Year of Grace, Day 176. Currently blooming

Two years since I planted them, the daylily and Crocosmia Lucifer are now in bloom. And it has been well worth the wait, particularly for the daylily, as it displays extraordinary coloring — a bronzey orange red with golden centre and gold pollen. I had expected the more common yellow or orange, as I’d bought the plant unlabelled at the organic garden shop, Leyenhof, in Friesdorf. Look closely to see veins in lapis lazuli darkening to indigo-purple towards the centre. Stunning! The stamens too are purple just below the pollen.

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ has always been a favourite, and I’m rather surprised it hadn’t bloomed earlier. I rather assumed it was fine directly planted into the clayey soil, since the Crocosmias in the clay soil in my English garden had thrived. But perhaps it isn’t the soil so much as the voles who are responsible, and have gorged themselves on the bulbs, which is why only a couple leafed out from the bulbs. I’m glad I managed to rescue some and safeguarded them in my “experimental” beds – black rectangular tubs normally used for mixing concrete. I drilled holes for drainage and these have protected some plants from vole and mole depredation. What a stroke of luck that the colours of the Crocosmia and the daylily, planted in the same tub, go together!

Nachtigal Crocosmia Lucifer fab_1167

Nachtigal Crocosmia Lucifer in rain fab_1169

This is my first time to plant this elegant charmer – Gaura lindheimeri – and its flowers are like fragile butterflies perched on tall stalks.

And the rich deep red, almost black hollyhocks are also blooming, after two years as well. Regrettably these dark varieties are prone to rust. I wonder why it’s the darker flowered variety that is most susceptible to this condition. I do adore these sultry beauties, so I shall just have to ignore their disfigured leaves.

The volunteer evening primroses are also in bloom. What amazes me is that they have positioned themselves in just the gaps where I thought some height was needed to balance the height of the artichokes, hollyhocks, and acanthus. How Mother Nature – the Supreme Designer – has managed to answer my wishes — through avian telepathy — is just incredible! And the evening primroses have just the right colour too – not too brash a yellow to clash with the pink roses – and just the right kind of wide fan-like structure so that one can still see through. As well, its fragile stalks complement the robust structure of the acanthus and the equally robust artichokes and hollyhocks. For the serendipitous positioning of these heaven-sent plants, I am immensely awed and truly grateful.

This is the second year of bloom for the acanthus above.

The past few days have seen gentle rain nourishing the parched soil from the recent heat wave, and for this extended watering I am equally thankful. The flowers and plants seem to be enjoying themselves too.

Despite recent disappointments for me and M, and as well for a very dear friend, I remain hopeful that all will be well, and that the best is yet to be.

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