Late August Surprises

First flower from Protea 'Brenda'.  
This August has been a joyful surprise:  relatively mild.  Last August was horrible:  hot, hot, hot, the garden's plants struggling to survive, the gardener in a terrible mood, wondering if it was time to quit gardening.   

This August, roses not ruined! 
 Clematis, not scorched, and re-blooming.
Orlaya continuing to grow and flower.
Hippeastrum???  Hippeastrum blooming in August?!?!  
 Proof:  Dahlia blooming above it. 
 Protea 'Brenda' opening...glamour girl!
  'Sylvia' is very similar, no less glamorous. 
 Backlit at certain times of the day, the leaves are a striking sight all by themselves.
 August weather cool enough to garden during.  Planting, in August! 

New impulse buy Melaleuca lateritia, a tough, small shrub of airy and dainty appearance from Western Australia.  At the garden center it was mobbed by Bombus sonorus.  A summer bloomer, it will be there for them after the flowers finish on nearby Myrtus communis. 

New impulse buy Table Grape 'Suffolk Red', supposedly vigorous and productive.  This spot has been problematic for years.  A dwarf Tagetes lemonii planted there last year, died quickly.  The Stephanotis shriveled down to a few scorched leaves.  Moved down to the pergola it is thriving.  An 'Iceberg' rose before the Stephanotis also declined to a toasty brown near-nothing.  Relocated down in one of the gully terraces, 'Iceberg' has mostly recovered. 

So, time to try again.  A grape will be a great lesson in patiently pruning something to go on the structure, if nothing else.  
Planted a week ago, and still alive:
 Walking around the garden in August without cringing or fainting in the heat.  Enjoying the new-this-year, big-box Canna to a ridiculous degree.  Who'd have thought?  
 The late Spring impulse buy 'Day of the Dead' Tagetes flowers have appeared.  Not bleached, toasted, scorched, or shriveled.  
Late August weather so ridiculously mild...
...I actually sat down under the pergola for a little while, listening to the birds, relishing a cool late afternoon breeze pushing in from the Pacific. 
 Sitting down, enjoying the garden, in August!  Surprise.
Still puzzled about that Hippeastrum flower, though.

Comments

  1. So glad you get to enjoy the garden at this time of year. The Proteas are so beautiful as are your roses. I move my Amaryllis outside during the summer and they bloom at different times throughout our short growing season and then again later in the winter. A real treat to have them bloom in the garden.

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    1. Thank you, luv2. Interesting that your Amaryllis bloom at different times...here in the ground they all bloom simultaneously (except this August mystery). Then again in winter!?! Cool! Yes it is a real treat as they are essentially zero care--they want a cool rainy winter and a dry summer and autumn, which is exactly what our climate does.

      What is your blog? I thought I have been there, and now drawing a blank!

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    2. No blog as of yet but hoping to get something going this winter.

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  2. It's a remarkable summer (although I'm still anxious for fall's arrival). All your surprise blooms are wonderful. I'm intrigued by the new Melaleuca lateritia - how small is "small"?

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    1. Small is 1-2 meters, but the advice is tip-prune for fullness, so like Grevilleas trimming is good. So I'm planning on about a meter each way.

      Fall--Santa Ana winds... :(

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  3. We are also having a freakishly cool, rainy August here. Last night it was pretty torrential in fact. Gorgeous Protea flowers, and all the rest too. I'm glad you're enjoying your garden in summer.

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    1. Rain!?!?! I can only envy.

      Impressed with all your big rehab projects lately. Well done!

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  4. Love that new melaleuca. This summer has been incredible. Even if Sept and Oct are miserable, we still had one of the best summers ever! I saw my neighbor's hippeastrum blooming too and wondered wth...

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    1. Another Hippeastrum blooming, eh? Interesting.

      As long as the good weather continues, I plan to enjoy it! When it gets miserable, I'll paint the kitchen.

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  5. Isn't this year wonderful? I'm having the same marveling experience up here. I've actually done major work in the garden (well, I had help, but still...) removing bamboo, pruning shrubs, building planters, hauling soil, and not croaked. I am beyond surprised at the weather we are blessed with this summer, and am fully enjoying it while it lasts. Hooray! :D

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    1. Very wonderful! Happy it is good weather for you also. Hooray for mild weather!

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  6. :: Planting, in August! ::
    LOL!! And you warned me off August planting, when I thought the clear air and low 80s were going to go on and on... Good thing, as we're just tonight emerging from a roasting week.

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    1. Last August was so awful, I gave myself some leeway this year. Can you blame me?

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  7. I share your joy of an exceptional summer. Oh yes we have had some sultry days but nothing I can't ignore. Losing some lawn doesn't bother me. Your flowering plants are so pretty. I have that same box store canna. It doesn't get enough sun but has kept a bloom all summer. I bet your grape does well. They don't need much encouragement.

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    1. Your area as well? That's great! It's better for the wildlife, and trees, too.

      Cannas used to be very common in SoCal, not so much anymore. Gone out of fashion, plus lots of water and grooming to look their best.

      Grapes are not too difficult? That is good to hear. It's a very visible location, so it needs to look happy.

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  8. So glad August has been treating you well. Your garden definitely reflects the mild temperatures.

    Here in Davis it's been hot. High 90s. I got up at 6 am today to get some work done in the garden. Looking forward to late September.

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