Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Our first open garden of the summer was on June 28th when the temperature in the garden surpassed 100 degrees and just about everything, both plant and animal, drooped and swooned. The daylilies were late and there were only about a half dozen cooked blossoms open that day. I promised to have the garden open again when the daylilies began to bloom and the weather was cooperative. It looks like a window of opportunity will open this coming Saturday, so we'll hope that the forecast is accurate and will be open from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on July 19th. There should be plenty of summer color to enjoy.

When Crocosmia 'Lucifer' bursts into bloom, I know that summer has arrived at last.

This is a very round and ruffled seedling from my hybridizing efforts. Even with all of the frilly edging and heavier substance, it opens well here.

The daylilies are finally providing summer color after being set back by the unusually cool Spring weather. Although I missed having the earlier bloom, I will enjoy having the blooms around longer than usual - some of them up to two weeks later.

After many years of planting seeds from my own crosses, I am enjoying many wonderful new creations of my own. It is exciting to be there when the first blossom opens. This one is an unusual form with petals that twist and curl. The flowers on plants created in our area seem to be better suited for our weather conditions, opening well and having better color after cool nights.

One of the first fuchsias to begin blooming every year is F. 'Whiteknight's Pearl'. The pale pink flowers look like ballet dancers gracefully suspended from the arching branches. In the background is Clematis 'Alionushka' leaning into and through Cornus florida 'Cherokee Chief'.

Clematis 'Betty Corning' marks the beginning of later blooming clematis season. It has a wonderful light and sweet fragrance especially pleasant on warm summer evenings. An easy to care for vine, I cut it back completely to the ground in late winter/early spring and it rewards me with lush new growth filled with lovely lavender-blue bell shaped flowers in summer.


Early in July, later season Iris ensata (Japanese iris) are blooming. I love this combination of I 'Sea of Amethyst' with Astrantia major, a plant that begins blooming in late spring and continues until frost.