Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Purplish patches

We're not exactly swamped with flowers at the moment, but that relative scarcity of blooms allows the few performers to have the stage all to themselves. And right now there's a pretty little bluey-purple show going on.

All Sydney readers will know this photo wasn't taken today, as it's pouring with rain at the moment, and all of us Sydney gardeners are going 'Yippee, rain at last!'. No, this is a sunny Sunday morning shot, with the early morning sun lighting up my little village of succulents (on the right) and its protective pathside forest of purple-flowered alyssum. The alyssum in the pot comes from seed I sowed there a bit over two months ago. The alyssum outside the pot is self-sown – such a pretty little paving weed, isn't it?

Not far from the alyssum the newly planted Tibouchina 'Groovy Baby' is having a wonderful time settling into its new home, even sending out an outrageous bloom every now and then. If it could talk I'm sure it'd just giggle.

New growth everywhere, flowers, flower buds and hopefully more flowers, so far so good.

Such a powerful colour, purple. To my mind, when at it's best, it evokes a sense of celebration, maybe even extravagance. But at it's worst, it can be trashy and gaudy. I guess it's just how you use it in the end that matters. Just a couple of little purple patches now, when nothing much else is in bloom, seems about right. They have the whole garden to themselves and they certainly are lighting up the joint right now.


prue said...

heheh that single flower looks a little out of balance but wow, when the whole plant is in bloom it will be magical!

Melinda said...

Wow Jamie, your plants always look so healthy and happy, even to the point where they self seed and spread.
I'm having a lot of trouble with my new geraniums I bought for a balcony. Apparently they are hard to kill, well I pretty much wiped them all out within a week, which is a new record for me!
I have planted them in half potting mix, half P course sand under Don Burke's instructions and letting them dry out between waterings, then giving them a good soak when I do. They are going bright yellow and dropping the leaves from the bottom up.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. My dreams of a lush balcony oasis has turned into a mass of pots with withering, brown plants. Cheers!

Jamie said...

Melinda, sorry to hear about the geranium woes. They can be very prone to fungal diseases if the weather is wet, and they love lots and lots of sunshine but very little fertiliser. And they definitely hate sitting in saucers of water, so if you need to use saucers to catch the water, make sure to tip all the collected water out, so the saucers are dry.

When I've had trouble with geraniums I always get out the secateurs and cut off everything that looks sick or dodgy. Sometimes this works well, but this works best in a growing season, such as spring or summer. This isn't the best time of year for them, so if they cark it now don't buy any more until spring.

patientgardener said...

I really like the Tibouchina, the colour is so strong. I agree with you about purple such a happy colour

Melinda said...

Thanks Jamie for your advice!

I think they aren't getting as much sunshine as they need from my balcony, it's not the best aspect for long periods of direct sun, so I'll see how it goes.

May need to stick to ferns and shade lovers.

dictionar german said...

Totally agree...Your pictures are amazing... wooow!
Thank you so much for this article >:D<

lotusleaf said...

Your tibouchina is looking great. Purple is such a royal colour.Thanks for your tip on geraniums.

Chandramouli S said...

That lovely one looks great among the empty ones!
We had a monsoon that usually doesn't touch us few days ago and it was great change from the hot spring!

kitchen tables said...

I am so inspired with your plants. They are so pretty and the colors are so nice. Thanks for this post and thanks for the advices.

Sue O said...

We just got done with all the yellows and purples of spring. You would probably think my flowerbeds are on the trashy side of purple right now, with a riotous mass of aubretia Dutch irises and hardy geraniums in different shades of purple. Our weather is unseasonably rainy and the veggie seeds are rotting in the ground. Isn't it interesting how we all deal with our different climates?