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!


  1. This is all so pretty! And then to get the bird to visit besides!

  2. Your garden looks wonderful! Everything is so lush. I love the photo of the lychnis with the stipa threads, and the tanager is lovely. I had a pair frequenting the garden earlier this year, but they've disappeared. Every time I got my camera out they flew off. Only managed one shot through the window screen. I love gloriosas. Maybe next year I'll finally try growing one.

  3. Hello :)
    This garden is beautiful. I gladly walk after him every day. Stone paths are very cool - I fell in love with them.
    I wish you a wonderful weekend :)

  4. WOW, as always I LOVE seeing what is growing/blooming in your gardens. It is all wonderful.

    Love the 'dreadlocks', and the pink star Ipomoea, I've had the red before.

    Happy Summer gardening ~ FlowerLady

  5. All fabulous, but the glorious Gloriosa deserves special does your way with words.

  6. OMG! What did you feed that Canna?
    Grace, your garden is full of wonders, and it is never boring!
    Have a great weekend!

  7. Ay yi yi! The Pelargonium! I've not seen those, they are stunning. And your phlox look so much better than mine. All of a sudden my pink phlox produced a brilliant pink/magenta on several of the new flowers. Wow. I love surprises. Your garden must bring you such peace, Gracie.
    I've tried to put in a pic of a bright green grasshopper on a hydrangea. Let's see if it works. Probably won't, but you never know-"_ Nope won't work. I'll put it in my blog-:)

    Happy Summer to you! Sus

  8. So many pretties this month! That bird is gorgeous, the canna is amazing, and that geranium is to die for!!!

  9. I love the mini morning glories...the colors are exquisite! All your plants look beautiful as always Grace, I know one is not supposed to envy, but I do your garden. I love cricket chorus's also. Makes me remember my Grandmother who taught us early on a cricket in the house is good luck...if you carefully pick it up and place it outside. Right now we have a lot of cicadas singing at sunset and I love that sound also.

  10. Grace your garden looks amazing even with all the heat and dry weather.....I especially love Amaranthus 'Dreadlocks'....gorgeous.

  11. Despite the heat you've been getting in the PNW, your garden is looking great! I love your mutant Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy'!

  12. So beautiful! This is a magical time of year with cricket song and oh that magnificent tanager! Your canna is impressive!

  13. I'm with you regarding the seasons. Actually, I'm starting to appreciate autumn more as I get older, but still my favorite time of year stretches from late spring through summer. Lucky you to be able to grow Crepe Myrtles! The wild Summer Phlox has been gorgeous around here this summer. I always find it interesting how some plants seem to come on stronger in different years. Gorgeous blooms and foliage, as always, Grace!

  14. No slug damage on that striking hosta Grace! What's your secret?


Thank you for being here! Your comments feed my soul.