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 The road to optimism is paved with gratitude.  Today is a holiday dedicated to gratitude. Gratitude for the garden, For simple pleasures, like just baking a loaf of bread,  For loved ones most of all! Happy Thanksgiving, with optimistic hope 2021 is much better than 2020.

Blooms August 2020

The Drimia maritima trio of bulbs did not flower last August.  This year, they are. 
The bulbs are the size of bowling balls and the root system is equally impressive. 

The bold twisty foliage appears with our fall/winter rains and dries up in June.  In late July the 6' flower stem appears, the flowers opening in early August.

San Marcos says:  

This plant is widely distributed throughout the shores and islands of the Mediterranean Sea, in southern Europe east from southern France through South Western Asia (Israel, Syria, Lebanon) and across North Africa to Morocco and on the major islands of Cyprus, Crete, Malta and surrounding smaller islands.

Also native to Mediterranean Europe, Orlaya grandiflora are behaving differently this year--some appeared with winter rain and bloomed in early spring, some plants appeared last summer, grew somewhat and then waited out winter and spring to bloom this summer.  Since so much blooms in spring anyway, a shift to summer is not a bad thing. 

Tiny bees (6 mm) have been all over the Orlaya flowers the past few days:

Zephanthys, peeking through Lomandra. 
Another striking 'Bright Star' Yucca spire.  

 A lily reappeared;  probably for the last time.  I can get two seasons out of them before they succumb to a lack of winter chill.  I do love them, but this is not their climate. 

The day lily re-bloom continues;  a deep soak and a light hit of fertilizer and they all seem to respond with another round of scapes.

Hunnemannias flower on and on, though I've pulled several filling pathways.  It was getting impossible to walk in some places.

Leucophyllum 'Thunder Cloud'  


Summer days are when Pentas look their best.  This one with  saturated crimson flowers looks great with the equally saturated purple of the Trachelium:

Another summer bloomer:  the Lagerstroemias.


 'Ebony Embers':

'Ebony Flame'
 More flowers from Clematis 'Polish Spirit':

And, of course, Dahlias.  'Cafe Au Lait',  'Avignon', 'Catching Fire'

 And Roses.  The more mild summer has pushed the appearance of chili thrips into August.  I've left some roses un-deadheaded, to discourage the new growth that pest attacks, and where there is new growth, sprayed that new growth at the tips of canes with Spinosad just before sunset (when the bees are gone for the night).  So there are still some beautiful roses to be enjoyed. 

 And the Oncidium growing on the Acer produced a second flower stem:

Up until now, quite a good August for plants.   The garden is taking on its overgrown look of late summer:

A lengthy serious heat wave has arrived, with burnt foliage and toasted flowers soon to come.  But much of this summer has been more mild than the last several, for which the gardener and the garden are very grateful.  Happy Bloom Day!

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day is a meme hosted by MayDreams.


  1. The hunnemania seeds you gave me have grown to blooming size plants -- thank you! I think orlaya might be amenable to serial sowings. I just noticed brand-new seedlings in the garden yesterday. Your plants look so fresh! I'm conflicted over the possibility of my new 'Bright Star' blooming. I remember what blooms did to the shape of 'Margaritaville,' and it wasn't a good look! Yours 'Bright Star' looks smashing.

    1. Cool! Glad you got some plants from those seeds. If they are happy they will reseed.

      Yeah, the 'Bright Star' flowers are dramatic, but I could do without them to maintain the perfect symmetry of a young plant. I cut a couple of them that got mashed pretty good by a big agave, they have produced a single perfect new rosette each, so I guess that is a way to renew them.

  2. Thank you for the extended look at your Drimia maritima, how fabulous it is!

    1. Happy it was of interest. The flower stems are very dramatic coming up from bare soil. Also the stem changes shape, bending this way and that as the flowers open. Fun!

  3. Your garden looks wonderful! The sight of your crape myrtles in bloom has me wondering if I can fit one in once the dead toyon comes down. I'm sorry you're dealing with the chili thrips again - that hasn't been an issue here but then my roses appear to be in their summer shutdown mode. My Drimia has produced a flower stalk but it hasn't flushed out yet and going down to check on it requires suiting up in protective gear - the one time I risked one quick trip down that way without it, I got stung by fire ants. It's been a very pleasant summer until now but this stretch of heat is already wearing thin. We hit 90F before 10am and 95F an hour later. UGH!!!

    1. There are many many different sizes and growth habits of crape myrtles, so there are choices to fit your space, height, and flower color requirements.

      I have read the chili thrips are here to stay...just have to deal with them. The spinosad has been effective.

      Your fire ant issue is alarming!

      Yeah, it's going to be a long, long week of miserable heat, and I hope its only for a week. I'm going through stuff in the house and re-organizing/cleaning/throwing out, to keep busy indoors. It has been a good distraction.

  4. Sigh. Your posts always leave me hankering to nudge the zone boundaries once again. Heck no. Drive a bulldozer through them more like. Now I’m wondering if I can fit a Drimia in the greenhouse. Possibly just, if it sits in the middle right under the apex of the roof. But then if it has a bulb like a bowling ball it probably wouldn’t take kindly to living in a pot..

    1. Do your have enough winter chill to grow Eremurus? Flowers are remarkably similar (and come in more colors than Drimia). Drimia is my climate-appropriate substitute for Eremurus, ha ha!

      I was shocked when I moved the Drimia bulbs. Not only is the bulb bowling-ball sized, it is dwarfed by the roots, which are very thick, like fingers (kinda creepy fingers).

  5. That last photo is a stunner. I am hoping I get more blooms from 'Dynamite' this year. Last year, there were only a few. The 'Ebony Flame' is one I've never seen before. It is really nice too.

    1. Thanks! I hope your 'Dynamite' puts on a great show. Looking forward to the photos on your blog! (Please.)

  6. Gosh, I have never seen a Drimia bulb before. I would love to see one. The bloom of this plant is out of this world. Happy GBBD.

    1. They are quite something. The first time I saw one in flower, I wanted one.

      Happy GBBD, Lisa!

  7. Here in Phoenix we have been suffering through over 3 weeks with 1 more at least to go, of days over 110º and nights over 90º. My poor plants especially the ones in pots. I love seeing yours! The Drimia maritima bulbs are such fun! I have one, but mine is just lingering in ground waiting for this wretched heat to subside. I didn't have a flower last year, but hoping for one this fall!.

    1. That is brutal heat. I know many areas are much worse than here. Can't imagine how people let alone plants survive in that heat. Stay safe and well in this heat, and hope you get a Drimia flower when it cools down in the autumn.

  8. Incedible blooms..It would be my pleasure if you join my link up party related to gardening here at


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