We've received a whoppin' 6.5 inches of rain here in the valley over the past two weeks. It has been a blessing after that prolonged drought, and the glory is showing in the green, green grass all around us. Of course, having said that, I do have a gripe today. It's just a tiny, little gripe in the grand scheme of things, and I know I shouldn't be complaining at all, considering the damaging storms they've had in the Midwest.
No, I am not blind. I peruse the Garden Blogworld daily, and I have not missed those brazen displays of autumn glory out there...the pumpkins, the scarecrows, and worst of all, the changing leaves. There is something about growing up in the Deep South that makes one feel as though they are missing out on something in the fall. I know some folk who get downright depressed over it. Those Floridians who have time and money to burn will be found journeying northward these next few weeks to witness the splendor of this changing of the seasons. Those who don't...well...they will feel a little empty, even if they can't quite put their finger on the reason. Perhaps we would have never noticed if shops and schools and restaurants in town were not festooned in leafy garlands and pumpkin displays. This decoration is surely the inspiration of northern transplants missing their homeland: a Florida native would scarcely even know of such things as changing seasons were we not under such influences.
I really have far too much to do this week and am really feeling that Wednesday "hump day," so I have no business spending time in the garden or posting on this blog. But you know, I must have a quick meander through the garden. So much is going on!
Oh, what winter has done to my tropical world! Yes, it is nearly October, I know, and last winter should be a distant memory. So why am I still talking about it? Because I cannot walk through my garden without constant reminders of that vicious season! There are so many, many plants I've waited patiently for all summer. Yes, they are reviving, leaf by leaf, branch by branch.
Who can explain the secret pathos of Nature's loveliness? It is a touch of melancholy inherited from our Mother Eve. It is an unconscious memory of the lost Paradise. It is the sense that even if we should find another Eden, we would not be fit to enjoy it perfectly nor stay in it forever.
Three inches of rain in four days! Woohoo! Two days in a row with highs below 90! How great is that! You certainly won't hear me wishing summer away. Surely everyone agrees that these long stretches of daylight are awesome. I'm trying to enjoy every moment I can. The skin-splitting, bone-throbbing, dim, dark days of winter will be with us soon enough, to be followed by a brutally hot, dry spring. I'll take a Florida summer anyday!
I am in love with August! Our peaceful garden has enjoyed weeks now of heavy rains, luscious growth, and bounteous bloom. The tropicals in particular are flourishing in the torrid heat and humidity. I have to say it works for me too, as cold weather does a number on these old bones and dry air wreaks havoc on my skin. I hear many people wishing summer away, but I wish it would stay. At least in Florida, we have a couple more months left. : )
Seriously, what's wrong with the number 1? I've read many a garden book over the years, and if there's 1 thing I've learned it's that we should always avoid planting just 1 of a kind. It supposedly gives the garden a hodgepodge effect, and nothing really works together. The eye has difficulty focusing in such a place. Specimen usage should be reserved for very special plants or trees and used sparingly. Never more than 1 specimen to a bed!!!
For July's "Hot, Loud, and Proud" meme, I've searched my garden for the hottest, loudest, and proudest tropicals I could find. No, I don't live in the tropics. But I am one to push the limits. Here are some of the tropicals that help give my "SUB"tropical garden some exotic flair.
As I headed out to cut my Monthly Garden Bouquet, I have to admit I was feeling a little green-eyed over all the giant roses and peonies I see gracing the Northern gardens in spring and summer. Those splendid, full-petaled beauties make wonderful bouquets, but I don't seem to have any gorgeous blooms of that sort, though in winter, my camelllias do put on a nice show. But this is not winter. Far from it, actually. The days have been blistering, brutally stretching out for hours in the mid- to upper-90's. At least at night, we know it will dip down to 78. Whoopee.
Curcumas are certainly cold-hardy in Zone 9, but what a long dormancy we must endure here! They collapse down into the earth sometime around November, and the new leaves don't start peeping out of the soil again until around April. As for blooms, it is typically June or July before we see those. Of course, they will keep blooming for many months.
With the stress of the wedding week over, I decided to turn my attention to the blog. I'm not really one to be fickle or ADHD or anything. Seriously. I might rearrange furniture in my living room once every five years. I kinda like things status quo. You know what I mean? I'm a please-don't-move-my-cheese kinda person. Anyway, that new Template Designer button at the top of blogger has been tempting me, killing me reallly, since I first saw it appear there. I finally got the nerve yesterday to click on it, and....suddenly, big changes were taking place in my blog design. I was clicking and HTMLing to the point of no return. So here it is...what do you think? It's still a shock to me when I open it, to be honest.
I am joining in with Simply Susan! to post my favorite plants...this month anyway. It was pretty hard making the selection, as usual...harder really, since we have so many more blooms this month than any since the Great Florida Freeze of 2010.
This morning, as I walked through the garden, my thoughts kept running to those "Senior Superlatives" in high school yearbooks. I don't know why; guess it's all the graduations of late. Or maybe it's that very significant high school anniversary that occurred this year. Anyway, it was a big deal to make that section of the yearbook, wasn't it? Didn't we all long to be voted "Most Likely to Succeed" or "Most Athletic" or "Best Dressed"?
I truly love this time of year in my garden. Not really sure whether I should call it spring or summer, though. While the heat is as torrid as summer and intensified by weeks of drought, there is so much new life springing forth, that I do still want to call it spring. This year in particular, I am watching my garden spring back after a long, brutal winter that had decimated my tropical plants. And they are recovering! Very little seems to be lost.