I have been watching the water…and thinking.
It is still and smooth most of the time, with a ripple here and there.
Sometimes a line of waves forms and changes everything.
That’s how my life is right now.
Waves keep rolling across my smooth life.
I am in control of only my own buoyancy.
The water acts and I react.
Will I float? Will I swim with the waves or against them?
Will I rise and fall with the water
or let gravity win and go under?
I do not know what the water will do
but I know what I will do.
I will stay afloat
Because I am a survivor.
I choose to stay up
no matter the water.
Yesterday when the sun was high, I sought some shade in the banana forest.
Its giant leaves served as umbrellas.
The wind moved them like fans.
The banana forest was dancing around me.
An oasis away from the sun and heat.
I was surrounded by swaying green.
I pretended my cares were far away, not just across the driveway.
Everyone should have a banana forest to escape into.
I am finally seeing blooms from my ‘Orange Perfection’ garden phlox.
It has been here for two seasons.
I guess my cheap self shocked it by dividing it into six plants before planting it last spring.
I am pleased with the color. It’s a lovely salmon with a magenta eye.
The stems are a bit floppy, but I like how it leans on the rocks and peeks over.
I am happy with them. They are the perfect orange.
I usually visit this farm in June at the peak of daylily season.
I did not get there until July this year. I am glad.
There was a whole different crop of flowers.
They seemed unbothered by the heat of the southern summer.
This place used to be a working dairy farm then a daylily farm.
Now it’s just home to folks and flowers, goats and horses.
Here are some daylilies that bloom mid-July.
I always enjoy my time with these friends and their flowers.
I am so thankful for this beautiful and easy plant, Stokesia laevis ‘Peachie’s Pick.’
When other flowers start to wilt and fade in the July heat, it steps it up.
I do not give this one any special treatment.
I divide it every few years.
It has thrived wherever I plant it.
No wonder it’s ‘Peachie’s Pick’ Stokes Aster.
Whoever Peachie is, she know her plants. Butterflies like it, too.
This plant is called a Sago palm, but it is not a palm.
It is however, poisonous if ingested.
It is an ancient plant called a cycad.
Cycas revoluta is its scientific name.
Its fronds are stiff with leaflets that have pointy, scratchy tips.
I water it rarely except in the hot summer.
It puts up a new crown of leaves in June. This takes about two weeks.
This new set of leaves is almost as big as the ring from last season.
I have read that you should leave all the old leaves, but I never do.
The whole plant will get hauled inside for the winter.
The bottom ring will turn brown and ugly.
I will remove it.
I do not know whether this is a male or female.
It has never put up a cone or basket.
Maybe that’s because I stress it every spring by amputating the ugly, old leaves.
So my advice is. Cut off the ugly parts, but do not eat them.
Flow on the Sago
This is Bleeding Heart vine, Clereodendron thomasoniae. It is also called Glorybower.
It is one of my favorite vines.
I cut it back and feed it in early spring.
Then all it needs is sun and water.
Take cuttings to share with friends. These root easily in water.
It grows up its trellis and blooms all summer long.
My heart loves this Bleeding Heart vine.
Flower loves her Glorybower.
I shared a post about this sedum back in June.
I nicknamed it “Mama Sedum” because of all the babies on the leaf margins.
A fellow garden blogger, Rusty Duck, kindly supplied its proper name Bryophyllum daigremontianum.
It can also be called Kolancho daigremontianum, Mexican Hat plant or Mother-of-Thousands.
We will be calling it “Grandma Sedum” now because the plantlets have gone and propagated right there on their mama.
This is a first here. The babies have had babies.
Kids are in such a hurry to grow up these days!
At least get off your poor mama before reproducing you little parasites!
Good thing this sedum cannot survive our winters.
It is probably a big pest down in the deep south.
But I love it here in Zone 7. It can be a great grandma for all I care.
Raphael is always late.
Every year he makes me wait.
He shows up when the others are done.
He likes to be the only one.
I still love Raphael Hemerocallis.
He is worth the wait.
The 10 Best Artworks by Raphael, Seraphic Genius of the Renaissance—Ranked