Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June's End...

My neighborhood gets very quiet during the summer. The road past my house is a main thoroughfare for a high school AND a middle school, so a steady stream of cars each morning and afternoon is the norm. I like it, especially hearing footsteps in fallen leaves and catching snippets of conversation.

But by mid-June it's mighty quiet out there, and that's an interesting combination with the energy of the longer days. Things are more concentrated now, the gardens are settled for the season and I'm staying out of the mid-day sun. Shades are half drawn and the ceiling fan is on during the hottest days. The garden is more concentrated now too. The rains appear to have stopped, and we will have little if any more until October. I irrigate regularly, but at rather long intervals. Wimpy plants won't make it. Lush spring foliage is fading.

There will be more surprises in store later on, but for now these are the little gems catching my eye, starting with my wonderful Moroccan Poppy (Papaver atlanticum 'Flore Pleno') catching a Solstice sunrise...

The Meyer Lemon is enormously happy this year. It is going into a second round of blooms. This awesome little tree now has lots of ripe fruit, loads of green fruit, and bunches of fragrant flowers. If you can grow lemons this is a lovely one to have in a front yard.

Priscilla, Queen of the Redbuds (Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy') has outdone herself this year; now we're starting to see hints of her more modest summer coloration. She has easily doubled in size, must be getting what she needs.

OK, so I'm a little jealous of my friends who have chickens; one day I will have them too, but for now I will make due with succulents. Hens & Chicks have the most wonderful symmetry in their rosettes and their blooms; they remind me of fractals (and are so well behaved!)

First light is lovely on the New Zealand Wind Grass (Stipa Arundinacea) and Green Senecio (S. vitalis).

Almost done, the artichokes give me one last harvest of purple-thistleness. Then the once mighty beasts will be down to a few sprouts that will lay low until the fall rains come (cue the backup dancers!)

This combination is killing me right now; Bronze Fennel flanked by two Slender Veldt Grass (Pennisetum spatheolatum) with a chubby Blue Fescue (Festuca Glauca 'Elijah Blue') at its feet. All three difficult to photograph, but really happy together.

The first blooms of California Fuschia (Zauschneria californica) a snazzy little native that naturalizes well in dry areas like unirrigated park strips. The gray-green leaves are the perfect combination with that deep orange, nice!

On the other side of the tracks (in the shady courtyard) we have a first bloom on my Ghost Fuchsia (F. magellanica 'Sharpitor'). So delicate and lovely!

Mantis mania continues in the front yard; it seems like very plant has one or two! They're almost 2 inches long now, still no wings, and appear to be mostly females (so watch out, fellas!)

 Here's an interesting camouflage posture, "Can't see me, I'm a STICK!"

Uh-oh, this looks like the one that attacked the camera last time, better move along while I'm ahead! Thanks for visiting, see you in July... Happy Canada Day and Independence Day!


  1. Peaceful (well, until the mantis attacked the camera) and lovely tour of your garden. The wheel of the year turning in your neighborhood.

  2. Absolutely gorgeous photos! What a pleasure to view and read!

  3. I always love your photos, Laura. That artichoke is absolutely electric.

  4. It all looks beautiful, but oh, your grasses and fennel are talking to me, Laura. What a great strolling garden you've made.

  5. Beautiful garden, lovely blooms! I love Dahlias and your Ghost Fuchsia is adorable!