Friday, July 10, 2015

Moonflower (and More)

There are at least a couple of moonflower (Ipomoea alba) vines that survived the rabbits and transplanting.  One is growing on the end of the ivy trellis, but the other-- growing on the so-called "rustic obelisk" just off the back porch-- has opened one flower for at least the past four nights.

I have to remember to make an effort to see them, because I'm simply not outside when it blooms.  Summer nights mean mosquitoes, and as I'm one of those people who seem to ring a very loud dinner bell for mosquitoes, I tend to stay inside.

The fragrance from these moonflowers is not especially strong, but it is very pleasant.  I picked last night's bloom to bring inside, where I could enjoy it in peace.  I don't know how to describe it... softly sweet... fresh... I see someone online describing it as a beachy smell, and I agree.  It has that fresh, flowing, breezy feel to it-- cool, somehow.  Some say it smells like cloves, but I can't call up the scent of cloves in my... mind's nose?... so I'm unable to confirm or deny.

Here's a photo I snapped before taking the flower inside.  It's not a very good photo, but it's proof of the flower's existence.  ;o)

Moonflower (Ipomoea alba)

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Another seed-grown plant has begun to bloom.  Gaillardia (also known as "Indian blanket" or "blanket flower").  There are a handful of plants that are still surviving, though this is the only one that's managed to flower, yet.  They're not very big and bushy, at this point, but there's still time for improvement-- and if they come back (they're perennials), next year might be even better.  

I need to remember to not over-water these, as they prefer drier conditions. 

Gaillarida (Blanket Flower)

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It might be a good idea to make note of which daylilies have been re-bloomers-- but since I don't have named cultivars (or at least I have no idea if I do, or what those names might be), it will probably be difficult to make such a list.

So far this year, the re-bloomers (I can remember) have been:
--purple with yellow-green eye
--bi-colored yellow with mauve-pink
--"Tangerine Horses" look-alike
--pink with yellow and green eye (in photo below)


There may be others I've forgotten...

The bulk of my daylilies are finished with blooming, by this time of year.  There are a couple (plain orange ditch lilies and the dark purple "spider-form" one from a recent blog post) that start blooming later in the year (and are therefore still in bloom), then a few that are re-bloomers, but most are done flowering by July, apparently.  This is partly a result of the particular hybrids I've selected or been given, but I suspect it's also just a common predicament for gardens in the Deep South.  We get heat and flowers early, but they may also seem to finish early-- especially when compared to gardens significantly farther to the north.  They're enjoying more daylilies in July, but most likely were still shivering when our first blooms opened.

Well, daylilies provide a lot of color and interest when they are in bloom, and there aren't many perennials that bloom continually through the whole summer.