Saturday, August 8, 2015

Phenology for August 8: Naked Ladies, Other Flowers, Vegetables, Migrating Birds

Although this web site has already had its share of fun with the flowers in the amaryllis family that are called "naked ladies" because they don't have leaves on the flower stalks, we do need to note that some people in Kingsport still have those bulbs in their gardens, and the flowers are blooming now.

Late summer flowers are beginning to predominate in some places. I'm seeing more Black-Eyed Susans and calendulas than day lilies, more chicory and Queen Anne's Lace than clover and daisies. Myrtle and mimosa are still blooming, less abundantly now. Some other spring and early summer flowers, like roses, azaleas, and rhododendrons, are still making up for not having bloomed well this spring.

At the Cat Sanctuary the not-a-lawn is full of dayflowers, and the two Rose of Sharon hibiscus bushes are blooming...although they've always produced smaller blooms than their relatives in Kingsport. My mother's Hibiscus syriacus has red flowers that are almost as big as the ones I've seen in Florida.

Many gardeners are more interested in vegetables than in flowers now, as they're harvesting corn, beans, tomatoes, and summer squash. Not many people seem to raise cucumbers any more. It's been a long time since I've seen a "lemon cucumber," a short, stubby cucumber with a green or yellow peel and delicious flavor. My father always used to plant a few of those, and yellow tomatoes.

A few small birds have finished moulting and are starting to head south for the winter.