July 27, 2008

A Garden Tour

July is always when summer starts getting unpleasant around here, and this year has been particularly hot and wet. (Hot and wet, despite what you might normally think, are not a good combination in this context.) As a result, this is also the time of year when my yard gets the barest maintenance from me.

And yet, a trip through the garden very early in the day always reveals some of my plants are simply a riot of flowers. It is always a great pick me up, so how about a mini-tour of what's happening in my garden this week?
Here's a Vanda hybrid - a low maintenance orchid that has been holding its bloom for a month now. It hangs in the grapefruit tree and greets you as you pull in to the drive. I love its cheerful yellow blooms peeking out of the tree.
And the Portulaca has sprouted in all the beds around the front drive, just volunteers from pieces the birds and squirrels broke off the plants I had in a basket last year. Its almost a weed, but since a weed is only a plant you don't want, we'll call it ground cover. I may even spread some more this fall, if the birds don't do it for me.
The Crepe Myrtle is still in heavy bloom by the drive, too, and though it makes a huge mess and keeps Alex's car filthy with spent blooms I love it.
Oh, here, if you come down by the street,you'll see the Penta still blooming in my butterfly garden. The white is almost done, but the red is so well established I think it may bloom well in to the fall. Isn't it lovely? I saw a butterfly flitting around it just the other day.
Come on around to the backyard, and you can see the sweet Cuban Buttercup blooms. Its a good thing you're here early; they close up to hide from the heat by mid-morning. I thought I might have killed it last year, but a ruthless pruning this spring has brought it back to life. Hopefully next year it'll be robust again.
The bromeliads are starting to bloom, and they'll stay out all day and night for sure. I'm excited to see all this pink emerging, since they didn't bloom it all last year. I took a chance and let a bit of fertilizer fall in to the cups this summer and it seems to have worked.
The Mexican Bluebells, on the other hand, have been reliable every summer and this year is no exception. They, too, are in better shape, though, thanks to the tip my father-in-law gave me about the drastic pruning they prefer.
The peppers, of course, I can't seem to keep up with them. They are pretty, but I don't know what to do with them all. Would you like a few to take home? I could even give you my vinegar pepper sauce recipe, if you'd like.

So, that's my garden in this mid-summer heat. Thanks for stopping by. And remember to take some peppers on your way out!

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