It's hard for me to get excited about my garden in late summer, especially this year when the garden never got the boost normally provided by our winter rainy season. The downside of sandy, well-drained soil is that it doesn't hold onto moisture long enough. I'd like to give everything a really good soak but I feel guilty about providing extra water when our drought is so serious. Even when I find something new in bloom, I can't avoid seeing what's dead or dying out of the corner of my eye. However, my Bloom Day survey helped put things in perspective! I may not have as many flowers in bloom as I did last year or the year before but I've still got a good supply to share this September.
I haven't watered my cutting garden as much as I usually do during the hot summer months but it's still watered much more liberally than the rest of my garden. The dahlias and zinnias are once again playing starring roles.
|Dahlia 'Akita', which I'm growing for the first time this year, is my favorite. These are three views of the same flower as it aged.|
|Euryops chrysanthemoides 'Sonnenschein', a common plant putting on an uncommon performance in partial shade with relatively little water|
|The #1 bee magnet in my garden this summer is this African blue basil (Ocimum hybrid)|
|All my Phalaenopsis (moth orchids) are blooming in my shaded lath house. I don't have proper names for any of them.|
|This Plumeria was a gift from a neighbor who found this cutting and others in a trash can. I've had another, larger Plumeria in a bigger pot for years and it's never bloomed.|
|This twiggy Bauhinia x blakeana (aka Hong Kong orchid tree) needs a good trim, which will have to wait as it's full of flowers (most well above my head)|
|This year, I managed to get Clematis terniflora (aka sweet autumn clematis) to climb to the very top of its arbor, also putting the flowers above my head (and making them difficult to photograph in the process)|
|Correa 'Ivory Bells' (aka Australian fuchsia)|
|The Japanese anemones have apparently been reclassified as Eriocapitella hupehensis|
|I was late in cutting back the ornamental grasses this year but Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum' is getting its bloom on now|
|I've tried growing Plectranthus ecklonii twice before without success but it looks as though I finally found a spot it likes. Planted in March, it's still well shy of the 6 foot plant it's supposed to become but it's alive and flowering.|
|Vitex trifolia 'Purpurea' (aka Arabian lilac) is also difficult to photograph but it produces a lot of these delicate flowers and the leaves are also attractive|
|Grevillea 'Superb' (left and top right) and G. 'Peaches & Cream' flower year round in my climate and both bees and hummingbirds love them as much as I do|
|Top row: Achillea 'Moonshine' Helianthus 'Lemon Queen', and Lantana 'Lucky Yellow'|
Second row: Gazania 'Red Stripe' and Lantana 'Irene'
Third row: Xerochrysum bracteatum in red and orange
All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party