I usually give up trying to grow a plant, if I haven't had success after three tries. This is my third time growing Cardoon and so far so good! The blooms of Cynara cardunculus typically don't bloom until their second year. I'm crossing my fingers because the purple thistle like flowers are spectacular.
I've renamed this vine Sweet Hotter than Hell Clematis, since in Texas it blooms in late August and early September. The hot summer sun magnifies its sweet heady fragrance. By the time the part of year it's name for comes around the blooms are pretty much spent. This Clematis climbs up an arbor in close vicinity to a huge American Beautyberry and an elderly Crepe Myrtle, which both contrast nicely with its pristine white flowers.
I started growing several varieties of Celosia years ago. All of the different varieties seem to have morphed into this one type which self seeds every year. Without fail, I'm guaranteed blooms in the very very hottest time of the year. That time of the year is now!
Sweet Almond Verbena (Aloysia virgata) may not make the world's most beautiful bouquet but it could very well be a champion in the scent category. This arrangement fills my whole house with the most amazing sweet almond fragrance. The bush lives outside by my back door and grows to about eight feet each season. It dies back in my zone but returns to its full magnificence, in a flash!
Yesterday I was able to visit the Dennis Weaver Memorial Park in Ridgway, Colorado. Vic Payne created an amazing tribute in 2007 with an anatomically correct sculpture of a soaring American bald eagle. The skies, during monsoon season, in Colorado, are often a spectacular sight to see. Yesterday I was lucky enough to see the park while the skies were in a state of ecstasy. The park is a beautiful tribute to a man who was one of earth's kindest caretakers.
A tradition, in the park, is the placing of prayer stones. The Payne sculpture is surrounded by these stacks of stones added along with prayers from guests of the park. These displays add a spiritual depth to an already reverent space.
Liatris or more commonly known as Gayfeather is another flower that takes off in the beginning of the summer. The blooms open from the top down. Like little rockets of purple, the flowers shoot up, it seems, overnight. The bright orange Cosmos that bloom every year at the same time make for a dynamic color duo.
This is a hand-me-down Canna. There are over 411 varieties
of Canna out there. I have no idea which one this attention getter belongs to.
It is one of my favorites because the red flowers are shaped like fire. The
flames show off nicely against the Carolina Jessamine and my blue fence. The
color of the fence, by the way, has become my signature color. It is a Benjamin
Moore mix that I'm not giving away. I'll give you a hint though. If you mix
your favorite blue with 50 percent Benjamin Moore's Gentleman'sGrey 2062-20you'll end up with a more serious version of the original
Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. Unfortunately this is true for this beauty. In Texas, Water Hyacinth is considered an invasive species. I feel fine growing it in my tiny little garden pot pond as there is no way it can escape into the wild. The flowers are gorgeous and remind me of peacocks. Don't ask me for any however, as I have no desire to ruin any of the natural habitats in Texas.
Mexican Oregano is another plant that roots easily in the ground for me. I've been able to spread it around the garden where I want it. I love the scent of the foliage. I rarely pass by it and not rub my hands in it. Another benefit is that it is almost carefree.
I planted a couple of Skullcap starts a few years back. Through the years, I've been able to spread it by breaking portions of it off and sticking it back into the ground. I've now got a nice little stream.
It's the time of year I go coo coo for Coneflowers! I used to keep this bed free of anything but the orange varieties. I've become less of a purist these days and I'm starting to like it! The offspring of the orange hybrids have come up pink and white. I kind of like the diversity!
With temperatures predicted to be in the triple digits this coming week, I thought I'd take a few photos of one corner of the spring garden. We've been blessed with rain this spring so everything is pretty lush. I'm hoping it has prepared all the plants to say "bring it on" to the harsh summer heat.