Rising Heat

As temperatures heat up, I appreciate those flowering plants that can survive.  The high so far has been 99 which means we haven’t gotten into the crazy time, yet.

summerheat7This Pink Guara (Onagraceae Gaura lindheimeri) has gotten out of hand.  It is spreading rapidly now.  It was well behaved for about six years.  But it still looks so pretty swaying in the wind.  It will bloom continuously until the first freeze.

summerheat8And all kind of pollinators enjoy it.

summerheat6This long stem was bent low as this butterfly, maybe a migrating Monarch, hung on.

summerheat9The Crinums from the Amaryllidaceae family are blooming now but won’t last long.  They probably should be divided.  However, the bulbs are huge.  So I’m not quite sure how to accomplish that in the heavy clay without tearing them up.

summerheataVery few Gladiolas have bloomed this year.  The bulbs have been in the ground for years.  I divided a few in the spring, which is the wrong time of the year for that and too late for them to bloom this year.

summerheatbAhh, the tropical Hibiscus flowers are glowing.

summerheatcThis plant is about eight years old.  I love it.

summerheat2For years, we’ve had Barn Swallows nesting on a small ledge around both the front and back porches.  They make a horrible mess on the furniture and the front wooden floor and back concrete.  So this year, we paid a hefty fee to have the HardiPlank extended to eliminate the ledge edge.

The creative Swallows, who normally build mud nests on the ledge, made an entirely different kind of nest out of mud.

summerheat1We have been washing down all nests before they are complete or before eggs have been laid.  Hopefully, this will be our last year to battle them.

summerheatThe stems that look like palm trees are getting taller.  They are Swamp Sunflowers (Helianthus angustifolius) will reach up high and bloom in late August.

Everyone who sees them at this stage are fascinated by their form.

summerheatdThis year I discovered Soprano Lilac Spoon Daisies (Osteospermum ‘Osjaseclipur’).  It is a hybrid from the Osteospermum family that includes asters and daisies.summerheat4It’s easy to see how it got the spoon name.

summerheateThe petals may widen out on the tips as the plant or the flowers mature.  We’ll see.  It’s not winter hardy.

summerheat5As I was hand watering, at my feet was a Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) – probably looking for a puddling place.

summerheatfThis is a scented Geranium or Pelargonium ‘velvet rose’.  It is in full sun until late afternoon.  Such a lovely flower with leaves that have a mild rose smell.

Hope your summer is enhanced by flowers.

“Have the maturity to know that sometimes silence is more powerful than having the last word.”  Thema Davis

Pretty Pink Posies

Okay, what can I say?  I like alliteration (heading).  Years ago we had a pastor who had three point sermons using alliterative headings for each topic.  Got my attention.

Back to pink:  many little girls love the color and want their clothes, rooms,  and accessories to be pink.  I don’t remember ever having pink as a favorite and am not particularly fond of it now.

redpinkfHaving said that, there is something sweet about pink flowers.  Just look at the Gladiola above.  They have been blooming profusely and make wonderful cut flowers.

redpink2In a new flowerbed, we recently planted these Drift roses with  pinkish coral flowers.  The best thing about Drift roses are that they stay low and spread out sideways.  At least, the information about them states that they will grow no taller than one and a half to two feet.  My plan is to keep everything in this bed low.  We’ll see how that goes.

redpinkThis Pigeonberry bush (Rivina humilisL.) is also called Rouge plant and Baby peppers.  That name may come from the red berries it produces.  It, too, is supposed to stay relatively small – 1 to 3 feet.  Due to poor planning in the past, many of my plants have outgrown their space.

redpink1Pigeonberry is a Texas native and does well in zones 7 – 10.  It blooms from spring to fall plus it has berries in the winter.

redpink6Can’t pass up showing Double Delight roses when I talk about pink.  Great aroma and all around great performer.

redpink (3)This Dutch Onion probably falls in the lavender category, but has a slight pinkish hue.

redpink (4)I’m not sure how they’ll do in the summer sun and may have to move them.  But since they’re bulb plants, I figure they will peter out soon and will return next spring.

redpinklGood old Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida) has returned and is quickly filling in its space.

redpinkjAnd they definitely need to be confined to an area.

redpinkoAnd the Rose of Sharon Althea (Hibiscus syriacus) have leafed out and are blooming.  These were planted about five feet apart years ago and are crowding each other but continue to be healthy with many flowers.

The good or bad thing about Altheas is that they produce hundreds of new plants each year.  So you have lots to share, but you also must pull up the sprouts before they get too big.  Some come up under my rose bushes and aren’t noticeable until they reach the top of the roses.  So I end up having to cut them off each year at the ground.  This involves an almost prone position on the ground reaching under rose bushes.  Not fun.

redpinknThis is also a Rose of Sharon although the blooms look entirely different.  This is a Double Rose variety.

redpinkqThorn of Crowns looked pretty all through the winter inside, but is adjusting outside in the semi-shade and should bloom abundantly.

pinkAn African Violet on the window sill with delicate flowers.

pink1Ice Plant came back in a pot even after the cold winter.  Such a brave little soul with a vibrant color.

“Wind chimes:  When ten thin tinkling tin things twinkle and tingle in the wind twinkling and tinkling the ten thin tin things make a tingling tintinnabulation of joy”  unknown

A little much?  Sorry.  Couldn’t resist.

Cut Flowers

One of the joys of a flower garden is having cut flowers in the house.  This has been an especially good year for that.

gladsThe Gladiolus bulbs that came in a packet several years ago are still producing profusely.  Sometimes they’re called Sword Lilies.

glads2It’s always a surprise to see which color will open up next.

glads3Some are daintily colored, while others are bright and bold.

glads4There are many new bulbs that need to be taken out.  Thinning is supposed to be mandatory for bulbs.  Somehow, I never seem to get around to that task.

glads5A couple of years ago I bought a different variety of glads.  They have a smaller red flower with white edges.

glads6Sometime I put all different colors together for a bouquet.  Other times I try to achieve a color scheme.

Now to my other favorite flowers for vases – roses.

roses14This is actually a spring blooming climber.  I’m late in showing it this year.  It is Madam Norbert De Velleur climber that was bought at Antique Rose Emporium years ago.

roses142One of the attractions of this particular rose is the clusters of blossoms.  When in bloom, it’s covered with flowers.

roses143Each flower is not particularly impressive.  It’s the mass of them together that I like.  As I’ve said on a previous post, this bush has the largest thorns I’ve seen on rose bushes.  I yell “ouch” often when working around it.

Therefore, I don’t use them in vases.

roses147This was the first rose bloom this year.  It’s a Knock-Out Rose.  It was unusual to be right at the ground level.  Notice the native grass I’m still fighting.

rosesaDuring the spring and summer this Oso Easy Paprika Rose bush is either covered with flowers or has no flowers.  That’s because it has to be deadheaded in order to rebloom.

rosesbI often wait until all the flowers die so they can all be cut off at once.

rosescThis is a hybrid rose that blooms fairly often, but the blooms don’t last long.

rosesg

rosesjThe flowers on the Mr. Lincoln Rose will stay pretty for several days if left on the bush.  Once they are cut, they’re gone in about a day.  These I usually just enjoy from my kitchen window.

rosesdThe flowers on Tropicana can be brought inside and will last about a week in water.

roseseSo pretty with Russian Sage behind them.

rosesfAnother hybrid I don’t know the name of.

rosemBelinda’s Dream has not bloomed as much this year as most years.

roses148This is what the blooms on my all time favorite bush Double Delight looked like early this spring.  A diluted mixture of Rose Systemic Drench by Bonide at the base of the plant took care of the problem.

roseslThese are the roses from that bush after it recovered.

roseslDouble Delight is the strongest smelling rose I have.  It is truly heavenly.

rosesmBoth the scent and the blooms last about a week.  Flowers are one of life’s joys that can occur over and over each year.

Another blessing that we tend to recognize more in July than the rest of the year is our country and our freedoms.

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”  Patrick Henry

Blooming Now

Old friends return each year when perennials bloom.

oxalis2This Oxalis (Oxalis regnellii atropurpurea) has been in the same container for several years.  It dies down each winter, and I add some soil on the top in the spring before the plant returns and starts blooming.  Works for me.  So far, it’s okay with the plant.

oxalis5One of the characteristics of this plant is the three pronged pinwheel shape.  That’s the reason both the purple and the green varieties are nicknamed Shamrocks.

oxalis7Oxalis’ delicate pink flowers against the background of the purple leaves demand a second look.  Oxalis needs filtered light but no harsh direct sun.

balloonflowersBalloon flowers have grown in this spot for four or five years.  They don’t like to be transplanted, so it’s best to plant them where you want them to stay.  They are also well behaved, in that, they don’t stray into their neighbor’s territory.  Actually, I would like them to spread a little more and a little faster.

These get quite a bit of direct morning sun, but no afternoon sun.

gladvaseGladiolas of several shades of red, yellow, white, and light purple have provided many bouquets for the house.

gladThe white edging and the slightly different shape of this one confuses me.  Now, I can’t remember if I transplanted some, and they metamorphosed a little.  Or if someone gave me a different variety of bulbs.  Guess it doesn’t matter.  They are a nice little change.

“Think about a seed.  Once it lands, it’s stuck.  It can’t move to find better soil, moisture or sunlight.  It’s able to create every part of itself to grow and reproduce with the help of air, water and sun.”   David Suzuki

Before the Hail

Four inches of rain week before last and six inches last week.  Wow.  What a miracle.  There was also lots of hail that knocked out two windows and damaged trees and plants.

In the garden, some things were shredded by the hail or knocked down.  Usually, there’s a mass of day lilies blooming at this time in two different beds.   Those were beaten down just as their buds were ready to open.

So most of the pictures in this post were taken before the hail.

purplesageHenry Duelberg Salvia (Salvia farinacea “Henry Duelberg’) is one of the hardiest salvias I know about.  It is also called Mealy Sage.  Seven years ago three small plants were put in this raised flowerbed.

This salvia blooms well into the fall.  Swarms of bees buzz around it.  I used to be afraid to pull weeds in the area, but the bees just circle around me, only interested in the plants.

yellowpoppyThis Texas Yellow Primrose (I think) was planted a year ago and continues to bloom and spread out.

yellowflower2

steerA friend watched intently as each photo was snapped.

yellowrosesAll the roses seem to bloom at the same time, no matter what their variety.  It’s like a fairy has sprinkled the flowers on the bushes overnight.  They all die about the same time. Then there is a period of rest before they all are filled with flowers again.

These two bushes with yellow roses are floribundas.

climbingroseThis Madam Norbert De Velleur climbing rose bush has gorgeous clusters of small roses.  Even though I can’t find this particular rose on the internet, I’m reasonably certain its name was copied correctly when it was bought three years ago.

larkspurLarkspur seeds from a friend yielded a great crop.  In fact, they popped up in several flowerbeds around the yard.  That’s okay because they are so cheery.

larkspur2In fact, this is the plant that received the most comments when our Garden Club met here in May.

gladiolasFirst gladiolas of the season just started blooming.  Continuing beauty from such a small investment for bulbs four years ago.

gladiolas2One of the great things about gladiolas is the tall stalk with lots of buds.   The buds start opening from the bottom up.  So as a cut flower, as the bottom flowers wilt, they can be pulled off.  Usually, I cut the stems shorter at that point.  This allows them to last about a week or longer with fresh looking flowers.

The hail is a good reminder to enjoy each day as it happens.  Back to the old adage of taking time to smell the roses.

“When told the reason for Daylight Saving time the old Indian said, ‘Only a white man would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of a blanket and have a longer blanket.'”  Author Unknown