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!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Midsummer Garden

          ~ ~ ~ Notes from the July Garden ~ ~ ~

A quick midsummer grooming was in order to contain the fast growing tropicals and to neaten things up a bit. In the first half of the month we had plenty of rainfall but then a dry spell set in for a week, followed by a few days of showers and then July ended on a dry note.

With only two months of summer left to go we're getting closer to days with less humidity and hot weather. And, I find myself deep in thought...like the little fellow in the picture...with ideas and plans for the garden when October arrives. Hmm, I guess I'll have to be patient a little longer.

The Angel trumpet...an offspring from the my mother's plant when I was a kid...has made a remarkable recovery from winter. Last summer it took until August before the plant even decided to grow. I thought it wouldn't make it, but it hung in there. This year it bounced back quicker and surprised me with its unique and fragrant blooms.

The bees and butterflies are loving the Indian blanket flower and Blue Agastache cocktail in the island bed, and the Frangipani (plumeria) is also adding it's sweet and wonderful fragrance to the garden.
New in the garden this year are Drift roses and Pennisetum ‘Fireworks’ Var. Fountain Grass.
The Drift roses have performed beyond my expectation. Peachy yellow clusters are covering this bush located in full sun next to the driveway, and look at those shiny green leaves with no sign of blackspot. Wow, a definite winner! I couldn't resist the green and pink variegation on the Fireworks fountain grass. It glows fabulously in the summer sun.

Summer Favorites
The Natchez crape myrtle, Thryallis and Lorapetlum Ruby blend together for a non-stop colorful combination. As does the Black and Blue Sage paired up with the variegated schfflerra. I love yellow and blue together. My summer garden wouldn't be complete without a patch of sun-loving Blackeyed Susans.

Back in the "WILD" area of the garden the berries on the Simpson Stoppers have turned red. If I sit very still on the bench I can watch a clan of Cardinals dashing back in forth from the trees sneaking a berry treat. In late spring the white berries emerge following tiny frilly white blossoms.

Miss Muffet is taking it easy in the shade garden. She's definitely soothing and cool looking to the eye.

I must plant some Miss Muffet in and around these plants next spring as they coordinate nicely together.The Cherry Jubilee Allamanda...don't you just love that name. I'm sure it's part of the reason I bought her...bounces back quickly from winter and blooms all summer long. The fuschia-centered bromeliad stands out in the shade as do the pink blooms on the Flamingo plant.

Summer's Simple Pleasures
Sitting in the shade watching the Spanish Moss swaying to and fro in the breeze, while rays of sunlight dance on the garden below. Quite soothing!

Hope your midsummer garden is lush and beautiful, and that you're taking it easy in the shade!


NellJean said...

It's definitely time to stop and look around to see what does best in heat and humidity. You have a great assortment of real winners.

I'm already taking tiny cuttings for wintering over. Having notes and pics from a previous year is great for those of us with short memories.

sherryocala said...

Your gardens are still lovely even in the heat of summer, but then you grow all the right plants. I love Miss Muffet. I guess I'll have to get some online. They really are sweet looking and not overly large. All your blooms are so pretty as is your Drift Rose. Gotta love a healthy, blooming rose!! No shade for me today. I was in the AC.

daisy said...

What a beautiful glimpse into your garden. Everything certainly looks lush and vibrant. Enjoy your Eden and stay cool!

SiestaSister said...

When we first moved in the thryallis looked like dead sticks. I was tempted to cut them down. Am I ever glad I didn't! Once they bloomed, I loved them.

Have you ever had indigo spires? Got my first one this spring. Quickly bought 2 more. They are awesome. The butterflies and bees love them. They bloom like crazy.

Dianne said...

Gorgeous photos! I especially like the last one with the trees and water...very relaxing and truely one of the best things to do in summer's heat--relax and wait until the humidity eases!

Susan said...

NellJean...How right you are. You are ahead of the curve on getting plants rooted. Kudos to you!

Sherry...Yes, you should get some Miss Muffet...she's petite and sweet looking. Stay cool!

Daisy...Plenty of rain in this heat really helps keep the plants looking fresh. Hope you're getting your share.

SiestaSister...Thryallis is a nice summer plant. It sure does throw off a lot of seeds that sprout at the bottom. I planted an indigo spires for the first time this year, and you are right the bees and butterflies love it, and it has bloomed non-stop all summer, plus it's in a very dry area.

Dianne...In this heat, shade is very important. Sometimes I seem to do more sitting than working. :-)

ChrisC said...

Susan-all I can say is your garden looks wonderful!My Angel's Trumpets have also bloomed earlier and more profusely this year.Who knows why,but I'll take it.

Orlando Realtor said...

As usual your garden is just beautiful and your posts are an inspiration. I have stayed away too long.

Floridagirl said...

Must say I am surprised to see that Natchez-thryallis-loropetalum combo. I have the exact same combo in my garden! It's one of my fave combos as well. Definitely can tell we are in the same garden boat. My July weather experience was certainly identical. Of course, I am very, very jealous that you are on the water. Wonderful views!

Susan said...

Chris...It has been strange. The angel trumpet barely grew until August last year but this year it bounced back fast. I'm just glad it survived.

Hey Maxine...Thank you and I'm glad to see you're back. I always enjoy your posts.

Hi FloridaGirl...It is a great combo and even nicer that they grow together to create a screen of pretty foliage color and flowers, too. You can't beat that!

Ami said...

Your mid-summer garden definetely looks lush and beautiful. I have been taking a "break" from gardening this month with vacation and hot weather. Love the color of that drift rose! I can not wait for cool weather coming, and get motivated again working in the garden.

Meems said...

Well, not exactly taking it easy but I DO try to stay in the shade as much as possible. What a beautiful view of your oaks and hanging moss!

Lovin' that Miss Muffett in your shady garden. I've passed up Drift roses so many times even as they lure me closer when I visit the garden center. Not enough sunshine for them but I know they do really well in our climate. Glad you've enjoyed yours.

Your garden is looking great! Happy summer (almost over yay).

Rainforest Gardener said...

I for one can't WAIT for it to get cooler outside, but then again it will be winter before I know it. I really need to get one of the simpsons stoppers myself someday, since I always pass them by for something less expensive. For some reason every time I see one the price is set at $20!

NanaK said...

Everything looks cool and inviting under your moss-laden oaks. Cherries Jubilee sounds delicious and looks even better. Your colorful combos blend nicely and really make your garden stand out.

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