It's 10.30am, Sunday July 6th 2003. Supposedly. At least that's what the meta data of the original file says. But when you look at the way the light falls and you know the lay of the land in the yard, you'll come to the conclusion that this has to be late afternoon or early evening. Oh well..........Doesn't matter really, it's Keats, Waita and Kezzy enjoying a lazy, warm day.
The month of July brings a kaleidoscope of colour and fragrance to our garden. Flowers go from blue to pink to purple to yellow to white in a wide range of shades and the scents will vary from sweet to spicy to vanilla-like depending on where you are and which way the air is drifting. We get the sweet Honeysuckle fragrance on the patio, mixed with the vanilla scent of the Heliotrope; move 4 feet and you get a unqiue mixture of lavender scent mixed with spicy Oriental Hybrid Lilies.
As you probably know, we're kinda nuts about Oriental Hybrid Lilies. Our collection has grown considerably over the past 6 months or so and one of the new additions is called "Nippon".
Last year we noticed an unusual occurance with one of our "Stargazer" plants: it had a flower that had an irregular pattern of mottling of red/pink, rather than the more solid colour we're so used to seeing. It happened again this year, this time the bulb was bigger, grew into a larger plant and showed the mottling on 5 flowers.
We're curious what we are dealing with here, is it a mutation, is it a viral/nutritional issue? Who knows, all we know is that we'll try scaling the bulb in the fall and we'll see if we get the same result from the offspring when planted in a different medium and different container.
UPDATE: we now know we're dealing with a pretty nasty virus: TBV or Tulip Breaking Virus and it has gone on to infect quite a number of our Lilies. We picked up the virus, quite innocently and unknowingly, from some tulips we thought were great looking and it turns out that what we thought were a tulip cultivar was actually a virus-infected cultivar. TBV is spread through the sap in the plant and is passed along by sucking insects, such as the ubiquitous aphids you find in most yards, including ours. There is no known cure for dealing with this other than removing the infected plant, the longer you leave it around, the longer you give aphids an opportunity to transmit it.
From time to time we get some glorious sunsets here in Steveston. It's nice to have a digital camera at hand these days and just snap away without concern over print costs:) This is what we had to "endure" on the evening of July 25th, 2003. Tough, ain't it?
The evening of July 26th Pieter did a quick count of the number of Oriental Hybrid flowers we had open in the backyard. The number was around 170., and there must be at least that many more buds to open up. At the rate we're going we'll likely have flowers until mid August:)
July shows quite the symphony of colour in our yard. The baskets are in full glory and there are lots of flowers in the planters.
It really is enjoyable and satisfying to be able to sit on the patio in the evening these days and listen to some tunes while loafing about sipping on wine or w.h.y. and bathe in the many wonderful scents wafting about the yard in July and August.