Saturday, July 16, 2016

Garden Bloom in July

garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
With Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day approaching, I had my doubts whether there would be much to show.  We have had a very hot, very dry June, and July is going much the same way.  It is hard weather for plants to bloom in.  Only the tropicals really expect to bloom in this sort of heat; many desert plants naturally bloom in more salubrious seasons; and the tropicals are struggling with the dryness.

But the garden still has a surprising amount of bloom.  Some of the blossoms are a bit crispy; others have a tendency to wilt.  But there is bloom!  Here is a brief tour.

The two Lagerstroemias, L. indica "Dynamite"...
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
...and L. i. "Rhapsody in Pink".
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
There is the indefatigueable Russelia equisetiformis "Big Red".
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
Along with Russelia, I was relying on Hamelia patens to supply nectar for hummingbirds, who have, however, apparently left to spend the hot season elsewhere!  The Hamelia is a wonderful plant, but it is planted in a very fast-draining part of the garden, and I am having trouble keeping enough water on it.   Perhaps by next summer it will be better established and I will have amended the soil enough to keep moisture levels more even.
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
It is certainly the tropicals that are the source of mid-July bloom in this garden!
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
Catharanthus roseus in lavender and white
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
White lantana with native chinchweed growing nearby.  I normally allow some chinchweed to add a bit of yellow to the late summer garden.
   
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
Lantana "Denver Red" filling in below Euphorbia tirucalli "Firesticks"
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
Mirabilis jalapa (Four o'Clocks), unopened flowers
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
Cuphea ignea "Vermillionaire"
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
Caesalpinia pulcherrima
But there are some dry country plants in bloom as well.  Alyogyne huegelii is sproradically in bloom though not today.  There is also Eremophila hygrophana.
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
And there is the native Penstemon pseudospectabilis "Coconino County".  To my surprise, it is still putting out flowers, having been more or less in bloom since late spring.  The foliage behind belongs to Hippeastrum "Naranja".  
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
There are also grass flowers.
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
Pennisetum setaceum "Rubrum"
And a few roses, especially among the miniatures, such as my little creamy white one.  (I think it once had a fair amount of pink to it, but that was long before the heat began!)
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
Crown Princess Margareta is also trying to do her bit.
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
Among the surprises are continuing bloom from Dianthus...
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
...and the reblooming iris "Clarence", with this being its second bloom.
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
And one of the best of all is Salvia farinacea, planted near Hamelia patens, but much more tolerant of the low water conditions.  It has been in nearly continuous bloom for months.
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
Salvia farinacea
We are still waiting our first real monsoon rains, with another chance in the forecast through this coming week.  It would make such a difference!  Right now the plants are dealing with the triple difficulties of high heat, very low humidity, and hot winds.   Just about everyone would be happy with a good downpour here.

In the meantime, I'm pleased that planning from last summer has resulted in a much better range of flowering plants to tide over the hottest months.  This is the desert garden's doldrums, much different from growing in more temperate regions.  To see many other July gardens around the world, don't forget to visit May Dreams Gardens!
garden bloggers bloom day, summer, desert garden, small sunny garden, amy myers,
Penstemon pseudospectabilis "Coconino County"
Weather Diary: Sunny; High: 110 F (43 C)/Low: 88 F (31 C); Humidity: 12%-29%



11 comments:

  1. Your garden is impressive by any definition, Amy, but given the intensity of the heat out your way it borders on the miraculous! I've never grown that Salvia farinacea (I don't know why) but given how well it does for you and the fact that my brother also had luck with it (in the San Fernando Valley), I'm definitely going to put it on my list to try, along with the miniature roses. For the record, Russelia does far better in your garden than mine, where the blooms tend to be on the wimpy side.

    I hope your monsoon rains come soon. FWIW, the humidity here is way up so something's in the air!

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    1. I hope you get rain to go with the humidity! Please wave any "extra" rain our way ;-) I can't praise Salvia farinacea enough as it's been floriferous and yet very heat-tolerant and undemanding of water. My instinct is that it's a bit tougher in the summer here than S. greggii.

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  2. A usual Amy a wonderful array of blooms that I am unfamiliar with. Your explaination re Salvia farniacea has just hit the nail on the head as to why the one I am growing, as an annual obviously, is really struggling. Not enough heat for a start and I think I may just be over watering it. I shall hold back on the water to see if it improves it for the rest of the season. Your hummingbirds have gone off to cooler climes - I think our butterflies have done the exact opposite. Happy Bloom Day :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Angie :) I think sometimes the wild creatures are more mobile than we are...! That salvia does seem to be terrifically drought-tolerant so I hope you have good success with holding back the water. Though I didn't mention it in my comment, I love your Kate Glen salvia; is it one of the sylvestris types?

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  3. Your doldrums would make me happy any month of the year.

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    1. ;-) Of course I'm not showing the bits that aren't making it... But I admit to being very pleased with overall results this summer. Having said which, I think your terrace is much more solidly in flower than my borders!

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  4. You have lots of pretty blooms and a great variety of colors!

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    1. Thank you so much, Lea :) Glad you enjoyed them!

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  5. I especially like the photos with dark backgrounds--what's the trick?

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    1. Hardly worth calling it a trick, I'm afraid, Hollis! The afternoon shadows were just creeping across the garden and I got some shots with very mixed light and shadow. Specifically, I was shooting flowers that still had quite a bit of light falling on them, while everything behind was in shade. If you're shooting manual, exposure should be set for the highlighted flowers, not the background! ;-)

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  6. I'm just amazed by the beautiful things you have flowering Amy. I'm loving that Lagerstroemia Dynamite too...what a gorgeous color! Hoping that you can get some rains soon...it makes such a difference. Could do with a day of nice gentle rain in Florida but if we get any it seems to just come down like a tidal wave... My poor seedlings!!

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