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.
Those wasps look like fairies!
Gosh Jaime, they do!
It is raining raining, I am oh so happy. Was doing my regular check on your site and I love the pictures. Went back on some of your old posts because I have been told to go on a dairy free diet. It is a lot harder than I thought and having cheese cravings. On one of your old posts you mention a dairy free Havarti cheese. Where in the city area do you get that and are there other choices like a dairy free muenster or provolone?
The rain was delightful wasn’t it? I love the rain. Laura, I wrote you an email about where to find dairy free foods. We are so much luckier than we once were. Now, we have Whole Foods, Uptown Market and Sunflower Market. We are fortunate people.
Beautiful, Dee! Thanks so much for the info on the drip watering system. I’m going to give it a shot! Dee, does the “Black & Blue” salvia return regularly or just because the last winter was mild? My daughter inherited some when she bought her new house and the hummingbirds are mad about it! I’m hot after some for myself!
Hi Vickie! Yes, it returns faithfully every year. It’s definitely a perennial. Thanks!
Beautiful post…and I so agree about grasses…I’ve also been adding more and more in my garden. I have an annual one this year as well, Pennisetum ‘Vertigo’, it’s quite similar to your ‘Princess Caroline’, but maybe more black…not quiet as red.
Thank you Scott. I love my grasses, and I’m using them more and more. I looked up ‘Vertigo.’ It’s a beauty to be sure.
I also love switchgrass. Your garden looks great, despite the crunchy bamboo. I’ll have to check out drip systems for containers – all the watering does get to be a drag.
Oh Jason, I hope you do. The drip system has freed me to do other things.
Honey, your garden and your blog are beautiful. I also had the sudden idea that it would be lovely to have a ‘drip’ system for myself, where drops of energy and calmness plunked into me at a constant rate. 🙂 Love…
Rosebud, I need a drip system to get my energy back. I’ve been so ill. Love to you.
Hey my dear friend,
Now don’t you think your garden could serve as a poster boy for drip system Love the walk to your arbor. Recently read arbors served a very utilitarian purpose as their inception to shade the horses of visitors to the home. I read in the same story picket fences were designed to stop chickens from encroaching in the yard. All makes sense? Necessity is the mother of all invention. Keep up the good work. You’re inspiring a new generation of gardeners and revitalizing the rest of us.
Patrick, your comments always lift my day. I hope it could become that if it would help people. We’re just going to have to rely on different things, you know? Thanks for your kind words. I do think I read the same about picket fences, but I never heard that about arbors. I love my arbors, and I have too many, but hey, it’s my garden. It’s okay. At least, that’s what I tell myself.
Your gardens look so tidy. Mine are an overgrown mess but I’m working on remedying that!
Cindy, I don’t think they’re tidy at all. Yours are beautiful.
I noticed last week when I was in Oklahoma that there were a lot of those ‘true” red crapemyrtles. I hope to find a few of the Tightwad for next year. Haven’t found any down here in the piney woods of east Texas. I guess that means another trip to Oklahoma.
Ann, I think there are so many true red crapemyrtles here because of Dr. Carl Whitcomb. He worked for years to select them, and he’s from Stillwater. I interviewed him a few years ago. You can find them at lots of nurseries here.
Looking at your garden, Dee, you would never know you were in the midst of such a hot and dry summer–everything looks beautiful! ‘Princess Caroline’ is indeed a showstopper. I’m wondering if this is what we had in a planter at the Idea Garden last year. Everyone commented on it, but no one could remember what the name of it was:)
How awful to have your blog hacked! I wouldn’t know where to begin to fix things; glad you had someone who could help you get it back up.
Well, Rose, I’m able to water, and I choose a lot of plants that don’t mind the heat. My garden is definitely changing, and plants that were borderline heat-wise are being culled one by one. I’m afraid one day all the roses will be gone because they can’t stand the heat. A few from Texas are fine, but others are sad, sad. As for the blog, we wouldn’t have found the malware had it not taken the entire host site down. Lucky for me, I have a lot of help from them. They had to work very hard to get everyone back up. I felt bad.
Lisa at Greenbow
Seeing the Crepe with the beauty berry is giving me ideas. Such a pretty combo. I have never seen the Princess Caroline grass. It doesn’t look like a grass at all. I like the wide strappy leaves. I am glad to hear that you are getting a little rain. We have too. I was dancing in the garden with joy. My daughter would just shake her head. tee hee… Happy GBBD.
Always bowled over by your garden – and the way that, despite some awful things happening from time to time, you are able to accommodate yourself to a difficult climate. And now . . . you have coped with a hacker. My heart sunk, then went bump when I read that. As for rain – we get a lot of it but it’s still exciting when it arrives. Not only do we depend on it . . . it’s wonderful too for the feel of it, the sight of it – and its smell.
“Any southern garden with a lot of sun should have as many crapemyrtles as possible. ”
I could not agree more! I hope you feel more than a few drops soon – real soon.
Les, I thought of you when I wrote that line. We both love crapemyrtles so much. They are truly the stars of my garden right now, and I don’t know what I’d do without these versatile plants.
Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful!
Have a wonderful day!
Donna@Gardens Eye View
I cut back many daylilies too to make them look better and sometimes here in fall they bloom again…how awful to be hacked…I had an attack that was thwarted months ago and then host server issues and then finally a new host and the blog is still not fully up…but enough to keep going…good to have those amazing tech friends. I love the long view to the arbor.
Janet, The Queen of Seaford
Sorry to hear your blog got hacked, super glad it got fixed so quickly.
Your grasses are gorgeous. I planted Princess Molly (I think, have to check the list) and it didn’t come back the next year….bummer. It was borderline hardy. Your yard is really thick and lush, not at all what I think of when I think of Oklahoma.
Hope the kids have a good school year.
It looks lush and lovely to me, Dee, not burnt up and crisp! I love that Princess Caroline grass, nice substance and color. Will look for it next year, since it obviously can take the heat! Yelling about raindrops sounds perfectly normal. I too, love a good storm, miss them, when the wind comes sweeping down the plain….