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Sunday
Sep072014

A Quick Walk-through the Garden and an Act of Insanity

It is still too hot and muggy to do anything in the garden other than a quick walk-through. Lou keeps a sharp eye on the weather service, and he tells me the weather will turn cooler next weekend. Meanwhile, here is what my last quick walk-through turned up.

The crepe myrtle trees are past their peak but are still adding color to the garden. These wonderful trees love our heat and humidity and bloom through most of the summer:

That’s a good thing, because there is not a lot of color out there, except for various shades of green. I love foliage, but it is nice to have something bright.

I also like the crepe myrtles this time of year because they are shedding their bark. There are some newer cultivars that have outstanding patches of cinnamon colored bark, but the bark of even the old species is interesting.

The Japanese maple outside our dining room window has assumed its golden September hues:In spring this tree is fire engine red. Later this fall it will become a kaleidoscope of gold, orange, burgundy, and purple. This unnamed seedling, which I once had to rescue from beneath the boot of a contactor who did not recognize the twig as a tree, has grown into a fabulous specimen.

Here are some close-ups of leaf patterns, always among my favorite photo subjects:Clockwise from top left: Tropicana Canna Lily; Francis Williams Hosta; Blue Hawaii Colocasia; Unnamed Japanese Maple; Variegated Fig; Coleus.

A couple of bugs paused long enough for me to capture their images. First, a bee on the Tutti-Frutti Butterfly Bush:

And then a skipper on a Lantana blossom:

I have been keeping a small Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ specimen in a pot until it could grow a bit more. I will transplant it into the garden soon. It has grown several new stems over the summer, and now it is blooming.  The blooms are tiny but deserve a closer look:

Here are some more blooms around the garden. Most are common annuals, but I like them because they revel in the heat and humidity.Clockwise from top left: Marigold; Gomphera; Zinnia; Portulaca with Powis Castle Artemesia; Impatiens; Caryopteris (Blue Mist shrub).Finally, I recently moved the Variegated Winter Daphne into a larger pot. It had outgrown its old one, but what was I thinking? I was lulled into insanity by a day of rain. Somehow I thought it would be OK to transplant this finicky plant with a reputation of sudden death, especially after root disturbance, during the hottest month of the year. I whispered sweet things to the daphne and promised it will be much happier in a new home. I am giving it encouraging words daily. It has been a week and it still lives.Variegated Winter Daphne in its new pot

I am holding my breath.

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Reader Comments (17)

Looks as if the sweet nothings and TLC have worked with the daphne- I can relate to this type of insanity. Sometimes a woman just has to do what she has to do! I like the leaf pattern closeups.

September 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercatmint

The crepe myrtle looks great, as well as the Japanese maple with its golden hue. Actually lots of things are looking great in your garden despite the heat. At the moment the Daphne looks happy and settling in, cross fingers no surprises later on :)

September 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

Great photos as usual! Lots going on in your garden even during August, which can be a tough month for SE gardeners.

Say have you noticed any bees on your crape myrtle? They seem to love the Natchez (white-flowered) crape in full bloom, but I've never seen many on the pink, purple or red crapes.

My French Marigolds are having a banner year for some reason. They are volunteers. Some have grown into the size of small shrubs!

And I finally figured out that Caryopteris performs better (at least for me) if cut back *hard* in the early spring. So I've gotten more blooms and better form on that than ever before. Although it still has had some yellowed leaves all summer. I think it would like better drainage. What else is new? ;-)

September 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Your photos are spectacular, as always. I love Crape Myrtles and, if the Arbutus hanging on by a thread in my side garden decides to give up the fight, it'll be a crape myrtle that replaces it. I'm impressed by the Japanese maple's survival story too - it's a beautiful tree! I'll keep my fingers crossed that your daphne makes it. It looks good so far. We've all had those moments of insanity - in fact, I have them rather too frequently.

September 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

Your garden is gorgeous I love this sweet time of flowering. Wonderful pictures of nature !
Greetings

September 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEla

It may be fall, but last week felt more like mid-summer. We had record high heat and terrible humidity. Then a thunderstorm rolled in and put on a spectacular light show. Rain poured down and the temperatures thankfully dropped. I hope you get a similar break from the heat soon. I have my fingers crossed that the Variegated Winter Daphne survives the change to a larger pot.

September 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

our Tahiti lime has been dug up and potted. Not sure if it agrees with that treatment. Still hoping.

September 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

I love the crepe myrtle tree and have tried a couple of times, but they just wouldn't tolerate our cold wet winters. I would give anything to have one that is as beautiful as the specimen in your landscape.

September 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie@Seattle Trekker

Now I know why my crepe myrtle doesn't do well, it needs humidity, everything I've read has said they are drought tolerant but mine don't flower well, I'm sure they need atmospheric moisture even if it is hot. Your images of the bee and butterfly are so sharply focused, stunning. You have some wonderful colour in your garden provided by both foliage and flowers. Christina

September 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

The flowers on your crepe myrtle are so beautiful. All your flowers and foliage look so fresh, not like they've had a hot summer at all, amazing!

September 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPauline

So far so good! Maybe it likes its new home so much it's decided not to die. :) I'm so glad you saved that Japanese maple seedling. It's such a beautiful tree!

September 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCasa Mariposa

I hope your Daphne will be OK--it sure looks fine! Great macros--especially the bumblebee and the foliage. I love Crepe Myrtles, but can't grow them here ... so, I really enjoy seeing them on others' blogs! Yours is so pretty!

September 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBeth @ PlantPostings

Love that pot...it is cooling off now and the garden is waning....but yours is just beautiful especially the crepe myrtle.

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

Oh, I do miss all the Crepe Myrtles down south! I was talking to a landscaper up here about Crepe Myrtles - he didn't even know what one was! Your Daphne looks gorgeous in that pot, nice and healthy. I hope the heat breaks for you soon and you get some cooler weather!

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIndie

Lovely photos, I specially like your leaf shots. I do envy you being able to grow the wonderful Crepe Myrtle. I love its flowers, like scrunched up tissue paper.

September 13, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterchloris

When I read the word transplant in the same sentence with daphne there was a shocked intake of breath. Yours looks fine though. I have given up growing all daphne because ecentually they die for me evn if it takes five or more years. I do love them though. Crape myrtles are being grown everywhere here in the mid-Atlantic now, and they are gorgeous. I just hope we don't revert to our old zone because they wouldn't make it.

Your pictures of the skipper and carpenter bee are beautiful! I love the close up of the crape myrtle flowers and the leaf collage too.

I hope your daphne makes it! I move stuff when it's hot more often than I should but usually if it gets enough shade it will be OK.

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

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