July 4th was a good one here considering it was chased the next day by what would have been my brother's 48th birthday.
Thankfully, I was pretty successful in putting thoughts of him aside for those 24 hours in order to participate in our neighborhood traditions ~ starting with the morning parade.
Anyone and everything can be in it, the guidelines are loose. The local fire station sends an engine to start it off then, if we're lucky, we have a few decorated floats. Otherwise there are always lots of kids with their bikes/cars decorated, dogs dressed in patriotic scarves, moms pushing strollers & four wheelers zipping around, etc.
This old truck was one of my favorites & it just happened to park afterwards under my Bur Oak tree.
Our Cul-de-Sac had a barbeque later that afternoon and we lucked out with perfect skies & weather conditions. The day ended with our own little fireworks show (emphasis on little!)
As with any holiday, what would it be without flowers??
'Salmon Sunblaze' miniature rose standard was the standout on this day. Underplanted with Euphorbia 'Hip Hop' and Diascia 'Flirtation Orange.' Remember last year I had it combined with French lavender? I think this combo is better.
I was going for an "orange & white" theme on the front patio, inspired by the pillows on the lime green Adirondack chairs.
The standard is planted in an old terra cotta pot, one of several in my collection.
Unfortunately, not much of the Diascia was blooming on the 4th. It sort of blooms in waves & at this time, was in a lull.
Another Terra Cotta pot acts as the base of my Begonia Bossa 'Nova Red' & 'Tecno Heat' White Lobelia container. Years ago I stenciled ivy around the pot never realizing how well it would stand up to the weather & repeated use.
This combo is doing exceptionally well together. It contains two 'Nova Red' Begonias and two 'Tecno Heat' Lobelias (along with one Gerbera Daisy which may or may not stay!)
I'm thinking the Geraniums & Lobelia alone are enough.
July 4th also marked the first sightings of fledged baby Bullock's Orioles.
It's so poignant to watch a baby being fed by it's parent. There is so much care & tenderness involved. Notice how far the male Oriole has his beak inside the babies mouth. I guess it's to ensure the food (in this case, grape jelly) stays where it's supposed to!?
Sorry for the inferior quality of these photos, I took them thru the screen window.
Even tho the photos aren't crystal clear, I thought they were too endearing not to include.
Then, as if baby Orioles weren't blessing enough, I'm fortunate to have a pair of Western Kingbirds nest in my Bur Oak tree again this year.
The nest is even visible this year (as opposed to last year) although it's too far up for very good photos. Both parents are now regularly feeding the babies so it won't be long before they'll be in the garden too.
Hope your holiday was every bit as eventful?
The garden is so full of life now, it's hard not to be uplifted by it and I am grateful for that magic. Next on my "watch list" ~ the arrival of hummingbirds! Any day now....
p.s. This is one smart toad:
He sits right under the Oriole sugar water feeder ~ where it drips, it attracts flies so he's got a "built in" feeder of sorts & is getting fat sitting under it! :)
What a chunk!