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Show of Pride

April 10, 2010

Morning pride

This has not been my best week. At the end of our visit to Solana Beach last Saturday I found myself with a terrible sore throat and feeling very rundown (I blame a cold-sore-enhanced waitress during our beachside lunch). Sunday, I felt worse. Monday I went into the office half-day, but I felt even worse Tuesday morning. I went to urgent-care early and was told I had strep throat and a touch of the flu, so that was that. The whole week was spent alternately asleep and staring blankly at the TV, zonked out by a mix of antibiotics and cough syrup with codeine. Today, however I feel pretty good, good enough to go outside and have a look around, pull some weeds and take in the splendor of our  Pride of Madeira! While I was inside bleary, coughing and unable to swallow, the PoM was enjoying the Spring warmth without me; putting on a blooming show to prove it!

Purple reign

As spectacular as the PoM looks today, this is hardly the end of its royal-hued display. There are still plenty of buds yet to open, and the floral spears themselves are only partially open. The sharpness of the leaves, and the upward thrust of the purple stalks, enlivens the entire corner of the lower-tier bed of the garden. Bees are finding the blooms irresistible as well, adding their contented buzzing to the scene.

Pride up close

Looking at the PoM’s flower stalks at close range, it’s easy to see what makes this plant so special. I can’t think of any other plant that produces such a great blue/purple bloom. Almost fluorescent in its vibrancy, each little bell-shaped blossom contributes to the overall gorgeousnous of this Spring stand-out. We’ve had this plant for a couple years now and this is the second time it’s bloomed. Almost 3 times as big as when we got it, it’s huge and at times has gotten so top-heavy that branches have broken off. For support I’ve had to prop them underneath with vertical-standing cinder blocks. Oh, one more thing …

Monster aeonium

While the PoM was getting its show going, a huge aeonium behind it was reaching out like a sci-fi creation on the hunt. A full two-feet across, the lime green rosette has extended itself so much it’s now as tall as it is wide … and not content to stop there, there are baby rosettes branching out at the end of the stalk, too. I’m not sure what this guy’s going to do next but I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if it got up and walked away.

All this Springtime exuberance is certainly cheering after a sickly week, and I hope to get back to my usual posting schedule soon. We have an invitation to visit an amazing local garden tomorrow, so I’ll be laying low until then. See you soon!

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. mattisalomaki permalink
    April 11, 2010 2:32 am

    Ahh, Echium candicans. We have one 1 year old…and waiting for its first blooms. What a great plant, and great photos. Matti

    • reubix1 permalink*
      April 11, 2010 4:35 am

      Hey, Matti, here’s hoping you and Megan have purple spears to be proud of soon!

  2. April 11, 2010 4:20 am

    Just found your blog after doing a google image search for “painted garden walls” I don’t even remember what image landed me here because once I saw your Echiums all was forgotten. BEAUTIFUL! I am so jealous. I wish that these plants were just a touch more hardy and they would be all over my Portland, Oregon, garden. Lucky lucky you!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      April 11, 2010 4:34 am

      Welcome, Loree! Your blog’s terrific, too… and, yes, I feel lucky having it in my garden… I really love it

  3. Mary Dama permalink
    April 19, 2010 8:58 pm

    It was really nice chatting with you in the morn, Ruben and Paul. We could have spoke hours!
    We love your blog! Best of luck with your new additions to your family. They are too cute! We
    hope to see you again sometime… I am there every morning… Drinking coffee.
    Mary and Rick

    • reubix1 permalink*
      April 20, 2010 1:25 am

      Great meeting you both as well. Maybe we’ll see at Panera soon…

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