Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thursday Evening Flowers

Adapted without any kind of permission whatsoever from Bossy Betty.

It’s not just you.  Even I am growing a bit bored with my garden reports.  For weeks I’ve been going out most days of the week, harvesting a small handful of beans and cherry tomatoes, muttering to myself about the declining health of my squash and brandywine tomatoes, and occasionally pulling some weeds.  It’s high time I got out of that horticultural rut.

My obsession with my little plot of dirt has also distracted me from something I meant to do earlier this summer, which is to document the abundance and variety of blooms that make Charlotte such an attractive city in the summer.  I missed capturing the mimosa trees, I’m sad to say.  But we have such a long growing season that there’s still plenty to enjoy.  So when I took Rosie for a walk this afternoon, I took my camera along, determined to share some summer color with my small coterie of faithful readers.

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This may look like a pretty unremarkable American neighborhood—and it mostly is.  But if you look closely, you can catch the last act of one of our standout players, the crape myrtle.  If you know just where to look, there are four different trees visible here, each with a different color.

They are all somewhere between not-quite-red and not-quite-purple (please forgive the poor framing of my shots, as I had a leash in my hand, attached to a dog on a mission).  This one’s finishing its season.

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But this one is still going strong.

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If pinks and purples are not to your taste, I’m afraid your only other option is white (taken contre jour, which is to say, in the wrong direction).

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After a glut of corals, pinks and purples, this can be quite refreshing on a hot, humid afternoon in the South.

Regardless of color, the flower bunches are so omnipresent and reliable, I forget how delicate they can look up close.

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As with the crape myrtles, there are other flowers I never knew in the north, and have grown quite fond of since getting my hands into southern soil.  Like my happy-go-lucky gaillardia.

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They have been blooming happily for three months, and if I can get myself out there to keep dead-heading, I might get another month out of them.  With some help from the brown-eyed susans, they have made beautiful bouquets this summer for one of our famer friends who’s been battling it out with some medical issues. 

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Another southern favorite which many of our neighbors have planted are these bounteous knockout roses, or lenten roses, which I hear are worry-free bloomers.

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I don’t know what kind of roses these are, but they had such delicate variations of shade I just had to stop and snap a picture.

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I don’t know the variety, though I do know this is not a flower.



Neither is this, but I know it’s a yellow swallowtail, and they like to lay their eggs on parsley.


(I cropped the bejeezus out of this picture.)


I just love this little patch of vinca flowers that come back every year.  A couple of years ago they were late in sprouting, and I later happened to see the homeowner and told them I was worried they had decided not to plant them that year. Turns out, they are coming back of their own accord, year after year.

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When I got home, I took a moment to appreciate our own little Rose of Sharon tree…

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…and the ridiculously bright pink geraniums at my own front door.

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Oh, and here’s another glimpse of some furry family time:


  1. The crape myrtle is gorgeous! It's so interesting to see what grows in such a different climate than one's own. Like gaillardia, which I grew from seed last year (it did quite well) but is nowhere to be seen this year... At least I get to enjoy yours!

    1. My father hasn't had any luck at all with gaillardia. For my part, I can't keep any tulips coming back like they did back in Ohio.

  2. Your town should get a " bloomin " award

    1. Not as much as Mobile, AL, where I lived before. Their azaleas, bridal veils, camelias and gardenias are show stoppers.

  3. For those of us who don't have your flora, it's nice to be told what they are. You are surrounded by beauty.

    And your fauna is (are?) extraordinarily cute. Yes, I know they are not "wildlife" but I bet they can get pretty wild by times.

    1. You have to look for the beauty. Everyone at work thinks my entire yard is stuffed with flowers, because I used to bring them in to the office. Truth is, the front looks a bit bare from the street!

      McKenna is wild during most of her waking hours, but Rosie has, I think, outgrown any real wildness. Overbearing enthusiasm is about all she gets up to nowadays. :)

  4. I love the flowers. I didn't think the flowering trees bloomed as much as last year.

    1. I agree with you, all the rain put a damper (ha!) on things earlier this summer.

  5. I loved family feeding time!!! You can send me flowers any time at all! (When do I get some more? Huh? Huh?


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