Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
August Garden Favorites
Belamcanda Chinensis, Candy Lily or Blackberry Lily
In the earliest years of this garden it could be said that August was a dreaded month. By summer's end it seemed all plant life was duly stressed, tired, and bedraggled.
If it wasn't the overbearing heat and humidity it was lack of rain or too much of it that was to blame.
Learning how to adjust to our summer conditions and plant what adapts well in this environment has helped remedy this 'August dread' for the most part.
Candy Lilies rise above the heat and the caladiums to produce their happy presence in this our hottest month of the year.
You should know I'm lagging behind. This party started on August 25 when Susan over at Simply Susan hosts a 'post your favorites for the month' each month.
I've never been great with memes but Susan has become a friend through blogging and I'd like to participate in this one. She is one of the early pioneers of garden blogging. She found my blog when I first got started back in 2007 when I didn't have a clue anyone else out there was loonie enough to have a garden blog like me. (Little did I know... there were lots of us).
I'm not making any promises about the future but I'm happily joining in this month's August Favorites.
Without question my absolute favorites this month are the caladiums I adore and depend on all summer for bringing cheer to almost every border in one way or another. Caladiums of all varieties planted here were featured extensively in my last post.
The White Queen cultivar known for its white leaf and magenta-hued central veining is featured above and below.
It is the scenery at Hoe and Shovel this month that I'm favoring. Broad sweeps of visuals highlighting the varied colors and textures present in the summer garden.
The entrance to the tropical pathway with airy container plants of Christia Obcordata 'Swallow Tail' floating in the light breezes is a favorite vignette.
Taking a look at the other end of the pathway the large-leaved perennial Alocasia Plumbea 'Black Taro' are among my most favorites from the time they emerge out of the ground in April until they go dormant sometime in mid-winter.
A favorite for all of summer for the gardener and the hummingbirds, butterflies, and buzzing critters are the 5 native Firebush Hamelia patens that can be found throughout the garden.
Contrasts of color and varying sizes of leaves and heights and textures are showing up strongly this month as we are reminded there is hardly a trace of the damage we incurred from our unusually harsh winter.
Mixing up and combining all these elements is what makes gardening so exciting.
A favorite succulent demanding attention is sited in a well-draining pot on the perimeter of the circle garden. It is Bryophyllum daigremontianum 'mother of thousands' and was a pass-along from a dear friend. This kalanchoe is considered invasive in Texas. It has grown so tall it had to be staked, standing sentinel, it is visible (amazingly) from the kitchen window.
Every summer I'm enthralled all over again with how very much the Pagoda Flower adds to the shady garden in the front. Some would call it invasive because of its habit to drops seeds and sends out runners. But somehow it works here. Probably because I have the room for it to spread. I need for it to spread and it obliges. It will be knocked to the ground by a heavy frost but returns to its heighth very quickly with the onset of warmth and humidity.
The August garden is completely aflutter with so many flying friends. They bring such joy and life as they flit about enjoying the nectar and the host plants provided for them here.
Lastly, these fellows are making their homes all over the garden this month. We've watched them weave their amazing webs only to have them knocked down by the rains. Not to be discouraged they just start all over and create them again in a matter of a few hours.
The garden ... a natural classroom ... always providing lessons for young and old.
Happy August and don't forget to stop by Susan's to check out her favorites for the month of August.