Even though we are in the depths of the *Dog Days of summer, a few garden inhabitants are showing off during this hiatus for most everything else. Leading off is this super late Hemerocallis ‘Classic Rose’. This daylily was purchased at Sunshine Hollow several years ago to help extend the season of daylily bloom, planted in the thick of things on the daylily hill. The trouble was that this is a short in stature plant and the non-daylily minions of the hill completely hid it from view. In fact, it had never bloomed, ever. Last fall it was moved to a sunnier, somewhat less crowded spot and is repaying the gardener for the rescue with loads of fat, juicy blooms. Despite extreme heat and drought, the classic good looks have us thinking of a massed planting of just this variety along the wall behind the main house. It would look mighty fine with the Japanese blood grass, Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubrum’ methinks.
The containers stay outside all winter here, but there is one that will be brought into the greenhouse, not to protect the pot, but to try to overwinter the precious contents, Bulbine frutescens. It seems the hotter and more miserable the weather is outdoors, the more this tropical beauty loves it. There are more blooms right now than at any time since it came to live here in early April. The Bulbine was purchased during spring break vacation in Orlando, Florida, click here-Cherry Mish Mash Monday to read about it.
This is the dawning of the age of Crocosmia, age of Crocosmia, let the sunshine in! (My apologies to James Rado, Gerome Ragni and Galt MacDermot who wrote for the broadway show “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical”). There have been losses on the Croc front however. Failure to dig and divide the corms as recommended has resulted in no blooms or even foliage from Solfaterre, the one Christopher gave me, Ember Glow and Little Redhead never even showed up, nor did George Davison. Star Of The East has spread and bloomed nicely. Research revealed that it is one that will not disappear completely if not divided yearly. Lucifer blooms much earlier and has spread itself freely but will be dug and rearranged before winter sets in. A few remains of George and Solfaterre were excavated and replanted. A new George was recently purchased, blooming finished, the corms were seperated and replanted as well. The bloom shown above is C. ‘Bright Eyes’. It too will be replanted this fall. I am now aware of what needs to be done and will follow through from now on! Now! (Three times and you own it.)
Something else that is having a banner year and seldom gets mentioned are the Crepe Mytles, Lagerstroemia indica. Above is L. ‘Victor’, one of the first plantings for this property when it was purchased in 1996.
A packet of very small whips was received when we joined the Arbor Society the first year we moved back to Tennessee, 2000. The crepe myrtles were so tiny then. It is hard to believe that they began life so small since they are now at least twenty feet tall. They are totally immune to the heat and drought, showing no signs of stress or pest damage. I love their brightly colored blooms and the peely bark.
Kerria japonica is a spring blooming shrub but there are a few blooms showing now. I walked right past this area without looking for flowers, distracted by other things but the flash of orangey yellow was glimpsed in the corner of vision and the camera raised. Click. What was otherwise distracting us, you might be wondering?
But it is the myriad Butterfly Bushes, Buddleia davidii cultivars. that are getting the most hits. They are attractive to humans as well with brilliant cones of multiple flowers and sweet scent. They are the favorite haunt of the flying flowers like the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. Also…
…There is the distraction of this handsome chap, the Eastern Goldfinch. We are really glad that all of the Echinaceas were not deadheaded in efforts to extend the bloom time. (Please excuse the blurry image. It was breezy and the bird was bobbing and weaving on the moving stem. Plus it was taken through three panes of less than spotless glass from the lazyboy inside the addition. Just sayin’.)
* Wikipediea says:
In Ancient Rome, the Dog Days extended from July 24 through August 24 (or, alternatively July 23-August 23). In many European cultures (German, French, Italian) this period is still said to be the time of the Dog Days.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac lists the traditional timing of the Dog Days as the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11, coinciding with the ancient heliacal (at sunrise) rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. These are the days of the year when rainfall is at its lowest levels.