Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer glory

Doesn't it seem we went right from winter to summer in a week here in the Bay Area? 60 one day and 80 the next? Regardless, my garden has kicked into blooming overdrive, making it hard to go to work these days (can I just tinker in the garden instead?) The spring plants are late blooming because of the cool weather but the summer flowering species are jumping right in. The latter include my collection of hebes, which after initial difficulties have settled in quite nicely. Nigella Miss Jekyll and N. hispanica 'Curiosity,' with its larger purple flowers are in great abundance. The lilies are beginning to open, always an event in my garden as I have a dozen different varieties. Besides the nigella Miss Jekyll, blues are well represented. There's the rich true blue of cynoglossom, the powdery blue of Hydrangea 'Nikko Blue' as well as charming blue and white Baby Blue Eyes. This year's discovery is Scyphanthus, a fragile looking but surprisingly sturdy small climber with petite cup-shaped yellow flowers and maroon spots in the interior. Unique and delightful.
Alstromerias are running wild. I keep yanking them out for cut flowers. My agastache species are in full riotous bloom, adding pinks and purples to the list for nearby hummingbirds. The perpetual star of my front garden, Streptosolen (marmalade bush) is showing off its forest of oranges, peaches and golds. Hummers love it too and they'll come right up to me if I'm nearby, sort of glance at me, then dive in for some nectar. Of course the Clarkia amoena is giving the streptosolen a run for its money, with large clusters of salmon-colored flowers. Butterflies are loving it, whether to feed or sun themselves on the open cups.
One returning friend is Dietes 'Lemon Drop.' It's a rich golden yellow with maroon eyes and it took a couple of years to recover from a neighbor's accidental shearing.
There's so much more in bloom, I could continue, but suddenly I have an urge to get out there.
Gardens involve a lot of work but there are times when you want to take a weekend off and just luxuriate in the fruits of your labors. Oh, and don't forget to take photos. They're a wonderful reminder of just how amazing nature can be, turning seeds and dirt and water into masterpieces that only painters and photographers have managed to capture.

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