Color Bombs

Tuberous Begonia opening its first blooms of the season.

Tuberous Begonia opening its first blooms of the season.

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It is high summer, muggy and hot.  The sun is already intense, climbing rapidly through the morning sky as I head out to our garden on the deck, where an eclectic family of Begonias and ferns, vines, Coleus, Fuschia, herbs and Petunias live.

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A volunter ornamental pepper grows up through bright Petunias in a large pot on our deck.

A volunter ornamental pepper grows up through bright Petunias in a large pot on our deck.

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We keep our tasty summer annuals and tender perennials growing here, well out of reach of rabbits and deer.

At least they survive in this partially shaded and sheltered place, but they still reveal signs of nibbling from those anonymous insects who visit them when we’re not watching.

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A dark leaved Tuberous Begonia shares a pot with Oxalis.

A dark leaved Tuberous Begonia shares a pot with Oxalis.

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We don’t spray them with anything to keep the insects away.  We water, feed, and shift them about from sun to shade with the weather.

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Sweet potato vine grows here with a Coleus cutting.

Sweet potato vine grows here with a Coleus cutting.

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Have you noticed the intensity of the sun?

You can see it in these photos, staged in the morning shade of our tall Dogwood trees.  You can feel it as soon as the sun’s rays reach around the sheltering shade to touch you.

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July 9, 2015 pots 022~

Burned  and yellowed leaves show the ravages of too much sun on tender plants, left a few inches shy of the shade they crave.

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The ultimtate Color Bomb on our deck this summer must be this combination of Petunias with Verbena and sweet potato vines growing beneath a bright Coleus in full sun.

The ultimtate Color Bomb on our deck this summer must be this combination of Petunias with Verbena and sweet potato vines growing beneath an ornamental pepper and a bright Coleus in full sun.

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Some may call these ‘color bombs,’ but we enjoy them in the privacy of our back deck.

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Hosta 'Lemon Lime' growing with a cane Begonia.

Hosta ‘Lemon Lime’ growing with a cane Begonia.

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The hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees enjoy them, too.  We can enjoy their approach even when we’ve locked ourselves inside, away from the day’s muggy heat.

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Begonia Rex

Begonia Rex

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Our cat slips out mornings and evenings to recline among them, watching the squirrels and birds in our surrounding trees.

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We offer enough nectar rich flowers to keep the hummingbirds and pollinators interested.

We offer enough nectar rich flowers to keep the hummingbirds and pollinators interested.

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An eclectic collection at worst; a laboratory for growing out new plants, a safe place to propagate and grow on tiny starts at best.

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Do you know this lovely Begonia?  I seek it out each summer, after finding it for the first time in a farmer's market in the early 1980's.  I was so happy to find a tiny start this spring and am growing it out on the deck.

Do you know this lovely Begonia? I seek it out each summer, after finding it for the first time in a farmer’s market in the early 1980’s. I was so happy to find a tiny start this spring and am growing it out on the deck.

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Our tree-top deck remains a special place year round, but especially on these hottest days of summer.

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Begonia, 'Griffin'

Begonia, ‘Griffin’

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Woodland Gnome 2015

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July 9, 2015 pots 009

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

6 responses to “Color Bombs

  1. I think bright colors make us happier, don’t you think? Back in the 80s I was a pastel girl, but these days I actually love the ‘hot colors’ – put fuchsia and orange next to one another, why not? Gardens are for our personal enjoyment, if others like it, too, that’s great. Otherwise, they can look elsewhere!
    I picked up B. ‘Griffin’ on my last visit to my grower at his end of season sale. It sat there all forlorn and I had to pick it up! I think of you and hope some of your luck will rub off on me. 😉 I am letting them dry out a bit more between watering, so let’s hope that does the trick! 🙂

    • Oh, Eliza, I’m so happy you adopted the B ‘Griffin.’ They are wonderfully strange ones to grow. It took my first one into the third season before it bloomed, but such delicate blooms! Well worth the wait! Every branch will easily root when stuck into damp soil. These are SO easy to propagate, but their leaves are tender when too wet or attacked by insects. Good luck with it! I hope you enjoy yours! (And YES! to your philosophy of color!)

  2. The dark leaved, velvety begonia has my number. Thank goodness the deer lack the boldness to venture too near the house. The same can not be said of the raccoons and of course bugs know no boundaries. It’s a constant balancing act, no?

  3. Your “color bombs” are beautiful. 🙂
    The sun certainly has been intense lately. Ugh. I went out for a walk yesterday and stayed out far too long, as I learned while making my way back to the house. The heat was almost overwhelming. We have a cool front coming through tonight. Back to 80’s instead of the upper 90’s. It always amazes me how refreshing the 80’s feel after a bout of 90-100’s.

    • You are so right, Robin. It is amazing how we learn to feel grateful for the 80’s, or even the lower 90’s, after several days like today. It was so hot today! I’m sorry you were out too long yesterday, Robin, and hope you’re feeling better. It is the humidity as much as the heat, around here, making it harder to breathe. I hope your sea breezes are cool ones 😉

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