarob - That hot pink Plumie is *so* gorgeous! I need one.

Juttah, if you can get your Brug in a place where it stays warmer, I think my last one (about 8 years ago, lol) was evergreen. That's another one on my list for pot culture - I don't get as whacked out about high water use when they're in pots.

Beauts as always, Grant.... you have no room to be envious of ANYONE, lol. I still need to get some seeds from that Merremia from you. Nice remembrance of Mr. Baker, huh? All I have is him shamelessly flirting with me while driving me around in his golf cart, lol. He was a sweetie.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 1:39PM
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Nycanthus

Welcome fall...here is a pretty little flower, sorry i dont know the name.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 3:50PM
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Nycanthus

My namesake...

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 3:53PM
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Nycanthus

Cosmos is in my front yard, they come back from seed every year.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 3:54PM
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Nycanthus

Lavender Trumpet Vine...Got it at Baker's last year.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 3:56PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Wonderful new pics and updates, Nycanthus! Thanks for sharing them with us. I love everything in the pics, especially your little unknown guy. Let us know if you get an ID for it. Great stuff all around! Thanks for the eye candy, happy gardening!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 12:15PM
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