Monday, May 25, 2015

A Caterpillar and Some Random Garden Shots

We were having an usual cool Memorial Day weekend here in San Diego (highest temperatures today were about 70 F/21 C and lowest temperatures predicted at 56 F/13 C) with mostly gray skies with very little sun and even a light drizzle from time to time, but unfortunately really not enough to water the plants.

I worked on Saturday, but had yesterday and today off and got at least some gardening done, like planting my last white dianthus (how many dianthus can one plant?) and finally fertilized all roses in containers on the terrace for the first time this year. I know that is way too late, but hey, nobody is perfect. I also weeded and cleaned out the Calla Lilies of spent flowers and yellow leaves. Since the weather was bad I didn't take any pictures this weekend, but was going over photos from the last weeks and would like to show you some of those tonight.

The decent rains that we were getting lately did wonders to the garden. And the rain drops look beautifully on some of the plants. Here is a photo of Stachys ‘Helene von Stein’, more commonly known as Lamb's Ear.

Close-up shot of Stachys 'Helene Von Stein'. Don't the rain drops remind you of diamonds? Who needs real diamonds when you can have something like this for free?

Zooming in even closer. Nature is simply fascinating!

My second alstroemeria 'Little Miss Sophie' has finally bloomed, after giving her plenty of fertilizer.

I think it is such a pretty variety and the best thing is, that the flower stalks don't flop over, because they stay short and don't become leggy like so many other varieties do.

I didn't have too many blooms on my Calla Lilies, zantedeschia aethiopica, but the ones that I got were lovely. Unfortunately, Calla Lilies are anything but drought tolerant, so their future in my garden is uncertain. 

I went to the spring garden tour of the San Diego Horticultural Society. Besides the gardens that could be visited they had a big market place where many vendors were selling plants and garden related items. I came late and things were pretty much picked over, but these two beauties immediately caught my eye and I managed to get a hold of them. As far as I remember the vendor told me that they are miniature pelargoniums and he claimed to have bred these plants himself. 

This one is called 'Linda Zee'. I really love the cheerful little flowers. Usually the color of the flowers would be a little bit too bright for my taste, but somehow it didn't bothered me at all. As a matter of fact I really find them quite charming exactly how they are.

The other one 'Cornelia O Plume' picks up exactly the color hues of a regular size Martha Washington pelargonium that I already have in my garden. I think these two are just the perfect addition to my small collection of pelargoniums. Now I just have to find a good place in the garden for both of them.   

To my knowledge coleus are annuals, but I cut mine (coleus 'Wasabi') back hard in winter anyway and to my surprise it came back just fine. It actually stayed more compact so far than last year, which I like even better. The chartreuse color of the variety is just perfect!

My recently bought heucheras 'Lime Marmelade' got planted into the ground in close proximity to the chartreuse coleus mentioned above and are doing fine. For a heuchera you can call them almost vigorous, which is rare in my climate. And so far they hold their chartreuse color well, just as the label promised. 

My white flowering bell flowers (unfortunately I lost the label with the name of the variety) are blooming for the first time since three years and have formed a nice ground cover around one of my Pygmy Date Palms. I believe that this is due to the winter rains that we got. 

For many of you maybe not so special, but I just love the dainty white blooms. 

First open bloom on my dark violet gladiolus (sorry, I have lost the label of this variety, too).


A few days later the plants looked like this. Gladiolus offer only a short show in my climate, but they are totally worth growing in my opinion.

My 'Iceberg' beaming in the morning sun!

Hardy geranium 'Rozanne' seem to be even more blue after the rain.

And now we come to the caterpillar.

I found two of these hairy fellows in my garden. One was happily munching the petals of my white Hybrid Tea 'Pope John Paul II' and therefore needed to be provided with another food source outside of my garden!

Doesn't he look fascinating?

For a better size idea we put him on the cuff of my husband's shirt.

The caterpillar was quite agile and quickly made it down to my husband's knuckles...

...and fingers. My husband tried to identify him but no luck so far. Does anyone of you have an idea what the name of this guy is? Does he become a butterfly or a moth?

Always interested in trying out tech things my husband put his Iphone on the concrete of our terrace and took this slowmo video of the caterpillar. At the beginning and end you see the real time speed of this little guy. I think he was impressively fast. 

Just want to mention at the end that recently I passed 250.000 pageviews. That is a quarter million clicks on my blog! I find this a mind boggling number considering that I am not blogging that often. Thank you all for visiting and reading my blog, you made my day!

See you in the garden!



  1. Congratulations on the blog milestone! And glad to hear you had a mostly relaxing weekend. Cute looking caterpillar and hope you get more much needed rain soon :)

  2. Hallo und guten Morgen, wie wunderschön! Dein Mann ist mutig, ich hab immer Angst, dass die Raupen knabbern. Diese Alstr ..... kenne ich aus England, hier bei uns sind sie nicht winterfest.


  3. El jardín esta precioso con las gotas de lluvia. Besos y buen día.

  4. Nothing is better than a day in the garden :) Beautiful picrures after the rain, Christina !

  5. The shots of the water droplets on the Stachys are wonderful! I've no idea what the caterpillar is, but he is rather cute!

  6. Great photos of some other beauties (beside your wonderful roses) growing in your gardens. I'd have to say my favorite in this post is your calla lilies. Something about them just touched my heart. The water droplets on the leaves were fantastic too.

    Your husband was brave to let that caterpillar crawl on him. I've been stung by caterpillars before so am really leery of handling them. I just sat here and did some Google searchiing and didn't really come up with anything either. Hopefully someone can ID it for you. It would be interesting to know.

    Hope you get some more liquid sunshine.

    Have a lovely week ~ FlowerLady

  7. The raindrop pictures are great and I really do hope you get more rain. Fun to see other plants than roses in your garden, but I'm like you a rose lover. Pelargoniums we only can grow inside, and a few months in summer in pots outside. That caterpillar is familiar to me because we have sometimes black hairy ones in the garden, but I cannot imagine we have the same ones in Western Europe as in California. Sorry I don't know the name of the butterfly.
    Happy gardening!

  8. It does look like a woolly bear caterpillar but I'm not sure.

  9. Tiger moth caterpillar. Don't know exactly which species, though.

  10. That's one good-looking caterpillar! You might be surprised about the persistence of the Calla Lilies, even in drought conditions. I inherited a plethora of them with our current house, most of which are planted along our back slope. They die back when the whether gets warm and the rainy season (such as it's been) ends but they come back like clockwork in late winter of the following year. I'm not sure I could get rid of mine if I tried.

  11. Cute video! I find raindrops stunning, and I could stare at your beautiful macros for hours! Yes, nature is fabulous! Love the Cala Lilies, too!

  12. Yes those rain drops look like diamonds!!! Just such a beautiful sight my friend!! As are your new pots of flowers from your outing!!! And I so wish my coleus would make it through like that but with our winters it would never happen. I really enjoyed your sweet caterpillar friends and happy page views!! That is outstanding! Nicole xo

  13. Je suis ravie de lire que la pluie s'est enfin abattue sur ton jardin afin de rafraîchir et d'optimiser la croissance des plantes et des rosiers qui vont t’offrir un spectacle flamboyant. Je vois que tu es une adepte des heuchères et le variété que tu proposes est d'une couleur extraordinaire que j’affectionne tout particulièrement.. De bien belles découvertes dans ton univers fleuri.
    Belle journée

  14. I'm so glad it rained! Hooray! Very cute caterpillar. I think it's a moth. :o)

  15. Dear Christina, beautiful these raindrops on the leaves. Nature is fascinating! Even normal things like raindrops.Also fascinating your hairy friend. He is fast! Liked your video! I hope some day to make a video and get it posted. Groetjes,

  16. Wonderful garden! Absolutely adorable

    xoxo, Juliana | PJ’ Happies :)

  17. Absolutely gorgeous and captivating! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

  18. I am always in awe of nature. The raindrops are exquisite, and the hairy caterpillar is cute! Congratulations on meeting the 250,000 page view mark! Keep up the good work, both in your garden and in the blogosphere!

  19. The raindrops on the lamb's ear and 'Rozeanne' are gorgeous! I love your dark purple gladiolus and your pelargoniums, especially 'Cornelia O Plume'.

  20. Liebe Christina,
    herrlich deine Eselsohren und das Wasser darauf
    glitzert wirklich wie Diamanten :-)
    Aber die Raupe ist etwas gruselig und so schnell!!! :-)
    Ganz viele liebe Grüße
    sendet dir die Urte :-)