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.