Category Archives: gardens with wildlife

living around wildlife

November’s Pink: Kaffir Lily

To be honest, I am not a SUPER-FAN of pink.

kaffir lily, scarlet river lily, crimson flag lily, Hesperantha coccinea, Schizostylis coccinea, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

But in mid-November…
When it’s cloudy & drizzling….
I’m thrilled by a soft pastel pink.

Today it’s a kaffir lily.  Blooming right beside the deer route!  And this patch will bloom until a hard frost kick’s its butt.

kaffir lily, scarlet river lily, crimson flag lily, Hesperantha coccinea, Schizostylis coccinea, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

It amazes me that these late-flowering perennials are native to sunny, South African streamsides .  Here they bloom in the light shade of our dry woodland garden.  Perhaps the thick mulch helped protect them from drying out too much this summer?

The mysteries continue… some websites call them ‘crimson flag lily‘ or ‘scarlet river lily’. But I’ve always thought those are the crimson / scarlet versions that bloom in our sunny borders in spring ??  Perhaps they’re cousins?

kaffir lily, scarlet river lily, crimson flag lily, Hesperantha coccinea, Schizostylis coccinea, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

What’s more, neither are actually from the lily family.  They kinda remind me of miniature gladioli. BUT they grow from a rhizome rather than a corm.

Scientists say they’re iris.  Go figure.

Can you imagine the hullabaloo & debate at one of those scientific Naming Conventions?  I figure those folks have some serious work on their agendas,
with figuring out who first claimed a name…
checking the flower specifics…
& then all the DNA analysis…

kaffir lily, scarlet river lily, crimson flag lily, Hesperantha coccinea, Schizostylis coccinea, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

I reckon it’s during the evening cocktails  when the final naming decisions happen.

Well, if you can’t choose your family, at least you can choose your friends.  I’m happy to have this friend in our garden.

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MS - Nerine Lily blooms, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

PS.  Here are some more pink fall friends:

 

 

 

In The Fuchsia Garden

hardy fuchsia at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific, September , garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

One of my favorite places is the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific.  A gardener’s garden.  I learn something each visit.

MS - Hardy Fuchsia in bloom , garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

This time it’s putting a specific name to the hardy fuchsia growing in our own garden:
Fuchsia magellanica var. gracilis.

At least I’m pretty certain that’s what our hardy fuchsia is…

hardy fuchsia at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific, September , garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
hardy fuchsia at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific, September , garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Walking through HCP’s Fuchsia garden boggles my mind.  Apparently there are many more varieties of hardy fuchsia than I imagined.

hardy fuchsia at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific, September , garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

There are tall hedging shrubs and shorter mid-border shrubs…

Others that are so small they’re classified as perennials instead of shrubs…

hardy fuchsia at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific, September , garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Most have flowers with red sepals and purple petals in the centers…

hardy fuchsia at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific, September , garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

But others are pink… or white… or even orangey…

Most leaves are forest-green,
but others are lime-green,
or variegated-green.  These really show up against a bit of shade.

hardy fuchsia at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific, September , garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

There are so many species, sub species & hybrids!

hardy fuchsia at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific, September , garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Now that I look more closely, I’m thinking my garden’s hardy fuchsia might be a F. coccinea instead…
maybe?

Either way, I’m stoked to grow a plant that looks so exotic. Check out the variety of Fuchsia that are winter hardy for gardens in the Pacific Northwest (Canada & USA) :
The North West Fuchsia Society

Perhaps there’ll be a few varieties at HCP’s annual Fall Sale coming up on October 1.

FYI – these photos show only some of the hardy fuchsia varieties growing in the gardens at HCP

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Embracing the Easy – Japanese Anemone

With waist height blooms twirling in the breeze, Japanese anemone caught my eye shortly after we moved into Richmond House.

Japanese Anemone japonica x hybrida blooming in November garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest,
photo by SVSeekins

A good patch grew close to the house foundations, but because of the drain tile project, it had to go.  Happily Japanese anemone transplant like a dream.  Their roots run along just under the soil, and don’t seem bothered about being split up a bit.

Japanese anemone japonica x hybrida in bloom, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Originally the deer seemed to leave the Japanese anemone alone, so I’ve experimented with several locations around the property.  In areas of deer congestion, the plants were grazed to about 8 inches high, and rarely bloomed.

Beside the busy bus stop, or along the crowded driveway, the deer leave Japanese anemone alone.  I’d say they’re salads of opportunity.

Japanese Anemone japonica x hybrida in drought, blooming in October garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest,
photo by SVSeekins

In their favor, Japanese anemone are hyper-resilient.

  •  After the deer eat them, they come right back.
  • After I shift them to a new location, they come right back.
  • There’s a very determined specimen that survived the soil being removed 8 feet deep during drain tile renovations.

Considering that plant is happy so close to the foundation wall, under the eaves where there’s no rainfall nor irrigation – – I’d say it qualifies as drought tolerant as well.

Japanese anemone japonica x hybrida blooming in September garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest,
photo by SVSeekins

It’s nice to have a plant that is happy in dry shade.  Dappled shade is great, but it struggles in deep shade.

The lengthy blooming period is a big plus in my books.  The pink blooms decorate the garden starting in July, and wrapping up in December.  That’s 6 months of color!

WS - Japanese anemone japonica x hybrida blooming in September garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

With all of these qualities, some might consider Japanese anemone an invasive.  I don’t really look at it that way.  Certainly it is determined, but I haven’t found it popping up in areas where I haven’t put it. My advice would be to consider carefully when choosing a planting site.

I may live to regret this.  Have you?

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