Friday, December 12, 2008
I've been called away on recent days to another garden, 15 miles southest in Mission Viejo. This garden is located on a hill, with sweeping views to the northwest, benefiting from coastal breezes, and the home of many garish flowers favored by a certain older woman.
Easily the most outlandish of these flowers is this Hotbiscus "Over the Rainbow". It's December, and the supposedly tropical thing is in full bloom: that is, covered with 6" diameter blossoms in the impossibly ridiculous color scheme shown. This plant has been in the garden for a few years; it's compact and about 3 to 4 feet tall and wide, densely covered with deep green shiny leaves without a whitefly in sight. All you want to know about these hybrid hibiscus may be found here.
This grasshopper seems happy enough among the bright colors. I found many flowers with the stamens gone, eaten by this or other grasshoppers. This might be a melanoplus sp (spur throated grasshopper) based on the green color and the red antennae.