An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

July 15, 2014

Seventh Annual Citywide Bloom Day

     Typing this, I realize just how long it's been since my last post - exactly one month ago for June's Bloom Day. Ironically, my job affords me more free time than I have known in my adult life, yet, I seem to have so little of it. Evenings find me satisfactorily wrung out from work, and the heat. Weekends find me adventuring, usually on my bike or in the kayak, as I feel a need to take advantage of the warm weather (and the fact I can still physically do such things). Which reminds me, I have indeed written a few blog posts, but on my kayaking blog and not here. So to rectify, let's get started.

     Each July Bloom Day, I celebrate one of my favorite trees, the crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia species). The climate here in Norfolk is extremely well suited for them. Winters are generally not too extreme, the summers are long, hot, and humid, and we usually have ample rainfall. In short, the trees thrive here, and we have a Frenchman to thank for it. Fred Huette was the city's first parks director, and it was he, more than anyone else, who promoted crapemyrtles. As a result our streets are festooned in July with huge pink tresses, and in the mornings windshield wipers are needed to clear the fallen blossoms for safe driving. Huette was also one of the founders of the Norfolk Botanical Garden where I work, so you can imagine we might have a few crapemyrtles planted there. Last year the garden was recognized by the North American Plant Collections Consortium (NAPCC) for our Lagerstroemia collection, which is the only recognized collection of this species in the country. So because opportunity presented itself, and because of a lazy streak, the photos for this month's post were taken at the botanical garden.

Lagerstroemia indica (7)

Lagerstroemia indica (8)

Lagerstroemia indica (9)

Lagerstroemia indica (12)

Lagerstroemia indica (4)

Lagerstroemia x 'Yuma'

Lagerstroemia indica (3)

Lagerstroemia indica (6)

Lagerstroemia indica as backdrop (2)

Lagerstroemia fauriei 'Townhouse'

Lagerstroemia indica (16)

     If you would like to see what July looks like in other gardens, visit Carol at May Dreams Garden, where she hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th of each month.

June 15, 2014

Bloom Day - Feeling Blessed

     The weather gods have been smiling on us as of late. We have had abundant rainfall interspersed with beautiful crystal clear days. It has been especially nice on the weekends, and I have been torn between gardening and adventures. Adventures have usually won out, so it was good that today was Bloom Day, it got me into the garden to see what was what. You can hover over the pictures for the plant names.

Musa basjoo, Hydrangea quercifolia 'Little Honey'. and an Unknown Hosta

Rudbeckia maxima

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' and Verbascum 'Banana Custard' and Rubus cockburianus 'Aurea'

Verbascum 'Banana Custard' and Foeniculum vulgare 'Rubrum'

Albizia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate'

Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum

Asclepias currasavica

Cestrum aurantiaum 'Orange Zest'

Cuphea ignea 'David Verity' with Rubus cockburianus 'Aurea'

Echinacea purpurea

Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty' with Sabal minor

Hemerocallis 'Web of Intrigue'

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Frau Kinue'  with Jasminum officinale 'Aureum'

Hydrangea macrophylla serrata 'Bluebird'

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Sun Goddess'

Macleaya cordata

Lilium 'African Queen'

     Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is held on the 15th of each month, even on Father's Day. Carol at May Dreams Gardens is our gracious host, and you should pay her a visit.