bloom day July 2018

July 15th arrives slightly singed and battered. I was just noticing this morning that the big serrated leaves of Bocconia frutescens were untouched by that nasty 109F heat, whereas I’ve had to cut sheafs of tetrapanax stalks to clear out all the crispy leaves.

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But the heat can’t get a purchase on the grevilleas’ lacy, finely cut leaves. What a good plant ‘King’s Fire’ has blossomed into.

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I grow very few big and juicy flowers anymore but was making an exception for a couple dahlias. But this year the dahlias became so badly mildewed and then heatstruck that they’ve already been cut down. By July the garden mostly fizzes with tiny blossoms.

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Gaillardia ‘Mesa Peach’ planted in early summer represents for summer daisies this year.

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Icy Agave mitis var. albiodor and calamint. Icy is a great look for July.

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Aeonium nobile’s monocarpic swan song.

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Eryngium planum

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And E. pandanifolium, just two bloom stalks this year.

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If only glaucium would reseed. Such fabulous plants that tolerate hot and dry conditions.

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Really nice with Centranthus lecoqii.

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Keep Albuca spiralis watered and it may kick summer dormancy down the road a bit.

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The pale yellow kangaroo paws seem to be the most sun resistant. The other paw, ‘Tequila Sunrise,’ has bleached to a biscuity-orange now.

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Aloe ‘Cynthia Giddy’ is throwing another bloom spike as this one finishes.

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The pergola is a godsend to people and plants. If I could give a new garden in zone 10 a single piece of advice, it would be to build a pergola, a breezeway, a covered patio — some sort of shade structure asap now that record-breaking heat is the new normal. I’m constantly playing around with the potted plants under the pergola — I can’t imagine having a garden with a southern exposure without it. (That’s one of three pots of Amorphophallus impressus in the foreground. Loves the heat but appreciates some shade under the pergola. I moved the big-leaved tropicals out of the sun and under the pergola too.)

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New to the garden this year, Miscanthus nepalensis sailed through the heat and has about 9 blooms now — not that I’m counting or anything…

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And in the ground just a few weeks, planted from blooming gallons, Digiplexis ‘Illumination Raspberry Improved’ needs to be babied and shaded from the strong afternoon sun. Which is why, as a rule, one shouldn’t plant so far into summer. But I haven’t really given digiplexis a thorough trial, and here these were, inexpensive and beautifully grown, with ‘Improved’ helpfully included in their name, etc., etc. — this summer’s exceptions to the rule. (Edited: Digiplexis melted away over fall/winter 2018/2019.)

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Solanum valerianum ‘Navidad Jalisco’ is slowing down and not as full of blooms as this photo taken in late June. (Edited: this vine was strangling the lemon cypress and has been removed.)

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A self-sown Solanum pyracanthum mixes it up with salvias, verbena, berkheya, gomphrena, but most obvious from this photo is my great affection for Yucca ‘Blue Boy.’

Stay cool!

Thanks to Carol, our host for Bloom Days on the 15th of every month.

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7 Responses to bloom day July 2018

  1. Kris P says:

    Your garden may be short on the bodacious summer blooms like dahlias but it has a LOT to offer, Denise. I love that Albuca. Be sure to report on how the “improved” Digiplexis does. I adore that plant but it was a magnet for woolly aphids here so I gave it up but will try it again if the new variety lives up to its name for you. Four of my Yucca ‘Blue Boys’ were attacked by something – I’m guessing agave snout weevil – and I’m bummed by their loss.

  2. Looking fab Denise, I was thrilled to see your Bloomday post, always enjoy a walk around your garden…

  3. ks says:

    Yes to the pergola-I have an almost completely collapsed structure aalong the west side which is engulfed in Lady Banks -once the demos is done I have a plan for a nice free-standing pergola to offset the western sun . I bough an IF Raspberry this year too-I have it in a container with morning sun. So far so good.

  4. Max says:

    Interesting that your albuca hasn’t gone dormant. Mine went dormant months ago, and I’ve seen a few since then that look as good as yours. I wonder what the difference is? I definitely kept it well watered. I absolutely love that grevillea, with those white buds it very striking. The calamint and agave are a very frosty combination, very visually cooling. I may have to copy that combination!

  5. Nell says:

    So many cool and completely new-to-me plants, such luscious photos!

    Don’t have a sense of what size Albuca is, but its gracefulness reminds me of triandrus and cyclamineous daffodils (like ‘Hawera’ and ‘Thalia’).

    That icy combo makes even more of an impression when it’s broiling out!

    How tall is the Miscanthus?

    Thanks for another stimulating visit.

  6. Amy Bouck-Knight says:

    Nice post, Denise! Love those reddish flowers on the Aeonium nobile.

  7. Denise says:

    @Kris, it was good to see you have one flourishing Yucca ‘Blue Boy.’ I hope the one I dropped off takes root — always good to have a backup! I had the woolly aphids too on the digiplexis, but I felt it only fair to give them the standard 3-attempts trial.
    @Loree, it’s a short walk, but you well know I’m a cramscapist!
    @Kathy, riding the Metro and looking down from the elevated tracks, I’m always shocked by the backyards of houses that don’t protect themselves from the sun. Much more important than a lawn!
    @Max, the albuca was grown by Dustin Gimbel. I’ve heard lots of reports about variability with the dormancy but don’t have any insight to offer!
    @Nell, the albuca is a small plant, in bloom maybe a foot total. Nicely scented too. The miscanthus’ leaves are a medium green, about 1/2 inch in width, maybe a foot high, stretching to almost 4 feet in bloom. With miscanthus it’s all about how fast they thicken up. If this one thickens up slowly, that’d be great! Otherwise, they require regular maintenance to split up the huge clumps.
    @Thanks, Amy!

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