July 2012

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day July 2012

Honeysuckle (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

I hate to sound like a broken record, but, well, I’m living where all the weather records have been broken, making this the driest June/July in more than 100 years.

Summer Sky agapanthus. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Because of that, flowering plants are at a minimum because I’ve been watering to keep things alive, not just flowering. Plus, in weeks of 100 and 90-degree days, the flowers are not here very long.

But here’s what we’ve got:

Sikes Dwarf oakleaf hydrangea (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

The flowers on the oakleaf hydrangea Sikes Dwarf (H. quercifolia) are beginning to turn pink. Amazingly, this plant has not had any leaf spots, a frequent problem for these hydrangeas.

The containers of annuals are doing all right, including the Mahogany Splendor hibiscus (H. acetosella), Shock Wave Rose Improved and Debonair Black Cherry petunias.

I’ve also been somewhat impressed with a red trailing vinca (Catharanthus roseus) I have in a hanging basket. These guys can sure take the heat.

Trailing vinca hanging basket (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Vinca (or periwinkle) is one of my favorite hard working annual bedding plants for hot, dry areas.

The honeysuckle Goldflame (Lonicera x heckrottii) and Serotina (L. periclymenum) are blooming again and do provide a lovely fragrance in an otherwise autumn scented landscape.

The pink Suntory Sun Parasol mandevilla also is doing great, although the flowers don’t seem to be as large as the more common variety. The verbena Seabrook Lavender also is doing great. The latter is from Blooms of Bressingham.

Black Beauty lily. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

One of my favorite martagon lilies Black Beauty (Lilium) (an heirloom from Old House Gardens) is blooming, but look terribly stressed even though I have been watering it. The flower petals look contorted and the leaves are yellow…signs for not enough water, I think.

The agapanthus Summer Sky, which I got just last Friday from Hines Growers, is beautiful and I love the variegated foliage. Unfortunately, this and the three other plants: Lavender Veil and Purple Splendor buddleia and Purple Dream crinum were not packed well and arrived and empty pots and balls of dirt and plants.

I got a pink crinum last year at the Garden Writers Association annual meeting and the leaves are growing like crazy, but no flowers yet.

I also have not had any tomatoes, probably because I got them planted in early June. They are finally growing, though, and two green fruits offer me hope.

(C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Meantime, the squirrels keep me entertained.

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for being the host of Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. She was inspired by the writings of the late Elizabeth Lawrence, whose garden Carol visited recently.