Entries in summer (9)

Saturday
Jul112015

Under the Dragon's Breath

July is here with the steamy breath of a dragon. To do any gardening I must wait for clouds to hide the white hot sun. Earlier this week we had a couple of days when I was able to begin a mid-summer spruce-up, pulling weeds and giving plants a dose of my summer tonic, consisting of 2 tbsp. of epsom salts and 2 tbsp. fish emulsion per gallon of water, applied to the soil around the plants. It takes a few days to get through the whole garden, and I did not make it. I wait for the next dip in temperatures. Anything below 90 degrees is close to refreshing.

Here is a tour of my garden that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. Though a virtual tour is very limited and lacks so much, at least you won't be sweating at the end of it.

I will begin with the front garden, which is very green. The pastel lavender blooms are crape myrtles:

The following image gives a good view of the front lawn and how the garden wraps around it. The woodland garden is located in the little valley on the other side of the driveway, seen in the distance. Lawns get a lot of negative press, but I love our zoysia lawn, which is maintained with organic fertilizers, applied twice a year. The birds love it, too. 

Touring the garden is not just about plants. I caught this Silver Spotted Skipper sipping nectar from our little Tutti-frutti Butterfly Bush, a small sterile shrub that blooms prolifically through the summer, as long as I keep it dead-headed:

These coneflowers are also a favorite of the pollinators, though I did not catch any butterflies or bees visiting them this time:

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' is an outstanding bloomer. I have never been disappointed in this shrub, which grows to about 8 feet. It likes more sun than other hydrangeas. I can see it from my kitchen window, and it gives me a lot of pleasure:

Here are assorted plants growing the large stone planter in front of the house:

More flowers in various places around the garden:Clockwise from top left: Eucomis; Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'; Campanula (Balloon Flower); Indigofera - this is a spring bloomer, but a few flowers persist; Agapanthus; Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan).

Once in a while I have to post a photo of Stump World, a twenty-five year old oak tree stump, which is a world unto itself, providing habitat and nourishment to untold numbers of little critters:

Here is an image from the edge of the woodland garden, looking out onto what I call the lower front lawn, limey green and full of interesting shadows:

And at last a look into the woodland garden, deep green and mysterious, a fascination of leaves of all descriptions:

Blessings to you all!    Deb

 

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!