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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Daylilies ..mainstay of the island bed

I didn't think it was possible, but the weather has been even more hot and humid since my last post.  So much so that other than fill the bird bath and water the container plants around it, I've spent very little time in the garden.

I have, however, taken a few minutes here and there to get some photos of the summer garden.  

I love the way the afternoon sun catches this Crepe Myrtle as it sets.  I also like the fact that, now the Crepe Myrtle is growing up, it's not so susceptible to the ugly black fungus it kept getting for the first couple of years. I'm not sure if they all develop a resistance as they grown and get older, but I'm thankful that this one has.

And now here follow some photos of the Daylilies which are blooming prolifically in the island bed. 

As I've mentioned before, I don't know which varieties they are, I just enjoy them for their beauty.

Some of them produce single blooms, some produce great clusters of blooms.  I think these photos are of the same plant, taken a few days apart.  The one below was taken today. There are still more buds to open :-)

Sorry this post is rather brief.  It's been a long hard week at work.  Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday.  I promise to catch up on my blog reading over the weekend - at least I know it will be too hot to spend much time in the garden!!

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Container Gardening in the Texas Heat

There are times I question the sanity of trying to garden in the Houston area.  This weekend was one of them.  After all, Texas is known for it's hot and humid summers and this weekend has been a doozy.  Who in their right mind would decide to spend the day outside? 

Why, me of course! I decided I was sick of looking at the empty containers around the birdbath and decided the area needed a boost of color for the summer.

And because plants don't voluntarily leap into pots and bury themselves all nice and deep in delicious potting soil, I had to do it for them.

But first, a trip to the nursery.  I headed out to  Plants for All Seasons on Hwy 249, determined not to let their wonderful collection of fairy garden accessories waylay me again!

I made it home with several choices for my containers, in addition to a Hamelia patens I've been wanting to add to the island bed.

My plant list included Evolution salvias in blue and white, as well as a Victoria Blue and a Forest Fire salvia (red), and a red Penta, Confetti for a patriotic Red, White and Blue theme in the containers.  

I also got some trailing purple lantana, purple Persian Shield, Little Lucky lantana "Lemon Creme", Little Luck Lantana "Hot Pink", along with a chartreuse sweet potato vine to go in the half barrel.

One thing in my favor, the patio is in shade for most of the day, and we have ceiling fans.  But really, when it's 94+ degrees out there, with high humidity,  it's still hot and sticky.  I kept a towel nearby to mop my sweating brow and drank at least a gallon of ice tea.

When you see photos of Southern ladies showing off their lush gardens, how is it that they always look cool, calm and collected? Perhaps it's the Mint Juleps they always seem to be sipping -- maybe I should try those... 

I'm always bright red in the face, hair plastered to my head with sweat.  Not a pretty sight.  I dread working out in the front garden in case a neighbor stops by for a chat.  I do not look my best when I'm working in the garden!

Anyway, I got the containers planted and arranged them around the birdbath and I'm quite pleased with the effect. They should look lovely when they fill out.

I felt bad about ripping all of the Babylon White verbena out of the barrel, but it had been blooming constantly since last summer, kept going all winter and finally fizzled a month or so ago.  I pulled off some of the greener parts with roots attached and stuck them in the ground in the raised bed and the rest went on the back of the brush pile.

I think the barrel will look nice with the mix of purples, yellows and greens and the lantana and sweet potato vine can trail as much as they want to in that location.

After planting, I gave everything a good water and left it to settle in. 

Unfortunately, as often happens when I exert myself outside in the heat, I ended up with a raging headache and spent the rest of the day lying on the bed with the ceiling fan blowing on me, trying to feel human again.

I can't wait till fall gets here!!  Roll on fall!

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

After the Rain

This morning, since today is a Sunday, I treated myself to a lie-in, well as much of a lie-in as the cats would allow.  

As it happened, I got up at seven, fed the cats and read for a while, before rejoining my sleeping hubby for an extended snooze until we were awakened by thunder outside.

We lay there listening to the rain, and thinking how much the garden would be enjoying it.  After breakfast, and after the rain had stopped, I headed outside with my camera.

As the clouds moved off, I checked out the garden and found the flowers, such as this daylily, covered in glistening raindrops.

I've seen a few Monarchs in the garden in recent weeks, and today I spotted a caterpillar, his chosen leaf had protected him well from the rain.    Interestingly, last week I took a photo of a chrysalis on the fence and the next day when I went to check on it, there was no sign of it.  I hope this caterpillar has better luck.

The Savannah holly looked particularly photogenic with its coat of silver raindrops. The sun was just in the right place to catch them and the whole bush looked like it had been dusted with fairy dust.

No, that's not a real toad on the roof of the toad house, but I can tell you that there was a very happy frog in the vicinity somewhere.  I couldn't see him, but I could certainly hear him!  He was quite the loud one!  I'm sure he appreciated the rain too.

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.