Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Lazy Days of Summer

We've finally reached the lazy days of summer, at least most of us have in our gardens. That doesn't mean there isn't always work to be done - weeds never take the summer off - but hopefully we've planted most of we're adding for the spring and summer season. Time now to enjoy the fruits of our labors. One of the 'stopping for a moment' joys for me is photographing the garden. As I have a 'one-of-everything' garden, there's always something in bloom or providing interesting foliage. Here then are a few 'snapshots' of the end of July garden.

Helenium 'Mardi Gras.' I've literally taken dozens of photos of this plant over the years but it keeps coming back strong and blooming its heart out. A real favorite for bees. 

As I've mentioned, lilies are my favorite bulb and I have a lot of them. June-August is the height of the season for them. Here's an unusual 'tiger lily' type - L. leitchtlinii. A spotted golden yellow.

Most will recognize this as the flowering stem for a Pineapple lily. It's Eucomis 'Sparkling Burgundy.' As with most pineapple lilies, the flowers open from the bottom up. Also popular with bees.

Though a bit shaded, this is my Cuphea purpurea Firecracker. It's sort of a cross between a cigar cuphea and a bat-faced type. And as you can see, it blooms prolifically. A hummingbird magnet.

Though shot at an odd angle, here's a photo of my Lily Golden Splendor. It's a trumpet type, meaning very long and large. Fragrant too, if not quite on the scale of the Oriental types.

Driveways bed. This bed started as an Australian natives bed and though the foundation plants are still these Aussies, I've added succulents and a few bromeliads to the front. 

Here's one of the succulents in that bed - Cotyledon orbiculata var. orbiculata. As you can see, it's in bloom right now.

Teucrium Summer Sunshine. I love this tough little germander. Though it does produce little pink flowers I've added it to my garden for the sunny foliage.

Evolvulus. This morning glory relative has turned into one of my most reliable (and beautiful) perennials.

It's time to prune back my Impatiens Congolense. It's gotten a bit leggy, even as it keeps producing those charmingly wax red and yellow flowers.

Justicia betonicum. This less common plume flower has green-ribbed white bracts and little pink flowers. 

Mina lobata. I grow this every year, finding its gradation in color from red through orange, yellow and finally white to be very charming.

This is the bed to the right of our main walkway. That's an Eriogonum grande rubescens in the foreground, various Agastache beyond it and finally the Helenium at the top of the bed. The bed also holds several varieties of tiger lilies. 

Mimulus Jelly Bean Gold. As many of you know, I have a collection of Mimulus varieties in my garden. I think I may have all of the Jelly Bean colors. 

Two of the later blooming lilies are this Rio Negro (above) and the Bombastic (below). They're Oriental types, thus deliciously fragrant. 

This Lily Bombastic is, along with the double white Lodewijk, my two favorite lilies all year. 

This sounds like a bad joke: what do you get when you cross a Calibrachoa with a Petunia? In truth, someone did that and called it a 'Petchoa.' Here's a Petchoa Caramel Yellow. Incidentally, Petchoa? I mean, y'all couldn't come up with a catchier name than that?

Lily Black Beauty. Not sure about the color but they got the 'beauty' part of the name right. Although it's not a tiger lily, it does have spotted recurved petals. Lovely.

Tecoma x smithii. I thought this was a better behaved Tecoma but time has proven me wrong. It's climbed up into a street tree and is now 20' tall. Oops. 

Gomphrena decumbens. Although this year-round-blooming perennial has a common name - Airy Bachelor's Buttons - it really needs one that's more snazzy. Purple Reign? Okay, we'll keep working on the new common name ...

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