Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: Another Dry July



Standard Rose  'Double Delight'
In my zone 9b garden in California's Central Valley it's hot and it's dry. It's July! And high temperatures are normal here in the Valley. However, the lack of rainfall for the past few years has made gardening particulalrly challenging as gardeners all over the state attempt to conserve water. This year I didn't plant many annuals. Instead I have been relying on perennials and other shrubs for some summer color.

Most of the roses bloomed earlier in the spring, although they still produce a few sporadic blooms from time to time.

Standard Rose 'Double Delight'
Nerium Oleander

The 'Heritage' rose has faded to almost white. 
Clematis 'Rooguchi'
The little seed heads add a decorative touch.  



Rose of Sharon from Arbor Day Foundation
Hibiscus syriacus 'Rose-of-Sharon'
Cape Mallow, Anisodontea 'Slightly Strawberry', is drought tolerant and the bees and butterflies love it:

Cape Mallow





New Guinea Impatiens:

The crocosmias ('Lucifer'?) looked terrible this year. They really need to be divided!

crocosmia



Amaryllis Belladonna 
Amaryllis Belladonna 'Belladonna Lily' / 'Naked Lady'
Dwarf Agapanthus 'Peter Pan'
A few Violas are still blooming in spite of the heat.

Buddleia Dwarf Butterfly Bush 'Buzz Purple'
Alcea  Hollyhock
Geranium 'Rozanne' and begonias
Gardenia
Crape Myrtle  Lagerstroemia



Hosta Flower 
The snails have shown the hostas no mercy this year. Usually they don't start attacking them until August. I'm blaming it on the drought!

Nicotiana sylvestris 'Woodland Tobacco'/going to seed

Below are some of the last of the larkspur flowers. Normally I would have already sent them to the compost pile, but I wanted to save the seeds to plant in another bed for next year's flowers. And since  the Farmer's Almanac lists Larkspur as the July flower of the month, I will let it linger on for a while longer.
Larkspur
I'm visiting Carol's blog today,  May Dreams Gardens, for a look at what's blooming in gardens from all over the world. Click on the link to see some pretty flowers on this July Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

Happy gardening and happy Bloom Day!

25 comments:

  1. wow... so wonderful! You have so various flowers! All shade of colors are appearing their beauty in your garden. I really love to see all flowers on your garden.

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    1. Thank you, Endah. I was surprised that I had that many flowers in bloom in July. I didn't even know the Rose-of-Sharon had a flower, because it's in the back by the fence!

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  2. Dorothy, It seems we share a liking for many of the same plants and flowers. That Belladonna Lily is stunning! I would love to get some bulbs and try to grow some myself. The first time I saw them was at Descanso Gardens in LaCanada. They smelled so good too. I see you have Cape Mallow. I have one too, but it is getting a little too big and crossing over the property line between my bungalow and the one next to me. I hope trimming it back won't damage it. And what is going on with the Violas? I have some as well that just keep blooming! I haven't had much luck with my Gardenia. It's in a pot and it doesn't produce many flowers. This year I've only seen about 3 flowers on it and the year before it didn't do well either. I wonder if it doesn't like the pot. Beautiful blooms, Dorothy and I love the little Skipper!

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    1. Hi Danielle, I have pruned the Cape Mallow a couple of times, and it didn't hurt it at all. I really like that plant! It faces west into the hot sun, needs minimal water and seems to always be in bloom! The violas have amazed me. I planted them last fall and would usually have pulled them up by now, but they just keep blooming. I hope you get more blooms from your gardenia. Is it getting enough sun? I've read that they should be fertilized in spring with acid based fertilizer, but I just use compost as a mulch and mine do fine. The variety I have is 'Mystery'. Happy gardening!

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    2. Thanks for the advice on the Gardenia. I think it may just need a little extra attention. I'll try to place it where it will receive the morning sun too and see if that helps in getting more blooms.

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  3. Oh to have a gardenia! They are houseplants here and tricky to keep going. More often than not the flowers rot at the base and drop off. The scent is just superb.
    Your garden is still looking so colourful Dorothy, in spite of the drought.

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    1. Hi Jessica, Gardenias have always done well for us except for a severe freeze one year when we thought they were dead. But almost every one came back! Our gardenias are planted as foundation plants. I really like the dark green shiny foliage. There's a lot to like about gardenias! Have a great day!

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  4. Your water is all the news right now. I sympathize with what all of you are going through out there. Even with being careful your blooms are still there and looking lovely.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Hi Cher, Yes, water, or the lack of it, seems to be the main topic of conversation in our state. Fortunately there are plants that can make do with little water!

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  5. I love the seed heads of the Clematis. How nice that you can grow such a wide collection of plants. I hope you get some nice, gentle rain soon. Your garden looks amazing, though!

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    1. Hi Beth, The clematis do have interesting seed heads. I've never noticed any little seedlings coming up, though! Rain would be wonderful, and we are hoping that rain will return this fall. Thank you for your kind words!

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  6. Love the double delight....happy GBBD

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    1. Hi Janie, I love the 'Double Delight' flowers, too. When I bought the plant at the nursery a few years ago, it was looking pretty sad. I'm glad it's finally shaping up. Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  7. Hi Dorothy, sorry it's so hot and dry. We're having a very cold winter, but I suppose I'll be in your situation in 6 months time. I was interested in your comment about the snails. In my garden snails disappear when it's too hot and dry, maybe your Californian ones are a different variety. The perennials seem to be performing well for you.

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    1. Hi Sue, We have the brown garden snail, said to have been brought here in the 1850's by the French for escargot. They are a major garden and agricultural pest. In the coldest part of winter they hibernate, and the hottest part of summer they aestivate, which just means they are dormant. But I still see some about, just not as prolifically as when more water is available. I think maybe they get water from the leaves of the plants. I sprinkled Sluggo just yesterday around the 'Sum and Substance' hosta that I'm trying to save. And it's supposed to resistant to slugs and snails! Have a good weekend!

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  8. Beautiful photos as always. My belladonna's are still sleeping. The Double Delight rose is a sight for sore eyes. Makes me wish I had more roses.

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    1. Thank you Yvonne for the nice compliments! Although I don't have a lot of roses, I love each and every one. And it seems I'm always looking for some place to squeeze one in amongst everything else I have growing! By the way, I think you have the most serene and peaceful looking garden. A quiet place to relax with the kitties!

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  9. Well hello to another passionate gardener,

    What a beautiful bevy of blossoms you're sharing via May Dreams Garden. You just happen to be spotlighting two of my very best favorites. 'Rooguchi' with the cobalt blue flower and black stem is just meant for a simple clear bud vase.

    'Double Delight' was hands down my favorite before I surrendered to blackspot but have considered growing it as an annual, it's that charming.

    I'd be honored if you visited my blog to see my first GBBD post only five years in the making with a truly unique backstory,

    Best,

    Patrick

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    1. Hi Patrick, Thank you for visiting my blog! I had not thought of bringing 'Rooguchi' inside as a cut flower, but I can see where it would make an attractive little bouquet. My 'Double Delight' rose is trained as a standard, and I usually don't care for standards, but I have this one by the kitchen window where I'm enjoying its pretty blossoms. Yes, I am definitely looking forward to visiting your blog!

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  10. Dear Dorothy, I am very impressed how many different plants you have blooming in your July garden. In my garden July is one of the "worst months" because it looks so plain with hardly any plants blooming. I truly need to add more perennials... Anyway back to your post. I am so intrigued by your lovely gardenia bloom and your Amaryllis Belladonna. The latter has such an exquisite color. I have two flower stalks of Amaryllis Belladonna blooming in my garden right now, too, but their pink is much more intense, not so elegant and refined than yours. I also absolutely love the white holleyhock. So gorgeous! Wishing you a good week!
    Christina

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    1. Hi Christina, I am just back from an evening walk around the garden and oh how dry it is! The limited watering and the triple digit heat is just about too much for most flowers. The amaryllis belladonna must be very hardy plants since they are getting only the bare minimum watering. And the white hollyhock does add a bit of coolness to the garden. (I remember that you like white flowers!) It is overcast this evening but rain is not expected here, but I hope your part of the state will receive some rain. Wishing you a good week, too!

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  11. Considering how dry its been, I'm amazed anything blooms. Your flowers look beautiful! Violas in July in central CA? WOW!

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    1. Hi Tammy, I was surprised that the violas lasted so long. They were planted last fall and would normally have been long gone. Actually they are gone now as I pulled them up last week. They had had it! There are very few plants blooming right now except crape myrtles and oleanders. Just an occasional bloom from the roses. Wth new watering restrictions, I think it's going to be survival of the fittest!

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  12. What a beautiful selection of blooms in your garden! I especially like the Double Delight Rose, what a lovely colour.

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    1. Thank you, Paula, for visiting my blog and for the nice compliments!
      The 'Double Delight' is a delightful rose! It is trained as a standard and is planted in a pot. I think I have finally found a location where it is happy so I'm thinking of planting it in the ground in the fall. Happy gardening!

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