Entries in summer blooms (4)

Sunday
Jun072015

June Walk

Summertime is here, hot and humid but not yet fierce, delightful and sticky as honey on the tongue.The old Southern Magnolia across from the house is blooming, its large fragrant flowers a testament to summer in the Deep South.I had my first watermelon of the year last week, along with hot dogs and hamburgers fresh from the grill. This is the season to sit on the patio in the cool of the day, until the sun sets and mosquitos begin to bite. Mosquitos generally leave me alone, while Lou is much sweeter and the bugs zero in on him. Late afternoon is also the perfect time to take a walk through the June garden.Here is the view from the patio, looking through the arch toward the front garden.I am happy to have a red banana, Ensete maurelii, growing again beside the patio.The pink flowering shrub beside the red banana is 'Anthony Waterer' spirea.This wonderful plant is one of my favorites for foliage. While it may survive a mild winter, it is not really hardy here. I learned the hard way, so it is in a large pot, which will be hauled inside when frost arrives.

From the patio one also has a view of the arbor garden:

Steps, which are bordered with an assortment of shrubs and flowers, lead from the patio to the arbor garden. Look closely through the foliage in this picture and you can see the steps:

Leaving the patio and the view of the arbor garden, lets walk under the arch and take a turn in front of the house. This will bring us to the parking court and various views around the front lawn. Green is the predominant color of summer. Because of our big windows, even the inside of the house takes on a verdant tint this time of year.

The combination of Calibrachoa and Tropicana Canna Lily will provide a shimmer of color in front of the house throughout the season.

A closer look at Calibrachoa; these look like small petunias but have a tidier habit.

Tropicana Canna Lily has spectacular leaves. It has proved to be reliably hardy in my zone 7b/8a climate.The Tropicana Canna Lily grows beside this birdbath. Behind the birdbath is Nandina 'Firepower,' a noninvasive nandina that does not produce flowers or berries. Beyond here is a parking area that is bordered by shrubs and flowers, part of the large front garden that wraps around the lawn.

Walking through the garden, one sees an assortment of flowers blooming in June, including this purple petunia:

Stella de Oro Daylily:

and more:Clockwise from top left: Rosa mutabilis; Sedum; 'Tutti Frutti' butterfly bush; Zantedeschia; Nasturtium; Fuchsia; Black-eyed Susan; Gardenia.

No walk is complete without a stroll through the woodland garden. In late afternoon it transforms into a green cathedral with windows of silver and gold.

 

Snowflake hydrangea

I hope you enjoyed the walk! Have a great week,  Deb 

 

You may also be interested in these posts:  Summer Proof the Garden and Summer is Here!

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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