Friday, August 5th, 2011...12:00 am

What’s Happening in TheGardenLady’s Garden

Pink Crape Myrtle by BFS Man

Since it is so hot outside, it is difficult even for TheGardenLady to want to be out among my flowers. I do spend a few hours daily watering the flowers, so I am out either early in the morning before or just when the sun comes up or close to eight in the evening when the sun is going down. And it is then that I admire my flowers. What is especially pretty now?

I think the Crape Myrtles- Lagerstroemia are stunning right now. Mine is almost completely covered with flowers. Since my crape myrtle is the shape of a shrub, not a tree, I have flowers from the bottom all the way to the top.

Next to the Crape Myrtle, my Brugmansia is starting to show off. I counted ten trumpet-sized flowers open this morning. Since I give away rooted branches in the fall, I try to keep in touch with the babies. One grandchild of my Brugmansia has been blooming its head off for its owners. Only about 3 ft. tall, it has been having at least 18 flowers at one time. Its owner gives it lots of Osmocote – which seems to be the brand of fertilizer that many nurseries seem to use.  See here.

Jacob’s Coat by Care_SMC

My roses are not doing very much in this heat. Even though most are the ever blooming type like Knock Out, there are just a few flowers on the shrubs. I feel sympathetic to any plant in this weather and am not upset. I don’t think I would want to work sending out flowers if I were so hot. But there are a few roses on my miniature rose bushes and I was excited to see one rose open on my newly planted Jacob’s Coat climbing rose.  See here. I don’t know if I made a mistake in trying to grow Jacob’s Coat since one very well respected Rosarian said he never had success with this rose. But if I can get it to flower, I will be rewarded with stunning roses. I have it planted near a white flowering clematis ‘Henryi’ that I also planted this year. Henryi has a few flowers open.

My Rose of Sharon- Hibiscus syriacus shrubs are in bloom right now. Mine are an old variety that came from my parents’ farm. Older varieties of the Rose of Sharon like mine have become invasive plants these days. And mine are no exception. I am constantly pulling up baby rose of sharon plants that have self-seeded. But one place they self-seeded, that I like, is around the base of the sycamore trees on my property. Encircling the trunk of the tree and having flowers, I find the Rose of Sharon to look pretty.

Of my perennials, the echinaceas and the gaillardias are the workhorses right now. I am excited about the different colors of echinacea hybrids that are on the market so that I keep planting a number of the new ones in different colors including ‘Pink Double Delight” and Milkshake’. And my gallardias are the other wonderful hot weather flower that loves summer and poor soil. This year I treated myself to Gaillardia ‘Oranges and Lemons’ and love it. Though I deadhead the flowers when they lose their petals, I even love this stage of the plant and think these seed balls are lovely in flower arrangements. Of course, I have Black Eyed Susans- Rudbeckia hirta in bloom. But the one plant that has been blooming for me all summer, that I find spectacular is my Helianthus ‘Loddon Gold’ sunflower.

And for more color, the cannas and dahlias are bursting into bloom right now. Though I hate digging them up in the fall and replanting in the spring, I like the color these rhizomes and tubers reliably give each summer.

And every year I depend on Impatiens for their color. I know they take a lot of water because they cannot stand drought. But I love their bright colors all summer long- I alternate a white and a red impatiens plant. This year I planted two hundred impatiens plants around the edges of my front lawn. I think it looks like a lei or garland from Hawaii that has been placed around the neck of my lawn.

There are other plants in flower these hot days of summer, but I have written about the most colorful and outstanding blooms in my garden.


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