Friday, June 25, 2010
The color continues year-round, although late June is pretty much a highlight. Now the many Daylilies are blooming in shades from white to pink, purple, red, yellow and orange. Purple Coneflowers, Shasta Daisies and Black-eyed Susans provide a daisy flower shape to contrast with the trumpet shapes of the daylilies. Dark pink Coleus, black Sweet Potato Vine and silvery Lamb's Ears add durable foliage color, while spikey variegated Yucca and sword leaves of Siberian, Japanese and Roof Irises contrast with the horizontal lines of Creeping Thyme. Pink Crinum lilies are blooming with characteristic abandon, and clouds of blue-green leaves on white Baptisia remain as it produces its interesting ballooning seed pods.
The Hydrangeas were briefly wonderful this year due to the early rains, but after 15 days straight of higher-than-90 degree F. temperatures and no rainfall the tender flowers have taken a beating. The leaves wilt every afternoon but then come back every morning ready for new solar abuse. They would perfer a little afternoon shade, but I envisioned a bank of powder blue against the ochre bricks when I designed the front border, so they are planted here. Wavy snakes of Foxgloves are filled with ripening seed. In my garden-before-last the Foxgloves actually did reseed, but not so in my last garden. Wonder if they'll germinate in place in this garden? Lavender Garden Phlox reinforces the color of the Purple Coneflowers.
Lamb's Ears are blooming and its flowers around the periphery of the clump do not interfere with the pool of silver provided by the leaves. Showing only green for now are the fragrant Spearmint, Mexican Tarregon (Tagetes) and the late brilliant yellow Chrysanthemums that will bloom from Thanksgiving to late December or early January, when they are finally cut down by a hard frost. These are corseted in perennial hoops economically made from tomato cages cut in half (horizontally) using the super-giant red bolt cutters my Dad gave me so long ago. The exhuberent growth in this garden conceals their aluminium stays, as well as crowding out weeds.
I heard a statistic that 80% of garden flowers do well in full sun, while 20% of them do better in shade, so I am grateful for the wide pallet of colorful flowers.