The red rose, white Pentas, white salvia and Salvia 'Black& Blue' barely constitute a floral sparkler let alone the explosion of color I was hoping to gather for a photo. Real fireworks, legal or otherwise, can be heard around Austin on every Fourth of July. I like fireworks, but have always felt tense as bottle rockets flew over dried-out roofs in our usual hot, dry summers. They'll be very hard to light this year!
It's still pouring in Texas, and I wonder whether this photo of a puddle in the secret garden might be considered garden porn by those of you who need rain so badly. [Lilac and peony photos fit this category for me!] If you're in a drought area, may gentle, slow soaking rains fall on your gardens soon, allowing the waterlogged places [like Oklahoma City, which had 20 straight days of rain] to dry out a little.
MSS of Zanthan Gardens has concentrated on tomatoes lately and Pam/Digging has been away from her blog for a while. Well, while Pam is busy and you're missing her fabulous photos, my photos might look better ! Here are a few from my garden this week - some have rain and mist, others were taken in sun. When the rain stopped and the sun came out, I covered myself in mosquito spray and went out to weed and prune.
This unnamed oriental lily bloomed in a deck container for a few years, was planted in the ground in 2005, and is somehow living and blooming in our heavy clay soil. There have been a few flowers each year, but there were 10 buds this June - and they're huge, measuring 8-inches across when fully open.
In closeup this lily has little 'bumps' but no spots like the Stargazers. One flower in a vase puts out so much fragrance it can be overpowering inside the house.
The 'City of Portland' canna loves the moisture and keeps blooming. There's a little coral color blended into the brick of our house. This color sets off a war when something in the magenta/pink range is planted near the brick, but growing the cannas near the wall looks okay to me - what do you think?
Another Canna goes by several names, including 'Praetoria' and 'Bengal Tiger', and has striped foliage and orange flowers. I planted it in three places in my garden, liking how it looks near this 'Acoma' crepe myrtle and a self-seeded tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, with Perovskia/Russian sage at the base .The Zephranthes 'Labuffarosea' rainlilies opened a few flowers, but their numbers are down from last year. I don't think they like being waterlogged - some of the bulbs may have rotted underground.
Last year two Snail Vines, Phaseolous caracalla, ran rampant in my garden. One took over the garden arch and smothered the Coral Honeysuckle, leading me to evict it. The other one covered the metal obelisk so densely that the structure was invisible, but I liked the flowers, so let it finish the season.
Once free of the annual snail vine, the Coral honeysuckle did well, and has taken over the arch. It's been showing off those flowers nonstop since March, framing the garden and attracting hummingbirds.
I planted seeds for Moonvine, Ipomoea alba, and Blue Pea Vine, Clitoria ternatea, at the base of the obelisk a couple of months ago - actually planting them twice, since the first seeds never sprouted. The second set of seeds sprouted and are twining up the metal bars, but are not yet blooming. I like the way the obelisk looks this year, and am not in a big hurry for the flowers. The birds seem delighted with the exposed framework - a hummingbird likes to perch on the crossbar in between sips at the Buddleja, honeysuckle and Salvias and it's also a favorite hangout for the wrens.
I hope you're all having a safe and happy holiday, with some sparkle in your evening.