Tuesday View: The Tropics 09.06.16

One of the benefits of regularly joining Cathy for the Tuesday view has been that little push each week to actually follow up on the observations made the week before.  The fear of confessing laziness and sloth publicly has been great for keeping on top of the weeding, deadheading, staking, and planting and it’s also a great regime for someone who goes through bouts of couldn’t-care-less and stretches of I’m-bored-with-this-garden-thing.   Now might be one of those bouts, and as the days grow shorter and our latest dry stretch begins to stress plants out again, I look at the water hose and then look at the recliner and typically chose the recliner.  So I apologize ahead of time if my mood comes through,  I’m sure colchicum season will come along soon enough and snap me back out of it.

Tuesday view

A quick picture taken this evening. I find the low sun angles to be absolutely disgusting and far prefer June.

The cannas keep going from strength to strength and I’m glad to see this bit of ‘Cannova Rose’ finally showing off.  It went through a rough spot which I suspect were the aftereffects of stray weed killer, but the latest bloom stalks look mostly normal… unless you’re really neurotic and notice that one stalk still has thinner petals and is quicker to fade…

canna cannova rose

Canna ‘Cannova Rose’, a newer seed strain which grows without complaint (even in cooler weather) but has been pointed out to have somewhat boring foliage. It looks nice with the first flowers of dahlia ‘Mathew Alen’… throw in a few orange zinnias and some purple petunia and you’ve got a nice patch of color.   

The dahlias are slowly starting up.  They seem late, but that would be because I planted them late, and there’s no sense in complaining about that now.  An earlier show would have been nicer is all I’m saying and of course next year none of this will be a problem since as of now next year is still perfect 😉

ball dahlias

Had they been staked properly this patch of ‘Sylvia’ and ‘Red Cap’ dahlias would have risen just perfectly amongst the cannas and verbena.  Who knows, maybe the red will still rise up a bit, but if it doesn’t serves me right for slacking.

I’m kind of at a loss as to why I’m down to just three or four dahlia varieties.  I’m sure in June I had a brilliant plan as to where they were placed and who their neighbors were, but now it seems to all be ‘Mathew Alen’.  Vaguely I remember thinking I was bored with a few and felt all empowered when I tossed them onto the compost pile, but naturally I just assumed things would come together later and there would still be a good bit of variety.  So much for that.  I guess it doesn’t help that several were swamped by other plants… but oh well, another serves me right moment.

colocasia esculenta tropical storm

Something for the future.  If this Colocasia esculenta ‘Tropical Storm’ can get through a serious spider mite infestation I’m sure it will be worth the $2 I spent.  My icecream cone was actually more expensive than this soon to be amazing plant 🙂

There’s only about another month and a half left in the tropical garden and it’s absolutely not the time of year to get into a ho-hum mood about things.  I really need to treasure every shortened day and to that end will keep reminding myself as I self medicate on fried foods, baked goods and chocolate.  Give me another week and I’m sure I’ll have come to terms with the waning season and maybe just maybe I can look forward to autumn.  Many people claim to enjoy that season and I guess it’s only fair I give it a try as well.

Have a great week!

22 comments on “Tuesday View: The Tropics 09.06.16

  1. Lisa Rest says:

    Ah but I think laziness is a good thing and we deserve it! I do tend to pat myself on the back after I get up and do my chores but in the heat it gets a little harder to find the Zen. And I am just beginning to discover the imperfect art of trying to manage my backyard garden, so I’m trying to be philosophical about the plants that seem to be doing their own thing or nothing. Then there’s chocolate and ice cream…

    • bittster says:

      There is so much to be said about plants which can fend for themselves and still look good, unfortunately my less fortunate treasures look even worse next to them and trust me when I say I have plenty of miserable looking things which love has cast a blind eye on!
      Chocolate and icecream. Brilliant! I’ve included both in my day and am a better person for it 🙂

  2. Christina says:

    Both your and my moods are so weather dependant but whereas you are dreading autumn for me it brings relief from the torrid heat and drought and hope of a second spring if the rains come soon enough. I love the Tropical border and the new plant looks amazing, I hope you can nurse it through the infection.

    • bittster says:

      I’ve been sulking in an apathetic, anti-social way and neglecting my commenting on other blogs but I did notice that your Tuesday view has finally taken on a tint of fresh green… but then you said it was more a result of the lower light and I was disappointed for you.
      I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who swings up and down depending on the weather. Even when I couldn’t garden as seriously long dry spells and endless winters would just wear away at me. Hopefully you have had a break from the drought and the weather is beginning to turn.
      Here we have again had a decent rain and more is forecast for the next day. To be honest I’m almost somewhat excited to start preparing for autumn and winter although I will really miss the color and lushness of the cannas.

  3. Cathy says:

    The low sunlight in your first picture adds a sense of drama Frank, as if the curtain is about to rise on stage! I really like the pink canna, but the foliage of those monster ones cannot be beaten. The splashes of red from the dahlias are excellent contrast to the foliage too. I am coming to terms with autumn arriving, but with good weather forecast again and still very little leaf colour showing I might just about be ready when it gets going! The thought that next year is still perfect is a nice one… I can dream! 😉 Thanks for keeping this up Frank! You and the others have encouraged me to keep up the Tuesday posts too, especially after most of my Centranthus failed to keep flowering as long as usual in July.

    • bittster says:

      I wish you could come and walk around the purple cannas. To think it was an empty bed in May and now this lush fountain of foliage towers above is really cool 🙂
      Yes, I was surprised by how the centranthus called it quits so early in the season, they are usually such a presence for so long that I was considering giving them another try here… but I think we normally have summers like the weather you went through in June, so maybe not a great idea after all.
      I would never had kept up with the bed as well as I have had there been no weekly accounting. I might have to do it again next year with one of the other miserable looking beds which really need attention! Thanks for hosting again 🙂

  4. AnnetteM says:

    Your border is still looking really stunning – why not sit back and enjoy it. Since my garden event I have been extremely lazy in the garden and really left it to get on with things. I did relent last night though and gave it a water. It had been such a hot day. This morning, of course, it is raining!!

    • bittster says:

      Enjoying it is a good idea, I’ve been spending plenty of time just soaking it in, now more than ever since my mother in law is on vacation and can’t comment on how many hours I spend standing around looking at the plants!

  5. Chloris says:

    Your tropical bed is still looking amazing. I love the pink flowered canna. I’ m glad you believe the Colocasia is going to be amazing. It looks in a terminal sulk to me. But we gardeners have to be optimists. That’ s what keeps us going.

    • bittster says:

      I have never heard of a pessimistic gardener, I wonder how that would even work out with something like seed sowing… talk about an act of faith!
      You just wait and see on the colocasia. It doesn’t show in the photo but the roots are still extremely healthy and if there’s enough heat and water these things are practically weeds!

  6. rusty duck says:

    I’m with you Frank. Everything I do is for next year now. I don’t mind September so much, the weather is still quite nice. After that I’m getting ready to hibernate.

    • bittster says:

      I’ve been planting and planning. It’s very unusual for me to look at autumn with any kind of anticipation but there’s been more rain and I’m actually hoping for a few good weeks of moving things around and planting new goodies!

  7. Next year is always perfect! I do like the effect of the late afternoon sun highlighting the tops of your tall plants–just too bad it’s happening so much earlier in the evening now! $2 for that Colocasia? Great deal–hope you conquer the spider mites! Give it a good blast with the hose; sometimes that’s enough to get rid of them. It was great to see it all in person the other day; too bad I had to cut it so short and run off!

    • bittster says:

      It was great to have you over but like you said, there just wasn’t enough time. I shouldn’t have dragged you around to the dull parts first and gone on so long about dead twigs and weedy beds which shouldn’t have been. We barely got to the tropical bed!
      Here’s to next year! I was planting today and looking around at what could be re-arranged. There’s a lot to do, but as long as the gnats don’t drive me nuts I think some of it will get accomplished before winter.

  8. Eliza Waters says:

    We must be kin, as just about every comment about sloth, expectation and hope, and despair at the shortening days describes my thoughts exactly. Still, your garden looks fab despite it all!

  9. Linda says:

    I love Autumn as long as I don’t think about what comes after. Things perk up, mosquitoes disappear and I can plant and divide. Lots of bulbs on order.

    • bittster says:

      hmmm. The mosquitos here sure haven’t gotten the beat-it-for-fall memo and I think the gnats actually thrive on the lower temperatures… actually they’ve been out hell or high water this year so I have no idea what discourages them.
      I’m looking forward to hearing about the new bulbs. I went for a little overkill this year as well, with tons of little stuff like corydalis and of course there are a few new snowdrops in there too. I’m actually looking forward to the day I realize the snowdrops all pretty much look the same, things are getting a bit costly.

  10. Autumn definitely has its virtues, but if they don’t appeal to you you can always continue with the chocolate and fried foods.

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