Fairy parasols perhaps?

Did you know at least some Japanese maples bloom?

Acer palmatum dissectum 'Viridis'

They do.  Many of mine are now sending out tiny, hovering umbrellas under which only a fairy could find shade.

Bark, leaves and blooms of Acer palmatum dissectum 'Viridis'

Do you think the fairies hold tea parties beneath and carry their Lilliputian parasols aloft as they sip cups of Sencha or Gyokuro ?

Acer palmatum 'Tsuma gaki'

I like to think so.  One more.

Acer palmatum 'Sango kaku'

Interestingly, it’s only my green ones which show this tendency, and the blooms are more prolific in those trees which get morning sun.  These blooms give way to winged samaras (seeds) later in the summer. I can’t wait to see.

This is gardening’s true gift.  The ability to see something new everyday.

“Walking around
an early spring garden–
going nowhere.”

– Kyoshi

To continue your Sunday Stroll, please visit Aisling at the Quiet Country House.

A stroll through the Saturday garden

H. 'Indian Giver' (Ferguson 1991)
H. 'Indian Giver' (Ferguson 1991)

I am sorry to say that I’ve gotten out of the habit of doing my Sunday Stroll with Aisling from the Quiet Country House.  On Sundays, I have family commitments.  I often miss the stroll, and it is one of my favorite memes on the blogosphere.  So, this week, I’m going to stroll on Saturday instead.  I hope Aisling won’t mind.

Above, I took this photo of H. ‘Indian Giver’ which is a small diploid, meaning it has two identical sets of chromozones in each cell.   Ever since hybridizers discovered how to treat daylily seeds with colchicine, we now have tetraploids.  Thus, daylilies are divided into dips and tets.  I like both for different reasons.  H. ‘Indian Giver’ is a favorite because its bloom possesses the delicate dip form with shades of both lavender and purple.  The colors in this photo accurately represent ‘Indian Giver’ (one of the first daylilies I bought), and it is placed in the garden where it gets enough shade so that it doesn’t wash out on 100F degree days.  If I photographed it in the sun, you would see more of the gray undertones of the flower which aren’t pretty.

If I’d never seen H. ‘Indian Giver’, I wouldn’t have gone nuts over daylilies several years ago.

We are at midseason with daylily bloom.  Some are just now coming into flower, and others are finished.  Some are sending up second scapes (stems), and others still have lots of buds on their scapes.  To me, the garden appears full of floating butterflies, but the daylilies are starting to wind down, and that is all right because other plants will now bloom in their place.

Can you see the lake in the background?
Can you see the lake in the background?

Many daylily hybridizers prefer tets because they believe there is more opportunity to create unusual edges, brighter colors, flowers with strong substance, etc.  Some hybridizers like John Shooter at Marietta Gardens are dedicated to dips, and he has done some wonderful things with the edges and eyes in his diploid introductions.

H. 'Victorian Lace' (Stamile 1999)
H. 'Victorian Lace' (Stamile 1999)

‘Victorian Lace’ is a tetraploid.  Compare it with ‘Indian Giver’, and I think you can see the difference in ploidy.  However, also consider that these two flowers are just a representation of their particular ploidy and not directly related to each other.  I love both flowers the same way I love both tets and dips.  I think it all depends on what you want in a particular flower.  Fortunately, there are so many different hybrids that gardeners can find the kind of flower they want.

As I’ve mentioned before, it is really hot here with temps of over 100F for over a week.  However, that hasn’t hurt the garden.  In fact, everything continues to bloom well.  The irrigation system helps.  The beds and borders are irrigated with a drip line system which makes my job easier.

Echinaceas in full bloom
Echinaceas in full bloom

I get to enjoy the garden more than in years past.  The one good thing about the heat is that the weedy grasses, with the exception of the Bermuda, are slowing down.  I’m going to try a natural herbicide in the paths today.  I’ll let you know if it works.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Cuphea 'Tiny Mice' with a native Gaillardia
C. Tiny Mice with a native Gaillardia

Pam, I’m not sure about Cuphea llavea Tiny Mice.  It seems to really like this spot, and is growing larger everyday.  It is still not as large as its Bat-Faced cousin, but may achieve that later in the season despite its tag.  I’ve also looked around the Internet, and they may be the same plant although Proven Winners shows this as a different variety.  It does look more floriferous than the Bat-Faced one in a container on the deck.  The above combo is unfortunately planted in front of a pale pink daylily and could have made it in Elizabeth’s garish combo parade.  Fortunately, they didn’t all take off at once, and this daylily is finished for the season.

Rosa 'Carefree Wonder'
Rosa Carefree Delight

Most of the roses have retired to their queenly chambers until fall, and those that haven’t are crisped and faded from the sun.  One exception is R. ‘MElpotal’, a/k/a Carefree Delight, which is beautiful spring to fall.  If you decide to plant this big girl, better have a lot of room for her to spread her thorny canes because she will snag you at the slightest opportunity.  I learned not to take it personally.  I have deadheaded nearly all of the roses and in a month or two, they will look good again.

H. 'Annabelle'
H. 'Annabelle'

Hyrdangea arborenscens ‘Annabelle’ is in full swing and what a dance it is.  Like I wrote last year, I did plant the other shrub I have on the other side of the arbor.  You can’t see it in this photo, but it isn’t as large as this ‘Annabelle’ and still looks a bit out of balance.  Next year, they will be more copasetic.