Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Say Goodnight, Gracie

Storms moved through last night with cold weather following. The first real freeze is expected tonight with a low of 29 degrees -- cold to us. I made pictures of the last of everything. Buffy kindly posed for perspective on the Lantana bed.

Goodnight, Julia Child.

Goodnight, Buckeyes.
Sulphurs and Gulf Frits were still busy on Tuesday in a cool wind.

Last of the zinnias. Purple Heart has already suffered a light frost.
Airplane plants may make it through the winter. I brought in some.

Crape myrtle color will be soon replaced by blooms on Camellias.
These are seedlings planted more than a decade ago.

Purple Lantana is hardier. Yellow has already stopped bloom.
Salvia leucantha behind has new growth at the base which will be killed back.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Finally Fall Color

Crape Myrtle Foliage with the muted leaves of Loropetalum.
In the far background are huge bales of cotton on an adjoining farm.

Native sumac and sassafras among scrub oaks and pine.

Crape Myrtles aflame between the driveways.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fall Approaches with Smoky and Bright

We have few bright fall leaves. Our brights are mostly yellows, mixed with smoky purples.

Purple Heart, melampodium, periwinkles and Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha)
To the left of the periwinkles are clumps of Lemon grass, a fav of the pets.

Duranta with Madagascar periwinkles

Melampodium and Stachytarpheta

Lantana montevidensis

Esperanza (Tecoma stans)

We need rain. Again.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Today's Bulbs and those of Spring

It's time to think about planting bulbs for spring and forcing some for winter color inside.

Meantime, fall bulbs put a splash of brilliant color into the landscape.

Oxblood Lilies (Rhodophiala bifida) and chartreuse alternanthera survived recent dought.

A closer look at emerging Oxblood Lilies
These need dividing and moving to make a grander show.


Lycoris radiata are blooming, too.

L. radiata with Porterweed and pentas in the upper garden.

A close up view of L. radiata. The yellow did not bloom.

Now I have to review last spring's pics to see where there are spaces to fill with spring-blooming bulbs. If I had spaces with specific bulbs in mind, those would already be on order. Some years I wait for late bulb sales. Last year I thought the hyacinths were the best show of spring but there are never too many daffodils.

There are some amaryllis getting ready to die back that failed to bloom this spring. I want to dig those, let them rest and force for winter bloom. The big peach color amaryllis that I bought last fall has grown on, died back in its pot and will soon be ready to start again for Christmas bloom.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Survey Commences

Cloudy weather brought us a little cooling with humidity from the rain. Working outside leaves one kind of damp. Summer is still with us. I cleaned out the stump bed where Guly Muhly edges the side next to the driveway.

Pentas behind Gulf Muhly.
That awful grass with the star-shaped seed heads went to seed while I wasn't paying attention.
I pulled it all out along with dozens of weeds and put down fresh pine straw
raked from the other side of the yard. Some Melampodium was pulled to
make more room for Duranta that has decided to grow and bloom.

Gone to seed and dead is the frilly gaillardia from seed. I sprinkled seed heads just in case.
At the top of the mound are five Lantana montevidensis that started out as rooted cuttings.

I cut back some dying lily stalks and ugly Shasta daisy stalks. 
As best I can tell, all the Stokesia died out. It does that some years. 
It will come back as little seedlings here and there and we will start over next spring.

Late August is a discouraging time in the garden when there was a drought.
If you look close, there is new rose growth, blooms on Loropetalum, signs of impending
bloom among the fall blooming salvias. Red leaves on sassafras signals fall coming.

A mandevilla shares the grape arbor with ripening scuppernong grapes.

I sprayed the wasp nests in the greenhouse (I'm allergic).
Ike the Cat is eager to start moving back in as soon as the weather cools a little more.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

and the Winner Is, in the Drought and Heat:

Lantana! Yellow Lantana has suffered more from the heat than Lantana montevidensis.

This is what I noticed first as I drove in from town:

Butterflies found Lantana, too.

Salivia leucantha behind is getting ready for fall bloom.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Duranta joins Datura as a Drought Fighter

Back in February I was wondering if my Duranta was dead. It finally sent up little sprouts and I planted out the pieces I had rooted just in case.

On the way to the mailbox I noticed that last year's big Duranta has reached 5 feet tall and is blooming. I've been staying in out of the heat. We  had rain early in the week, then a trace yesterday, lots of thunder and lightning this afternoon. I ducked out just long enough to get an illustration pic for today.

Lemon grass, Madagascar periwinkles and Duranta

Rooted pieces of Duranta have endured. One has come into bloom.
Duranta with Melampodium, an annual for hot and dry.

Duranta is wonderful with yellow. Maybe next year I'll have Duranta and Esperanza together.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bloom Day and Summer Fruit

There was little rain this month and everything is crispy in the heat.

White Datura manages a few blooms every night to perfume the air. They last until the sun takes them out.

Pentas are dry but butterflies are finding a few blooms for nectar. I'm watering them today.

Shrimp plant continues to bloom despite dry conditions. My photos were not good.

Curcumas are the only gingers blooming.
Drought has revealed the blossoms.
They are usually hidden under foliage.

Scuppernong grapes are ripening and sweet. We watered.

Esperanza has finally bloomed those grand yellow bells.
Pride of Barbados is putting on seed pods and wilting in the heat.
Hard pears are almost ready to make preserves.
We had one peach pie from wild peaches.

Pineapple Pears are ripe and buttery sweet.

Not a partridge in the pear tree, but a mockingbird.
The baby birds have flown.

That's the best of Bloom Day this August. There are scattered roses, enough tithonia on dry plants to attract butterflies, a bit of Moonbeam coreopsis and some listless lantana. Purple Heart is surviving to give that rich purple color. I'm starting to water again after staying inside out of the sun for more than a week. Every day holds promise of rain but it usually passes us by.

Happy Bloom Day to all.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dog Days

The hot, humid weather of dog days plays havoc with my carefully planned flower beds. The saving grace is that the grass is green from occasional showers of rain. When the grass seed heads are clipped off and weeds mown down, the garden looks neat despite my lack of attention during sultry afternoons.

What are dog days without a dog?

The picture above has dried seed heads of Black eyed Susans.

Shady spots still boast a few BES.

Butterflies and Zinnias enjoy hot sunny days.

I planted Lantana montevidensis and lilies; 
Melampodium and Tithonia planted themselves.

A Gulf Fritillary enjoys Tithonia.

Licorice Plant and Persian Shield are good companions.

Buffy still enjoys a romp with her Teddy but there isn't much left of Teddy.
He lost all his stuffing, his limbs and most of his head. 

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia USA. Join us in a glass of iced Ruby Tea, dark and barely sweet.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Looks Like another Hot Bloom Day

I was afraid I couldn't find a bloom for Bloom Day if the heat persisted without rain. It remains dry with thunder in the distance most every afternoon but few rain showers. I'm making notes of what best takes drought.

The yellow rose bed boasts an occasional daylily and a gladiolus along with scattered yellow roses. Nearby beds have yellow lantana in bloom. Also tolerant of drought is 'Moonbeam' coreopsis.

Meadow builders take note: Laura Bush Petunias appeared from seed in the new bed where everything failed except crab grass. These LB Petunias are in planned areas with Melampodium which also laughs at drought but does not attract butterflies.

Butterflies are attracted to Tithonia and Croscosmia. Both of these are glorious thugs, crowding their companions and easily planting themselves. Notice the crocosmia sports 2 dogface sulphurs. I'll give the dogfaces a post of their own soon, I managed a rare accidental pic of one with wings spread.

Other butterfly favorites blooming now are Verbena on a Stick, Zinnias, Pentas and Porterweed.

Purples! Purple Alternanthera has insignificant tiny clover-like blooms. It is grown for the foliage. Purple Heart has little pink blooms, shown here with Lantana montevidensis. Persian Shield blooms in the greenhouse in the winter, but rarely in the garden. I planted licorice plant not shown here, to bring out the silver in the leaves.  Licorice plant tolerates drought very well, but Persian Shield wants water.

Brazilian Ruellia doesn't mind that it is hot and dry. Neither does Madagascar periwinkle, here in a pale pink that is my favorite.

Among the best tropicals in bloom: Shrimp Plant and two colors of Crinum. Crinums really prefer oceans of water. Pride of Barbados remains in bloom and is putting on seed pods, but I'm not showing P of B as they were not at their best. Yesterday was the first glorious bloom of Tecoma stans, which I'll leave for next month when they're plentiful.

Roses are not the show that they were back in April, but blooms are still appearing. Here: Climbing Peace, Red Cascade and Gene Boerner floribunda.

More roses. The picture of Purple Alternanthera in an earlier pic is viewed from the end of the Rose Rose Bed. Here's a closer look. We are fast approaching the time when rose bushes need an August haircut. Knockout roses are touted as not needing deadheading, but they look better when they get attention. Bottom right is Gene Boerner again, a pink favorite. Top right is Reine des Violettes.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia USA where rose fragrance is noticed along with the fragrance of phlox and an occasional Magnolia blossom. Join us in a glass of iced Ruby Tea, dark and barely sweet.

Bloom Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her site for links to other Bloom Day Gardens and to link your own.