Monday, July 19, 2010

Crepe Myrtle season

Crepe Myrtles thrive in our hot humid summer weather.  They usually bloom for several weeks but because of the dry conditions they are loosing their blooms more quickly than usual this year.  I planted these quite a few years ago and have long forgotten the varieties.  The first is multi-branched and is about 20 years old.  Every couple of years I remove crossing branches and clean it up as high as I can reach on a 10' step ladder.

The next two Crepe Myrtles were the first shrubs that I planted 25 years ago.  For many years they were shaded by large trees in my neighbors lot but about 4 years ago they removed all the trees in their backyard.  Since they were rather tall and not well branched I cut them back to about 10' two years ago thinking that with more sun they would do better.  This winter I plan to trim out about half the shoots so they will develop a nice canopy--I hope.

Here's a close up of the flowers.

This last Crepe Myrtle has been growing in a pot on the patio for several years.  I cut it back every winter.

These last pics are of plants that are showing the stress of the drought.  The first is of an hydrangea that is too big for the pot.  Though my neighbors watered it while we were at the beach it was completely brown when I returned.  I cut it back severely and it is recovering.

The next is a dogwood that was really stressed but deep watering will hopefully pull it through.

And lastly is a rhododendron that will not make it.  I have a terrible track record with these but will try again.

I'm still getting a couple of buckets of flowers for church every week in spite of the drought.

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