Although it is too hot to spend much time outside now (typical for end of July, early August -- but it's been this way since mid May!), some of my favorite flowers in my yard are beginning to make their show. I love the cottage look that my blue front door has, with the checkerboard frame around it and the screen door. The yellow rudbeckia (black eyed susans) are beginning to really come into bloom around the front door and elsewhere in my yard. In a couple of weeks Obedience Plant will show its pink spires against the yellow, but for now you can see the red blooms of Dragonwing Begonia. It is in a pot to raise it a bit higher so it can be seen in the border. It has been a real trooper throughout this hot summer, blooming continuously since I planted it in May.
In that same border, bringing in some pink are the rain lilies (also known as surprise lilies, and most often called "nekkid ladies" here in the south. They are bulbs that send up leaves in the spring, die back to the ground and then after a long bout of heat and drought in July send up a bare flower stalk that bloom with these gorgeous pink flowers after you get a rain storm, which we got the other day. These are "passalong" plants in the southern tradition (see Felder Rushing's book entitled Passalong Plants)-- you mostly don't buy them, people give them to you or you dig them up from old abandoned homesites. Mine came from the house of the parents of an old friend of mine after they passed away and the house was to be sold. Some others came from the homesite of a 1920's Mediterranean style mansion that was torn down in 2007 to build a subdivision (which of course has not been built) a few blocks from my house, on what is now called Dogwood Road. In the 20's the road was called "Hot Tamale Road", which makes me smile every time I think of it. Maybe that's why they built that spanish looking mansion there :-) .
And now, let's cool off in the shade by my frog pond, with a nice cold glass of . . . .