What Happened to July?
One of the nice things about July is that the ginger plant blooms. This is probably the last year I get to see this one do it. It's growing by the front door & some of the stalks reach 8-feet in height. This year there are about 16 stalks.
A ginger plant like this is a truly wonderful thing. I tend to cut all of the stalks down to the base in November when they are looking a little reedy. So during the winter the root looks kind of like a nasty scar. People who are unaware of what a wonderful thing emerges from the homely mess will give me a questioning look like "why do you have something like that by your front door?" Then come February or March or April the new shoots start to appear. Oh boy, such anticipation. You count the tiniest green bumps and try to calculate how far away you are going to be able to smell it when it is in full bloom.
The shoots grow out & unfurl their leaves. Alternating left, right... left, right. At a certain point the buds develop at the ends, tightly wrapped with scale-like "leaves" that spiral around it. The scales continue to lengthen and flair out from the core of the long bud. They curl lightly around and protect the flower blossom that is developing inside each of them. In a few days the flower blossom grows beyond its protecting shell and unfurls itself. From the bottom of the bud to the tip they emerge, taking 5 - 10 days for the show, each day blowing more & more of their perfume over the yard. A healthy plant with a dozen or more stems can put on a display that lasts for 3 weeks.