six on Saturday, 7 August 2021

My garden is essentially green these days, except for a few spots of color from some very worn black-eyed Susans and yellow rosin weed flowers, and from my favorite wildflower, excepting those black-eyed Susans–the Carolina lily (Lilium michauxii) pictured in the featured image. I remember that when I first saw this graceful, colorful flower I thought I had found a jeweled treasure equal to the pearl of great price. Since then, through the falling of some trees in storms and the clearing of undergrowth, many more of these Southeastern US natives have appeared in the wooded part of the garden. I’ve also learned that I can transplant them and even propagate them by scale division of the bulb.

I should note that the Carolina lily can easily be mistaken for the more common Turk’s cap lily (Lilium superbum), which has longer leaves and multiple flowers on the stem, while the Carolina lily usually has just one, or occasionally two blooms. I guess I should also note that it is the State Flower of North Carolina.

2. Maybe it is the result of frequent rain throughout the spring and summer, but the liriope seems a richer green and more full of blooms this year than usual. I don’t have any idea which species I have; however, the bloom colors vary from pale lavender to a deep purple. Leaf size is different as well. Normally, I would not include “lilyturf” in SoS. The plant’s richness this year won me over, though.

3. The greatest profusion of flowers in the garden right now are sporting even more colors, though. Rose of Sharon or Althea (Hibiscus syriacus) seems to create a new bloom shade every time one develops in the garden–and they reseed themselves with extraordinary vigor! Native to China and India, Althea is, to say the least, hardy in Alabama.

Below are examples of the range of colors and coloration I have at the moment. Notice the bees busily gathering pollen in the final two. These shrubs from eastern Asia are fantastic pollen producers.

4. My next two for this week are not in bloom yet, but they are showing great promise. First is anemone or wind flower. I include it because the buds are lovely little globes. In a few weeks, I’ll have a sea of lovely flowers.

5. The next is American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana). These little green beads will be deep purple berries in the fall. Near the large shrub in the first photo, I’ve been fostering a variegated beautyberry that came up quite on its on. I look forward to seeing the color berries it will eventually have. I have a dwarf variety elsewhere in the garden that has very small white berries.

6. For the last of today’s six, I have another volunteer, or group of volunteers. Oakleaf hydrangeas have been seeding themselves in the stones around the fire pit. I have been gently removing them and repotting them since early spring. The first two photos show three plants of varied sized (one very small) that are in the stones now. The third photo shows the transplanted ones from earlier in the year.

To close out, let me recommend that readers visit the site of The Propagator, the gardener who put Six on Saturday in motion. There is a link there for guidelines to join in and more links in the comments to many more gardens.

7 Replies to “six on Saturday, 7 August 2021”

  1. Great post, Susan. I’ve just arrived in Blowing Rock, where the Turk’s Cap lilies are past their prime, but still blooming. They have five or six blooms on a stem, so your post settles my confusion as to whether they are Carolina Lilies or Turk’s Cap.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I recently read a description of Turk’s cap looking like little chandeliers. That’s a nice way to remember the difference between the two.


  2. Your post is making me so homesick for NC. I love hibiscus and I am glad I found a few that are hardy for our zone, and are in the list for next year. The photo with the bees is so cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautyberry! I did not get it last winter, but just might do it this winter, if all goes well. I intend to get the common form that is native to southeastern North America. From the Arbor Day Foundation, I can get small plants that were grown from seed, rather than a garden cultivar or variety. That is sort of what I prefer, although if I ever get one with white berries, it may need to be a cultivar.


  4. Almost all the Hibiscus syriacus grown here are clones, usually grafted. Yet your seedling plants look just as good and are probably more vigorous. I may have a go at growing one from seed. The lily is exquisite, what a fabulous thing to have growing wild.


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