Tuesday, August 16, 2016

August Foliage Follow Up

We are waiting for late summer blooms as Tithonia and Duranta start to put on blooms for summer butterflies in the background of this next picture.

Cannas that bloomed through July and into August are now resting but the chartreuse foliage is attractive  when leaves are backlit by the sun.

Cycads are among my favorite garden structures with their stiff fronds. 

 Variegated Hydrangea Mariesii had a hard time this year with my self-imposed watering ban. Fortunately we had enough rain to bring them through the dry times.

The purples of summer: Persian Shield above and Purple Heart below.

If you look closely, you can see a String Lily Crinum bud.
I had forgotten moving that Crinum last year.
I am very fond of Purple Heart. It returns from winter death.
It roots easily. In the ground it spreads; in a pot it grows downward.

Another plant that returned from Winter Death.
I am waiting for this cane begonia to decide whether to bloom.

Monday, August 15, 2016

August Bloom Day

We had a wetter than usual August with some really hot dry days early in the month.

Biggest and brightest first: Caesalpinia pulcherrima and Tecoma stans. We call them Pride of Barbados and Esperanza. Seen here against a wall of corn in the field behind.

 Tillandsia cyanea, one of three Bromeliads blooming now. A Billbergia bloomed earlier in the season.
Okay, T. cyanea has bracts. The blooms are tiny and blue and stick out of those bracts, soon.

This  Neoreglia Bromeliad has white buds in the center, the tiny blue blossoms come and go.

 I think this might be Guzmania Bromeliad; I tend to easily forget their names. 

 The only ginger that I have that blooms. Hidden Ginger, Curcuma petiolata.

Coral Porterweed, Stachytarpeta spp.

 Blue Porterweed with a Gulf Fritillary butterfly. Porterweeds have lush foliage following plentiful rain. Butterflies love the tiny blooms on those long whips.

 Red Shrimp Plant and White Shrimp Plant.
The white Justicia is just bracts now, the tiny pink flowers have dried. It will commence bloom again as the days get shorter. There is plenty of lush foliage.
 Pentas. The red was the first Pentas I ever planted. This is rooted from that same plant or another cutting from it. Pentas is one of the finest butterfly plants and can be kept as a house plant over winter.

Tithonia, another butterfly magnet, was slow to grow from seed and return this year. I usually depend on last year's seed pods to reseed themselves in place.

Pink Pentas, 'Miss Julie's Favorite'   

I saved the biggest bloom of all for last: a female Cycad flower. There are seeds inside this big round nest of a blossom. I've written before about saving the big orange seeds, soaking and germinating them and bringing a seed to produce a new cycad.

The first time I did that, a squirrel destroyed my plant when I put it outside. I have two small cycads in the greenhouse that took a long time to grow. I think they were from year before last and now they're just small plants. Supposedly Cycads only bloom every 4 years or so. This one loves to produce more often. I feel compelled to save some seeds every time.

Seeds are what blooms are about. I failed to plant Zinnias this summer, the only thing that I miss.

Happy Bloom Day. Do visit Carol at May Dreams Garden, leave a comment, link your blog with  August Blooms and go see blossoms all over the world through her links.


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