Sunday, June 19, 2011

Through the Central Arbor

Yay, I can log back into Blogger to post! Well, we're on day 4 of a 5 day 100+ temperature heat wave and the flying dirt today has put a kobosh on any outside activities. On an upnote, there's two days in the upcoming week that have a 10-20% chance of rain, so that's exciting. The fourth of July fireworks and concert have already been cancelled due to the fire hazards and we desperately need any precipitation we can get. The gardens are starting to look ratty, unfortunately. Maybe some rain will help perk things up.

Three weeks ago the garden was still looking pretty good. This is looking east through the central arbor. The Knockout roses bloomed their little hearts out and probably need a little haircut now. The Shasta Daisies transplanted last fall put on a great show and grew almost three feet tall. I'm going to have to split it again in the fall or the small path through the arbor will be blocked off. I dug up, well tried to dig up, the Russian Sage on the right hand side which had grown out of control and was supressing everything around it. Still have shoots coming up here and there that have to be pulled out. Think I'll be doing that to the one on left next spring.
The Herb Circle has very little herb. The heat wave fried all the parsley, cilantro and basil seedlings that were coming up. I might as well call it the Blanket flower/daylily circle. Have to say though that Gaillardias have fast become a favorite of mine in the garden. The two water troughs have been heavily visited by the birds this summer so I've been trying to make sure they're filled in the mornings and evenings.
The dayliles transplanted in the fall are doing well around the central arbor. The Shasta Daisies planted behind the rose bush had spindly flowers and stems don't seem as strong as those on the bush on the other side of the arbor.
The Pinata Rose put out less flowers than last year. There also seems to be less yellows and light oranges than previously too. Wonder if this was caused by the drought. The winds have caused the flowers to be ratty looking too.
Happy to say the Hyssop came back on one leg of the arbor and multiplied. The lime green leaves are stunning against the surrounding darker greens. And the bees and butterflies really enjoy the light purple flower stalks.
This little peach daylily is one of my favorites. Don't remember where it came from and there's only one or two in the garden so I'm hoping they will multiply... which they should do if there's every any rain! The rose to the left is on the Pinata bush.
Here's the view looking west.
Like everyone else in town, I ventured into the shops to stay out of the heat. And lucky I did too as I got this cute little side table for a steal ($5)! There's a small chip around one edge but who cares. It's got just enough weight to it to not be knocked over by the winds... at least not yet.
Someday when the weather cools down and we get rain, I will be able to sit here with a cold glass of tea and enjoy the view.   

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fertilizer Friday - June 10, 2011

Today was an awesome day. By 5 pm the skies were dark, rolling thunder could be heard and then... it rained! The rain was thorough enough to give the ground a good soaking. It lasted less than half an hour but this was the most rain my garden has seen since October. I'd say it was at least a 1/3 of an inch that fell. Now if only we can get this at least once a week for the rest of the summer. Temperatures have been over the 100 mark numerous times in the past two weeks.

The strolling garden has been struggling under the intense heat and strong winds. I can't recall a spring/summer that has been this bad in the years that I've lived in West Texas. The rain today might be enough to prevent us from breaking the long standing record for drought here.

Below are some photos of the lilies that have bloomed in the last two weeks. This lemony-yellow Asiatic Lily is a lot lighter in person but I had to wait until dusk or early morning to snap the images due to the strong sunlight the rest of the time.
Sadly this lovely lily got some dirt splashed up on the petals during a very brief "mud storm" we received. A mud storm involves a lot of flying dirt, strong winds and very little rain. 
The lily above and this pink one with creamy centers were part of a summer lily packet one of my best friends sent me from Costco. The ones that have bloomed so far are wonderful. The winds have caused the pollen to stain most of the petals so I was not able to get really good blossom shots, unfortuantely. Also, several of the lilies have fried on the stalks so I don't know what they would have looked like. I'm hoping the bulbs of those can survive and rebloom next year. But without the stalks to photosynthesize the bulbs that's probably not going to happen.  :[
I think this might be one of the "Romantic Rose" daylilies I planted two months ago. It's kind of fried in this image but the petals should be more flat and lighter pink.
I can't remember the name of this daylily, which was waving so much in the wind I couldn't get a clear shot of it. Poor thing also really got hit with the pollen.
This daylily also got the pollen treatment. This one was bought at Home Depot and the tag was wrong because the one pictured was a bright pink with a picoteed center. So I don't know the correct name of it. However, it's a fabulous plant. It has a nice soft fragrance if you lean down close to it and it's a repeat bloomer. I think I read once that only maybe 10 percent of daylilies have a fragrance and are rebloomers. I was able to make divisions after the first year and hope to do some more this fall.
I'm not sure where I got this one from. Maybe from a colleague. Small blossom but fun punch of color.
This Asiatic Lily might be from the Costco packet. I don't recall seeing it before. Deep maroon color.
This beautiful deep orange-red Asiatic Lily is definately from the Costco packet. It's color would beckon me to come across the yard to get a closer look.
This one should be a darker maron color. The drying winds have stripped it of its color and petals. As this is the tallest of my asiatic lilies, not one of them a blossom that was able to keep all it petals long enough for me to photograph it. None of them grew as tall as previous years either, staying at least six inches under their normal 4 ft height.
The wind also ripped off several stalks of the "Ditch Lilies" in the spring and I wasn't sure I'd get any blossoms this year. Luckily several stalks shot up and replaced the ones I had to remove. These are the tallest of my daylilies and were given by a friend. She said these were called "Ditch Lilies" in the south because they grew wild in ditches along the side of roads. Hope to make some divisions of these in the fall.
After the much welcomed rain ceased, albeit way too soon, a promising rainbow shone in the sky.
Visit Tootsie Time to see who else is participating in "Fertilizer Friday" and showing off what's blooming in their gardens.


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