Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Summer Surprises

Summer has been a continuation of the drought that has been hovering here for some time. Record heat has us in it's grip. Since there isn't a thing I can do about this I have decided to try to take the high road and tell you about all the fun surprises I have found in the garden thus far. I will try not to complain, much. After all we haven't had fire or flood to deal with. It could be worse right??

During a drought you certainly learn to appreciate succulents that you might be growing. Of course Hens and chicks are common but when they put on a show of blooms you forget all about that.
 One of my favorite succulents this year are the Echiveraias that have inhabited this pot for the past 18 months or so. They are the first plant that I have had luck growing in one of these pots. I have tried several different strawberry pots and different plants all without success until this combination. The Echiveraias are growing and I think a couple of them are even going to bloom for me.
Another nice combination is this hollyhock and clematis that are blooming together. I am sorry that I can't take credit for anything other than planting the clematis. The hollyhock chose this spot to grow and the clematis is taking fair advantage of a taller structure to climb.
 This hollyhock is TALL. Here is a picture of me standing by it. I am 5'6" tall and the hollyhock towers over me. And yes, that clematis is that blue even though it normally isn't. It's deep blue must be another affect of the drought.
I admit that I bought some Oriental Lily bulbs from a big box store. I have said before that I wasn't going to do that anymore due to the disappointment they often are. When I opened the package I told myself...here we go again. Such little ole bulbs didn't look promising.
I am glad I went ahead and planted them. They have all emerged and just take a look at this beauty.
I know I am not the only one that likes them either. 
The blackberries are fighting valiantly trying to produce enough berries for our new supply of  jelly. Unfortunately after I picked a nice bowl of berries they seemed to think that was quite enough.
Instead of having enough for a mess of jelly I just have enough for a generous topping on my cereal or better yet on ice cream. Aaaa, you will have to excuse me I think the ice cream man is calling. 
Do you have any surprises in your garden this summer?

20 comments:

Lee May said...

Lisa, your sedum's apparently enjoying the heat, its beauty making it more bearable for you. Congratulations on getting growth through that tricky pot with holes.

Q said...

Dear Lisa,
Every day I am shocked at what is blooming in this heat and dryness.
I shall be planting more cactus!
I have tiny, tiny hens and chicks in my terrariums. I did not know hens and chicks bloomed...must get some!
So happy to see your blooms. It is a difficult year for gardens.
Have a safe 4th,
Sherry

Laurrie said...

It is heartening to know plants want to live and want to thrive even in a drought. Your hens and chicks are cute and you have enough going on in the garden to keep your sanity through terrible weather!

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

We have had so much rain and not enough sun that our grapes are not going to be good AGAIN this year. We have always made jelly but when we get years like the last two they dont get big enough nor are they sweet. The Cherries around here went bad fast too. but my Daisies are doing excellent this year. All kinds of them. So when one door shut the other one opens seems to be in Gardening too. :)) You have some Lovely flowers in yours in spite of it all.

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Phillip Oliver said...

The drought is so discouraging and I'm so tired of dragging hoses around. I was reading a story today about the heat situation with a comment that it was a sign of things to come. What will this mean to gardeners??? It is depressing to think about.

shirl said...

Hello again, Lisa :-)

Sorry to hear you are baking there again this summer. Guessing it’s suited that lily. Loving your succulents and your giant hollyhock makes a brilliant climbing structure for your clematis.

These are nice berries you have there – not something I have ever grown as yet. Enjoy :-)

Oh… what surprise have I had in my garden? I guess my surprise (so far) has been in watching night cams and seeing how unsociable and almost territorial wild hedgehogs can be dining in my feeding station. There have been a few incidents. However, I am a bit worried my pond build has confused there route to the food and water I put out as I haven’t seen any visitors for a few nights now :-(

Diana said...

Lisa - I feel for you. They are desperate on the farm. I have never seen hens & chicks bloom - wow - they are beautiful. Your berries look delish - enjoy that ice cream! Happy 4th.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I love the clematis and hollyhock... and I think that you should take credit for them, regardless. (After all, it IS your garden, and you were smart enough to let them grow next to each other in it! ;-)

Hens and chicks bloom so sweetly. I can't wait to see the echeverias bloom, too... although, they're pretty enough in that cool blue pot as it is. Glad you have some good summer surprises!

Cheryl said...

Hi Lisa,

Good to see you back blogging :)

The Hollyhock is tall, I doubt that mine will reach that height, especially with the rabbits keep cropping them. Grrrrrr..

The clematis looks lovely making its way up....a really pretty combination.

Yummy berries, enjoy with lovely cold ice cream.

Wishing you rain.......

Barbara said...

You may indeed not complain...your garden is so rich of lovely blooming plants, despite all the drought you had. I love little hens and chicks and also have several ones. They are really "lazy" plants, not demanding much care and almost no water.
Summergreetings from Barbara

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Lisa girl WOW !! on that hollyhock !
I had to stop growing them a few years ago .. rust was such a problem here .. I miss seeing them so this was a treat : )
The lily is gorgeous .. I am waiting on my Casa Blanca and of course the lily beetles are too ? LOL
That is remarkable about the clematis being such a beautiful true blue!
Blackberries .. I know I should have bought that bush I saw on sale .. they would be so GOOD on ice cream is too right .. I\ll be right over for some so don't eat them all girl ! LOL
Joy

SandyCarlson said...

Your garden is gorgeous. Those berries look delicious.

Julie said...

What beautiful succulents! The flowering hen and chicks is gorgeous!!! Was it the ice cream man who called??? LOLOL.

It is so blasted HOT here too, Lisa! Dang. I will be so happy at the end of October when relief hits!

Happy air conditioned summer days to us!
xoxo- Julie

Rose said...

Good to see all that green and some blooms, considering this drought, Lisa. The hens and chicks must be loving this heat--I've never seen blooms like these before! Strawberry season around here was a bust this year due to the early heat and the dry conditions, so I'm not surprised your blackberries haven't done too well. They do look delicious, though--hope you opted for an ice cream sundae:)

Thanks for the reminder that we could have it much worse--no fires here, and at least we have power so that there's always the refuge of A/C. Stay cool!

Randy said...

You know Lisa, you are right there is little point in complaining about it anymore. It’s not going to change anything. :0) I’ll have to remember that and also realize it could be worse. Those blackberries look yummy. My momma use to put us in the blackberry patches every year and we would have to get at least 4 or 5 gallons of them before we could stop. Oh how I use to hate those redbugs!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

While succulents doing well are no surprise, I had forgotten how tough some Clematis are. I don't know why people think they're hard to grow. I feel for you with the fruit. The heat has taken its toll on my zucchinis and peppers. The fruits are so small that they've started to rot while I was waiting for them to get to a harvestable size. I wish someone would invent a "warmframe" that would keep heat-sensitive plants cool.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Lots of surprises in the garden this year. I'd have to say the tomatoes have been the biggest surprise so far. It's nice when you can find something to be happy about during drought and heat isn't it? Love your choices.~~Dee

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Lisa girl I came back to say to you ... GIRL it is VERY HOT here too so you assumption of the heat dome covering North America , including us Canucks is VERY accurate !!LOL
Remember no to work too hard yourself!!
Joy : )

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

It is a constant surprise what is hanging in there and what is struggling. Age is a definite factor with things I put in last summer and fall really having trouble. Think I have definitely lost some even with trying to water. Always miss a few things and initially I kept waiting thinking the forecast rain would arrive but it never has.