Back Amongst the Blooming: Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

Having missed the last two Bloom Days, I was determined not to let June's pass me by.  I'm doubly determined to get back into the blogging swing of things.  April and May were even crazier months than usual.  They're always hectic when it comes to gardening, since I'm hellbent on getting as much as I can done before the Awful begins.  Stress levels are usually heightened in spring but throw in the travails of a terminally ill kitty and his heartbroken companion, increasing responsibilities for my elderly mother and two big trips within 2 weeks (Garden Bloggers' Fling and a family trip to the Big Apple) ... damn skippy I've been freaking out a little!  

TGIG: Thank God I Garden.  Horticultural therapy is a welcome respite from the rest of my life, at least until I find snails munching the Manfreda and destroying the daylilies, Nodding Spurge and Leaf-flower Weed well on their way to garden domination, and some kind of Mexican Milkweed Beetle taking food away from hard-fluttering Monarchs.  But I digress ... this is supposed to be a post celebrating the many and glorious blooms in my gardens on this June 15th.  So let's move on before the Head Gardener steps in to start ranting about what I haven't been doing to prevent some of those UNhappy occurrences!

Let's start out front, shall we?  I spent some time in late April and early May clearing out the corner bed, removing spent spring annuals and thinning out overvigorous plants (Engelmann's Daisy, I am talking about YOU.)   Yes, it's still pretty full but it's nowhere near as chaotic as it could be!  In the forefront at bottom, you see Gaillardia, yellow Delosperma, Berlandiera lyrata (Chocolate Daisy ... and OH, the fragrance when the sun hits it!), Rudbeckias and the Engelmannii peristenia.  In themiddle, those tall red spikes on the left are Salvia darcyi.  There's a zinnia on the right.  At the back of the bed is the Bauhinia galpinii, affectionately known as Tina Turner.  

Tina is still in early tryouts for her summer tour ... hopefully she'll be her usual flamboyant self by August.  Diva that she is, I suspect she's a bit miffed at my attempts to tame her unruly mane.  But  on the opposite side of the front gardens, as seen below, fellow diva Cher has chosen to extend her tour from my corner of Katy to my neighbor's yard.  She's taken it to cable, as well!

Sundrops, Calylophus drummondii, sport these lemon-yellow blooms year-round.  They're about as low maintenance as a plant can get: the most I do is whack them back when they get leggy.
The daylilies continue to delight.  This is my favorite for 2012.  I'd love to know its name ... but like most of my daylilies, it's a NOID. When Otahal and his crew were here to replant the beds after installing the rock borders, I really did make an effort to keep the daylilies tagged. I even attempted to place them by color and height.  I have failed abysmally on all fronts, according to the HG. 

Although I planted several 'Ella Mae' Agapanthus out front, this is the only survivor.  I'm unsure why the others rotted out and she did not ... but I have to admire her true blue tenacity!  Behind her you see Scutellaria sp. 'Red Fountains'.  Something with orange blooms would certainly better complement the Agapanthus but I'm not moving the Skullcap when it's so happy there.  Perhaps I'll look for a daylily whose colors will tie the Agapanthus and Skullcap together.  Or maybe some Coleus?

Each year when the columbines continue to bloom into June, I applaud them for their bravado.  What's not to admire about a cool season bloomer that thumbs its stamens at temperatures in the high 90s?  This little Aquilegia canadensis (or hybrid thereof) is nestled at the shady base of an oak tree, which is probably why it continues to thrive.

'Fireworks' Pennisetum are blooming near the sidewalk and behind them you see the flame-colored blooms of the Crocosmia (aka Montbretia) and the more muted tones of Abutilon 'Marilyn's Choice'. Back near the courtyard wall there's a red firespike.  You can't see them in this picture but there are also red pinecone shrimp plants (Justicia brandegeana).  

To those who live in the Pacific Northwest, these Crocosmia probably look puny ... they're having a very good year here on my corner of Katy, though!  Most of my Crocosmias came from a lovely gardener who was moving from the West University area of Houston to the Hill Country.  She kindly offered fellow gardeners the opportunity to dig plants from her West U. garden before the lot was razed and new construction began.  The generosity of fellow gardeners is a wonderful thing!

Dicliptera suberecta and dwarf Pomegranate also reside near the courtyard wall.  

My neighbor is such a good guy. He not only tolerates the encroachment of my plants on his side of the property line but enjoys the view.  That's Cher again, strutting her stuff by the street, with Rudbeckias, Turk's Caps, Cestrum parqui, and Miniature Hamelia sharing the space. 
You know, I believe I'll stop here. We never made it out of the front yard but it would take me all day to chronicle the entirety of my corner of Katy! I'm happy to be back amongst the Bloom Day bloggers. If you'll visit May Dreams Gardens, home of Bloom Day creator Carol and such characters as Miss Jane Hortaway, you'll find links to Bloom Day posts from around the world!

A NOTE: If I understood HTML, this post would look a lot cleaner and prettier.  I'm hoping my tech-savvy son can help me clean it up tomorrow and show me how to avoid such happenings in future.  Until then, my apologies!


Alison said…
I would gladly forego growing Crocosmia if I could have a big beautiful stand of Fireworks Pennisetum like yours! They do not like our cold, wet winter.

Hope you are having a chance now to catch a breath, even if it air-conditioned.
Blooms, blooms and more blooms! It is blooming lovely!
Noel Morata said…

what a fun tour of your garden, i loved the crocosmia and variegated iris, great combo have alot of beautiful blooms in your garden, thanks for sharing them :)
Rose said…
Cindy, your garden is a glorious riot of color! So nice to see everything blooming so well--perhaps the dreaded Awful won't come this year:) Your crocosmia don't look puny at all to me; in fact, I'd be thrilled to have any at all. They make such a dramatic contrast to the greens and white around them.
Rock rose said…
Your June garden looks spectacular. So much color and variety. Yes, I tell my E. daisy that too. Yikes- it's taking over my front. Happy GBBD
CommonWeeder said…
You have the most riotously beautiful garden. So much healthy color! I am so glad I got t o visit and see this in the flesh. You too.
Wally said…
Your garden is looking lovely. I especially like the photo of the red flowers in front of the pale spiky plant. I wonder why you haven't had much luck with the agapanthus, they are considered a hardy and reliable plant around here, even where I live and they get somewhat affected by the frost they bounce back every spring.
Cindy, MCOK said…
Alison, the only complaint I have about the Fireworks is that they lose their variegation easily. That may be because I've sited them in an area that doesn't get full hot sun all day.

Leslie, thank you!

Noel, the variegated plant is a Yucca, not sure which one. Always happy to share the aloha spirit with an Islander!

Rose, it's a not so quiet riot!

Jenny, no matter how many of the E. daisies I yank, more always show up!

Pat, you and Henry are welcome here any time you're in Houston!

Mac, I think the Agapanthus were done in by a combo of overly rich soil and too much water from the sprinkler system. Still, it does seem odd that the one planted a foot away continues to thrive!
David said…
You have quite a show going on there for June! Love it!
So far, so good as far as the rains go. Let's keep hoping for a NORMAL summer.
Yes, I'd love some of the Manfreda. If you also have some of that overzealous E. daisy, don't throw it all away quite yet....I'd love a start.
I have some plants for you including a baby Agave 'Sharkskin'.
The other agave from the clearance table had vanished, but I'll keep looking. (I think it was Agave bovicornuta)
I'll be stopping by school in mid-July, but might have to find an excuse to drop by sooner. David/:0)
Lea said…
Very beautiful!
Happy gardening1
Lea's Menagerie