My Red Bird of Paradise bushes have finally started to bloom. I've been seeing them all over town, lush and full of flowers, but my shrubs don't look so hot this year. The foliage is sparse, and although all the bushes have some flowers, they just don't look right. It's my own fault because I did not prune them back last fall. You can prune these shrubs down to the base each year and they will come back looking great.
I just love this tiny clay pot. It's 2-3/4 inches high and 4 inches in diameter. I bought it last year at a cactus show and sale, and it was already planted with a tiny Lawyer's Tongue offset. The offset has grown to the point I need to repot, but I'm wondering how I'm going to get it out of this pot without damaging the pot or the offset. The pot maker sold out of these popular little pots by mid morning.
I showed this same cactus in last week's post, but because it has been so prolific, I took another photo again today. These flowers are the latest of 12 so far. It's supposed to be a repeat bloomer with intermittent flowers over the summer. If so, it's going to be on my list of favorites!
The second year for blooms on this Giant Chin cactus. I had it for years before it ever flowered, and the blooms have always been sparse. This year it has about 12 buds--a record for this specimen. The flowers are not as attractive as many other Gymnocalycium species. Most collectors have it for its form rather than the flower.
One of the hosts at a garden tour stop gave me a cutting of Desert Petunia about four years ago. I can always count on it for a few spots of color. This is another plant that can be cut back to the base in the late fall, and it will come back almost immediately, looking fresh and full. It provides flowers off and on all year except in December and January.
We've had thirteen consecutive days of temperatures over 100 degrees since May 1st, which is a record. Today was 108 degrees. This does not mean it will be hotter than normal the rest of the summer, but normal is not pleasant!