Worth the Wait

A recent stroll in the back garden revealed surprises and eagerly awaited gifts. My one and only WinecupCallirhoe involucrata, is blossoming, a bit later than usual.

The Winecup is accompanied by spring greens and a cheery Clasping coneflower in the background.

This single bloom was the first of what might be a limited Winecup flowering engagement this spring.  Shade, which is becoming the norm for my back garden, is probably the culprit responsible for this tardy fuchsia offering.

The pollinators and I will enjoy these flowers over the next month, but I’m considering a move for this perennial native in the fall.  I think I have just the right spot–one delivering of full sun–that will treat this plant right.

 

This pretty was a welcomed surprise.

The wide green straps belong to iris, the lily foliage is slender.

I can tell you that it’s a Zephyranthes, but I’m not sure which one; if I ever knew the name, it’s long forgotten. I purchased some bulbs a few years ago from one of the stellar, locally owned nurseries here in Austin and happily planted away.   Foliage, plus occasional snowy blooms, have made appearances after rains, but over time, the floral representatives of Zephyrus (Greek god of the western wind) disappeared from my gardens.  I attribute the decline to the ever-increasing shade (that again!) and also, to heavy, clayey soil.  Rain lilies thrive in sun and also in situations where the bulbs aren’t disturbed.

I planted the bulbs at the opposite end of my garden from where this bit of serendipity popped up, so I suppose that Zephyrus did his job and blew seeds (one, anyhow) to a different home.

I’m tickled at the one–and look forward to more!

 

My Claude Ikins pond lily didn’t return this year.

It’s odd that a pond lily would decline, but so it did, with rotted roots and no new foliage.  I needed another lily to cover the pond surface, the foliage acting to decrease water temperature and serve to protect fish from fish-hungry birds.  I’m sorry that the Claude didn’t return, as I loved the pure yellow blooms and more importantly, so did a variety of pollinators. Perhaps I should have replaced it with the same brand, but I allowed myself talked into this gorgeous critter:

Wanvisa waterlily has vibrant pinky/orange petals with cream-to-yellow streaks; it  is a dramatic and richly colored lily. Though it didn’t happen with this first bloom, apparently Wanvisa will sometimes open with a section of petals rocking a Bride-of-Frankenstein streak of cream or yellow with the rest of the flower as you see it here.

I guess the lily thought that might be too wild for this gardener to handle for the debut bloom, so it’s demonstrating its more subdued side.

The lily pads are equally lovely, with deep burgundy mottling.  Individual pads are large and rapidly covering the pond surface. That Great blue heron who has visited will have to hunt his goldfish from some other pond.

 

The other water-lily in my pond is a Colorado, and pink, though of a tamer hue.

Tiny native bees working the lily.

It’s also a beautiful flower and the native bees are pleased with its donations of pollen and nectar.

These bees are most likely small Ceratina, sp., or Sweat, Lasioglossum, bees.

 

While the Colorado seemed the choice of the moment for the bees, don’t think that the Wanvisa is a slouch in the pollinator buffet department.

As if on cue, a small metallic bee flew in to the bloom, just as the camera clicked.

 

I think these two lilies will get along just fine and that the bees and the gardener will cheer their success.

Bloom Day, July 2014

The sun is blazing, everyday, all day.  It’s hot and it’ll be that way for a while. This gardener may be wilting, but her blooms are fresh and lovely.  Here is a quick view of a few heat-lovers in my garden this mid-summer in Austin, Texas.  Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for promoting this monthly bloom-palooza.

These daylilies that were  pass-alongs to me many years ago are reliable June-July bloomers.

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Double-blooms with a shorter scape than some other daylilies, I like them because they flower well in part shade.

My pond plants flower well year-round, but are in full bloom-mode during the hot months of summer.  The native Pickerel Rush, Pontederia cordata, grows quickly  and produces lovely spikes of blue.

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It’s a flower that dragonflies, butterflies and bees regularly visit.

The Colorado pond lily, Waterlily Nymphaea ‘Colorado’ is a gorgeous lily for the pond garden.

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As is another pond lily, the ‘Claude Ikins’ lily.  It blooms in tandem with the ‘Colorado’ during the long growing season.

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This particular specimen of Yellow Bells, Tecoma stans,  blossoms earlier in the growing season than any other of this species in my gardens.

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All of the Yellow Bells froze this past winter, so blossoms started a bit late this year.

A beautiful native tree, Retama, Parkinsonia aculeata, flowers throughout summer.

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Each bloom has four yellow petals, with one orange/red petal.  This is a very drought-tolerant small tree with few requirements from the gardener–except to enjoy.

Another great small native tree is the Desert Willow, Chilopsis linearis.  Related to the Retama, it has an open, airy form with lush, trumpet-shaped flowers.

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The Pride of Barbados or Dwarf Poinciana (which is what I grew up calling it), Caesalpinia pulcherrima, blooms magnificently in the hottest spots of any garden.

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I have two of these beauties, neither of which grows in full sun. Each one produces 2 or 3 stalks with attendant flower clusters,

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but the show is muted in comparison to Poinciana which grow in blasting sun.  Those Poinciana develop multiple branches with masses of blossoms–like this one.

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Wow!! That is an absolute showstopper!  My bit-part Poinciana are nothing compared to this diva. This one (and a partner Poinciana) star in the full-sun garden of some lovely neighbors who live down the street.

Sniff.

I have Poinciana envy.

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My Globe Mallow, Spaeralcea ambigua, sports blossoms this summer, which is unusual, but what a treat!

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Typically, this woody shrub blooms in spring and fall, taking a rest during the heat of the summer  months.  Flowers this July are likely due to our earlier summer rains.

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What’s blooming in your July garden? Share your bloom-palooza by visiting May Dreams Gardens for Bloggers’ Bloom Day!