Friday, June 5, 2009

How Doth My Secret... Jungle Grow?

Err, ah, I meant my garden... It’s supposed to be a garden? Isn’t it?

June is the month of unbridled growth in the US Deep South and I can’t keep up with it! Never have, and probably never will. I might as well face facts. The grass is going to remain above my knees this month. Perhaps I can catch up next month.

The overwhelming color in my garden is VIRULENT JUNGLE GREEN! Of course there are other colors too. Lots of other colors! I have many aims in my garden: twelve months of bloom; gaudy color; good smell; feed the birds; feed the butterflies; and above all... be able to survive without any effort from me!

Remember that if you want to see a larger version of any of the pictures, simply click on the picture.

New Gold Lantana attracts butterflies and humming birds. Be careful of lantanas, because the berries are extremely poisonous. This variety has almost no berries. It was developed at Mississippi State University and exceptionally well suited to mid-latitude growing zones. It’s a good, hardy plant.

Homestead Purple Verbena also attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Very hardy. Mow it after its first bloom and it will bloom again.

Butterfly Weed, also known as Pleurisy Root by herbalists, is... you got it... loved by butterflies and hummingbirds. Slow starter, but very hardy after established. The North American Indians used a tea from its roots as an expectorant.

Multiple Daylilies, old fashioned orange (single and double), yellow, pink, peach, orange, bright red, deep black red, purple, and all sorts of multi-colors. With new hybridizing, they come in almost every color, are fragrant, and the band ought to play ruffles and flourishes in their honor.

Oakleaf Hydrangea, wild, all through my woods. A very large, stately shrub.

Old Fashioned, Heirloom Hydrangea, you know, the type that your great grandmother had, and were used to decorate for your grade school graduation. They can be anywhere from blue to purple to pink, depending upon how the mood strikes them.

Buddleias, both pink and blue, have a wonderful, delicate fragrance, and of course... are loved by butterflies and hummingbirds.

Gardenia fragrance can be almost overwhelming, so I recommend not planting them too close to the house. They can get pretty large and need pruning... which for me is a pain. However, the cuttings root easily. I love them.

Magnolia Grandiflora, wonderful, lemony fragrance, and I just found a new tree growing on my hill this spring. Whoopee! I need all of these large evergreen trees that I can get.
Cashmere Bouquet can be a spectacular garden THUG. It’s decided to take over one of my beds and... everyone loves it! I guess I’ll let it stay. The flowers were used for the perfume and soap which our grandmothers loved. The flowers do smell wonderful. However, don’t mess with the leaves. They stink worse than a skunk!

White Yarrow is a lovely white light in a deep green jungle. Before the advent of modern medicine, its leaves were used to stop bleeding.

My roommate decided to engage in biological warfare for the vegetable garden. Besides planting the garden in the patio under the bedroom window, so that the Supreme Poodle Pasha Zackery can guard it, and he has been diligent, she has planted catnip among the tomatoes, peppers and squash. Now, Her Serene Highness Maxine, the royal Harem Kitty, has taken up residence in the middle of our vegetable garden. No one, but no one is allowed to approach her catnip. Heaven help the deer this year.

After days and days of rain, it has been an absolutely gorgeous day here. I wish the same for you.

Happy gardening, happy reading, and happy writing,


Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future


Liana Brooks said...

I have a horrible confession to make: I just finished planting my garden today.

My flowers won't look like that for another month or two.

Thank goodness we have a long growing season!

Frances said...

What's so terrible about that, Liana? You live a lot furter north than I do. If you look back through my other Gardening posts, you will see that I have the poorest ground in the world, like concrete, and I have been working on these beds for a LONG time. I stole, I mean, I borrowed some of the pictures from Google Image; however, the pictures which I chose look pretty much like the plants to in my yard, except that my grass hasn't been cut this week and is over my ankles. Eh, but there is always next week. :-)

Laura Herbertson said...

I love the smell of gardenia. Honeysuckle might be my favorite though.

Frances said...

You and me both Laura. Your post shocked me because I should be smelling the honeysuckle now, and I don't remember smelling it yet. Will check to see what is going on when I take his Imperial Majesty, the Supreme Poodle Pasha Zackery out for a walk. :-)

Anonymous said...

I have not returned "home" to Alabama in years, but these photographs brought back the memories of my mothers gardens and of the many beautiful flowers in the southern states.

Thank you for the trip down memory lane.


Frances said...

Hi A.J.! I'm so glad to have brought back wonderful memories. Sorry that I didn't answer sooner. My computer has been sick. I just got it back today. :-) Except for the vegetable garden, things are looking a triffle scruffy right now. We haven't had rain in over two weeks. Just wish that I could afford to water everything. :-( On the bright side, the deer are being held at bay, and we have TOMATOES! :-D

Anonymous said...

These are beautiful plants! How do you keep your cats and dogs away?

Anonymous said...

These are beautiful plants! How do you keep your cats and dogs away?

Frances said...

Hi likriskai. I haven't met you before, but I'm so glad that you came for a visit. I hope that you've enjoyed yourself.

Your question about the cats and dogs...I don't try to keep them out. I have a dog, His Supreme Poodle Pashaness Zackery the Great, and his Harem Kitty, MaxieCat. His job is to chase the deer away, and her job is to catch the voles which eat the flowers. Both furbabies do their jobs, and they both tell me that I could not have the beautiful flowers without them. They, naturally, feel very self important. :-)

Come back and tell me more about yourself. Do you have a garden?