The Casa Blanca lilies are having a banner year.
They’ve been in residence here as long as I and this year are showing all the signs of well-established bulbs. Each of the two plants have strong healthy stems – about four foot tall – and nice big flower buds. Most exciting, perhaps, is that this year, the destructive and annoying red lily leaf beetle is nowhere to be seen. They have deviled these plants mightily for their whole tenancy, so it’s remarkable that they are absent this year.
I’m not sure to what to credit the little bastards’ exodus – I’d recommend it to the rest of you in a heartbeat if I understood the Why. But rather than worry the issue too much, I’ll just accept their absence gleefully and move on.
The blooming of the Casa Blancas is always a little bittersweet. They’re wonderful blooms open just when the flowering season seems to flag a little at summer’s halfway point, and they arrival certainly herald July’s end (although in previous years, I have known the species to bloom a week or so later). Their fragrance is not especially strong yet, but I expect good things now that we’ve had some more rain to encourage them just last night.
Like many places this year, we are experiencing some drought-y conditions, as you can see by the straw-brown lawn in the background. We’ve been conservative in watering the gardens, too (I plan for the upcoming renovation of garden beds will include the installation of soaker hoses for increased efficiency in watering.), so bloom times have been shorter than usual for some things. These lilies, however, have taken all that in stride, a clear sign they are happy with their place.
I know some consider them weeds, and I’ll concede they are a little too “eager”/aggressive sometimes, but the Queen Anne’s Lace I’ve introduced into a few of our beds is taking the drought in stride, as well. That’s one of the benefits of using a plant you know already thrives in the area – they are generally good about adapting to changing circumstances. And of course, nothing stops these orange daylilies!
These rose bushes in the front yard are old and well-established, but the dry conditions have their impact there, as well. I’m sure these roses will be very happy with the new adjacent garden and its efficient water delivery.
Meanwhile, in the backyard, the QAL is joined by some unstoppable cosmos and tickseed coreopsis to make a show with whatever water we and/or Nature may provide.
Here’s some hydragea porn for my lovely pal, Java, who is a big fan of them and might welcome a pretty picture or two to distract her from her recent foray into the world of stunt-driving. We always make sure these guys have plenty of water, since they look so sad when they haven’t had any.
The Rose of Sharon is quite hearty, though, and seems to do just fine, regardless.
I’m happy to say we had some serious rain last evening, a nice soaking storm that lasted a couple of hours.
It was a good start on making up for all we have missed so far this otherwise-delightful summer, but we could use some more, to help spread that slight flush of green that’s suddenly reappeared in the lawn. Between midnight and six is the preferred time, of course, though I don’t think we can be especially fussy about that anymore.
It sure is nice to look outside and see how happy our green friends are today.