The Color Of Summer
Staying away from social media for almost two months proved very productive. I don’t mean to offend anyone who has been reading my blog or bloggers I’ve been following but I needed time to reflect, get things done and read books. I did get a lot of things done, have read more books and even started baking again. Now I’m back, refreshed.
Summer is really here with extremely high temperatures and humidity. Aside from sunflowers and echinacea, another flower that represents summer really well is hibiscus. I have two hardy hibiscus in the garden, ‘Plum crazy’ (plum color as it’s name suggests) and ‘Midnight Marvel’ (deep red flower with maroon leaves). Their flowers are almost the size of a dinner plate. I put them in the ground in a sunny spot and left them there. I cut the dead old stems back to two inches above ground in spring, feed them and let them be. They have come back up every year when the heat hits the area.
The tropical ones need a little bit more pampering as they have to stay in pots and go back in the basement in winter. They need to be watered and fed regularly. They also need plenty of sunlight. With food, water and plenty of light they will flower continuously throughout summer. I prune them once a year in spring so they won’t grow too big. Flowers that develop before I take them to the basement still bloom but they rarely produce new flowers until they come back outside again. Spider mites and whiteflies are the main pest when they are inside the house. I spray them with insecticide soap to keep the critters under control inside.
I purchased the ‘Voodoo Queen’ last year because I wanted to see if the color really changes as the nursery claimed, though I hardly have space left for more plants in the basement. She didn’t disappoint me. Here are two shots of the same flower on the same day.
With a few hibiscus on the pool deck and in the garden and 90 degree heat and high humidity, I feel like I’m in the tropics. A little cool breeze would make it seem even closer to that reality.