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.

May 24, 2010


This past weekend marked my personal welcome to summer when the last of the houseplants was dragged out of the dark, dry house and into the bright, humid light of day. This winter I was particularly negligent to them with even the Agaves and Aloe beyond thirsty. I also celebrated by planting the final round of the annuals I couldn't afford to buy, but did anyway. I know there are gardeners out there who don't like annuals, but I am not one of them. Having a small yard, I don't always want to commit to nursing a new perennial to maturity or devoting precious space to another shrub - unless it's one on my exception list.

Sunday morning 1 of 3 dogs had to go out at 4:30 or there would be mess to clean. Since I was up anyway, I decided to take 2 of 3 for a walk, but just as the second shoe lace was tied, the skies opened and we had a nice rain. We have had very random weather of late never knowing what to expect. The TV weather guys leave all the forecasts very open ended with a chance of something, a percent of that and variable this. Before I had to run off to work I was able to take a few random shots of the garden, including some clichéd shots of raindrops on foliage.

Royal Purple Smoke Tree (Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple')

Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple'

Hot Cocoa Rose

Rosa x 'Hot Cocoa' (2)

Golden Jasmine (Jasminum officinale ‘Aureum’)

Jasminum officinale ‘Aureum’

Golden Jasmine with Alabama Sunset and Sedona Coleus

Jasmine, Alabama Sunset, Sedona

Big Red Judy Coleus

Big Red Judy Coleus

The first floats in the Hydrangea parade are just now coming down the street.

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Kiyosumi'

'Penny Mac'

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Penny Mac'

An unknown member of the Halo Series

Hydrangea macrophylla (Angel Series)

I was not the only one who missed their morning walk Sunday.

Penny (2)

Loretta Wants Out


  1. Lovely to hear of your summer arriving. Ours showed up on the doorstep but didn't ring the bell before she picked up her bag and was gone. We hope she'll rethink that rash decision and return soon.

    Lovely photos...cliche or not.

  2. Oh wow, you have Hot Cocoa. I've heard a lot about that rose. It seems you either love it or hate it, but it sure can take a good picture!

    I love the Hydrangea with the purple brushed on the petals.

    Lovely picture of the Smoketree leaves. I have the American species and like it a lot, even if mine doesn't color up a lot in fall like it's supposed to.

    Very cute pictures of the hounds.

  3. Awesome photography - I love the smoke tree shot. We got some unexpected rain today after the forecasters said there would be little chance of it.

  4. Have you seen the t-shirt, "Friends don't let friends plant annuals?" I think it's a hoot, but plant annuals anyway. Our summer is so short here and annuals really pack a punch in the bloom department, though I am investing more money on the interesting foliage annuals these days. Only three more pots to plant....

    Christine in Alaska, hydrangea-less, so no parade for me

  5. Nice shots, the ones of the forlorn walkers are priceless.

  6. Was it WC Fields who didn't like to share the stage with kids and puppies! The hydrangeas are fantastic looking but the puppies get all the attention! Such sad eyes! They must win all the arguments in your household! gail

  7. Lovely post and photographs! Your photos made me pause. You have a knack at which angle is perfect to shoot.

  8. Awww! The dogs are just too cute!

  9. I love the doggie pictures showing up suddenly after the flower portraits! Such a surprise! Beautiful photos of your gorgeous blooms Les! I love the smoke bush and hydrangeas. Don't let those guys down again! ;>))

  10. Oh I love your doggy shots! My dog is really hard to get a good picture of because he is shiny and black...contrast doesn't show up very well. I covet the hot cocoa rose and the hydrangea. The smoke tree isn't showing up for me; don't know if anyone else has had a problem with it.

  11. Aww look at those faces, lol! This weather has been so strange, but I was glad to finally get some rain after weeks of nothing. Love the photo of the raindrops on the Smokebush, cliche or not. ;)

  12. Would you believe it is even hot and summery in Maine? I wish I were as well prepared as you. I can’t resist the temptation of easy annuals either. I love the images of rain drops on the leaves and the early morning light. Funny dogs! Mine is getting all her fluff trimmed off today.

  13. Glad you have Alabama Sunset again, perfect combo with the Asiatic Jassmine and your Red Siam.
    Let's see, what did I do on Sunday??? Oh, drove to Warrenton for a percussion concert. Mom fed the dogs and let them out. Skyler was served his dinner in the safety of the bathroom. He does not like storms.
    Think I will have to resign up for your postings via email.

  14. Wow lovely shots, such gorgous colours. In perticuallary like the shot of the Royal Purple, and the one of the Golden Jasmine with Alabama Sunset and Sedona Coleus.

  15. I love your pics of the hydrangea. My bush was just planted this year, so no blooms yet. But I do have some peonies in bloom right now. Come for a visit to see the post about them.

  16. Smoke bush leaves look so nice with rain drops on them. Not the reason I planted one but a nice bonus. And the pix of the dogs are just too cute!

  17. Dog blossoms! The best kind of blossom of all.

  18. Oh those faces of the canine companions, so full of emotion! The weather is random here as well, raining hard at one spot and bright and sunny just a couple of blocks over, impossible for the weather reporters to predict anything but middle of the road percentages. Your hydrangeas are spectacular, love the red edge to Kyosumi. It's going to be a stellar year for them here as well. Hooray! :-)

  19. Very cute dogs and perfect flowers and leaves, wonderful randomness collection!

  20. Loree,
    Our summer knows us well enough just to come on in, without ringing.

    Sweet Bay,
    I love Hot Cocoa. Smoky orange is one of my favorite colors. Its performance is fair, but I do not spray.

    We got over an inch last night and it was most welcome.

    I think that is the motto from Plant Delights, who I respect, but do not agree with.

    Good for you for recognizing the breed.

    I put the pups last so you would not ignore the plants.

    Thanks, I do try.

    Their cuteness wears thin after non-stop barking.

    I appreciate your kind comments.

    Sorry that the smoke tree did not show up.

    Yes we have been lucky on the rain front.

    It is not supposed to be hot in Maine. Maybe that will make the blueberries ripen sooner.

    I will not garden in the summer without the coleus. I love those strong colors - no ground for pastels here.

    Stone Art,
    Thanks for the kind comments.

    Why yes I will stop by for a visit.

    The water droplets were a nice bonus, but I went for the foliage color.

    Dog blossoms are always in bloom here.

    I do love the Kiyosumi, it is much more subtle than the others, and should be looked at up close. It is often lost among the blinding blues of others.

    Thanks for stopping by and for your comments.