too much sun

I think I was supposed to do something today, but I can’t remember what it was, if it really was anything. This is bad for a person with an eidetic memory, but never mind that; probably just a sign of getting older. I took the opportunity to take some more pictures, even though there was too much sun, again.

Someone once asked Gertrude Stein why she collected paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Cézanne, etc., back when the artists were relatively or completely unknown, and her response was typically Steinian: “I like to look at them”.

I like to look at plants, especially in winter when not much is going on.  Here are some; these will look this way until next spring, unless they get eaten, that is.


Daphne jasminea, a form supposedly from the cliffs overlooking the temple of Apollo at Delphi.


Astragalus creticus. Not much too look at, I admit, but I like it anyway. Attempts at removing the leaves in the center of the plant reveal that all those white things are not twigs, but spines.


Erysimum kotschyanum, with nice purple buds waiting for spring.


Geranium macrorrhizum. I love this plant; remains evergreen, tolerates life under the Wasatch maples, and smells great, too (that spicy, musky smell is the essence of gardening). I think this is the regular species, though ‘Ingwersen’s Variety’ and ‘Bevan’s Variety’ are here, too.


Phlomis fruticosa ‘Miss Grace’. I never met a phlomis I didn’t have to have. A pity so many are tender, or at least so their labels claim.


Salvia cyanescens, ex an Archilbald collection from years ago. Sows itself all over the place, which is nice.


Penstemon grinnellii var. scrophularioides. From southern California, but it likes me just fine.


Echinocereus triglochidiatus. I saw some clumps of this at a nursery, through the rear-view mirror, as I was driving out, and had to go back. There were several clumps, each with about 60 stems, selling for $20. They had been dug up from someone’s property (some weird cactus hater) and, not being completely insane, I bought a clump.
The inside of the clump started to rot a few years later, and I thought the whole thing was going, but the rot stopped, and this is one of the clumps that remain.


The diamond cholla, Cylindropuntia ramosissima. Not many plants look this nondescript in winter, which is why I have several forms, all wilty and tangly just like this one.


A miniature form of Opuntia microdasys. New at the zoo this year. The regular sized form will overwinter here in the perfect location, but this little one is so adorable I bought a second pot of it, and keep it upstairs just in case.


Primula marginata ‘Amethyst’. I like the way this looks in winter; I don’t know why. Maybe it’s just the weirdness of it.
Primula marginata and allionii are about the only two primulas that find the conditions in my garden even barely tolerable.


Globularia stygia. Unlike in humans, plants turning purple is a good sign.

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6 Responses to too much sun

  1. I remember when I had the biggest Daphne jasminea in town! Nothing stays the same, alas! I love that plant. Love that Globularia stygia too–in fact I love them all! How have I missed your Phlomis all these visits? Looks big enough to spare a cutting or two (hint hint)…I have Narcissi blooming–so don’t have to just look at foliage! Ha!

    • paridevita says:

      I think no one really wants to here about blooming narcissus ….. Mine are just sitting there.
      Miss Grace used to be called Compact Gray. I got it from Canyon Creek Nursery when they were still doing mail order, so it’s been here that long. Suffers a little in some winters.


  2. Loree says:

    Love that you describe the Opuntia microdasys as adorable (because it is). No doubt the cactus hater who dug up their Echinocereus would not agree.

    • paridevita says:

      I included a picture of an even more adorable cactus in today’s post, and a picture of the sky just for you. The O. microdasys came from Rio Grande Cacti when they were here for the cactus sale at DBG in March. The pads are no bigger than two inches, and since it’s turned purple and wrinkled, I think it might make it. Still lots of glochids so not exactly huggable.
      I think it’s a ranching/farming thing that makes westerners hate spiny plants. At the end of our walk there’s a fence, and right in front of the fence is a huge pile of Yucca glauca that someone ripped out of the ground and threw there.

      • Loree says:

        Are they rooting? The Y. Glauca I mean…

      • paridevita says:

        No, I checked. They got chopped off just below ground level, so it’s probably hopeless. Sometimes yuccas that you think are dead (because you transplanted them and they lost all their leaves) will regrow from the root if it’s large enough.
        There’s a house down the street that’s nothing but pink dolomite and Yucca glauca in the front yard. One winter it looked even more minimalist when either rabbits or the homeowners mowed the yuccas right down to the ground, but they came back.


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