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This is the first year that my Curcuma 'Scarlet Fever' has bloomed! The flowers are the same shape as those of Curcuma elata (giant plume ginger), but the coloring is different. Actually, the pinker flowers of the giant plume ginger are prettier, I think, but it's interesting to see these other blooms for the first time.
Notice the dark red spikes coming up beside the flower. That red color is 'Scarlet Fever's real claim to fame.
Here are a few more photos of the gladiolus that I think is 'Vulcano':
The intensity of the purple splotches on the lower petals varies greatly from flower to flower. (Maybe it was just that the earlier-opened ones were less intense...) These were some of the best, I think.
Though 'Atom' (the red with white edges) is eye-catching and beautiful, I think the pinks are prettier-- less harsh and easier to blend with other colors, assuming those other colors aren't also bright red.
Ladybug on rose of Sharon.
(I think this is one of those invasive Asian ladybugs, but oh well. They do still eat garden pests, at least.)
Not pictured: This has been a banner year for rabbits. Almost any time of the day, we stand a good chance of spotting one from a window. Luna has learned the word "bunny", which is what I call the wild rabbits. If I'm looking outside and say the magic word, she knows exactly what I mean and comes running so I can pick her up and let her look for herself. You can always tell when she's spotted the rabbit from the change in her posture. (She tenses up and breathes differently than usual.) The low growl is another clue-- and sometimes she gets really riled up, and the whiny-growly sounds she makes are just hilarious! (Silly dog!) She likes to chase them out of the yard, too, if she gets the chance.
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I don't think I'm imagining that many things are flowering earlier this year than usual. The more established white crape myrtles, for instance, are blooming early and more bountifully than usual. (I've taken photos, so some should show up here, eventually.)
This pale pink crepe myrtle that volunteered from 'Victor' is also blooming already. I'm glad I decided to transplant and keep it! It's grown a lot in just a couple of years! (And as we've already established in this blog post, I am partial to pink flowers.)
They're not pink, but I also love these lavender Roses of Sharon. Such a cool, refreshing color!
I had begun to feel that we'd nearly reached the end of the daylily season, but I've noticed new scapes and buds. Not sure yet if they're "only" rebloomers, but in any case, I'm excited to see the promise of new flowers.
I need to get more annuals going to carry the garden through the summer. I usually have no problem getting seeds to sprout, but getting them hardened off and planted successfully is trickier...