Summer Garden

Our summer garden is in full swing, with lots of great blooms. There are plenty of big flowers, like these giant lilies. When a neighbor had some old bulbs destined for the trash, Dave rescued them and stuck them in the garden, hoping they would survive. Imagine our surprise when the plants grew 6 ft. (1.8 m) tall with blooms the size of dinner plates. They have a wonderful scent, also.

Easter LilyEaster Lily close upLarge Easter Lily plant

On the other end of the size spectrum, these tiny Jewels of Opar flowers are only 1/4 inch (6 mm.) I grew these from seeds which were a gift from Dave’s Mom. They’re not very fond of our cool coastal climate, but they seem happy enough indoors, sitting in a sunny, warm window.

Jewels of Opar flower and budsJewels of Opar flower and budsJewels of Opar flower and buds

I’ve never understood why this Agapanthus is commonly called “Lily of the Nile” when they’re native to South Africa, nowhere near the Nile. No matter the misnomer, they love the California climate, and reliably provide beautiful blue blooms every year. The orange and yellow flowers belong to Mexican Asclepias, better known as milkweed. We originally bought these to try to attract Monarch Butterflies, but haven’t seen any caterpillars eating their leaves. The beautiful, long-lasting flowers more than compensate for the lack of Monarchs. Finally, Dave spotted this orchid seedpod on our San Francisco native orchid, Epipactis. The brown part on the bottom is the flower, which dries up after pollination. I’ve grown this plant for years, but it’s never been pollinated before, so I’m eager to see if the seeds are viable. It may take a few months for the seedpod to mature, but I’ll keep you updated.

Lily of the Nile flower and budsLily of the Nile flowers and buds

Milkweed flowers and budsOrchid seedpod

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5 Comments on “Summer Garden”

  1. Carola Says:

    Great article . Those easter lilies are brilliant! They look enormous.

  2. nancy Says:

    i love those little jewels of opar! thanks for the pics.

  3. Robin Ng Says:

    Lilies of the Nile aren’t from Egypt? Who names these plants? Maybe Lily of South Africa was already taken?

  4. Joy Blake Says:

    Great blooms & incredible photos! Thanks.

  5. AboutOrchids » Blog Archive » Autumnal Equinox Says:

    […] the Epipactis seedpod I mentioned at the beginning of the summer split open on a hot day. With thousands of microscopic seeds blown by the wind, a few may land in […]