There were no major projects this week that were interesting enough to get six pictures of. The best that I could do was get six random pictures of random features of the landscapes. I do not actually do much to cultivate flowers, but they happen to be components of the landscapes. Most are perennials that bloom on their own. Of course, I do not mind taking credit for them.
Some blooms started late while the weather was mild, but were then accelerated as the weather suddenly warmed. It seemed that several different types of flowers needed to be deadheaded at the same time. Zonal geraniums and lily-of-the-Nile are two of the most reliable perennials that bloom on schedule no matter what. Zonal geraniums bloom sporadically most of the time, and only bloom more while the weather is warm. Lily-of-the-Nile may start a bit early or a bit late, but is always in full bloom on the fourth of July. The blooms even look like exploding fireworks. More than two weeks later, their flowers are still in full color but will slowly start to fade. Phlox was a surprise for us.
1. Can you guess what this bloom is?
2. You can probably guess that this is phlox. It sure had my colleagues and I perplexed. We had never seen anything like it. Phlox is uncommon here. I would even say it is rare. No one knows why. It just is. I got a picture of it a few years ago only because I was intrigued by it in a neighboring landscape. It took a bit of effort to identify it, although I sort of suspected that it was phlox. It did not look quite like this phlox, and was lower to the ground. No one knows how this one got into the landscape. We suspect it arrived with the ‘fertilizer’ that the horses make for us.
3. Lily-of-the-Nile is still one of my all time favorite summer blooming perennials. I do not care how cheap and common it is. It is one of the first perennials I divided while I was in junior high school. I grew more than eighty new plants from a single old plant that needed to be removed. It was the old fashioned sort, with big blue flowers and big flabby leaves, perhaps bigger than these. I also like the white ones with the same big flowers and leaves, of course, because they are white. All the fancy modern cultivars are nice too, but not as excellent as the originals. I do like seeing the very pale blue ones in other gardens.
4. This zonal geranium has these small but cheery cherry red flowers, but it is really grown for the weirdly variegated foliage that is blurry in the background. I think that these flowers would look better against simple green foliage. There is another zonal geranium in another part of the landscape, with small peachy pink flowers and foliage that is variegated only with white. I am none too keen on the flower color, and I am not often too keen on variegation, but the foliage of that particular zonal geranium really looks sharp.
5. Himalayan blackberry is one of the worst and most invasive of the exotics weeds here. It develops huge canes that arch over and drop on top of other plants in the landscape. The wickedly sharp prickles (technical term for their thorns) are tortuous when trying to remove the canes. Even picking their berries is nasty business! There are a few berries ripening now, and they happen to be pretty good, but they are sooooooo not worth it.
6. Chips needed to be dispersed into the newly landscaped areas that are partially visible in the background of this picture. These chips were free. They are made of recycled wood waste. For our purposes, they are sufficient. However, they include a few large chunks of wood and bits of metal. The chunk of metal in this picture is a short section of rebar. Some of the chips have paint on them. Some seem to be bits of old furniture. It makes one wonder where some of this material came from.
By the way, the bloom in the first picture #1 is merely a fist full of deadheaded white zonal geranium flowers all pressed together. White zonal geraniums do not readily drop their faded blooms like other zonal geraniums do, so they need to be deadheaded.
This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate: