Saturday, July 15, 2017

Bloom Day - July 2017


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'


The Zinnias hold the attention of the pollinators long enough to allow me to catch them with my camera.

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

Dahlia 'Terracotta'


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

Top row: Aloe 'Johnson's Hybrid', Alstroemeria 'Indian Summer', and Anagallis 'Wildcat Mandarin'
Middle row: Cotyledon orbiculata, Grevillea 'Superb', and Hemerocallis 'Sammy Russell'
Bottom row: Lantana camara 'Irene', Leonotis leonurus, and Lotus berthelotii 'Amazon Sunset'

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

20 comments:

  1. Love the zinnias and dahlias for your new cutting garden. I just moved my 'Johnson's Hybrid' aloe and hope it performs like yours eventually. That whole orange grouping of photos is luscious, but it all looks fabulous. I think our coastal influence is really pushing back on the heat the rest of LA is getting, and boy am I grateful for that!

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    1. I've been pleasantly surprised by the weather the past 2 days. I hope the early morning marine layer continues to take the edge off for all of us.

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  2. Another beautiful post full of flowers! I'm wondering how drought tolerant your Gaillardias are? How often do you water them? My coneflowers are great for drought tolerance, but Rudbeckias tend to shrivel a lot faster. I'd prefer to plant the coneflowers with something that can wait for watering as long as they can.

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    1. This time of year I water 2x a week but my soil is mostly sand and it doesn't retain moisture well, despite my efforts to build it up. Once established, the Gaillardias seem to take dry spells fairly well but I've found they have to be watered quite often when first planted. The self-sown seedlings are the most vigorous! I haven't had good luck with most Echinacea or Rudbeckias - most are short-lived here. R. 'Cherry Brandy' is the one exception and even it's a bit finicky.

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  3. I'm envious of your blooming Zinnia, mine are just foliage at this point. Bug-eaten foliage at that. The white flower on your noID guava tree is so interesting. Similar to the flowers of my Pineapple Guava, but all white rather than shades of pink.

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    1. I've a couple of pineapple guavas too but they flower in early spring here. They're more attractive specimen trees than either of the 2 fruit-producing specimens (also inherited) I have in the dry garden. Only the squirrels eat the guavas at present. I've heard that the fruit makes a good jelly but I don't see any jelly-making in my future...

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  4. Gorgeous flowers! The Lisianthus and the Magnolia Grandiflora are stunning!

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    1. The Lisianthus are my favorite summer flowers, MDN. The Magnolia flowers, while very pretty, are generally too high up in the tree to be viewed closely.

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    2. Yes, that's true! I have magnolia trees and it's difficult to take good pictures of the flowers. I love Magnolias I have 3 but 2 are still too young to bloom and they are - at least here- slow growers.

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  5. So glad to see your report on the zinnias - I just picked up a couple of packets after my spring zinnia fiasco, which was so complete that it didn't even make it to the blog... :/
    Any advice on Catanache - especially heat tolerance?
    Love your pelargoniums and always, always that Bauhinia!

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    1. The flowers on my Catananche don't seem to last long when the temperature soars, either on the plant or in a vase, but their silver seedpods are also pretty so they're worth growing. The plants self-seed freely here. The Bauhinia flowers show up when the weather turns the least bit humid - right now there are almost no leaves but still a smattering of new blooms.

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  6. I invariably regret not planting zinnias-they are so festive ! Would that I had a suitable spot for a cutting garden. Great selection of blooms Kris..looks like you'll have no shortage of material for Monday vases !

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    1. The raised planters came with the garden and were clearly intended for use in growing vegetables but, after a few years with so-so success with veg, I've gradually shifted over to growing flowers that need more water than the main garden. The zinnias are a real boon in summer and the pollinators just love them. I've high hopes for the dahlias too but they've been slower to get going.

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  7. Your Zinnias are gorgeous and I love how you displayed all your beautiful blooms into collages. The Rosanne Black Pearl is also such a a beautiful addition with its striking color! Despite the heat, your gardens are magnificent.

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    1. Thanks Lee! Eustoma 'Black Pearl' is still on probation in my book. It looks better in its close-up photo than it does in the garden.

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  8. Those collages are beautifully presented. Your garden must be a real joy with all that color. The zinnias are wonderful. My cactus zinnias opened this past week, just in time as the heat is scorching everything else.

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    1. The zinnias really can handle the heat. I hope you get a plentiful crop to enjoy, Susie.

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  9. Oh my! You have so much blooming! I agree about the mimosa tree. I loved them until we bought a house with one growing. Thank goodness it is out in a field. My husband threatens to chop it down every time we have to pick up the mountain of branches it drops.
    Happy Bloom Day!
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

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    1. I have a love-hate relationship with that mimosa, Jeannie. On the one hand it's a major structural element in my backyard border and probably largely responsible for holding our back slope together, but could anything be messier? It also self-seeds as though it's intent on world domination.

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  10. Talk about flower power! An explosion of gorgeous blooms as always Kris!

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