Thursday, July 15, 2010

July Bloom Day

Although not yet actually blooming, the blooms I'm most excited about this month are cardinal flowers. Now that our shade garden is fully planted, attention is being turned to the swale. Functional, but not particularly attractive, since the weeping willow in the yard behind us came down, a large section of the swale is always wet. Last year Lobelia cardinalis, a native plant I've always wanted to grow, was added there. In the next few days, it will bloom for the first time.

Several colors of double impatiens are blooming in hanging baskets - this pink, a red called 'Salsa,' a hot pink, and a bright coral. Salsa was purchased, and the others were started from cuttings in the basement over the winter from last year's plants.

A few feet can make all the difference here. Last fall I moved this bee balm a few feet where it now gets more sun, and the blooms are much bigger than they used to be. I'd almost forgotten what they were supposed to look like!

Coneflowers and Agastache

Coneflowers and 'Rosy Returns,' a reblooming daylily also moved last fall, and blooming again. Last year, Rosy didn't bloom at all.


Also blooming are Sambac jasmine, Geranium 'Rozanne,' 'Happy Returns' daylilies, Dragon Wing and wax begonias, Black-eyed Susans, phlox, Rudbeckia 'Herbstsonne,' Johnnie jump-ups, Spring Fling petunias, pelargoniums, heucheras, hostas, single impatiens, catmint, calamint, feverfew, beautyberries, celandine poppies, a NOID white eupatorium volunteer, and in the veggie gardens, peppers, tomatoes, peas, bush beans, arugula, and radishes.

To see what's blooming in gardens around the country and around the world, please visit the creator of Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, Carol at May Dreams Gardens.


  1. Isn't cardinal flower great? (Yes, I can tell you think so, too!) If I really push it, I might just get a bloom day post up today!

  2. The cardinal flowers are my fathers favorite. He grows dozens. Unfortunately they demand too much moisture for my garden. I'm trying to go xeric and have no natural wet spots.

  3. Linda, my cardinal flowers are struggling under my dogwood. I wonder if it is too dry. I think I will be moving many plants this fall.


  4. Beautiful stuff! I'll have to remember the coneflower agastache combination. The cardinal flower looks like it will put on quite a show!

  5. I'm like a kid at Christmas waiting for those blooms Monica! Hope to see your Bloom Day post!

    Your father has good taste Marnie!

    I've never even tried growing them before - never had the right conditions for them to be happy until recently. I miss the privacy from the willow, but I sure am looking forward to taking full advantage of that big wet spot.

    Hi Eileen, they are such thirsty plants, I think they're hard to keep happy without a naturally wet or at least moist spot.

    Thank you Dave! That was the third move for the agastache - I think I'm finally happy with where it is now. I can hardly wait for the cardinal flower to bloom!

  6. Anonymous9:14 AM

    Pretty! I'll have to watch for cardinal flower posts. My blue lobelia isn't blooming yet either, but I'm sure it will soon with all the warm weather we've been having.

  7. I never seem to get enough shade or rain for a cardinal flower - so I will enjoy yours. It definitely is the year for bee balm - I love these happy blooms.

  8. I don't know if my cardinal flower will ever bloom, so I'll be happy to enjoy yours! Your bee balm looks great. They make me think of fireworks. Happy Bloom Day!

  9. Good luck with the cardinal flower--I have not done well with mine. All this monarda--I am sort of embarrassed I don't have any, espeically after last weekend!

  10. Your cardinal flower looks like it will soon reward you with some blooms, Linda. Those impatiens are so impressive; the only success I've had with overwintering anything this past year was with geraniums. I love the double impatiens in particular; they look like miniature roses to me.

    The bee balm is lovely, too; obviously, it is enjoying its sunnier location.

  11. Good show, Linda! Never had any luck with cardinal flowers although I love them.

    It really has been a weird summer compared to the last one.

    How's that new grandbaby doing?

  12. I've tried to grow cardinal flower with no luck. They are supposed to grow here so I don't know what my problem is.

    It's funny that you say that you had to move your bee balm into the sun to get it to bloom. Mine was in full sun until this year and it never bloomed very well until this year. The shade apparently did it some good. Plants are funny that way; within the same variety one plant will want lots of sun and another will prefer some shade.

  13. I have a new lobelia that I have great hopes for~It's a lovely red one named "Fried Green Tomatoes". Your stokesia is gorgeous! Like you I need to move plants around to make them happier~I might have to put the monarda near a downspout to keep it moist~Maybe then it will look as happy as yours! xxgail

  14. Ok, today I learnt patience is a key to success from you ;-) It's amazing to learnt that you waited till the next year for Rosy to bloom. And you start impatiens from cuttings?... good job! I have hard time growing impatiens. The last plant died on me. Now I have three, so I am not sure how long they will survive. Keeping my fingers crossed daily he he... Have a great weekend!

  15. Hi LCS, It's blooming - I saw the first bloom yesterday. I'm lusting after blue lobelia too. Since the red likes the swale, I think blue will be added soon.

    Thanks for visiting Tufa Girl! Cardinal flowers seem to need just the right conditions. Moist soil seems to be a must.

    Thank you Elizabeth. I'm really looking forward to planting more stuff in the swale - there are so many wonderful natives that love the conditions. It's a plus never having to water there. Something tells you'll remedy the lack of bee balm in your garden soon.

    I was really excited seeing that first bloom yesterday. I'm sure there are more today, but I haven't had time to check yet.

    We don't have enough sun for most roses, and I really enjoy the rose-like blooms of the double impatiens. They don't overwinter well, but the cuttings do great. I'm glad, since I'm too cheap to buy them every year.

    Hi Sylvana, they really, really like moist, or even wet soil. It's hard to keep them going otherwise.

    We don't have full sun at all in the garden. Four hours is the most sun we have, and that's only in a couple of spots. The bee balm here gets at best three hours of sun now.

    Good luck with the lobelia Gail!

    I'm not sure what variety the stokesia is since it was a pass-along. I think it might be 'Blue Danube.'

    I know exactly what you mean about having to move plants around to make them happier - never as much as since I moved here. It's amazing what a difference just a few feet can make. I hope you find a spot where your monarda will be happy!

    Hi Stephanie, patience and gardening seem to go hand-in-hand! (and determination.) Double impatiens are about $6.00 per plant, and there are twelve of them in hanging baskets here. I used to spend around $500 USD on container plants. This year I spent less than $20. I LOVE my basement light. It has more than paid for itself.

    I hope your impatiens will be happy. They are pretty thirsty plants, and they don't like much sun. I'm happy to have some annuals that bloom really well with the little sun we have.

    Hope you're having a great weekend. Mine will be wonderful, with my girls, (even the middle one will be here from Miami,) son-in-law, and grandchildren coming for a cookout this afternoon. I'm so looking forward to it.

  16. The lobelias in my rain garden are blooming for the first time this year! It's so exciting!

  17. Hi garden girl
    What a nice blog and wonderful garden you've got! I love the bee balm too. The tea one gets from its blooms is wonderful. I just harvest it today... the bees won't be happy about me :o).
    Have a nice weekend and a good start in the new week.
    Kind regards from Switzerland

  18. Very cool Rose! I hope your lobelias will continue to thrive, and hopefully make some babies too!

    Hi Alex, thank you for visiting!

    Maybe as our bee balm continues to spread and grow, I may harvest some blooms for tea. For now I'm just enjoying seeing them bloom.

    Hope you had a good weekend, and have a great week!

  19. Well, I didn't push it, but I did get a BD post up--26 days early, HA! Thanks for the foxglove seeds that arrived yesterday. A friend tells me they're invasive here but I don't believe her. Which is to say, I'll plant them anyway, even though I d believe her.

  20. You crack me up Monica!

    Glad you got the seeds. They've never seeded themselves here, but then, neither does much else except maples, mulberries, and buckthorn. It takes about a month for the seeds to mature, so if you're concerned, just cut off the bloom stalks once the flowers are finished and you shouldn't have a problem with them spreading.

  21. Anonymous2:56 PM

    Some nice blooms you got there. I especially like the Monarda. Did you get your One Seed Chicago seeds? I ask because I know Gina and Diane had problems so I had to resend them seeds. If you didn't get yours shoot me an Email and I'll place a pack in the mail for you. Can still be sowed in the fall.

  22. Thanks MBT! Yep - got the seeds. I haven't started them yet, and will wait until fall since it's been so. darned. hot and dry. I have a mature monarda fistulosa I got from Possibility Place last spring - it just started blooming a few days ago. I'll still be planting the seeds though.


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