Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August Bloom Day


It's high summer here, and in the Chicago area we've been getting some welcome, and much needed relief from this year's record heat and drought.  The garden is grateful, and so am I.  

Salvia x sylvestris 'Blue Hill' has been oblivious to the weather, maintained its clean foliage as usual, and as long as it's deadheaded regularly, it keeps blooming all season.


Here in a small corner in front where lava rock has been pushed away and the ongoing battle with a neighbor's ivy is waged, an unnamed phlox, Sedum 'Matrona' , a seedling baptisia, and young native grasses grown with seeds from Monica this spring have done well with little rain.  


These are the delicate seedheads of petite purple love grass.


 Here's the whole little plant, along with a couple of flopping phlox stems. This, along with four other kinds of grasses, are my first forays into native grasses.  They were  all easy to start from seeds, and didn't need much coddling in spite of the hot, dry weather.  I kept them in gallon pots until mid-July.  Now in the garden, they're all growing and thriving.  I'm loving this little native grass and hoping the other larger grasses will bloom this year too.

Thank you for the seeds, Monica!


'Happy Returns' daylilies were sheared to the ground about a month ago to clean up the yellow and brown foliage.  Within a week they were back up, and blooming again a few days later.  Still blooming now, they're looking a lot better with clean foliage.


 I wait for angel's trumpet blooms all summer.  They're exquisitely fragrant,


 and beautiful too, don't you think?


Combined with the fragrance from Hosta plantaginea, 


Hosta plantaginea 'Aphrodite' (fully-open bloom further down, below,) and Sambac jasmine (not pictured,) the evening through early morning scents on our patio and floating on light breezes through open windows are simply divine.


Double impatiens are staples in a couple of hanging baskets almost every year here.  I like them with the airy blooms of Diamond Frost euphorbia.  Is there anything Diamond Frost doesn't go well with?


 We like impatiens in multiple colors.


Purple coneflowers are still looking fresh.  So far this season, the goldfinches haven't pulled off all the petals.


Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' is about a foot shorter, with fewer blooms than usual.  Pollinators ignore these cultivars.  I'm thinking we need the natives.  Starting native plants from seed takes patience, but it's rewarding, cheap thrills. 


Here's Hosta plantaginea 'Aphrodite,' the morning after the first-ever bloom opened.  They open at night.  They're notoriously slow to bloom after planting.  It took seven years for this one. Unlike most other hostas, The scapes barely rise above the foliage. The foliage is solid, deep green. I love the texture, elegance, substance, shade, and shape of it.  The flowers make lovely icing.


Hibiscus 'Midnight Marvel' is a new introduction this year.  All of us who attended Walters Gardens' Media Day last week got to bring one home.  How thoughtful it was to obligingly open its first bloom just in time for Bloom Day.  


I've made peace with Agastache 'Blue Fortune's' grey-blue foliage.  It performs well in our garden, returns faithfully each year, and while it's not as full as usual, it's tolerated the heat and drought here well.  Although they're cultivars, pollinators are all over them.


Rudbeckia 'Herbstsonne' is a cross between two native rudbeckias.  Pollinators love them in our garden, but they haven't performed nearly as well as they usually do in more normal summer weather.  The plants are severely stunted and not blooming as much as usual.  The two smallest plants have powdery mildew.


Hummingbirds visit this fuchsia multiple times every day.


Cardinal flowers are another hummingbird favorite here.  They look better most years.  I'm glad they survived the hottest summer here on record.


Here's 'Midnight Marvel' fully open a few hours later.

Late summer is one of my favorite times in our garden.  This month, with it's milder temperatures and good rains so far, has been beautiful here.  I hope you're enjoying beautiful weather, enough rain, and lots of blooms in your garden this month.

Happy Bloom Day, and to see what's blooming in gardens everywhere today, please visit our host, Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

28 comments:

  1. Those Hostas were a real gift this year. Mine did not seem to be bothered by our awful weather and they are just about the only plant this year that bloomed when it was supposed to.

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    1. Hostas sure are tough, Linda!

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  2. Your garden is lush and gorgeous. The salvia adds a nice touch of blue to your garden. I'm fascinated with your fuchsia. Its a pity that we can't plant it in the tropics. Have tried planting Angel's trumpet once from cutting but it did not take. Seems it prefer a temperate climate.

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    1. Thank you, Stiletto. I love blue flowers! Sorry about your angel's trumpet. Sometimes the cuttings root easily, and sometimes it's more challenging. It seems like small cuttings work best.

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  3. You have a really blooming garden, Girl! i love your angel's trumpet, is beautiful.
    The hosta Aphrodite has very nice white flowers, mine have only blue.

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    1. August usually seems to be the best time for blooms in our garden, Nadezda. I love the angel's trumpet too, and I'm very excited about the 'Aphrodite' blooms!

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  4. What a wonderful showing Linda! I let my 'Goldsturm' go to seed and the offspring reverted to species. While not a big favorite of Bumbles, lots of smaller bees and skippers love them and once the coneflower seeds are gone, the birds do eat the seeds of rudbeckia. Happiest of gardening days to you...Glad you got some relief from the drought. xogail

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    1. Thank you, Gail! Seems like the 'Goldsturm' seeds all get eaten! So far I haven't found any seedlings. Maybe this year with the goldfinches being less aggressive eating seeds here.

      Happy gardening days to you, too. I know you're enjoying somewhat better weather and some much-needed rain, too - yay!

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  5. 'Blue Hill' is a beautiful salvia, Linda! It looks so much better than my 'May Nights', which tend to sprawl as the summer progresses. Love the hibiscus, too, and the Angel's Trumpet. I'm enjoying these cooler temperatures, too; August is turning into a much more pleasant time in the garden than July was. Happy Bloom Day!

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    1. I love 'Blue Hill, Rose - stays pretty, and blooms all season.

      Happy Bloom Day!

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  6. Seven years to flower! That takes a lot of patience! Midnight Marvel is gorgeous. Love that dark foliage, too. And I must, must, must get an Angel Trumpet! Yours is gorgeous!

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    1. It's such a nice hosta even without flowers, Holley. Still, I must admit I haven't always been patient with this hosta - even considered yanking it out since the double, fragrant flowers were the main thing that made me want to add it to our garden.

      Can't wait to see how Midnight Marvel performs in our garden.

      Wish you could smell the angel's trumpet. The scent is simply amazing. Intoxicating, actually.

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  7. Send some rain our way...nice recovery.

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    1. August is typically the rainiest month of the year here in the Chicago area. This year if it lives up to that statistic, it won't take much. In fact it may already have earned that distinction with half the month still to go. I hope the second half of August is at least as rainy as the first half. We still have a lot of catching up to do.

      Hope you get some good rains soon, Greggo.

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  8. Your garden is looking fantastic! Even with the drought you've been having. We haven't seen any rain in over a month but that's normal for us this time of year. In fact we're an inch of rain over our usual for the year. We really have no expectations of rain during the summer months. Nice pics. Be happy you have so much blooming!

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    1. We had to water in June and July. Here, with our huge silver maples (ack!) too much stuff will die without rain, or at least, an occasional supplemental watering. The maples pull every drop of moisture from the soil in hot weather, and anything smaller than them has a hard time even surviving without at least some water. We had almost no rain most of the summer, but late July, and now August have been much kinder. I'm surprised, and happy the garden looks so good this year.

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  9. Hi Garden Girl
    Uuuuuh... it's hot here too. This weekend we're expecting 34 degrees. This is much too hot for me. I'm looking forward to a wonderful soft fall. The walk through your garden was a delight, thank you for that little break.
    Greetings from the other side of the pond.
    Alex

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    1. Hi Alex! We've been lucky lately - cooler temperatures, and even some rain! I 'm not a fan of hot weather either. Like you, I'm looking forward to fall. Thanks for visiting - have a wonderful Sunday.

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  10. That blue is so stunning. Also, love the Angel's Trumpets. I wish I could sit under one of those and breathe in the scent.

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    1. I love that salvia, MBT - best-performing one I've grown, and pollinators all over them. Angel's trumpet is a perfect name - they smell like heaven. Let me know if you want a cutting. They're so easy to root. They're thirsty, and they need below-freezing storage for the winter, but I think they're worth the extra effort.

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  11. Linda,

    You still have so much blooming. That Midnight Marvel is beautiful, had hibiscus years ago and it flopped all over the place. I have seen many compact forms recently and they look like they might fit in my smaller garden.

    Eileen

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    1. I have a couple clients with older hibiscus varieties, and they are floppy. We'll see how 'Midnight Marvel' does with only part sun. The foliage may not be as dark. Hopefully though, it won't flop, and will still bloom well. 'Midnight Marvel' is shorter than some of the older varieties, but this one looks like it will be quite a bit fuller. Being indeterminate, it blooms all up and down the stems, so they're a lot of bang for the amount of space they take up.

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  12. Lovely post...I'm so excited you are growing some native grasses...and from seed, no less! I hope you post more pics of the others :-)

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    1. I'm excited too, Scott. So far they're all doing well. I'll definitely be posting more photos of them.

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  13. You are far more patient than I when it comes to growing stuff from seed. Beautiful post.

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    1. Probably because I'm ¢heap, Jason!

      Thank you!

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