And here is the South Border at the end of April.
The highlights of the border now are the miniature roses.
But it is worth noting that the Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar periwinkle, among many other names) is just beginning to bloom. This evening I picked up an eight-pack to fill in further down the border, as this is such a reliable plant for summer bloom in the heat.
Another look at the top picture will show that Pennisetum setaceum rubrum is beginning to assert itself once more. What can't be seen is another burgundy-leaved plant: the still very small Lagerstroemia indica "Rhapsody in Pink". I am waiting for the day it will dominate the back of the border, but it seems that is in the distant future. In the meantime, it is pleasant to see it forming buds for summer bloom. Its normal bloom season is listed as May through September, so it will be just on schedule.
More that cannot be seen from the main photo: many self-seeded Nigella damascena are setting buds at last. It is growing fairly thick behind the miniature roses and around the Muhlenbergia.
The first open bloom is blue.
More invisible annuals: here is a cluster from sweet pea "Old Spice Mix". I've been so disappointed with the sweet peas; it has taken much to long for them to come into flower this year. While this variety, being closer to the old Sicilian species, is likely to last much longer in the heat, that does not entirely make up for the slow start. I think I shall try an early-flowering variety next time, though I admit that my method of spreading them across the lower part of the border may have caused problems too. I have been rethinking how to deal with annuals here! They have done best when started in individual small patches, rather than broadcast through the borders.
At any rate, there are a few sweet peas!
Joining with Cathy's wonderful Tuesday View at Words and Herbs!
Weather Diary: Fair but windy; High: 88 F (31 C)/Low: 67 F (19 C); Humidity: 7%-47%
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Cathy (Wednesday, 26 April 2017 01:54)
Hi Amy. Those miniature roses are so pretty and so reliable for blooms too. I tried sowing some Catharanthus but they have not germinated. :( But I will hopefully have some Nigella to fill the gaps in my borders soon too, although there are no signs of mine yet! Rhapsody in Pink is a beautiful colour. :)
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 26 April 2017 02:04)
Cathy - You found my post before I had a chance to post the link ;-) The Nigella has been a surprise as it comes entirely from a single plant that survived to bloom last spring! It's too bad about the Catharanthus; I usually find it supplied as plug plants here, so I wonder whether it is a little harder from seed?!
Cathy (Wednesday, 26 April 2017 05:02)
The Catharanthus are not available as plants here it seems, or at least nobody knows them by that name! Perhaps they will become fashionable one day though.
Annette (Wednesday, 26 April 2017 08:55)
Hi Amy, you're garden looks just lovely and with those temperatures it's no wonder your roses are aleady flowering. Love the second image, such a delicious bokeh! I've planted Lagerstroemia as well and I think one has to be patient as it seems to take a while to settle. Then again, I don't exactly pamper mine. Yours has fantastic foliage! We have lots of wild periwinkle around here, it's a welcome groundcover as it needs no attention whatsoever. Thank you for leaving such thoughtful messages over in my blog - they're always a joy :) Lots of lizards around at the moment and snakes too, so we have to tread carefully. You must have snakes too, no? Have a nice week...we had to make a fire this morning as it has cooled down. Probably just as well as I was getting worried that the first flush of roses might be over by the time the garden groups come end of May ;), Annette
Annette (Wednesday, 26 April 2017 08:56)
Sorry, 'your' garden not 'you're', I'm too fast as always :D
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 26 April 2017 11:56)
Thanks so very much, Annette! Both my Lagerstroemias do seem to be slow-growing, this one a little slower than "Dynamite". That foliage is wonderful though, isn't it? And the leaf color lasts all summer on "Rhapsody in Pink" - I feel very lucky as I didn't know about that when I bought it. ;-)
It does seem to be the season for garden creatures: the lizards are running everywhere, munching and courting, and we had to remove a kingsnake from the garage two days ago. But I am glad to have a kingsnake around; usually we only see rattlesnakes :( Kingsnakes are usually encouraged out here as they help control the venomous sorts!
I hope your roses hold nicely for you! With the rising temperatures, I will be wanting mine to go partially dormant after this flush of bloom; then hopefully a good showing again in autumn!
Kris P (Wednesday, 26 April 2017 13:03)
Yay for the sweet peas! I've tried them in borders too, without success. They've done better in the raised planters originally intended for vegetables, where I can monitor the water more closely. Wind is their biggest danger here - it can take them out more quickly than even a dramatic spike in our temperature.
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 26 April 2017 15:56)
Kris - That's good to know - it would explain why they have fared a little better in among other larger plants, despite the deeper shade.
Ian Lumsden (Thursday, 27 April 2017 14:48)
I normally admire the images more than the prose purely due to lack of time but let me say that here the narrative is exceptional and I followed your struggles, endeavour and journey. Riveting.
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Saturday, 29 April 2017 02:51)
Ian - That's a big compliment, the more so as I love writing up the posts - when I have the time! Of course, the entire struggle is quite riveting for the gardener too...!