Friday Flora & Fresh Air

Agapanthus bud 1 Agapanthus bud 2 Agapanthus bud 3 Agapanthus bud 4 Agapanthus bud 5 Agapanthus bud 6My husband and I returned home from a short get-away to beautiful northern Michigan just in time to witness the buds of our Lily of the Nile Agapanthus begin to open. Perfect timing!

Prior to leaving town, we had the entire exterior of the house painted and all the while I was carefully protecting each and every bud that was peeking up out of the ground. When the painters finished, we flew “Up North” to Michigan’s Cherry Capital and enjoyed daytime highs that ranged from 77 to 80 degrees with sunny skies and those gorgeous white fluffy clouds that I miss so much. The forsythias were in peak bloom, the grass was green, the birch and maple trees all had big fat buds, the ornamental trees had flowers and the asparagus was fresh. Once again – perfect timing!

For four glorious days we took long walks along deserted sugar sand beaches – with a lucky Petoskey stone in my pocket – and enjoyed the breeze off the lake. I’d forgotten just how beautiful the turquoise waters of Lake Michigan truly are (sorry, no pics – you’ll just have to take my word for it since I was determined to simply enjoy the view with my eyes). And to top it all off, we were able to spend time with our nephew DJ, home from Purdue and spending the summer in that northern paradise.

And I thought I was the lucky one.

Update: for anyone living in a cold winter (i.e., snowfall) region, here’s an excellent article from the Michigan State University Extension website about a master gardener in western Michigan who’s been successfully growing agapanthus in her backyard. Very cool! Seriously, check it out!

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4 thoughts on “Friday Flora & Fresh Air

  1. agapanthus is one of my favorite flowers to photograph…where did you find them in this country? I’ve only seen them in New Zealand…pray tell!

    • Where are you located? Prior to living in California (I’m originally from the midwest) I had never seen Agapanthus before, but it was love at first sight. The big blue ones were here when we bought our house but I added some dwarf blue Peter Pans that I found on Craigslist last year. People post them on Craigslist all the time. I think some people here are tired of them because they really are everywhere and they multiply like crazy. The link in my post should help you find a vendor. Hope that helps and thanks for stopping by!

    • do you think they’d grow in Michigan? Yes, in New Zealand they’ve got “weed” status for many…but they’re budding is the most photogenic floral experience of all for me…you’re lucky to have them in Cali.

    • My first thought: if you’re willing to grow them in pots that can be overwintered in a cool basement, why not try? The Great Lakes create incredible microclimates, so depending upon where you are, you might even be able to grow them in the ground – provided you plant them in a protected location and are willing to experiment. I did a quick web search and sure enough, according the BGH.com, “If you live in a cool-winter area, you can overwinter agapanthus in containers by bringing the pots to a cool (around 40 degrees F) spot and watering them only once a month or so. In spring, move the containers back outdoors after all danger of frost has passed. Potted agapanthus is said to bloom best when slightly root-bound.” I also found an excellent article on the Michigan State University Extension website about a woman who grows agapanthus – in the ground – in western Michigan. That article can be found here: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/azure_agapanthus_queen_of_the_show.

      And I have to agree with you, the buds are indeed exquisite. You can be sure I won’t take them for granted. Happy planting!

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