While we've been lucky to avoid the temperatures above 100F that have plagued some areas of Southern California, it's been toasty here. Many of the flowers that were going strong last month have either finished up for the season or gone into retreat. With a few exceptions, the flowers that are hanging on are present in small quantities. However, there are a few heat-loving flowers that are just coming into their own.
The Zinnias are making the biggest splash at the moment. While they like the heat, they need more water than most of my garden receives. They've been failures in the past when I planted them in my borders so this year I planted seeds and a few plugs in the raised planters in what's now my cutting garden and watered lavishly, at least by my standards. I'm pleased to say they've taken off.
|These Zinnia elegans, cactus type, were grown from seeds|
|These Zinnia elegans were also grown from seed but unfortunately I didn't label which variety was which, except that I think the lime green variety is 'Envy'|
|Bee exploring a battered 'Whirligig' Zinnia, planted as a plug|
|This skipper butterfly selected another 'Whirligig' Zinnia|
I planted sunflower seeds and dahlia tubers in my cutting garden too. The sunflowers are growing well and have buds but no blooms as yet. The dahlias are only just getting started. Not all the tubers were clearly labeled by the grower and I've made some errors in identification already but I think I have these first blooms correctly identified here.
|Dahlia 'Little Robert', the first to bloom|
My beautiful Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) have also jumped into gear this month.
|The majority of those in bloom are pink, although the blue and yellow forms are also relatively plentiful. I've had only a few white blooms thus far, and most of those have been tinged with lavender.|
|I mail ordered plugs of a new variety, 'Rosanne Black Pearl', this year. They arrived in good condition on the first shipping date permitted by the grower but, when an early heatwave hit in May, most perished. I ordered more plugs when they were offered at 50% off. Only a couple have bloomed and they're far smaller in size than any of the other Eustoma I grow and not nearly as dark as represented in the grower's photos.|
Meanwhile, the stalwart Gaillardias, which also appreciate a touch of heat, are still blooming well.
|Gaillardia 'Arizona Sun' (left) and G. 'Gallo Peach' (right)|
But the biggest floral display, if not the most welcome, is that provided by the mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin).
|As I complain every summer, it's a messy thing. I sweep up the back patio every morning and pluck fuzzy flowers from the plants in the surrounding area whenever I have time, while trying to keep in mind that the hummingbirds love the darn tree.|
I'm resorting to collages to present the best of the rest.
|Clockwise from the upper left: Salvia cacalifolia, noID Agapanthus, Catananche caerulea, Duranta repens 'Sapphire Showers', Laurentia axillaris, and Tibouchina urvilleana|
|Clockwise from the left: Centranthus ruber, Digitalis purpurea, Echeveria 'Afterglow', Origanum 'Monterey Bay', Pelargonium peltatum 'Pink Blizzard', a heat-singed 'California Dreamin' rose, and Thymus serphyllum 'Minus', beloved by the bees|
|Clockwise from the upper left: Bauhinia x blakeana, Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy', noID Pelargonium peltatum, Pelargonium 'Rembrandt', Pelargonium 'Tip-Top Duet', and Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy'|
|Top row: Alstroemeria 'Claire', flower of noID guava tree, and Gazania 'White Flame'|
Middle row: Leptospermum 'Copper Glow', Leucanthemum x superbum, and Magnolia grandiflora
Bottom row: Nandina domestica, Pandorea jasminoides, and Romneya coulteri
|Clockwise from the left: noID Anigozanthos, noID succulent, Crassula pubescens radicans, and Phalaenopsis|
That's it for this month's Bloom Day report. To see what's blooming elsewhere in the world, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens, our Bloom Day host.
All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party