We are back in the heat and humidity with afternoon thunderstorms. And now we are also expecting more tropical storms from the Gulf. All of this rain has been wonderful for the gardens. And the weeds. Seems that's all I do, day after day, is pull weeds. They are huge. They have also been hiding some nice surprises.
I had tried to grow Johnny Jump Ups last year in what is now the New World Garden. A few germinated. Some of those survived the winter and bloomed this spring. As I am clearing out the giant weeds, I am finding a dream come true. Lots and lots of little seedlings. Now the seedlings are blooming having been given the chance to grow once the weeds are cleared away. I'm hoping to be able to spread them out for lots of color next spring.
Another surprise was in the Wild Flower Garden that I created at the last minute. I had seen lupines growing but when I weeded out that patch, I found wild columbine seedlings. More color for next spring.
Even the poppies have surprised me. Along with the usual orange, red and pink, there have been a few with white edges and I even found one that is a double. Ditto the nasturtiums with multi-colored flowers in addition to the usual solids.
What's blooming now? A new flower for me, Cottage Red marigold. Burpee describes it as: "An unusual mariold discovered in Mexico. A loose, informal, tall bush marigold with clear red flowers". It should have been planted in the New World Garden, but for some reason, I used it as a filler along the edge of the Holly Garden. It's very pretty and very delicate. I will be growing this one again.
The first balsam is blooming. It usually reseeds itself and I add some new purchased seed each year to fill in the area. I didn't need to this year. In fact, I have been transplanting it into a bed in the front of the house because I have too many plants.
The Scarlet Runner Beans are blooming lustily. And climbing their absurdly long poles. Remember this picture
from Memorial Day? The vines have reached the tops of the poles which are the height of my neighbor's garage and are still growing!
Sadly, the Purple Coneflowers that I grew from seed and waited three years for them to bloom are under attack from Japanese Beetles. The beetles are chewing up the petals as they open. This is the first time in years that I have had a problem with Japanese Beetles. Normally, I am the only one who doesn't have a problem because I invite birds into my yard with feeders and a birdbath. They usually eat all the grubs before they have a chance to mature into adults. I'm not sure why that didn't happen this year. I have more birds than ever.
And just for fun, I took a picture of a toadstool that was growing in the Purple Garden. The next day it was gone! Who ate it? The bunny? A squirrel?