I would love to tell you that this is what my garden looks like today:
...But no, I took that picture at The Sanctuary resort on Kiawah Island two weeks ago. Okay, now in the spirit of honesty and humility, I'm going to post some ugly recent pictures of my real garden.
See? At first I was thinking the reduced blooming might indicate that these lilies need to be dug up and divided in the fall, but once I pulled out all the dead and dying foliage the plants didn't look nearly as crowded anymore. I'm guessing my error was leaving the seed pods on the plants, those bulbous green things that seem at first glance to be flower buds, but they are more rounded and when they eventually open they have black seeds in them. I've read that removing spent blooms on daffodils and other bulbs encourages better blooming, that the plant diverts energy away from flowers when they are doing the seed pod thing, and a quick google search on the Stella d'Ora variety indicated that their seed pods should be removed, too. Hopefully my backbreaking labor in hundred degree heat will turn out to have been time well spent. Already the bed looks healthier and greener, but of course I want my masses of yellow flowers to come back!
So, back to the purslane, which we've really been enjoying. I took the picture of the day lilies in the late afternoon, when all the purslane flowers go into hiding like little red turtles tucked away inside their shells. Here's what they look like every morning:
Isn't that pretty? It would be even better with a mass of yellow lilies behind it... But we're loving the purslane because it's drought-tolerant, so it's thriving and spreading out even in this horrible heat spell, despite neglect and indifference, and it's cute how the flowers all disappear in the afternoon and then pop out like Jack-in-the-boxes first thing in the morning.
We have some yellow ones in planters by the front steps, too, with canna bulbs planted beneath them. I wish we had planted the cannas sooner because if we had, they could be blooming their big, tropical, orange flowers right now, but the yellow purslane and purplish red canna foliage is pretty together in the meantime. Those are purple pansies in the other planter, by the way. I think they should have been yanked and replaced with something summery a long time ago, but Bernie says "they're doing great." I can't get my way all the time, or so he keeps telling me...