July is the Coolest Month - Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!

Crocosmia 'Lucifer'
If describing my plants were like predicting the weather, the July forecast would be partly sparse but mostly vibrant.

Compared with the color bounty in June, new hues, although bright, unfurl in a parsimonious sequence through July.

We must share our gardens with uninvited guests this month. Starting with swarms of mosquitoes laying in wait in every cranny not protected by a 30 knot wind, grasshoppers growing to gargantuan proportions, and beetles from the Orient ruining any plant's chance at reaching its potential, it takes rose-colored glasses to overlook the carnage.
Eucomis 'Katie'

July is the month during which the wise Midwestern gardener first coined the phrase, "Gardening is not for Sissies."

More Eucomis cavort with potted tropicals.
Plants must be tenacious to bloom or look their best in a July garden. I've tried other Crocosmias, but the stalwart in my July garden is 'Lucifer', whose brilliant red is always welcome.

Bread poppy 'Lauren's Grape'
Although not proven hardy yet in my garden, but new for me and grown in a pot, Eucomis 'Katie' keeps on truckin' as the saying goes. Like many of the tropical bulbs I've been growing this year, this one comes from Easy to Grow Bulbs. All of the Eucomis cultivars I have are gearing up for a big splash in just a few weeks. (how's that for optimism?) For now, though, it's fun watching their little tufted topknots rise through the succulent leaves to make their presence better known.

Besides the double-flowered Papaver somniferum, another I don't recall planting in the spot where it's growing is 'Lauren's Grape'. I'll take the credit for sowing the seed in front of the fence, though, as it seems to be made for its ability to positively pop when paired with grey.

Echinacea 'Solar Flare' acts as leaning post for Nicotiana (flowering tobacco).
A more serendipitous yet short-lived pairing involves self-sown Nicotiana alata threatening to overshadow my favorite coneflower. 'Solar Flare' is one of the strongest hybrid Echinaceas I've grown.

Pelargonium 'Peppermint Star'
It's a good thing there are so many plants waiting on my "To-Grow" list. This July I'm particularly impressed with Stellar Pelargonium 'Peppermint Star'. The stellar type of garden geranium have compact stature, star-shaped flowers and notched leaves. I love the contrast between the bright pink flowers and chartreuse leaves.

For now, though, on this mid-July Garden Bloggers Bloom Day celebration, my excitement has been aimed at the Gloriosa Rothschildiana growing from bulbs I bought from Easy to Grow Bulbs. One of the coolest thing about this vining plant is that each flower looks good for several days, transforming itself from pale greenish yellow lightly streaked with red to a nearly solid red color about five days later. For something really exotic yet easy to grow in a pot on a lightweight trellis, I can't say enough about Gloriosa lilies, except that I wish I'd grown them sooner.
Gloriosa lilies just getting started.
This blog is in celebration of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, started by blogger supreme Carol Michel, and populated by more flowers from more garden bloggers than you've ever thought possible. For a glimpse and a dose of inspiration, please check out some of 70+ gardens here.

1 comment:

  1. Lucifer is showing off in my garden too. Beautiful blooms all around. Happy GBBD.