Here's the front view from a few weeks ago.
And click here for the full-size view of this morning. (I didn't want to resize it and lose some of the detail. Click on the picture for the BIG pic.)
This is a gladiolus I stuck out back along the fence line a few years back. It's so red it's black. <3 These get NO supplemental water or extra care. I literally stuck the bulbs in a few inches, covered them, and left them to Mother Nature. Have I stressed how great bulbs are for care-free planting? (Edit: I'm sure I'll hear crap from those of you with squirrels. Cut pieces of chicken wire and lay them over a patch of bulbs before covering them up with soil.)
Over in the new shade bed (when it gets a bit bigger, I'll take pics) the caladiums are coming up. This is a bulb (actually, a corm) that you do have to dig up and store, unless you live in the tropics where it never dips below 60. This leaf is the size of both of my hands, btw. That's variegated flax lily on the upper left.
This is another type of caladium (just sprouting) + oxalis + ajuga + Felix. :D I <3 my garden kitty.
Here's a closeup on the echinacea (purple coneflower) that I put in this winter. There are bees buzzing all around this stand all day long.
Oh, how I love bluebells. I think this pic almost does the color justice. They are almost the color of a purple crayon. Gorgeous and drought tolerant and get bigger every year.
This is the red plant growing next to the blue bells. It's another bulb, drought tolerant, carefree, pest free. "Lucifer" Crososmia. Again: PLANT BULBS.
This is a day lily that has traveled with me from house to house. I've divided my original four inch pot into *counts* eight stands of day lilies that are a good three feet thick, each of them. They stand four feet in height. Day lilies are a great carefree flower. (Are you noticing a trend? I like sticking plants in and then sitting around looking at them, you see.) This particular flower came almost to my shoulder.
I bought a "dinner plate" hibiscus a few years back. They weren't kidding. That's my hand next to the flower. A lovely plant, sits in the back ground (put white plants in the back - it's the opposite of interior color scheme) and puts out flower after flower until first frost. The whole plant is a good 6 feet tall, dies to the ground in winter, then comes back every May.
Some phlox a Master Gardener buddy gave me. She gave me a chunk of root, I stuck it in the dirt three years ago, and now the stand is a good two feet thick. Bees and butterflies LOVE phlox. Be sure to plant it (if you live in the south) where it can get some air around it, or you'll get powdery mildew and it'll look sickly.
A huge picture of a huge flower. The girls planted these (unbeknownst to me) this early spring as a Mother's Day present. <3 They're a good 5 feet tall, and still growing. See the little friend? (It's really a pest, but there's enough greenery to share with the likes of him.)
Oooooh. I love this. Again: it's a bulb (Tiger lily.) I stuck it in the ground, and promptly forgot I planted it until it bloomed. Yay bulbs! :D
Later today I'm going to tackle the new stone pathway I'm trying to put in out back, now that it's not a bazillion degrees outside. Then I'm making this ceviche recipe. Things I love: shrimp, citrus, and avocado. Hopefully later I can write the damn conclusion to this Missionary story so I can start posting the damn thing.