Epiphyllum oxypetalum struts it’s stuff only at night and then only if you are really paying attention. The last few nights have involved regular checks on the Epiphyllum in the greenhouse. I could see where I had missed earlier flowerings and didn’t want to miss the full explosion of flowers. At about 8pm last night this is what the buds looked like. The green leaves are Bougainvillea and Guava — the Epiphyllum is the cactus-like stem.
By 9:15pm it was clear that this was going to be a special night.
And by 10:30pm they were fully in bloom.
It’s altogether how amazing the bloom phase is. For most of it’s year this is really a nondescript, even ugly plant, but when those flowers appear they are wonderful to behold. The fragrance is difficult to describe. I called it cinnamon, but Beth said that it was simply spicy. In any case, simple, easy to grow plant with summertime evening reward…
Another belated GBBD posting for me celebrating the flowers that are in bloom right now. The hydrangea pictured above is a striking array of complex flowers right now and not at all the blue coloring we were expecting. I think that says something about our soil. Over time I expect that acid rainfall will take care of redressing the soil acidity. In the meantime our ‘Pink Billow’ is marvelously colored.
Mostly the garden is all about lilies right now. The oriental lilies are peaking, both in terms of production and height. The Oriental/Trumpet cross ‘Anastasia’ was headed toward 10′ tall before a storm caused the whole clump to slump against the fence.
And then there are the lily relatives that are flowering around the yard too…
All of these end up in various displays that Beth makes in the house…
A real surprise for me was the Gloriosa Lily. I was very late in planting the summer bulbs this year. This and several other non-hardy bulbs didn’t go in the ground until a little over a month ago. I’ve had difficulty growing the Gloriosa Lily over the years, only finally succeeding in getting flowers in 2012. Imagine my surprise when this one literally leapt out of the ground and started climbing its frame.
I think the lesson is that it really is a tropical vine and does not want to be planted until the soil is really warmed up.
Another surprise for me this week was to find the remnants of a flower on the Queen of the Night in the greenhouse.
Since these night blooming plants only come out after sundown I need to do evening inspections if I’m going to catch one of these buds actually flowering.
Other interesting tidbits from around the yard are the first flowering of the Great Blue Lobelia.
And the Culver Root which is almost as high as some of the lilies.
And in the front bed the Shasta Daisies and Black-eyed Susans are in fully glory now.
Well that’s a wrap for today. What’s blooming in your garden?
Well I meant to get this posted for the Fourth of July, but you can move the clock back for a day to imagine my patriotic alert about the British Redcoats. This is a fruiting lichen that has taken hold of a fence post in the yard. It’s quite small (think of miniature match sticks) but within this tiny world is incredible complexity. The lichen is a marriage between an alga and fungus that succeeds through cooperation at the most basic level. Both are required before you see the little red caps that release the fungus spores. You can see how the brilliant red gave them their nickname harking back to the american revolution. They are also known as matchstick moss or red crested lichen. I’ve been wrestling with how to photograph all the detail at this level and this is best I’ve come up with so far.
We have had wonderful weather for the fourth of July holiday, almost unprecedented. It’s inspired some really lovely flowering around the yard.
We get seedlings now from Prairie Sun that seem to have no trouble from year to year.
And a new daylily from Oakes.
And we have new seedling Corydalis in the greenhouse derived from Dufu Temple that is flowering from seeds planted in January.
Of course one does not live simply by photographing flowers. We have been harvesting gallons of blueberries (about 8 gallons frozen so far this year). This is yesterday’s pickings.
And we made blueberry ice cream for the fourth of July.