The hibiscus are still the most prodigious bloomers. They seemed to laugh at this week’s over 100 temps … 103F being the top so far … as long as they get their daily ration of water in the form of artificial raindrops.
Followed in second place by the self-seeded dwarf marigolds that like Topsy, “Just growed!”
New this year are the Candy-stripe zinnias in two different color variations.
And returning for the 25th growing season is my mother’s apricot gladiola. Back in the early 80s my mother planted a whole row of these beauties along the side fence, and every fall she would dig all the bulbs up and replant them the next spring. One year she dug them up, but they all rotted out over the winter. But come spring one lone plant surfaced along the fence. She didn’t dig the bulb up that year, and every year since it has returned to bloom yet another year. This is quite unusual for a gladiola, and I’m not going to tempt fate by digging it up in the fall.
My biggest surprise this year was the fact that my Rose Of Sharon bushes started blooming. Three years ago I was waiting at my MetroBus stop next to the convent behind St. Mary’s Hospital when I noticed that the hedges bordering the grounds were loaded with seed pods. Since the seeds would have fallen on the concrete sidewalk, I plucked several of the pods and carried them home. The next spring I planted the seeds and I have been nursing six plants for the last two summers. Early in July the plants started showing buds, and this week flowers started opening on two of the plants. The color range for the flowers can run from red to white. The Rose of Sharon is not the plant mentioned in the bible — that plant was really the crocus. The Rose Of Sharon is actually a member of the hibiscus family Hibiscus Syriacus that can grow to 8 to 12 feet tall. They can be trimmed to become a hedge.
And that’s what’s up!