July 19, 2013

Red Hot July

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' posing. I planted dozens of corms, but I only ever get a few bloomers to come back after winter. They're worth it, though. They are such a saturated red, and it shows off nicely against the bright white of the lamppost.

Berries forming on the doublefile viburnum 'Shasta'. They look like candy, like they would be chewy.

Chocolate cosmos. I like these a lot and will plant more next year. They are low, small plants with intensely red little flowers. But the chocolate scent is difficult to pick up. I got a whiff one still evening, but normally I can't detect any chocolate fragrance.

Drumstick alliums, Allium sphaerocephalum, leaning over in front of a smokebush, Cotinus cogyggria 'Grace'. They start out as deep wine red drumstick heads, then open magenta.

A pretty daylily. I have no idea what cultivar, and I normally like the simple orange ones, but this is nice in a frilly, not really red way.

Himalyan fleeceflower, Persicaria officinis 'Dimity'. It's a groundcover, with clean green narrow leaves and fuzzy pipecleaners of pink and rusty red. This low spreader blooms all summer long.

Cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis. This is the red of July, the brightest, reddest, clearest firecracker red you can imagine. Pow.

It's July, it's hot, and the humidity is 90%. The temperature lately has been in the high 90s F / 36 C, the heat index (how it feels) even higher.

There are nice things out here in the garden, and lots of them are pretty reds, but I'm going in now. See you later.

 

Red. Hot. July. 
My garden is under the zero
in the 106 degree heat index label over Hartford.












32 comments:

  1. Love all your sizzling red blooms, especially viewed from my air-conditioned office:) I've never had any luck with Crocosmia, but maybe I should try it again--those red blooms are spectacular.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rose, I have little luck with crocosmia too -- I have planted so many to get so few plants. But I do love them, and I am happy they are right by my front door, under the post light where they are very noticeable. The UPS guy admired them and asked what they were yesterday!

      Delete
  2. Love the Drumstick Alliums...I always try to plant some in the fall, as they seem to be one of the few Alliums that really does come back every year reliably. I planted that Persicaria this spring...but it's struggling to get established :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scott, the little persicaria takes a while to get going, but then it covers ground. I find that it wants way more water than I expected. In the last two dry summers it spread but got kind of patchy. This wet spring it filled in all the empty spots and kept going and looks wonderful. You must get enough water where you are, but surprisingly, it seems to want pretty wet conditions!

      Delete
  3. I tried to dig out a large patch of Crocosmia 'Lucifer' a couple of years ago because it was flopping but it keeps coming back. Guess I'll start supporting it instead.

    Ridiculously hot weather, isn't it? I hate to wish time away but I have to admit I'm looking forward to Sunday. Stay cool, Laurrie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sue, I read all the time about how hard it is to control or get rid of crocosmia! Not my experience. There is supposed to be a giant and beautiful stand of crocosmia in Glastonbury that I will have to locate some day, just to see it.

      I'm with you, waiting eagerly for cooler weather . . .

      Delete
  4. Keep cool lady!!! WOW!! You are making me want some reds in my space! They are beautiful!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nicole, I always want red in my garden, just not on my weather forecast map!

      Delete
  5. I am totally unsuccessful with crocosmias as well... keep trying and failing. Love that daylily... beautiful! Larry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Larry, "trying and failing" seems to be a time honored way to garden! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who struggles to get crocosmia to take.

      Delete
  6. Laurrie, I have just planted my first ever Crocosmia 'Lucifer' corms, and I hope one day they look as stunning as yours. I can grow the common orange ones with no fancy names, and they are hard to get rid of, but I have heard the cultivars are more fussy, so I don't know how 'Lucifer' will turn out. In my experiece with the ordinary ones, they fall over in heavy soil unless they are in absolutely full sun. In lighter soils they grow strongly even in part shade. I suppose their roots can get deeper to anchor them better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lyn, I am increasingly hearing that Lucifer is an iffy plant -- hard to grow. Yet my neighbor has a great big stand of them and they are gorgeous! Good luck with yours -- I'll check back to see how your Lucifers do.

      Delete
  7. I remember reading Tony Avent's blurb on the Plant Delights website that Crocosmia Lucifer often doesn't flower well after the first year. Naturally he goes on to say that Plant Delights offers different and better ones! But it may be worth checking out his comments to see if they apply. Your lobelia looks amazing next to the blue spruce (or whatever that gorgeous little conifer is). Love all the red in your garden - the hummingbirds must be having a ball.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah, that's interesting about Lucifer not flowering well after year one. Hmmm. I'm not sure I want the other cultivars -- Lucifer is supposed to be the cold hardiest and I am pushing it even then. I am officially zone 6 on the map, but winters are hard on zone 6 plants here. And of course what I really wanted was the hot red color!

      Delete
  8. is it ever hot down there! We've had a few hot days but luckily they've been interspersed with cool ones. Nothing like hot reds and oranges in the heat of summer though. Just the right colour for July.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marguerite, red does seem to be the emblem for July. It's a little cooler here today finally. whew.

      Delete
  9. Love these intense colours, perfect for these hot days. You've done a great job of capturing their true red hues in your photos, this colour can be tricky to photograph.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rosemary, thanks. My husband has been experimenting with a new camera (Nikon D3100) so some of these were his trial shots.

      Delete
  10. Red, hot and stunningly beautiful. I mean the images, not the weather. Which mercifully is easing up on you, I hope. If it gets hot again, you know you can come down to Georgia, where it's been cooler.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee, It's cooler today but still summery. I can't believe Georgia was more comfortable than Connecticut. My, my!

      Delete
  11. Oh, stay cool! It's getting better here in PA... hope you experience the same!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Larkspur, Here's hoping you got a little cooler weather too! What a summer.

      Delete
  12. Your reds are fabulous celebration of hot summer. The red Cardinal flower next to the blue spruce looks positively patriotic! I hope you can stay cool! I think your weather is very comparable to ours now, though we may be a bit cooler.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb, thanks. I also love the red cardinal flower and cool blue spruce. I didn't actually plan that combo, but it worked out nicely.

      Delete
  13. I have had Crocosmia 'Lucifer' in 2 different yards and it has gone crazy! I actually dug 1/2 of it up and gave it away! I think the key is very well drained soil--esp in winter and spring so it does not rot. I have had it in raised foundation beds and it multiplies like mad--almost too much. I have also started these stands from plants in summer-not corms. Maybe that helps? And what a hummingbird magnet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane, it's so interesting to hear others' experiences with Lucifer. I think you are right about winter wet rot -- when I dug around looking for the missing plants one spring, I found slimy rotted corms. I think I have it now in a very well drained spot, but I'm still not getting many to come back.

      Delete
  14. That red against the blue globe spruce is delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  15. It sounds like you live in SW IN instead of CT. My what beautiful hot colors you have in the garden. Lucifer is raising h__l in my garden too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa, it does get hot here, just like the midwest, and we are close enough to the ocean to get humidity too. ugh. But it is cooler now and it rained, so it's much better today!

      Delete
  16. We had some pretty hot days, too. I love that reddish cosmos and wish the plants were smaller. I would love to find a spot for some crocosmia in my garden. Such cool flowers. I added a bunch of drumstick alliums after seeing them on your blog but they are in too much shade and looked like spaghetti noodles. I am determined to find a sunny spot for them this fall. :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tammy, oh no, not spaghetti noodle alliums! I hope you can find more sun for the drumsticks, they really are cute.

      The chocolate cosmos is not a big plant at all. Unlike other cosmos, for me these are bushy little plants less than a foot tall, and the wiry little stems are only another few inches above the foliage. They are quite tidy. The stems flop a little in a hard rain, but mostly bob out above the foliage without falling over. I think you would have some room for them!

      Delete

Sorry about requiring code verification -- I experimented with turning it off to make commenting easier, and I got too much spam. Thanks for taking the time to comment, and to type in silly codes. I appreciate hearing from you.