Summer flowers in my garden
A walk in my summer flower garden
Summer in our garden brings forth the sights and sounds of nature. Aside from the colorful sun-loving flowers and verdant foliage, the buzz of bees, dragonflies, flutter of butterflies and birds of different feathers transform the garden into a hub of activities. Hummingbirds love to build their nests here. Even the statuaries seem to come to life and serve as the hospitable hosts in the garden.
Take a leisurely walk and revel in summer's delightful offerings. Welcome to my summer garden and enjoy the tour.
All photos were taken by yours truly.
A warm fuzzy welcome from the garden cat
Animal statuaries are scattered around the garden to bring some delight to a restful and meditative walk. The timid cat peers out of the welcome sign and the charming duck ushers one to the garden.
Yes, it is perfectly alright to waddle.
Stepping stones meander through the vinca - You can waddle, hop and skip, or just simply take a step at a time
Add some magic into the garden
Looks like copper but at a fraction of the cost. Well-made and holds up to the elements and will garner many praises from friends and neighbors.
Impatiens - Impatient plant
Impatiens flowers are a popular bedding plant creating mounds of reds, white, pinks, and coral under trees and flowerbeds. These are hybridized and treated as annuals. The name impatiens comes from the Latin word "Impatiens" which means impatient. This is because the ripe seed pods will burst open at the slightest touch as if these are impatient to open. Impatiens thrive best in shaded areas, container gardens, and hanging baskets.
On warm days, I give these a good shower in the mornings and weekly fertilizing.
Butterflies flutter by - Stepping stones can be beautiful
Dragonflies make their appearance - and are not to be outdone
Dragonfly with its gossamer wings greet visitors
These leaves left a good impression - Go ahead and step on them
What secrets do these fossilized leaf stepping stones hide?
It is time to pause to reflect...
The turtle is not known for its speed but it symbolizes longevity and immortality
Slow but steady-footed, the snail symbolizes stability.
This little brown rabbit camouflaged itself in the garden
Arizona flagstones along the narrow path
The stepping stones transition into large slabs of Arizona flagstones which continue the garden walk along a narrow path slowly ascending towards the other end of the yard. One will find a scattering of Lily of the Nile, a large magnolia tree, and the large limbs of a cherry blossom tree arching over the steps. Holly plants with red berries intermingles with heavenly bamboos and cypresses.
The cheerful gaze of the gazanias - Treasure flowers
Gazania is a sun-loving, clumping perennial plant also known as a ground cover. When planted en masse, hybrid gazanias make a spectacular splash in the garden or along the sidewalk. These drought-resistant plants are native to Southern Africa and are one of my favorite plants. Gazanias start growing in spring and stop flowering in the winter. These easy-to-care-for plants grace the sidewalks and the backyard.
Gazania photo gallery - The more the merrierClick thumbnail to view full-size
Yellow gazanias - Like a burst of sunshine
For the Do-it-yourselfers-->How to spread your gazania groundcover.
Red crepe myrtle - Fire in the heat of the summer
The crepe myrtle trees Lagerstroemia Indica make the most dramatic display of reds and whites in the garden. The name of the tree comes from crinkly flowers which resemble crepe paper. This woody perennial is cut back at the top every winter and comes back in all its glory in the summer. Robins love to build their nests in the dense branches of the crape myrtles.
White crepe myrtle - Crepe myrtle flowers are long-lasting and continue to bloom from mid-summer to fall.
Roses - Colors communicate your feelings
There used to be a dozen varieties of hybrid tea roses in the front yard but only five survived the harsh weather we have had through the years. These roses continue to bring me wonderful cuttings to grace my home.
The hybrid tea rose have only one flower on each stem unlike other roses. It has thick long stems and grow to over 5 feet tall and occasionally has to be cut back to keep the thorny branches from arching over the sidewalk.
Rose photo gallery - By any other name would smell as sweetClick thumbnail to view full-size
Our first purple rose, so fragrant and elegant
Lilies - Not all lilies are true lilies
True lilies belong to the genus Lillium and have one flower per stem and a whorl of leaves on the stalk. Daylilies have multiple branches of flowers with leafless stems. The leaves grow out from the ground.
The asiatic lily is a true lily and grown from bulbs with a fleshy stem, blade-like leaves and trumpet-shaped flowers.These attractive hybrid asiatic lilies are upward-facing and star-shaped. It is easy to grow but its blooms last about a week or more.
Daylilies - Not true lilies - have multiple branches
Daylilies are so called because the flowers bloom at sunrise and wilt at sundown. As its Greek name Hemerocallis implies, a daylily is beautiful for a day. Hence these are not usually used as cut flowers due to their short-lived blooms.
These hardy yellow daylilies are ever-present in the front and backyard. Although these are not true lilies, their cheery display of sunny blooms light up the summer garden. Another good trait of the daylily is that it is low-maintenance and will thrive with little attention.
Red daylily summer blooms 2012
Rocket City lily
The cool orange color of the Rocket City lily with its crimped petal edges stands out in a crowd.
Frequently asked questions about Daylilies
Crimson Pirate Daylily - Showy and vibrant
This hybrid "Crimson Pirate" lily (Hererocallis) has thin petals with a yellow throat and resembles a spider lily.
Lily of the Nile
Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus) is a South African native plant but is known as a California flower. It has large globes of bluish-purple florets on top of each stalk and rise up about 2 feet tall.
Lily of the Nile 'Tinkerbell' - Miniature version of Agapanthus
This short Agapanthus "Tinkerbell" is appropriately named with smaller bluish florets on top of shorter stems. This will thrive in condition of neglect and continue to bloom year after year.
Watch these lilies grow before your eyes
Orange ivy geranium - Hummingbird's favorite
This orange-pink trailing geranium is the choice plant for hummingbirds to build their nest on. It has happened three times, two successfully. The sweet nectar in the florets, the dense waxy fan-like leaves, and the bouncy strong stems that sway with the wind, make the ivy geranium a real winner for the nest builders.
White and pink ivy geranium
This white and pink trailing ivy geranium is one of my favorite colors to break up the reds, oranges, and pinks in the trellis. Unfortunately, it is not a hummingbird crowd pleaser.
Red ivy geranium
It is not true that hummingbirds are only attracted to red flowers. Pink, orange, magenta geraniums will do if all the good benefit are there- lots of florets with nectar and strong branches to perch on.
Two-tone geranium charmer
This peppermint-striped geranium makes a statement in the backyard and attracts hummingbirds.
Blazing magenta geranium
Pink and white Martha Washington pelargonium
This tri-colored pink regal geranium flourished from a broken stem which I stuck into the soil of a wooden pot. It survived last year's cold winter and grew into a healthy plant in the back porch. I found out later that Martha Washington geraniums can only be propagated through stem cuttings. This is what I call a happy accident.
Martha Washington Pelargonium
Martha Washington geraniums are also known as the Regal geraniums. These were reclasssified as Pelargoniums more than 200 years ago, but the name geranium stuck. These have pansy-like flowers, dark green crinkled leaves, and thick succulent stems. The colors are so captivating and look fabulous in hanging baskets. I have two planted in the flowerbed, but the ones grown in containers seem to be doing better.
This purple and white stunner is one of my favorites. The hanging basket was started from three short cuttings given to me by the owner of a Victorian tea house where we stopped to have High Tea. The secret of the profused blooms is a good douse of cold leftover coffee.
Rosettes of pink geranium
Tornado Mix Ivy Leaf Geranium Seeds
Approx 10 Gardening Seeds
Flower Garden Seed
Orange Appeal Geranium Seeds
Pelargonium x hortorum
Approx 10 Gardening Seeds
Flower Garden Seed
'Pink Ice' Geranium
Geranium Maverick Star 8 Seeds
Hummingbird nest on geranium 2009 - in the back porch
Hummingbird nest on ivy geranium 2010 - outside the bedroom window
The Red Knight
This is Sammie, a male Anna's hummingbird on his favorite perch - a wilted geranium branch. Sammie lives in this ivy geranium hanging pot next to a feeder which he guards against trespassing and freeloading hummers.
Chrysanthemums - "Mums" is the word
These colorful mums are compact and hardy. I keep these in containers in the back porch and pinch them back to encourage side-shoots.
Chrysanthemums bloom in the fall and make excellent floral arrangements because of the longevity of the flowers. In the winter, the plants look withered and lifeless, but come back every year. These are the same ones in the back porch the last 4 years.
Butterfly iris (Moraea) - Flora imitating fauna
These butterfly irises are aptly named as these look like yellow and black butterflies fluttering in the wind.
Yellow Alstromeria - Restaurants love them!
The alstromeria "Lily of the Incas" or Peruvian Lily is a relative of the amaryllis. It burns easily under direct sunlight, so I have it in a pot under a trellis in the back porch. Frequent watering and weekly fertilizing are needed to get these dwarf alstromeria to bloom.
Hydrangeas - Water-loving plants
These hydrangeas (Hortensia) are shady or semi-shade plants with round flower clusters which are referred to as "mopheads."
This was my Mother's Day present from my son years ago which came in a one-gallon pot with a bow. How it has grown and continued to thrive year after year.
The bluish purple hydrangea "Penny Mac" offsets the pinkish-red one next to it.
Fortnight lily - What's in a name?
The fortnight lily is a hardy plant that is also known as Morea Iris, African Iris, or Cape Iris. It is drought tolerant and will grow in full sun or partial shade. The butterfly-looking flowers only last for one day but new blooms continue to replenish the plant.
Cannas - A touch of the hot tropical plants
Cannas are tropical perennials with large banana-like leaves and were grown from rhizomes given to me by a friend. This flashy red showstopper have performed well through many summers, as well as, attracted a lot of hummingbirds to feed on the nectar.
In the winter, the canna dies back and springs back to life in all its splendor in the summer.
Closeup of cannas
Lantana - Ham n' Eggs
The Lantana (Verbenaceae) is a mix of orange, red and yellow florets which grow very fast - almost invasive. It has a pungent fragrance and its leaves will fall off in the winter and come back in the summer.
Cast Stone Garden Sculpture, large size
TODD TOAD Cast Poured Cement Statue FROG Garden Sculpture
Gertrude SNAIL 5" GARDEN Statue Sculpture Cast Cement
Who laid these eggs? - Can someone help solve the mystery?
I found these two light blue eggs with brown speckles well-hidden in a thorny bush by the swimming pool. I am not sure what kind of bird's eggs these are but these are about an inch long.
Garden Felines - White cat preening by pot of mums
My garden would not be complete without garden cats greeting visitors in every corner.
Our guard cat - Will not attack unless provoked
Mali, our calico cat and friend
Asparagus fern or foxtail fern
Not a fern at all
The asparagus fern Asparagus Densiflorus 'Myersii' is a great ornamental filler plant which give dimension to the garden. It is often used in container plantings and the feathery branches look soft and fluffy. The asparagus fern is not a fern at all and is related to the lily family.
The aparagus ferns remind me of of clumps of foxtails, hence its common name foxtail fern.
Petunias - A gardener's favorite
What is a garden without the colorful summer annual petunia? The petunia is the most popular bedding flowers. However, it will not tolerate intense heat, so the hanging basket is in a shaded and cooler part of the yard. This plant is also a bit difficult to deadhead because the hairy and sticky branches tend to stay glued to my fingers. Cutting back the dead flowers and stems will encourage petunias to produce more flowers.
But it is worth all the trouble.
Beautiful cascading flowers bursting with color
A summer garden is not complete without the showy profuse bloomer, the bougainvillea. It was discovered by French naturalist Dr. Filibert CommerÃ§on and it after his close friend and ship"s admiral Antoine de Bougainville, who commanded the ship La Boudeuse that sailed around the world between 1766-1769, and in which CommerÃ§on was a passenger.
It is my fondest wish that this vine will climb and arch over the fence next to where it has been planted.
Colorful coleus - Painted nettle
The leaves of the coleus plants are known for their striking colors and variety of leaf shapes. These are tender semi-shade perennials and make wonderful flower borders and can also be grown indoors. I just acquired these plants and have them on the back porch under the trellis.
Interesting links to show you how to grow your own coleus plants:
The Belladonna Lily - Lovely but dangerous
The Belladonna Lily is also known as the Naked Ladies. In spring, the long spade-like leaves of the Naked Ladies appear and then die down. In the mid-summer, the long leafless slender stalks grow out of the ground with only clusters of pink funnel-shaped flowers at the top. Hence, the common name Naked Ladies.These are planted under the shady red crepe myrtle tree and bloom up throught the ivy groundcover. The beautiful pink flowers and sap of the Naked Ladies are semi-poisonous. So beware not to taste it.
Cactuses or Cacti do not have to be uninviting and prickly. The drough-resistant plant can be integrated into a small succulent garden in a hanging basket. This arrangement includes cabbage roses, kelanchoe and jade plant.
Pineapple guava (Feijoa) - Looks like a guava but taste like pineapple
In early spring, the pineapple guava shrubs turn into a marketplace for all kinds of birds in the backyard. Each and everyone is vying for the red flowers on the shrubs, pecking away with wild abandon.
This evergreen shrub is very prolific in the summer and bears basketful of fruits. The pineapple guava looks like a guava but taste like a pineapple. The ripened fruit is about the size of a large egg. I would harvest these and bring them to work where these are very popular.
The promise of a good harvest - Delicious and nutritious
The pineapple guavas will be ready for picking at the end of September when the rind turns to a lighter green and the fruits get to be the size of large or jumbo eggs. These are also great additions to green salads.
This is the last batch of pineapple guava harvested from my garden as of November just before the winter rain came. I brought several baskets to work and shared the fruits with my co-workers who just cannot have enough of these exotic fruits.
November harvest of pineapple guava
Hand pollinating pineapple guava with a paint brush
Strawberries are one of my favorites fruits. These are great with cereal, in smoothies, dipped in chocolate and are known to whiten your teeth.
This is a starter basket that was just added in the garden and already shows a lot of promise.
Did you know...
Strawberries are the only fruits with seeds on the outside.
Pomegranate - Incredible edibles
I like this pomegranate plant for the attractive bright orange flowers which eventually develop into fruits. It likes the warm climate and is easy to care for. Aside for its decorative purpose, the pomegranate tree produces round apple-like fruits which have a citrus flavor. It is also known as the Chinese apple or Granada.
Ripe pomegranate - Ready to eat
The juice of the seeds, bark of the tree, and rind of the pomegranate have been used for thousands of years for medicinal pruposes in the Indian subcontinents. Some of the health benefits include stoppage of nose bleeds, diarrhea, common cold, coronary artery disease.
Pomegranate juice has gained popularity lately as a source of vitamin C and B5 and mixed in smoothies and health drinks. And there are now jams, pomegranate wine and salad dressing in upscale eateries.
How to seed a pomegranate
Yellow hibiscus - Queen of the tropics
The hibiscus shrub is the latest addition to our summer garden in 2011. It is a part of the mallow family and there are about 200-220 species, which are all native to tropical and warm-temperate climates around the world. The flowers come in many colors, white, red, yellow, purple and orange and I picked the orange-yellow variety for its eye-catching and attractive color.
Did you know that there are many uses of the hibiscus plant aside from being grown as an ornamental plant and showy shrub for landscaping? The Kenaf (hibiscus cannabinus) is used extensively in making paper. The Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is used as a vegetable, as herbal teas and jam in the Caribbean. The tea is a natural diuretic and contains Vitamin C and minerals.
K. Van Bourgondien 10522 Oriental Lily Mix
Dwarf Flowering Pomegranate One Gallon
Pineapple Guava Plant
EDIBLE FRUIT & FLOWERS
Gardening bestsellers from Amazon
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed your walk through my summer garden. I am a weekend gardener and still learning the ropes. I would love to learn some tips from you too.