It’s hotter than bloody blue blazes in the Mile High (triple digits yesterday). And the perfect time to feature a plant that accurately describes those temps. Known as Kniphofia or sometimes called tritoma, they are commonly referred to as Poker Plant or Torch Lilies. These guys are part of the Liliaceae family and thrive in USDA zones 5-9. Classified as an upright evergreen perennial, native to Africa with a clumping habit, there are more than 70 known species. Producing copious amounts of nectar when blooming, poker plants are attractive to bees and hummingbirds. The swallowtail butterflies have been recently seen swooning around them.
These babies need room to spread (note to self, be sure to divide these guys this autumn-notice the one coming up in the Canadian shrub who has also become insane fairly large-yikes). Preferring full sun they are not fussy about our crummy soil. They do require good drainage and don’t like ‘wet feet’ so no planting in bogs, ‘kay?
Poker plants are hardy and moderately drought resistant although some regular water is required in order for them to reach their full potential. Make sure they received adequate water during hot, dry spells and providing a 2-3 inch layer of mulch will help. Deadheading will encourage more blooms. These guys can be divided in the autumn and their crowns should not be planted deeper than 3 inches. Water throughly upon division and liberally mulch and you should have a new plant next season. Just make sure you provide enough space (something I clearly misjudged when they were planted in a few years ago).
Now it’s time for me to enjoy an extra-large glass of well-iced lemonade and work from inside the house in air-conditioned bliss. I realize many of you have had very hot temps already with the high humidity so I’ll stop whining now. Ummm, after second thought, nope, no I won’t. I’ll just finish by saying, it’s too damn hot!
Greetings, uprights. Sam here. 🎶Hi-ho, hi-ho🎵 it’s off to work I go for the next couple of days. We’ve had some pretty good weather (as long as you don’t count the hail storm that shredded leaves everywhere) but now the temps are going up-up-up. By Thursday, it should be about 101 so it will be nice being inside in air-conditioned conditions spreading my tail-wagging wellness with patients.
Here’s hoping you have a great week. We’ll try to stay caught up with you in between our shifts. But now, like a certain group of little dwarves, it’s off to work I go. Hmm, why can’t I whistle?
It’s Friday so that means it’s time to feature lovely flowers. Today we’re going to take a little different tack by showcasing one of the most gorgeous flowering trees in the Denver area…the show-stopping Linden tree.A reliably large shade tree (they can reach 50-130 feet at maturity), they adapt well to Colorado’s wide-ranging climate and alkaline soils. Linden’s have a very flexible wood making them ideal as wind breaks. In late spring/early summer, they burst with tiny yellow, fragrant flowers and right now they are at their peak. The heart-shaped, green leaves will turn yellow this autumn.
Linden trees are not particularly bothered by most common tree pests and are somewhat slow-growing with slender, upturned branches creating a dense, uniform crown with a conical shape. They are easy to grow, hardy to -40°F with maximum elevation at 7,000 ft. The trees can discharge a fair amount of nectar which attracts bees so you won’t want to park under them for long since the nectar can damage the finish if left on too long. But the scent is heavenly and a highlight of our morning walks. Sometimes I just stop and inhale that sweet fragrance for several moments. It’s a wonderful zen moment in the early morning quiet.
In addition to today being Flower Friday, it’s also “Take Your Dog to Work Day” so Sam and Elsa will be hanging out with me in the studio today. Will you be able to take your pup to work with you? Have a great Friday and an even better weekend!
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, today marks the longest day of the year and the official arrival of summer. Around our Ranch, summer seemed to arrive about six weeks earlier. Now after a few lovely springtime-like cooler days, we’re going to begin a warm up.
So today we think we’ll just kick back in the shade of a nice tree and maybe slurp a tasty lemonade this afternoon. What are your plans for the first ‘official’ of the solstice?
We’re moving a bit more slowly for a couple of days. There has been a pleasant change in the weather which has actually been accompanied by a little bit of moisture which means there’s some actual humidity. Something we’re not familiar with here at all. Though it’s not enough moisture to say the drought has been alleviated, it is certainly a slight reprieve.
With that moisture has come some very severe hail storms. I saw a very battered car this morning and remembered last year’s costly storm. I wonder how this guy handles those golf/baseball sized hail storms? For the record, this is the biggest snail I’ve ever seen here. HIs ‘house’ was just about an inch or inch and a half in size and stretched out he must have been almost three inches long. Eeew-they are fascinating but creepy looking little chaps, aren’t they?
It’s Friday and that means it’s time to check out the flowers. Most of our flowers have finished blooming and the various planted wildflowers are still kind of thinking about blooming. For a minute I thought I’d have to share some recent watercolors I’ve been working on. Boy, are you guys lucky that I walked around to the side yard and found this. Perhaps this Canadian scrub rose is ‘rioting’ at the recent decision of the US applying tariffs on Canadian imports?
Here’s a closeup. Isn’t that pink exquisite?
Here’s wishing you a super-duper pink Friday and an even better weekend. Happy Father’s Day to Dad’s everywhere.