Here’s my thrid installment for this years garden tour and I’m no where near showing everything. However, I am up the summer flowers though. Many of these have already bloomed and faded but I’m still enjoying a few stragglers.
That’s how it goes with perennials. Some have a long bloom life while others might be a fleeting two weeks. Perhaps the rain or wind knocked them off early or maybe that’s just their flowering cycle. *sigh*
Oh well. Flowers aren’t here just for our viewing and smelling pleasure only. They have important business to take care of like getting pollinated and continuing their line. Insects and birds depend on their survival for theirs. We just get to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
If you plan correctly (like I’ve attempted to do and still strive to) you can have flowers that continue all the seasons long. I’m still working on a few holes I have in the blooming windows and I rely heavily on annuals for that.
For instance May and June are easy, everything has its first flush of flowers and all is just beautiful. Sure, after that first flush they might give you sporadic blooms here and there (and I’m grateful and relish each one) but I’ve not found a perennial that blooms constantly. That’s what annual flowers and summer plants are for.
By the time we get to August, that’s where the planning really pays off. And since it’s currently August, I’ll be sharing those blooms a little later, they’re still coming on. Yes, I’m anxiously awaiting but I don’t want to rush summer too much.
I consider tending my flowers a privilege and while I love control, I know that I’m really at the mercy of Mother Nature. We can try to extend the blooms or change the soil for our own wants – think of messing with the ph to change those hydrangeas from pink to blue. But it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature! (remember that? see it here) ha ha… okay back on topic.
Most of my gardens are perennials, like I said but I love so many flowers and certain ones just have to be in my gardens each year like zinnias. Oh I just love zinnias. Also one that I have each year is a vine called Lofos (Lophospermum erubescens).
New for me this year is a pineapple lily (Eucomis) seen below. I went to my local grower (Hastings Plants) three times waiting for this to be available. Wow was it worth it. In the early spring, when the foliage pops up it’s a brilliant dark purple and will look fantastic complimenting the chartreuse green of my sedum. I’m already impressed with the flower, aren’t you?
The Gloriosa daisies have really put on a show and they’re still going strong. I do wonder though at their usefulness as I don’t usually see any pollinators on them. Maybe I’m just not catching them at the right time. The butterflies and bees love the coneflower though. Now the golden finch are using them like Pez dispensers eating the seed. It’s pretty cute to watch.
The Magic Lilies popped up but now just remnants of them remain. August man, it’s brutal.
I keep telling myself that I’ll get my mums early so I can enjoy blooms longer but I haven’t seen them out yet. There are some bare spots where the weeds were so thick that when I pulled them, they had killed plants I had actually planted. Bummer. That’s what I get for not weeding more often.
Speaking of bare spots, here’s some. Usually, I have everything packed in tight. So tight I don’t need mulch, but I apply it anyway (mostly). As you can see I didn’t apply it here, sadly. The rain had it’s way with these white zinnias, also the weeds layin over them.
I didn’t get a good shot of my Allium, you know flowering onion. But it is in the background of the pink zinnia below. I’m surprised by how long the allium is actually blooming. Maybe I should look into more of that, I’d like to have the real tall big globe type, it’s stunning in a garden I think.
This pink zinnia was a victim of the weeds. Even though it was in mostly sun, it got all leggy trying to fit through the weeds. When I yanked the weeds, it was pitiful so I had to stake it up.
I should’ve planted zinnias by the handful but I was in Florida during crucial watering time for seedlings and it would’ve probably been a waste so I just bought some. With the rains we got though the seed may have been washed away. I do think they grow much better when you scatter seed and not have to transplant them.
Below is a beautiful rust colored marigold. I just love the way they look and smell. Always have them and they’re easily grown by seed. They don’t seem to mind being transplanted.
With all the rain we’ve had this year and let me tell you, it’s been butt loads… the weeds have gone crazy. In fact, currently we’re having the 6th wettest year on record and the weed population is loving it.
Below is wild ageratum or Blue mistflower. It’s a native to my area and I let it pop up throughout my garden because its great filler and blooms during late July and August and even into fall. Plus how cute are these little pom pom looking flowers even though they were rain drenched? A sprinkling of blue is nice as well.
Oh the Crepe Myrtle… she is a sight to behold right now. Bees buzzin all around her. I really need to prune it though. I’ve never done that. I’ll have to do some research first, I don’t want to commit crepe murder!
This crepe myrtle came as one of those trees you get when you “donate” to the Arbor Day Foundation. It’s as tall as the house and thankfully was spared minus a few branches from when the tree fell on the kitchen this past early spring. (The Tree Incident).
This year I’m trying once again to grow hyacinth bean vine. I’m having better luck in a sunnier spot. I’m a little disappointed in it though, I didn’t use a large enough trellis and let pokeweed grow up around it. I’m sure it’s the pokeweed growing all around it that is taking away from it. Now it’s all entangled with the poke and if I remove it, it’ll probably just slump. I may try anyway.
I’ve saved one of my favorites for last.
I used to have a lot more but they have a hard time in my soil I think. I don’t dig them up during the winter making them fend for themselves. I’m not always a good plant mom. I had a giant orange one to compliment this plum color and a red one once upon a time.
Last year I planted a yellow one and it jumped ship this year.
It’s hard to tell from this photo, but it’s a dinner plate dahlia and way bigger than my fist. I did have a photo with my hand holding it up, but all you could see was my wrist and arm and that turned out to look rather… shall I say phalic looking… ahem.
Well this has been just a sampling of my summer plants. I focused more on the individual plant and flower instead of taking sweeping views of the garden that they’re in. I kinda wish I had taken both, now. Of course I have gads of photos, but each year it changes some.
Thanks for visiting my gardens! Still to come is Studio Gardens – the garden area just outside of my art studio. For now, I’ll leave you with a shot I took out my dirty window. Look close, it’s a double rainbow!
If a rainbow makes a sound, or a flower as it grows, that was the sound of her laughter. ~William P. Young
Learn more about me on the ‘About’ page under the additional links menu. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I also enjoy painting abstracts and have started created more and more of them. My most favorite thing to try to achieve in my painting is is mystery and telling mystical stories.
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