Dahlias, Lilies, and Poppies

I’m so excited about this post because it is about three of my favorite flowers: dahlias, lilies, and poppies.  Many of my dahlias are not fully grown yet since I planted them only a few weeks ago. They seem to be taking a long time growing, maybe I am just impatient.

The other slow grower is the poppy plants. I started seeds in February and they are starting to flower now. Although they are slow, I love seeing them flower. It is always spectacular!

Now, lilies are fast growers and I planted them a month or so ago. They are easy to grow in poor soil and hot conditions like we have here in Southern California.

DAHLIAS

LILIES

POPPIES

Purples and Pinks

I know I talk a lot about purple and pink flowers and you will probably hear it over and over the rest of the year. I  keep finding myself gravitating towards these colors! This year I grew some new hibiscuses that are pinks and purples as you can see below.  I am also sharing some pictures of alstroemeria, hollyhocks, nicotiana, clematis, and an interesting succulent called lampranthus deltoides.

ROSE OF SHARON HIBISCUS

HOLLYHOCKS

Zebrina Hollyhock Mallow

ALSTROEMERIA

Inticancha Indigo Alstroemeria

Nicotiana Perfume Deep Purple

Plum Gorgeous Vancouver Clematis

Lampranthus deltoides

I hope you enjoyed the glorious flowers today. Below is a gorgeous view of my garden a few days ago where it was partly cloudy and sunny.  The way the sunlight shined on the garden is beautiful.

Daylilies and More

My daylilies started blooming a few days ago. They are always a delight to see! I love the colors in this batch. Last week I poo-pooed the idea of buying “mix” or “collection” of bulbs because you usually end up with colors no one wants to buy, like orange but this is one of the few good ones out there.   The below flowers are the Daylight Savings Reblooming daylilies. I’ve had them for at least 2 seasons now and the blooms are better each year. 

These next pictures are other flowers that bloomed the last few days. The white lily tree below has flowers that are as big as my hand as you can see. I have small hands but this flower is about 6 inches wide. There are three gorgeous gigantic flowers on one stalk. It is scented, almost like a gardenia. This lily tree is from a mixture and I have no idea what kind this is.

Big Kiss White Flame Gazania
Sweet William

Hibiscus is my number one favorite flower and this Rose of Sharon hibiscus is the best. I love the colors and the prolific blooms.

Rose of Sharon
Same hibiscus but color faded the next day
Angelonia Augustifolia possibly

Lastly, the Dusty Miller below is extraordinarily beautiful and vibrant this year more than ever. It seems like a good year for all Dusty Millers because I see them all flowering in my neighborhood.

Brugmansias and Trees

One of my favorite trees to grow is the brugmansia or also known as Angel’s Trumpet. They are highly fragranted, fast growing, and produce abundant beautiful flowers year round. They are so easy to propagate in a glass of water.

The brugmansia below is propagated from another plant and it is a little over a year and a half. It is about 3 feet tall. You may notice in my posts that I like to say how old and how tall my plants or trees are. I do that because I feel sometimes new gardeners like myself like to know how big plants could get and how long it takes to get such and such sizes. I find that very few gardening sites tell you how big plants are at certain stages. If you look at all the tall things growing in my yard in these pictures, know that they are about at least three years old because that’s how long I have been gardening. My BEFORE garden pictures were posted in this earlier blog here.

Charles Grimaldi Brugmansia

They can get pretty tall like this one, which is about 10 feet tall if you trim the side shoots. Bees love them and so do pests like aphids. I don’t remember what kind of brugmansia this pink one is because I’ve had it for over 15 years.

The mother plant Charles Grimaldi of all my Charles Grimaldi brugmansias. It blooms continuously throughout the year.

The picture below does not do this Duranta Erecta justice. It has beautiful purple flowers all year long. In the late afternoons, I can hear hummingbirds zipping in and out of this bush like Star Wars pod racers. This tree is 20 years old and is now about 16 feet. I have seen most people keep this type of tree much shorter around 6 feet but I just let it grow to enhance the landscape.

“Duranta Erecta” Sweet Memory Bush

The Red Baron peach below is about 2 years old and will be turning red sometimes in September. Right now there are some peaches on the tree but it is still slightly brown and green so my dogs have not discovered it yet. Once it ripens and stands out more in the tree, I will have to figure out how to keep it from being snatched off the trees by my dogs. It drops leaves in the winter and then develop buds which later turns into beautiful reddish blossoms.

This here is my Cranberry hibiscus tree which I grew from seeds. It has been about 3 years and they have these beautiful reddish foliage like a maple tree but better because these stay like this all year. This tree was about 10 feet tall at one point but it was growing awkwardly so I trimmed it down and trained it to lean more upright. It was leaning 45 degrees when it grew! Now it is somewhat upright, more like at an 80 degree angle. The flowers are really pretty cranberry-colored like the picture below. It blooms during the day and closes up each day.

This is a three year old papaya tree grown from seeds. It is about 3 1/2 feet tall. I’m not sure when they are supposed to have fruit but they get yellow leaves when I try to give it water. Besides the Red Baron peach, this papaya is my other favorite fruit tree in the yard. I’m hoping it will flower and give me fruits soon because I love papayas!

I am also growing some cherimoyas, a starfruit, a persimmon from seeds. I don’t know where my persimmon plant is out there right now.

Cherimoya – 2 year old from seed about 12 inches tall
Starfruit: the center woody stick about 8 inches tall after 2 years

While I was outside, I noticed this Columbine flower which I am sure I never grew. It was such a wonderful surprise since I have been wanting a Columbine for a long time. I will leave you with admiring that flower.

Gladiolus Garden

My garden is currently colored with gladiolus flowers in shades of pink, purple, and cream. This year is the best flowering season thus far, probably because it has been in my garden for 3 years and also I gave it a bit of bone meal fertilizer early in the season. The colors are deeper, stalks are greener and petals are more perfectly formed. I didn’t even know they were so ruffled until this year!

One of my greatest love about the gladioli is that they make great cutting flowers. They last for more than a week if you cut the stems off by an inch every few days and change water. These flowers below are stunning in vases! I have been putting them in vases to leave on co-workers’ desks these past few weeks. At home no one appreciates flowers like I do since my children are both boys and even the two dogs are males!

Amazing Orange

I don’t normally like to grow orange flowers but some of these were from a discounted “mix” pack in seeds or bulbs. One thing I’ve learned is never to buy a “mix” of any plant offerings online unless you don’t mind getting ugly colors. I didn’t know that so I bought several of daylily mixes and I got a bunch of bright orange that I would’ve never purchased had I known.

However, now that I have them, I learned to like them since I raised them from pups. They stand out in my garden of pinks and purples.

Now this Big Kiss White Flame Hybrid Gazania (what a mouthful) is actually one that I picked out on a seed website.  Have you seen anything more vibrant? The flower is about 3″ wide with bright yellow-orange and red petals. I gush with delight when I see this flower open up every morning!

This is an orange California poppy that was in a mix. I was hoping it was pink or purple but this is what sprouted. It is cute though.

This Ruby Spider daylily is the BOMB! What an amazing show of red and orange in this outrageous beauty! I would love to have a bunch more of these.  Sadly, it opened for a day or so and I was not able to enjoy it more.  There are some new ones getting ready to open soon though.

At Last rose is one of my favorite of orange roses. Flowers are smaller than most roses but it has beautiful shades of oranges and yellows.

Below is an orange zinnia from a mix. This is really an unexpected color in the seed mix but I think I am in love with it. This picture is actually a day before it fully bloomed that’s why it had those neat beige colors in the center. I wish it stayed like that forever.

These daylilies below are all from a mix. As you can see they are quite orange and almost red. I’ve had these for a couple of years but this is the first time I’ve seen it flower.  They are all over my garden and so ORANGE!

Here are some of my pretty garden pictures. The best time to catch beautiful pictures of my yard is on a cloudy day because it shows off the colors so vibrantly. In the picture below I have a plumeria, pink alstroemeria, iris, and tall pink Verbascum Southern Charm way in the back.

Below is another garden patch nearby where I have a 3 year-old sage bush with purple flowers, purple magnolia, purple daisies, purple roses, lily tree (center), and the pink, fast-growing Strybing Beauty.

In this picture below are General Sikorski clematis, blue chicory flowers, plumeria, and magnolia Souvlangiana.

Below are some rose mallow, yellow daisies, and a Red Baron peach tree. The Red Baron will change its leaves into red sometimes in early September, I believe. As you can see it has grown quite a bit since last year when I first wrote about it.

That’s all for now. I have more to show you in a few days!

Five on Friday

Has anyone heard of a blogger movement where bloggers post “Six on Saturday”? I don’t know much about it other than bloggers would write about six things in their blog on Saturdays. For some reason those words sound annoying as a title so today I am making fun of it by writing “Five on Friday”. I’m pretty sure I won’t be writing “Five on Friday” again so this is IT!

1. Nicotania Deep Purple is a tobacco plant. These flowers are a gorgeous purple.

2. Sprekelia formosissima is also known as an Aztec Lily. This is a very unique flowering bulb.

3. Black hollyhocks are beautiful and interesting plants. There are not many black flowers out there that looks quite as cute as these guys. This year they grew about 12 inches taller than last year and are producing more flowers.

4. Zinnia in orangey pink color, beautiful but so far I have only one!

5. Impatiens in pink. I adore this pretty little flower, so sweet and similar to an orchid flower. Those colors are exquisite.

That’s my five for today! Have a great weekend.

Gardenscape

Recently I started playing a gardening game called Gardenscapes in which you get to restore a neglected garden to its former glory.  It is a lot of fun re-doing the fountains and hedges, reviving and cleaning up old plants.

In the real world I do that in my backyard too. For many years I have lived in my house and neglected the yard. We had grass put in when my boys were young.  The last four years I became interested in gardening when I inherited some of my mother-in-law’s plants. I realized gardening is a great mental and physical benefit so I started hauling out almost all of the grass in the backyard to create my garden. I am so glad I did because my garden now is so colorful and lush. I have put in a lot of back-breaking work but when flowers bloom, it was totally worth it.  It has frequent visitors such as birds, bees, ladybugs, butterflies, slugs, and worms of all kinds.  There is a healthy ecosystem in my backyard.

Although it looks like a “jungle” as my mom and kids like to call it, I really like that the inner garden is disguised by the big trees and bushes maturing over the years.  It makes the garden feel like a “secret garden”. Below, I have two official entrances to my garden, each are flanked by trellis arches with clematis and passion flowers growing on it.

Passion flower trellis

Did you see the passion flower fruits that are hanging off of that trellis? I was so excited to see them since I didn’t know whether the kind I grew would bear fruit!

Clematis trellis
This view is from the back of the garden.
Right side of the garden

The above picture is the right side of the garden and starting from the front right is my sage, magnolia souvlangiana tree, blue chicory, purple daisies, pink rose bush, and pink Strybing Beauty bush next to the tall brugmansia tree on the far right.

The scenery above is a view into the front of the garden.  In the front I have a holly hock bush, pink geraniums, foxgloves on the right with the yellow Charles Grimaldi brugmansia in the back. On the far left, I have the purple and white foxglove bushes, a White Bouquet tansy ground cover, orange At Last roses, and an orange tree behind it.  I have some poppies growing in this area that hasn’t gotten tall enough to make it in the picture.

Finally, below are a collection of some new flowers blooming these past few weeks. My pink Pompom poppy finally has a couple of flowers that didn’t look diseased, most were in very bad shape.  I tried growing them many times but this is the first year that it flowered.

Poppy
Purple Emperor nasturtiums
Princess Victoria Louise poppy