Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Favorites...this month!

Summertime is here and the heat is on, but there's still lots of color in the garden. I noticed this month that most of my favorites are in shades of pink and purple...the cool colors.

I love the large cluster of bluish purple flowers that tower above the Lily of the Nile...also called agapanthus. I just recently found a white variety and can't wait for it to multiply. Caladiums...I can't get enough of them in any variety. Pictured here is a caladium in watermelon colors - sorry that I don't know the name of this particular variety. I'm finally having luck with hydrangeas...this one is planted under a large Live oak in ground that remains damp a good portion of the year. Peacock ginger with its multi-colored foliage and simple pretty purple flower returns every summer

(Click to enlarge for better viewing)

The thryallis with its bold yellow color is really loving the summer heat. Among the crape myrtle family, the rich purple color of the Catawba is one of my favorites. And, finally, my last favorite might seem like a strange choice, but it's not only beautiful but fascinating, as well. The mottled-gray trunk of the Natchez crape myrtle cracks and peels off revealing a beautiful cinnamon color.

Simple Summer Pleasures

Rain...Sitting on the front porch enjoying a late afternoon shower...minus the thunder & lightning, of course. Can you hear the plants sighing with relief?

A super ice-cold glass of water flavored with lemon and mint (from the garden) along with a bowl of crisp watermelon...a refreshing treat in June.

Here's a close-up view to really wet your appetite. Don't you just feel cooler already?

What are your favorites this month? If you'd like to join me in posting your favorites for the month, please do...they don't have to be in collage form...but do leave a comment, so I can drop by and see your favorites. I won't be able to drop by for a few days, but I'll catch up with everyone late next week.


peggy gatto said...

thanks for the beauties!

Ami said...

Very impressed with your hydrangeas, very rare in Florida garden! Cool colors certainly are my favorites too, especially in the summer! Those lemon juice and watermelow make me really mouthwatering and thirsty! Would love to sit in your garden to enjoy the beauty and good taste! I scheduled my post early morning tomorrow.

NanaK said...

I could use some of that beautiful view with the cool, refreshing treats after spending most of the day in the garden yesterday. It is HOT! You have so many blooms in spite of the heat. The agapanthas are a favorite of mine too except mine aren't blooming. Yours are huge and gorgeous. I agree about the crape myrtle trunks. I think they are beautiful. Hydrangeas are so worth the effort of trying to find where they are happy. I had hydrangeas that just grew themselves at another house, but here, at this house,... not so easy. Same zone - go figure. Come on over to see my favorites....this month!

Kimberly said...

Susan, your favorites are beautiful, as is the tempting photos of your afternoon snack. I might borrow your idea this very afternoon!
I'm jealous of your Lily of the Nile...so pretty! Mine hasn't sent up one bud. Frustrating! If you stop by, you'll hear about it again. :) But I also showed what's making me happy...THIS month!

Floridagirl said...

Oh my, that is just too tempting! I just got back in out of the heat, ya know. Now where did I see that watermelon stand on the side of the road the other day? I knew I should've stopped.

My garden is loaded with pinks and purples right now as well. Love it! Looking at your collage of favorites, I realized I have everyone of those things in my garden, right down to the peeling Natchez trunk. Well, except for the Catawba, but I bought one of those for my son's property last year, so that counts too, right?

Then I noticed there was a hydrangea plugged into that collage.

What?????!!!!! You are growing hydrangeas in Central Florida???!!! How many years? I must know. My mom has always claimed that her mama grew them up in Davenport, but I never really believed her.

Orlando Realtor said...

Like you I love the agapanthas. I remember when I lived up in New York all you had to do to start a Hydrangea was take a clipping and literally stick it into the ground.

Meems said...

Hi Susan,
This is a very pretty collage of some good hardy Florida friendly stalwarts. Like you, I'm in love with the trunks of the Natchez crape. Peeling like crazy right now.

My neighbor grows hydrangea in the ground in large shrubs. She is the one who gives me cuttings all the time and never knows the names of anything. For the second time I am trying to start some from her cuttings. It isn't looking too promising. Congratulations on yours. You are going to be the envy of all of us.

Your table looks 'simply' lovely and inviting. It makes me wish I could pull up a chair and all afternoon with you about plants and life. Ahhh... maybe someday.

Beautiful photos in your faves.

Rhonda said...

I loved hydrangeas in my garden in Japan, but I haven't put any in here yet. Maybe soon. My agapanthus seems to have finished blooming but it was beautiful. The blue and lavender flowers provide a cool look to the hot Florida garden, don't they?

Penlyn said...

Yes! You whet my appetite with those enticing photos of a cool pitcher and a big bowl of watermelon. Happy now? I have neither!! :)
My husband gave me a hydrangea for Easter (he never knows what he's giving me, so it's always something hard.) Having already killed a few in the ground, I re-potted this one and shoved it up under the eaves. So far it's happy, so I'm afraid to touch it.
My lily of the Nile (from Meems, thank you!) is alive. Not blooming, but in my garden, we celebrate alive.

Susan said...

Peggy...Hello and welcome! Glad you enjoyed my faves.

Ami...Thanks for participating. I look forward to seeing your faves and the great photos you take.

Kay...We definitely need something to cool us off after working in the garden these days. Sorry to hear your agapanthus are slacking off. Hopefully, they'll be sending shoots up soon. Thanks for participating.

Kimberly...It does seem like the agapanthus are later than usual, and mine aren't blooming as prolifically as in past years. Thanks for joining in.

Floridagirl..Well, I've been trying to grow hydrangeas for about 6 years now. I've moved them once or twice (I lose track). They struggled until I found their current location. In the past year they've started to grow and both produced a few flowers this year. I guess maybe I've found a spot they're agreeable to...beneath a Live oak in soil that stays damp most of the year but can get very dry in spring. My aunt has two large bushes in full sun that are blooming like crazy...go figure!

Back in 2000 we made an offer on a house that had a huge bed of nothing but hydrangeas...they were beautiful..healthy and large, so I know they can be grown here.

OrlandoRealtor...If only it was that easy to start hydrangeas here in Florida.

Meems...The crape myrtle bark is really, really pretty. I know some people do have good luck with hydrangeas, but they're definitely not easy. I think they're really finicky...the location has to be just right. Hopefully, some day we'll get a chance to sit and talk and talk and talk about plants and life. I know it would be very enjoyable.

Rhonda...Yes, cool is definitely better in summer. You just can't beat a shady garden.

Penlyn...Sorry that I couldn't share the ice cold water and fresh watermelon with all who visited. Good luck with your hydrangea.

Anonymous said...

love your blog spot . i am having trouble with my aganpanthus. i am zone 9 in sebring.they are in full sun.when i planted, there did not seem to be as much.should i move,cut back,or leave alone. there is heavy mulch on them.

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