Friday Flora & Fresh Air

Plectranthus ecklonii 1Aren’t these stunning? Today I was fortunate to spend the afternoon in the fabulous garden of my dear friend Gail Klein, who – besides being a supremely talented garden designer and fellow Eichler owner – is a font of knowledge regarding South African native plants, like these purple Plectranthus ecklonii.

Plectranthus ecklonii 3 Plectranthus ecklonii 4 Plectranthus ecklonii 5In addition to delicate purple blossoms (much loved by bees and hummingbirds), Plectranthus have unusually attractive foliage.

Plectranthus ecklonii 6Notice how the leaves are dark green on top, but burgundy on the underside. When backlit by dappled sunlight, the effect is exquisite.

Plectranthus ecklonii 2As we wandered through her wonderland of a garden, Gail showed me at least seven different types of Plectranthus, but this grouping – planted under a large Monterey Pine – was my favorite. I just love how the Plectranthus ciliatus ground cover (with the little chartreuse leaves) highlights the difference between the mounded dark green variety in the foreground (help Gail, what’s this one called again?) and the upright Plectranthus ecklonii with purple flowers in the background.

Thank you Gail for sharing your beautiful garden; you’ve inspired me to add some of these lovely drought and shade tolerant South African natives to my own garden.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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