It only takes one glance at them to know how I am doing.
The statues, Lily and Moss, are an accurate indicator of my well-being.
They are concrete canaries in the coal mine.
If the creeping fig gets ahead , it means I am behind.
Ficus pumila, creeping fig
It’s a cute little vine, but don’t turn your back on it.
I am still in a sling awaiting surgery, so Mr. Flower must do all the heavy lifting.
His chores now include picking the large produce.
I told him it was time to pick some of the butternut squash.
He asked how he would know which ones needed the picking and which the leaving.
I had never been asked such a question. I knew the answer but how to tell someone else was the puzzle.
I had to walk myself through the garden to get an answer.
When a butternut is ripe it looks pale-skin-pink like a rubber baby doll under the leaves.
Only the pale skin colored are ripe.
Mercy! I am glad Mr. Flower is picking these. That whopper might blow out my other shoulder.
Much of my garden looks withered and tired in this heat, so I appreciate any plant that stands up and blooms mid-July. That’s when the
Eucomis ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ plants burst into bloom.
These blooms are visited by many insects. They are especially loved by bumble bees and Hummingbird moths.
‘Sparkling Burgundy’ Eucomis
This group has slowly spread over the years to form a lovely display. The plants have lost some of their color because they are not in full sun. I will eventually move the perimeter plants to a sunnier location to regain the burgundy spots.
A tiny version of
Eucomis stays in pots. Its name is ‘Aloha.’ The blooms are the size of a thumbprint.
Eucomis plants originated in Africa, so they can take our North Carolina heat.
The bulbs are poisonous which means they are not eaten by my little friends.
I love my deer friends. I do not mind sharing a bit of my flower smorgasbord. But some things are off limits.
I have fence rings and mesh to gently signal that certain special plants should be avoided.
These deterrents do not stop the most determined eaters. Most of the time the eaten parts grow back.
But what does one do with a headless sunflower?
The poor little juicy buds were removed overnight.
Now I have topless, leafless stalks surrounding an obelisk. This is not the look I was going for!
Well at least I have one bloom. I hope this isn’t removed by a raccoon!
I should have known better than to order seeds on the internet,
but I had my heart set on Flying Saucers entwining on my new circles trellis.
The seeds came in a plain sealed envelope. There was a little paper about morning glories included.
These seeds have been carefully planted and pampered.
I was excited to see the first buds. I was looking forward to those giant blue and white blooms mixing with the red blooms of the Red Cypress vine. But instead of Lovely blue blooms, purple appeared.
REAL Flying Saucer morning glories
The purple bloom came over like a lead balloon. Maybe a stray wild seed got mixed in?
NOT Flying Saucer morning glories
More and more purple flowers have appeared. Just that small common variety that grows by the side of the road.
I fear the Flower has imported an expensive weed!
Now that I’m thinking about it, the
Lablab purpureus I ordered does look a little like Kudzu.
Lablab purpureus… I HOPE
Another flower that goes over the top showing off is the Stargazer lily.
Its colors demand attention.
Its fragrance lures you over to it.
The plant is poisonous if ingested.
Its pollen stains you with it’s deep rust if you touch it.
Stargazer Oriental Lily
The faces are head high and look up bravely into yours.
This lily is a diva.
Gladioli are show-offs in July.
They are like flower fireworks in the garden.
I love how they shoot upward and bloom for weeks.
My two types in the Glad Circle are Pricilla (pink) and a Mardi Gras mix.
The Mardi Gras have the extra feature of interest in their purple pollen.
I am always Glad it’s July because of my Glads.
I am being taught a thing or two by my tiger babies which were grown from bulbils.
I wanted to make sure they all survived as I experimented on how to raise them.
I thought the ones in the pot needed to be brought in for the winter, but I forgot.
I assumed that the ones in partial shade would need to be moved in order to bloom.
They are blooming just fine where they lay.
I wanted to protect mama ‘Tiger Splendens’ with a fence, but took it off and forgot to put it back.
That one is fine as well.
I babied them when they were babies. Now that they are grown, they do fine on their own.
Mama FLOW standing down.
Sometimes I make the mistake of thinking myself clever.
I post chairs around the garden to get the wildlife used to the chairs.
Then I quietly slip in the chairs to spy and take photographs without being noticed.
Last week I hunkered down in an Adirondak chair near the alstroemeria.
The female hummingbird zoomed in and spent time perusing the entire patch.
She moved so quickly that I aimed and snapped without focusing.
Before she flew away, she hovered right smack dab in front of my startled face.
She was letting me know that she saw me all along.