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Thursday, May 10, 2007


Part of the joy of gardening is a new discovery or a thing seen in a different light, a juxtaposition I'd not noticed before, or an unnamed species visiting the garden. Another joy is the return of old friends, the growth of a plant long-tended, the continuity and evolution of the garden environment through the cycle of seasons.

Five or so years ago I bought this salvia discolor at Flowerdale Nursery as a tiny plant in a 2" plastic pot. I put it in a somewhat larger clay pot. It was a difficult subject, always drying out and seeming to be very unhappy with its circumscribed circumstance. It finally dawned on me to planted it in the ground in the jungle out back. Now, it blooms profusely as it twines its lanky stems through the geraniums and alyogine. The specific discolor means of two different colors; you can see here the high contrast between the pale green calyx and the deep purple petals. The stems of the inflorescence are sticky, and many small insects become trapped on them. That shouldn't be a problem for the honeybee seen here; from what I hear, she and her kind have enough problems to deal with.

I like the way the honeybee's wings are highlighted here as she laps up nature's salve from the black-purple blossom. Live long and prosper, small bee, and your hive as well.

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