Yesterday, my blog was hacked, and because of malware, it took down my blog host’s entire system. Luckily, I have a wonderful technician who rebuilt the blog from scratch. It just came back online.
Above are some of my containers filled with tropical plants. Tropicals are the way to go with plants in containers. Also, install a drip system like Bill and I did. I talk about it over at Lowe’s website. Maybe a drip system for your containers would help you too.
In weather news, the heat is stuck in the on position although I hear of cooler weather in our future. It’s also back-to-school time again. My youngest went to a new middle school. My son is a senior in high school, and Diva is at the university. So, they’re all tucked in, and I can think about the garden and how to carry it through fall. We had a bit of rain night before last, and rain is in the forecast for the rest of the week after today. These are just possibilities though so I’m not holding my breath.
When the storms came in the other night, a gust front began to whip around the garden, and I felt an old familiar excitement. I do love a good thunderstorm, and it’s been so long.
When the first raindrop fell upon my open arms, I yelled to Bear, “A raindrop!!! A raindrop!!!” Thirteen years old now, she smiled at me like an indulgent aunt. She does that a lot. I think I embarrass her just a bit. Good thing we live out in the country so no saw my overreaction. She won’t admit it, but she was excited too.
I was taking photos during the golden hour before sunset, and here are a few of the things I saw for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. This tired bumble found a gentle place to snooze before the storm. The winds blew, but he never stirred. Isn’t he the most exquisite color against the pink zinnia? If only I could drink Alice’s potion and become small for a moment or two.
I walked the gravel paths and spied these narrow-waisted wasps. They hung on by a slender thread to the grass as the entire clump swung back and forth in the wind. I worked and worked to get this shot of them, and they were not pleased by my attention. Still, they didn’t go after me. Wasps don’t bother me in the garden, but get near a nest, and . . . you know the rest of that tale.
I love grasses, and I’ve incorporated more and more of them into the garden’s design over the years. Some are annuals here like ‘Princess Molly,’ ‘Princess Caroline’ and ‘Fireworks.’ They are the bold and brassy redheads of the garden.
Most perennial grasses are more subtle like this Miscanthus sinensis, maiden hair grass, on the left side of the lower photo.
Below, is Callicarpa japonica, Japanese beautyberry, not to be confused with our native C. americana. I bought this lovely and delicate plant from a women in Raleigh, NC, when I saw it in her garden. Japanese beautyberry should grow four to six feet tall and wide. It has very few pests, and like our American version, it is popular with winter birds. It sits beneath my original Lagerstroemia indica, crapemyrtle. The colors play well off of each other, and I tried to enhance them by planting bright, pink periwinkles on the other side of the small path. I think it looks quite nice.
The crapemyrtles really deserve their own post for they are carrying the garden now. Remember when they froze all the way to the ground the winter of 2010? In their shorter stature, they still take the mantle from Phlox paniculata, both the cultivar ‘Bright Eyes’ and the plain pink, each summer. The phlox are still blooming, along with ‘Black and Blue’ salvia, but they are starting to wane.
The crapemyrtles are still lush, and I’ve noticed tiny pollinators especially love ‘Dynamite,’ a tall red. It must have more nectar than many of the others.
Any southern garden with a lot of sun should have as many crapemyrtles as possible. No room? Plant the smaller cultivars. There are so many now including weeping forms. I may try some of those next spring. I like the idea of them weeping over the concrete wall, and I’m removing some of my daylilies. Someone wrote and asked what to do about unattractive, shrinking, daylily foliage. My advice is to pull off the dead leaves and try not to worry. Also, plant lots of companion plants to shelter your daylilies and their ugly foliage from the sun. Mine are mixed with roses, shrubs, summer bulbs, phlox, mums and aster. So many daylilies shrink because they want to go dormant when it’s this hot for a long period. The evergreen ones aren’t as bad. Dormants shrink a lot, but they always rebound as soon as the weather turns around . . . if you water.
I deadheaded most of the roses yesterday, and I noticed when I ventured outside that many of them were covered in morning glories. Those silly vines want to take over when the weather is hot and miserable. I just pulled them off of everything and threw them into the compost pile. Of course, I’m sure most went to seed. Another thing I try not to worry about too much.
I can’t wait to visit everyone’s blogs and see what they have blooming for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting it every month. Sorry I was late. GBBD is one of my favorite postings of the month because I get to see your blooms and reevaluate my own garden.