RANDOM RARETIES AROUND THE GARDEN

The delicate, wiry stems of Anemonopsis each culminate with an upside down flower which looks more like a mid-century modern ceiling lamp than something from the floral world. August never looked so good.
As I try to get ready and catch up with projects at work before I take a well earned week off next week, I don’t have much time to post – so I am collecting a few images that I took over the weekend to share with you all, as well as this — a very rare relative of the common Cup and Saucer Vine – Cobaea campanulata, which I grew from seed that was so generously shared with my by a collector in the UK who read a post of mine from two years ago where I did just about anything but beg for a source of some seed of this Ecuadorian rarity.
I’m sworn to secrecy about how I got this little packet of seeds, but you know me – nothing excites me more than raising a collection of plants which one would be hard pressed to find even at a very good botanic garden. I love that sort of thing. Expect a few more species of Cobaea to bloom here on this blog before the summer is over ( OK, I know – I might be the only person in the US who thinks that this plant is interesting – I’ll admit, the plant is rather boring and the flowers look far better in photos than they do in person, but it’s the rarity that interests me more than anything else).
The gorgeous green flowers of Cobaea campanulata from just three subpopulations in the coastal forest of Ecuador. Getting a couple of these rare seeds in the mail one day is one of the joys of social media – a blog follower read a post where I expressed interest in finding a source for this plant. This week, they are blooming on the east side of our back porch. So special. It is threatened by deforestation due to colonization and conversion of forest to pasture.
Brugmansia ‘Blushing Ballerina’ is a hard to find cross of a genus which can sometimes be overwhelmingly showy. This selection, bred by Hurstwood Brugmansias in the UK looks more like a well behaved wild species than it does a hybrid, with slender flowers which are more narrow than typical crosses, and it has a nice, strong evening fragrance ( apparently inherited from its Arborea parent). It’s barely pink ( as in ‘blushing’ I suppose, but I think mine isn’t that embarrassed, as it appears more white).
My dear friend Abbie Zabar sent an email out this week updating many of us about how her olive trees survived the fierce summer thunderstorms and hair that ravaged New York City this past week. We had storms too, but when I checked our olive trees, the baby olives looked as if they survived.
I noticed these Indian Pipes (Monotropa uniflora) growing under one of our larger Japanese Maples. They always remind me when I was a young child, and my older sister showing me wild populations in the woods behind out house. These came up by themselves.
Eucomis ‘Dark Star’ blooms in a pot – I found this in the greenhouse a few weeks ago, all neglected and forgotten, as it spent the winter under a bench. It’s always surprising to see how some bulbs survive without any water, and with intense heat.
Joe mounted some Staghorn Ferns for the deck, I think they look pretty nice, don’t you?
Weird and odd, I know, but that raised bed that I bought ended up with some cucumber plants in it, so I had to convert it into a space satellite. Hey, it works.
Many self-seeded annuals are popping up in the borders near the greenhouse. I really should call this new garden my pollinator garden, for the bees and butterflies are so abundant, that even the dogs take notice.
Cuphea ignea, the scarlet flowered Cigar Plant, may have a silly name, but it makes a terrific statement in the mixed border. This plant was shared with me by the folks at Blythewold Mansion and Gardens in Bristol, RI. I kept the rooted cutting in the greenhouse for the winter, and set it out in the spring – but I never expected a show like this. Neither did the hummingbirds, I have to say!

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