Entries in red banana plant (9)


Joy in the Garden

Summer is softening now. We have had some cooler days with an edge of fall, and I have been taking it easy.While I am recuperating from surgery, I get to just be in the garden with no weeding or watering or trimming or digging or any of those other chores that can distract from the joy the garden has to give. I am fortunate that Lou is here to keep things under control, for otherwise I might be fretting. Happily, I am able to study and make plans, and I am doing lots of that!

While lounging on the patio, I keep admiring my red banana plant. Forgive me for bragging about it again. When I bought it last year, I wasn't sure it would fit in or if it would survive the winter. No doubt it is now at the top of my list of plants with beautiful foliage. When golden sun shines through the leaves, it is spectacular:Down from the patio Pieris japonica 'Cavatine' is putting out new growth, which I think is particularly lovely:

Another foliage plant I am noticing more lately is arborvitae fern. I have several of these planted under some azaleas. It has taken a few years for them to become established, but our wet summer this year has really helped them to flourish.

I have been disappointed with my peacock orchids. They bloomed the first year I planted them and not since. I am thinking about digging them up. But the other day I noticed their stems. Who needs flowers?

Variegated fig is another beautiful foliage plant. It is not hardy, so it will go into Lou's office for the winter, where it will stay warm and receive just the right amount of light. Lou complains about how I convert his office into a greenhouse every winter, but without an enclosed garage or greenhouse, it really is the best place we have.

Down in my arbor garden hosta 'Francis Williams' is looking good. Voles decimated the hostas in this area earlier this year. I am glad this one is a survivor.

I am fascinated by the changes that occur to hydrangea blooms as they age. This skeletal bloom caught my attention the other day. It reminds me of coral:

Endless Summer hydrangea was bright blue earlier this year. Now the antique blooms are shades of lavender. Here it is with variegated daphne:

More photos of aging hydrangea blooms:

Finally, here are a few flowers that add color to the garden as summer's end approaches. They should stay lovely well into fall:Clockwise from top left: Portulaca, Pavonia hastata, Caryopteris, HibiscusIt's easy to receive joy from a garden. One only has to listen, to look, to smell, to hear, to feel. But one does have to pause to take it in. I am grateful for my garden and for the time to enjoy it.



Summer Views From the Patio

Fallen rose petals lie at the feet of an old rusty rabbit near the patio. Summer is here. Today the official heat index was 98 and felt hotter than that. I don't like summer. Voles have been snacking in my garden again. Today I lost two mature Nandina 'Firepower' shrubs to them. Mildew has found my dogwoods and crepe myrtles. Every year I try to persuade myself to love summer, but the best I can do is to tolerate it. 

Despite my perennial complaints, the garden doesn't look bad. We have had enough rain, and the plants are lush. The landscape is layered with deep greens and jewel tones. Even in the mornings it is too steamy to venture outside for long, but here is a report of what is happening on and near the patio:

Okay, I love summer, after all. Look at my red banana plant!

Above: Pink 'Anthony Waterer' spirea, blue flowering 'Lady in Red' hydrangeas, and common day lilies, which have grown here for over a half century, provide some nice color in the garden adjacent to the patio.

Hydrangeas are blooming now. 'Endless Summer' has striking blue color, proof of our acid soil! The variegated plant in the pot is daphne.

Some more hydrangeas — 'Waterfall' is an unusual one growing at the base of a dogwood tree:Annuals on the patio will provide color through the season, as long as I remember to water and fertilize them.The Talavera lizard above is a nod to the real anole lizards who inhabit the patio every summer. I took the first photo of the lantern below before I realized there was a lizard lookout perched atop the pole. Lou tells me he is there every day.

Something of an oddity, a white poinsettia, left over from the Christmas season, is spending the summer on the patio. It still has its bracts and is now putting on new growth:

One more thing from the patio: I have a little iron bowl ornament, and I have had a hard time finding the perfect place for it. Then one day recently I set it on my penny table, and now it has a home. It looks great with the pennies, and it allows plenty of room for a book and a very cold drink when I am sitting in the adjacent lounge chair.

 Be cool!