I'm busy writing and kidding this week (wow, that kind of sounds like I'm hanging out giving birth to baby goats) so it's just photos today. High temperatures this week have been hugging tight to the 85 - 90° F range with humidity readings hovering somewhere north of 95%, so it's safe to say that we've left spring behind and are firmly entrenched in summer. No worries, though; the vegetable garden is in full swing and every day there's something yummy to harvest. For gardening purposes, summer means a slow down from the spring frenzy; most of the work now will be keeping things from dying of the heat, especially during any dry spells we might have. Garden hours are now early morning and late evening, when it's cool enough to get outside and take care of watering chores.
Various colors of echinacea. A favorite of butterflies, I've been collecting different colored cultivars as I've seen them for sale. At the moment it's competing with goldenrod for this little section of the butterfly garden.
Guara. Bees absolutely love this stuff, though it spreads very easily (you can see in the photo it's nearly engulfed a lantana) and has to be aggressively kept in check.
Hydrangea. Here at Cypress Lane we have VERY alkaline soil, so hydrangeas always bloom pink. I've been slowly adding aluminum sulfate to the soil around it, however, to lower the pH and turn the flowers blue. This is the result--I really like the mix of colors!
The star jasmine is finally fading, after nearly a month of gorgeous flowers and heady scent.
Spike Speedwell (Veronica). Another favorite of bees and butterflies.
Butterfly bush. A favorite butterfly nectar source. If you want butterflies, though, you'll have to do a little research and plant the appropriate caterpillar host plants as well.
Gardenia. My absolute favorite flower when it comes to fragrance.
Bougainvillea. This beauty just screams summertime, I think.