Be forewarned: There are many photos in this post! There's some overlap, too, so they may seem repetitive to anyone not obsessed with our garden. (g)
Staring from the usual spot, at the northeast corner of the main flower garden...
The watermelon red crepe myrtles have peaked, but there's still some lingering bloom.
Here's Trixie standing in front of the bamboo, elephant ears, butterfly ginger, and (just peeking out from behind) night-blooming jasmine.
The night-blooming jasmine is over head-height, now. Despite its size, it's just started blooming recently. This according to Donald, who walks out with the dogs for the bed-time stroll. I shouldn't mind whether it blooms or not, for a couple of reasons. First, I'm never out there at night (because mosquitoes love me too much and I love them not at all). Second, I wasn't crazy about the scent, the couple of times I sniffed it, last year. However, it seems like the only real reason to grow the thing is for its blooms, so I feel cheated if it's not flowering "enough". (Yes, it's ridiculous.)
Looking left, along the front of the house.
At this point, let's just acknowledge that in all likelihood we will not be pulling out those diseased yaupon hollies until after the heat has decreased. (This has been a brutally hot summer. Worse even than usual, I think.) I doubt much has changed here since last month. Well, there might be more weeds. It's time to weed again!
The shady part of the garden. I'm not sure how much you can see, here, but the Curcuma elata has put up new shoots... I think the pincushion ginger might've done likewise... The (barely discernible) 'Scarlet Fever' Curcuma has increased from two leaves (when we bought it) to six. The 'Elizabeth' Hedychium ginger lily looks a little sad in these photos. The ginger lilies have a tendency to fold their leaves closed when they're feeling dry. I think it's doing okay, though. No sign of flowers, yet.
Here's an attempt to show the 'Golden Goddess' bamboo. It's not an entirely successful attempt. A different angle might help, but I think it will always tend to disappear/blend into other plants in photos...
This is another photo of the shady part of the garden, with a better view of 'Scarlet Fever' on the right, as well as the pincushion ginger lily (split into two clumps, if you recall), Curcuma elata, 'Plum Pudding' Heuchera (far right), and variegated hydrangea.
The all-white rose of Sharon has pretty much ceased to bloom, by now, but the red-eyed purple keeps going and going. It has been exceptional, this year.
Did I ever blog about the finished arbor? I can't recall...
Well, it's finished-- all but a little bit of touch-up painting. Donald did a great job, and if I can get the plants to fill it out, it will look even better in years to come.
You can also see the progress we've made on the gravel path, in this photo. Plenty more to do, but every segment counts!
The hummingbird feeder is visited by at least two birds. They fight over it-- can't bring themselves to share. We have another little feeder, but I haven't bothered bringing it out, so far, this year. In years past, it hasn't seemed to matter when we put out multiple feeders. They still chase one another away, the silly things.
These three plants have been consistent bloomers all summer-- annual vinca, purple coneflower, and salvia.
Trixie and Luna on the path.
Please ignore the landscape fabric poking up around the edges of the path. I need to either cut it or fold and poke it down below the mulch, one of these days. (I'm using the miserable heat and humidity as an excuse for avoiding this task, too.)
One thing I will not like about the gravel is that it hurts to kneel on-- even through denim. Not surprising, but still unpleasant. I'll have to start using a foam kneeling pad when I need to weed or tend to the plants.
From outside the fence, looking east(ish).
Slight turn to the right...
That vine on the fence in the middle of the photo has turned out to be a moonflower vine. It took a while to get going, because the rabbits kept nibbling at it, but now it's the best-blooming of the bunch. Last night I think I counted seven flowers on this one vine. (More on this subject at the end of the post.)
Another turn to the right...
The clematis growing on this fence is destined to move, when the weather cools. Of course, I'll have to settle on where it's going, first...
The mina lobata growing on the patio railing has gone wild!
Another slight right turn...
From further down the fence row...
The plantings in front of the patio (on both sides of the path) and here on the other side of the arbor look sparse to me. There are purple coneflowers that I hope will multiply, and there are many daylilies, but they'll need to fill out to give a very bountiful appearance. Even then, I wonder if there's not enough height/vertical interest in that part of the garden. It's an area that could use improvement.
A slight turn to the right...
The Confederate rose is another that has grown at least as tall as I am, by now. (I'm about 5.5 feet tall, for reference.)
...And from here you can see that the viburnum next to it is just as tall.
(Ignore any and all weeds. There are not weeds in this flower bed. If there were, that would mean I should be out there pulling them, tomorrow morning.)
Looking back toward the arbor and patio...
The 'Mercury Rising' coreopsis is blooming happily. It looks kind of short and flopped over, but it's fine. A lot of plants have been floppy, this year. Maybe that's just the way they always are.
Luna and Trixie are on a part of the path that has yet to be graveled.
Back inside the fence, looking along the gravel path...
A peek behind the garage at what remains in the vegetable beds...
There's not much, right now, but honestly, I just. don't. care. It's too hot to mess with vegetables. I'm leaving the okra, marigolds, and chives to their own devices. Donald picks the okra every now and then. Those hideous BUGS are haunting the pepper plants, so I generally ignore them. We have more peppers than we need, already, anyway.
Here's another area that needs some TLC. We took some of the bricks away to make a threshold for one end of the gravel path. Maybe we'll use more of those remaining for the other end. In any case, when the weather's nicer, I'll remove at least some of the bricks, bring the mulch up to standard, and start considering what to plant here.
The "fancy" echinacea I planted here has not thrived, but I don't know that moving it will help. It's still hanging in there, for the time being.
To the right of the echinacea is a clump of Rudbeckia / black-eyed Susan from Granny L.'s garden. I'm hopeful that it will "take". It's definitely worth a try. Mom brought them over on Monday. I followed her advice to cut it back before planting. There were many seedheads on the stalks I cut off, so I'm saving those in a paper bag. Later this year, I'll try "planting"/scattering them where I'd like more to grow, and with any luck, there will be pretty yellow flowers, next summer.
This area also needs work. The pink shrub roses in front of the bay window can get a little bare in the middle of summer-- especially between waves of bloom. I'm still not sure what to plant around / behind / in front of them, but I have some ideas. Achillea's at the top of the list, along with coneflowers. A groundcover would be nice for blocking weeds, but really, something 1 to 2 feet tall would be even better, to hide the ugly bare legs of the roses.
Back in front of the patio...
...And under the patio cover...
Here are some of the plants I've been rooting.
Some of the baby airplane plants went into an empty hanging basket. That is one of the only plants I've been happy with in hanging pots. Most other plants just don't do well for me in those conditions.
I stuck a few cuttings of perennial coreopsis into pots. They're not taking off, but neither are they shriveling completely. There's hope!
The bleeding-heart cutting is still (partially) green...
A couple of rose cuttings (one from the pink climber, one from 'Joseph's Coat') are still green. I'm not counting on them, but it would be nice...
Some cuttings of English ivy are doing well. I want to put a pot of that-- maybe with a small piece of lattice in the pot-- on the front door stoop. That area is bare and rather unattractive, at the moment. I'm thinking a few pots-- the ivy, some aloe, anything else that won't die easily in less than ideal conditions. Maybe something decorative hanging on the blank wall... (Though I'll have to get Donald to do the drilling for me, since the thought of drilling a hole in a brick wall scares me. (g))
The hummingbird sage / scarlet sage looks pretty right now:
And though they're floppy, the blanketflowers are also spots of brightness in a not-so-lovely part of the garden.
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These last two photos are from a few days ago, in early evening.
The moonflowers hadn't completely opened, because it was only twilight, but I think they're pretty, anyway-- and I love their cool, refreshing fragrance. (I only wish it were stronger.)
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Well, that's how things stand in early August!
Next month, we'll be hoping to see a beginning of the ratcheting down of temperatures, though realistically, it probably won't start to feel like autumn until October.