The Triple Crown – In the Gates

The songs have been sung, the bugle has called and the betting windows are open.

At this very moment the flowers are parading around the paddock and headed for the gate.


Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen, to this – the first leg of the storied Triple Crown of Flower Racing. We are ready for the Memorial Marathon. Running for several days in the heat of late June, the Memorial Marathon is the first great test of the summer meet.

We have a huge, excited crowd on hand. With rain, heat, rain, rain and more rain, it feels like the gardens are at the bottom of a tropical fish bowl. Interesting racing conditions, to be sure.

The betting is intense. The odds makers have been picking Gloriosa Daisy for weeks now. With a bold take-over of vast swaths of the gardens, Gloriosa has been striving to time his bloom for the precise right moment.



Without a doubt, Gloriosa Daisy is the favorite for the Memorial Marathon.

Checking the boards, though, we see a lot of betting on Bee Balm as well.



Daylilly is looking good too. And nobody is counting out Evening Primrose or Forget-Me-Not. Indeed, there are several flowers in this field who could pull off an upset.

Ohhhh, that is what makes it all so exciting!

The Flowers are in the Gate and we’re ready for the call…..

CHACONG – the gate opens and they are off….

Gloriosa Daisy leaps out to a huge lead


with Sweet Pea in second


and Bee Balm right on her tail.


Cosmo settles into fourth and Daylilly holds back in the pack.


As they head down the front stretch at the end of day one it is Gloriosa, Sweet Pea, Bee Balm and Cosmo…

They charge through the first turn and OH MY GOD! Disaster! THE DOG GOES AFTER A MOLE.

On the very first night of the Marathon, the fuzzy black dog noses through the gardens, seriously damaging Cosmo and knocking Gloriosa Daisy asunder. Gloriosa stumbles into the railing on the inside of the first turn.



As Gloriosa strives to regain his footing, Daylilly makes a move.



WOW! Daylilly charges out of the pack and pulls right up behind Gloriosa Daisy.


Meanwhile, Sweet Pea fades into the pack


and Bee Balm holds steady in third.



Forget-Me-Mot is still striving to find her bloom


While Desert King Yucca is giving it everything he has to give.


Poppy remains a virtual no-show, Echinicea is stuck at the back of the pack


and Cosmo appears to be struggling after the unfortunate incident with the dog.


As darkness falls on the second day of the Marathon, the rains return and the flowers charge forward.


STAY TUNED! The race is yet young……..


May the best bloom win.

44 thoughts on “The Triple Crown – In the Gates

  1. Your garden is so beautiful Jim, heavenly…Mine died before my eyes of drought. I couldn’t water everything. Only tropical plants indoors are saved. Fruit trees, all trees are losing their leaves…I June!!! It was delightful to see yours Jim; thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Beth. Thanks. I’m so sorry that the drought is hitting you so severely. We had such a condition a few years ago. It is so sad and frustrating to watch the landscape wither. This year, we have too much rain. But I’m glad to share the tropical lushness of our rain soaked gardens with you. I hope you have a great day, drought or no. 🙂

      1. Grateful for your kindness Jim 🌹
        It’s raining softly now a couple of hours. It won’t be enough because heat is going to hit later this week. Thank you for your sympathy. I wish you a beautiful week 🌹

  2. Wow, a little piece of Heaven on Earth! I like the rain photo very much! 🙂

    1. Thanks. Our little piece of Earth is thriving this year. I liked that rain photo too and I’m glad to share it with you. 🙂

  3. So beautiful garden, like a heaven 🙂 I loved the photographs, especially there are two of them 🙂 one is with the cat! and second one the rain photograph, so beautiful. Thank you, Blessing and Happiness, dear Jim, love, nia

    1. Hi Nia. Now why I am not surprised that you spied – and liked the cat. That cute little cat comes into several photos, as she tends to follow me around the gardens when I’m taking pictures. She’s a character! Have a great day. 🙂

    1. Hi Cat. Well, it’s Monday and I’m finally replying. I hope you enjoyed your weekend here. I think everyone had a great time and I believe we sent Tom off in fine style. He would have been proud of us. I’m sure he could tell we were all quite proud of him. He was a great guy. Larger than life! And now that his life is over, I’ll miss him forever. See you soon. Love you! Jim 🙂

      1. It was an awesome party and your garden was beautiful-we took lots of pics in front of your flowers. It was a fitting send off for you brother and he would have loved the flaming arrows!!! Love you too!

  4. C’est vraiment super beau et d’une telle diversité, que je garde mes yeux tout écarquillés 😉 Chez nous, le ciel est gris mais la pluie tant attendue n’arrive pas 😦

    1. Je souhaite que je pourrais partager beaucoup de mon pluie avec toi. J’ai trop de pluie et tu as pas assez . Tant de nos jardins aimerait ça. Bonne journée. J’espère qu’il pleut bientôt pour toi. 🙂

    1. Hi Amy. Thanks. The flowers, the love to race! Oh, how they love to race with their little flower hearts pumping…. 🙂

    1. Thanks. That is a great compliment. I must have done something right with this one. I’m so glad you like it. Stay tuned! 🙂

  5. I LOLd, srsly! But I’m afraid for your Echinacea. It looks like mine did befor ethey succumbed to aster yellows 😦

    1. Hi Grower – I’m so glad to make you laugh. I hope the Echinacea has but one primary problem….. crowded out by Gloriosa Daisies. I’m gonna have to exercise a little oversight yet, I guess. I’m working toward more monoculture than is healthy, I fear. 🙂

  6. I was done. . . but now think just a wee bit of bee balm, and perhaps some lovely sweet pea might be nice. Isn’t gardening fun? Thanks for sharing your lovely garden.

    1. Oh yes, you want bee balm, if for no better reason than the lovely scents it wafts. Mmmmmmm. And right now sweet pea is the favorite of the bees and butterflies. Have a great day. 🙂

    1. Thanks. I’m glad you like it. You can have my rain. I have more than enough. It has rained every day for two weeks now – and that after a wet spring. How much would you like? 🙂

  7. You are wonderful Jim! I love this .. and I love your garden. It is so beautiful. Wonderful flowers and colours .. I can see that the race is on. Shame about cosmos, I wonder if forget-me-not will improve. And where are the zinnias? 😀

    1. Hi Julie. Thanks! The race is indeed on. Fear not, the forget-me-nots appear to be late to this race, but wow do they have a show in store for the rest of the summer. A single zinnia bloomed yesterday. Being direct-sow seedlings, they need their time. We should have hundreds more bloom over the next couple weeks. 🙂

    1. Thanks. I could report facts, but I would get them all wrong, so I run with my imagination. Have a wonderful day! 🙂

    1. Thanks. Stay tuned. I planted a whole bunch of forget-me-nots from seed. They are just starting to bloom. 🙂

  8. Hi Jim, What role is the cat playing in the race? Can I see Solomon’s Seal lurking among the day lilies? It is interesting how the weather, in this case lots of rain (sigh, can you send some our way?) will favour some plants over others from season to season. I hope the sweet peas get a second chance later in the season.

    1. The cat is a track official. At some tracks they wear yellow shirts, but here we go with black and white. Yes, you can see Solomon’s Seal. It grows wild. I leave it in a few stands. Sweet pea will come back. That big ol’ tap root can find the energy for a second bloom. Some plants do prefer lots of rain. My elephant ears were just poking out of the ground a week ago and now they are standing tall. They love this tropical weather. But the gloriosa daisies would prefer a bit drier conditions. And you may have all the rain you like. We have plenty! 🙂

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