August 31 already? Whatever happened to summer? The kiddos went back to school last week, which is a definitive sign of the dark ages coming back. Somehow I feel a little cheated. I had grand gardening plans for this summer, but with a few notable exceptions, they all fell through. Or rather, got pushed forward into infinity. Sigh… Oh well, there are still a few things to be happy about out there.
There is something really stupid about having a small garden and STILL buying plants that have the word ‘Giant’ in their names. Oh well – I’m stupid. Could not help it when i saw Pittosporum ‘Ebony Giant’. Too cool for words…
There is also something rather unintelligent about bringing home a frigging tree fern (Dickinsonia antarctica) when you KNOW for a fact it’s not hardy, and you are going to have to find it winter shelter – or face living with its death on your conscience for the rest of your life. This did not bother me either. You should know, I pet those fronds regularly.
A little annual that has won my adoration – Gomphrena globosa. Here, it is planted with Sweet potato vine, and Silver bush. The green leaf is all that’s left of a Japanese bottlebrush – Sanguisorba obtusa.
This hot pink Celosia and red Dracaena are part of the same arrangement as the Globosa. It is part of this year’s pledge to battle my aversion to the color pink – a pledge that arose out of the search for answers. (See especially the comment section in this post from earlier this year, where I wrote about stereotypes in color – pink specifically.)
Here is another planter that was assembled in my attempts to make myself like pink – this time a combination of white, silver and pale baby pink. I think it probably could be rather pretty – if only the darn things would humor me by blooming at the same time! The only pink blooming right now is the baby’s breath, and it is only blooming sporadically. Most of it is done blooming. Anyway, I’m at the ready with the camera, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a long wait…
Speaking of silver – here is another annual I wouldn’t want to live without. Love its lax, draping, elegant nonchalance, as it cascades over the edge of the pot.
This one, I’m excitedly keeping my eye on. The Formosa lily blooms from seed in its first year! I got one lily blossom this year. Hopefully there will be a few more next summer!
This time of year, I am the designated kitchen-compost-taker-outer, as no one else in my family fully appreciates the industrious endeavors of our resident spiders. I quite enjoy watching their shenanigans. Here, one of them has caught, and pretty much cocooned a bee.
Evidence of spider activity is everywhere. Here, two seed heads of Boutleia ‘Blonde Ambition’ have been flawlessly linked.
The lovely flower of Anisacanthus – also known as Hummingbird bush, is putting on a show.
The hardy Fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica) looks a little scragglier this year, but is still blooming its heart out. I really don’t appreciate this plant enough. From spring until frost, it performs tirelessly, without any pampering whatsoever. Remind me next time I forget – this is a Rockstar plant!
Those red bells look good against the dark leaves of Chocolate Eupatorium.
A rescued Lobelia tupa surprised me by putting out buds, even though it’s still only about knee high. Normally, this plant towers far over my head. It must have been really happy to get out of its little cramped nursery pot…
The flowers are gone, but the foliage of Parahebe perfoliata continues to delight! A Little Bluestem stalk is flopping across it.
The starry little flowers of Eryngium venustum still light up the side bed.
Santolina ‘Lemon Fizz’ and Iris pallida have fared this summer better than the Carex ‘Evergold’ and the sad-looking stunted Amsonia hubrichtii with the toasted leaf tips.
Although it is often the beneficiary of the dinner dishwashing water, I wonder if it is the hot drought conditions that have caused the leaves to look like this on my Cotinus ‘Golden Spirit’. Or, maybe it just always looks this way…?
The Hot Cocoa rose has such wonderful color fluctuations. It starts out that fabulous orangey red. I’ve seen it fade to almost blackish red on the edges this summer. I wonder if the heat had something to do with that… As it ages, it assumes this old-fashioned pink. It really goes through quite a nice range of color before it calls it quits.
I had hoped for a hotter orange on this one. Instead it has this nice, ephemeral, somewhat translucent – almost gelatinous – jellyfish quality to it. I’m still trying to figure out quite what to do with this one. I might just throw it in the pot with the other Plant Swap goodies for our upcoming Swap. If any of you locals read this – let me know if you’re interested in giving it a good, forever home. It could really use one…