Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer Flowers

Mandevilla - Apocynaceae
Typically I do not purchase nursery stock from the big box stores; but last summer I picked up a Mandevilla at Lowe's.  It caught my eye, the price was right, and I took a gamble.  It has done alright.  Last summer it did well and made it through the winter.  The current streak of blazing hot weather really brought on the blooms.  I have it in a ceramic pot with bamboo stakes for it to climb; but it's pretty much stuck as a short, squatty vine. The pot is under the wisteria pergola so it receives sun and shade throughout the day.  It's only watered once a day.  Mandevilla seems to be suited to zone 8-9.

Bougainvillas - Scarlett O'Hara & San Diego Red

I once had a garden wall draped with loads of bougainvillea (Scarlet O'Hara and San Diego Red).  It was a beautiful, thorny deterrent to anyone contemplating scaling my old garden wall.  These varieties look the same to me.  The names were probably the result of legal junk with different nurseries.  These plants were all zapped during a freeze one winter.  They were cut down and discarded except for one.  I still have a Scarlett O'Hara hanging on in a pot - fiddle-de-dee.  The old wall is long gone and has been replaced with a much taller wall to protect the garden from encroaching suburbia.

Bougainvilla - Nyctaginaceae
  Over the 4th of July holiday, while on another hardware run with Farmer MacGregor, I picked up the smallest bougainvillea I have ever seen. The purpose was to plant this Barbara Karst variety in a hanging basket on the shed.  It was put out on the pergola table that day with hopes of planting in the evening.  The poor little plant was fried.  Any flowers that it had dropped and lots of leaves were scorched.  I brought it into the shade of the patio for a week and am now giving it smaller doses of sun until it builds up its tolerance.  It has already started to sprout some fresh growth.  This tender gal may not be a very good candidate for full sun.  With time, however, she may prove to be just as determined as good old Scarlett O'Hara.




5 comments:

dorothy said...

I'm sure 'Barbara' will perk up. After all, tomorrow is another day! I've tried growing mandevilla on two occassions and both times failed. They just didn't make it through the winter freeze. They are such beautiful plants. I hope yours makes it.

Aunt Snow said...

Hi, Maybelline, good to hear from you! I'm sorry you got caught up in traffic - was that the tanker fire on the 5 freeway? Yikes!

daisy said...

I think your new plant feels quite at home with you. ;0)

Mary said...

It's beautiful, and the color stunning.

2 Tramps said...

I have a mandevilla I got at Lowe's, too. I wintered it over in our shop and it is doing well but I need to repot it soon.