Good things coming, Good things here, Good things leaving
Its almost time for the black-eyed Susans, so common, so bright, so commonly, brightly magnificent. Also the Pee-Wee Hydranger is getting ready to pop. For the moment it's all just small greenish-creamy inverted cones, but every day the cones are alittle whiter and larger. Whereas last year I had only 5 blooms, the small tree still being new-planted, this year the bloom count seems to be hovering towards uncountability. Delicious. Joe Pie is pinking up and some of the phlox is forming buds.
The white hardy hibiscus, a bonus plant for joining the Hardy Plant society last year, has started blooming a gentle white. The kerria, which seems to have decided to keep the last of the St John's Wort in yellow company, has perked up with a few stray blossums. Some of the cleome buds are sporting color. The nasturciums, which I thought would be peach (yup, the old peach debackle once again getting my hackles up,) is a glowering salmon, which I hope will work anyway (hah!) I finally finally have long-lost but beloved zinnias (another commonly and brightly magnificent, archetypal, childhood flower) in the only place where they can get enough sun ... a window box which I should have planted with vines but, what the hey, -- its my garden and I'm not wasting that sun.
The nicest suprise of all has been in the back in a small patch I'd mostly given up on. Seems it gets as much semi-sun as I had once hoped, and the drying tree roots have even been a plus for once. For last year I planted there one of my echiums(yes, I know, they like full sun and sandier soil than I've got -- but I'm a sucker for blue flowers and have that ridicoulously Sagittarian attititude that with cheap seeds, why not give what you want a wack-... you never know when luck might reward such an intrepidly clueless yocal. And ohhh, indeed, it has.)
I had thought I had lost the little frail-looking buggers over the wet winter. In fact, their presence this spring was so negligable that I forgot their possible existence. But in this spot was an interesting weed that didn't look like any weed I knew, so I decided to let it go. What I got was a sprawling but healthy, blooming echium vulgare, viper's bugloss, its fronds intermingling with a pale pink yarrow, black-eyed Susan foliage and the other great, unexpected survior -- a Alcea rugosa, hairy Hollyhock. Wow.
The hollyhock is a lovely soft yellow, just the sort I like. I tried this type because it is reputed to be less susceptable to rust than the more usual Alcea rosea. Well, I've already removed two slightly warted, spotty leaves, so it obviously isn't impervious. But still, so far so good, so I'm happy. It looks great with the echium. And what a wonderful suprise.
Last of all, the Acanthus spinosus, spiny bears-breeches, I'd planted ... ?4 years ago? (it was early, very early in my garden-making,) has sent up a flowering shoot. I had given up hope for blossum and reconciled myself to its spreading girth as just a wildly cool foliage plant. But now, emererging from the glossy thorny leaves, is a spike of mauve tipped white. YAAAAYYYYYYY EFFFFING YYYYAYYYY! (Now if only the huge Angelica archangelica in the front would also flower. One of these years. Maybe.)
Right next to the Acanthus is a Nicotiana Sylvestris in bloom. It's big, smooth, spoony, light green leaves are in contrast to the Acanthus with its narly, snarly, deep dark green, fingery foliage. And the different white flowers, both upright, one so fine and feathery, the other more solid and calibrated, should be just as pleasing. I didn't plan it, just planted both where I thought they would like.
Good things are leaving. Larkspurs time is up, as is the St John's wort, Jupiters beard, and the astranias. Some of the roses are considering a small rebloom, which has even started in the front, it will be a sporadic but precious. Then they will take a bit of a rest, getting ready for the fall show. The betony needs cutting back; I may get repeat if I'm diligent about this. I have gotten a bit of nice rebloom on the valerian but its mostly done.