Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer's Sounds: Crickets!

I know I sound like a broken record but here goes: I love this time of year! I've been saying this for months now so you can rightly assume that I love spring and summer, when the weather is people-friendly and we can experience the outdoors in all its glory. 

One of the perks of summer is leaving the glass door open for a few hours after dark. For the past few evenings I've noticed something extra welcoming. Riding on the cool evening breeze is the song of a lone cricket. His sweet rhythmic trill echoes in the darkness, evoking a visceral tranquility that is as delightfully mysterious as his exact whereabouts. As tempting as it is to follow the sound, experience has taught me to think better of it and keep my distance.

A few months ago, in a moment of weakness, I grabbed a package containing the bulb of a Gloriosa Lily. I potted it up and set it with my potted Dahlia tubers. While the Dahlias did their thing, the Lily sat there, stubbornly refusing to show even the slightest signs of life. 

And then in June, voila, it came alive! Purported to be a vine reaching six feet, mine is still a small guy. But he's got blossoms! 

Gloriosa Lily or Gloriosa rothschildiana in bloom

Below is a strange one. In May I purchased two seedling 'Cherry Brandy' Rudbeckias for a buck a piece at the Master Gardener sale. While the flowers usually have only a single row of petals, this one is fully double! Has anyone seen these? 
Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy' anomaly?

This mini-Morning Glory (Ipomoea) is really taking off. I love it so much.

Ipomoea quamoclit Pink

It's supposed to be pink but there are a few reds mixed in which I find equally gorgeous.

Ipomoea quamoclit Red

I'm not typically a fan of blue but I love this Agapanthus.

Agapanthus 'Northern Star'
Rosa 'Cinco de Mayo' in front of 'Tiger Eye' Sumac (Rhus typhina 'Tiger Eyes')

Bee Balm, (Monarda didyma 'Balmy Rose') and Coreopsis 'Mercury Rising'

Pelargonium 'Apple Blossom'

Below is the sweet little Lychnis I grew from seed. 

Lychnis chalcedonica 'Pinkie' with a few threads
of Mexican Feather Grass (Nassella tenuissim)

Clematis integrifolia 'Andante' with a semi-matching Petunia

Saponaria x 'Max Frei'

Saponaria x 'Max Frei' blooming on Hakonechloa macro 'Aureola' 

I bought this Amaranthus at that aforementioned plant sale. It's getting really long.
Amaranthus 'Dreadlocks'

This Canna was new last year. It had two stems. Check it out this year!

Canna love

Phlox paniculata

Phlox paniculata

The Crape Myrtle is starting to bloom! I thought it was Lagerstroemia 'Supersonic Rose Pink' but after researching it, I discovered that it is only supposed to grow to 48 inches. Since mine is well over six-feet tall, it must be a different cultivar.

Crape Myrtle Lagerstroemia 'Supersonic Rose Pink'

Crape Myrtle

Crape Myrtle

A close-up photo of the Crape Myrtle

The grasses are looking really good right now. The smaller ones are in the shade so they don't bloom.
Molinia caerulea 'Variegata'

Pennisetum alopecuriodes 'Burgundy Bunny'

Hakonechloa macra 'Albo Striata' and Hosta 'Paradigm' 

 Finally, a little western Tanager came for a drink. Isn't he pretty?

 I hope you all are having a great summer!