Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bloom Day

Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting.  Check out her site to see what's blooming all over the world today.

In my garden, it's a mix of fading spring flowers and summer blooms coming on strong.  The annual phlox is still hanging on, but the perennial phlox is wonderful too!  I think this winter's cold really improved some of my perennials.  This is 'John Fanick' and I never have mildew problems with it.  (Knock on wood...)

Two of my new daylilies are blooming:  the orange is 'Firepower,' which surprised me.  I thought the whole flower was supposed to be orangy-red but it has apricot petals too.  The spider form is 'Laughing Feather.'  I like it, but I think I'll move it to a place where it gets a bit of shade in the afternoon.  The sun washes out the burgundy color.

The roses are starting to flush again.  I only have four and only two are blooming and only one picture turned out -- 'Valentine,' a smallish, cherry-red floribunda.

The spring cosmos is on its last legs.  Very tall, but the flowers are starting to fade along with the phlox.  But the Pink Indigo has been very pretty this spring.  I think it's because I swore this was its last year to perform.  Now or never!  I feel the same way about these crape myrtles, which aren't as flowerful as I think they should be.  But it sure is hard for a Southern gardener to contemplate removing a crape myrtle!

The replacement bougainvillea is coming along nicely.  I lost two in the freezes this winter that we'd had for 20 years.  Once I got over moping about it, though, and replanted, I was happy to see how fast they grew.  My theory on bougainvillea:  feed them often and prune them hard.

My favorite little vine is Clematis pitcherii, a purple bell-shaped flower that is so reliable.  It's not showy and doesn't cover very well, so I have it planted in amongst the coral vine.  By the time the coral vine is up and all over the fence, the little clematis has retired for the season.  But it always comes back.

This little thug is Crocosmia 'George Davidson.'  Terribly aggressive but a wonderful gold color.  It sprawls, though and only blooms in the summer.  I have so many plants with long, sword-shaped leaves that I really ought to replace some of them, but I never do.  Another plant I can't seem to rid myself of is this yellow gladiolus.  I don't even remember where it came from but it has spread all over my garden and I've given away literally hundreds of bulblets.  I think I'm a carrier now!

My old faithful are blooming now too.  Here is turnera, or white alder flower.  I wrote about this one a while back.  And white lantana, which is trending toward yellow.  And African or bicolor iris.  I chopped these back down to the ground this spring, but they are back with a vengeance now.  I have them planted in a sort of pen, surrounded with steel edging, so they won't escape.

Speaking of escape, my passionflowers are now almost completely resident in my neighbor's yard.  I'm glad she's tolerant -- they are all over the place!  But they are reliable and the Gulf Fritillary butterflies love them.  Sometimes, late in the summer, there are so many butterflies out there that it's spooky.  We also grow milkweed, but this year we haven't seen many Monarchs.  Plenty of swallowtails on the parsley and dill, though!

Society garlic blooms all the time for me, with little or no care.  These sunflowers are volunteers from the bird feeder.  We let them grow up and the birds seem to enjoy these huge plants, too.  They are right in front of the kitchen window, so we get an up-close view of little baby cardinals, gaping and begging for their parents to feed them.

And finally, the 'Mercer Blue' thunbergia.  The picture doesn't do it justice: it is a rich, almost purple-blue.  It was supposed to be a vine, but is merely a sprawly shrub.  It came through the freeze with flying colors, and it too pretty to move.  So I let it flop all over the front walk all summer!

Happy Bloom Day, and thanks again to Carol for hosting!


  1. Hiya Elizabeth,
    What a neatly presented post. I appreciate the small pictures, still being on dial-up :-)
    The Thunbergia is beautiful. If it came through the freeze, it might be worth trying here in the UK. I would love to have that sprawl to its heart's content. Nice to meet you.

  2. Aha. Another beautiful Texas garden. You have it good. Do you know that? I loved your post today. Fun blog here, good content.

  3. Hi Jo!
    The thunbergia is T. battiscombei and it may very well grow in the UK. Sometimes people call it "Bengal Clock Vine."
    Thanks, Rosey! Texas is a wonderful place to garden. Except maybe for August...:)
    Happy Bloom Day!

  4. What a lovely rainbow of blooms Elizabeth! I love your header!! Just found your blog over at blotanical. ;>)

  5. Beautiful presentation for Bloom Day.

    Perennial phlox is just coming into bloom in my garden.

    It is already feeling like August here.

  6. The passion flower is pretty spectacular. I also love the sweet little blue bell-shaped clematis.

    Happy Bloom Day!

  7. I just love your little clematis. And your daylilies and phlox. Oh, and everything else you have blooming - so pretty!

  8. I know what you mean about the glads. My son-in-law gave me some orange ones several years ago and they multiply like crazy. I give them away and throw them away and still have too many - lol.

  9. Saw the pic of your Dietes bicolor in your recent newsletter posted from your FB page... I liked it enough to go digging through your sites for additional info.
    I totally want some seed!
    Do these guyz re-bloom?
    I hope to see a future post dedicated to your irises...