Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wildflower Wednesday

Monarda fistulosa

This summer's been rough on humans and wildlife, crops and livestock, lawns and gardens.  Still, with a little extra help from the end of a hose, our garden is weathering Mother Nature's and climate change's challenges.

With our early hot weather, plants bloomed early. Now, in July, that seems to have mostly leveled out, with most  bloom times pretty normal. What has been off is height.   A lot of stuff is shorter than usual - in some cases several feet shorter.

Lobelia cardinalis have their share of challenges this summer. One disappeared, one got smashed by a fallen branch during a recent storm, and this one . . . well, at least it's blooming.

They like moist soil, and live in an area of our swale that stays moist all year, normally . . .

This summer  has been lots of things, and normal isn't one of them.

Most of the purple coneflowers are two feet tall and under.  Most of the phlox, and everything in this part of the garden is shorter than usual.

Joe Pye Weed is a few feet shorter than usual, along with way-shorter-than-usual  Rudbeckia 'Herbstsonne.'   Besides being shorter, lots of stuff is less full too.

Nodding onions, Allium cernuum, seem oblivious of the heat and drought.

Culver's root, about finished blooming, is weathering the weather well.

A volunteer eupatorium (or do you say eutotrichum?) seems unfazed by the weather.  It's one of few July bloomers, whether native or  cultivar, that's its usual size.

Our small corner of the world has been hot and dry most of the summer along with much of the country.  Lately, there's been welcome relief with a few mid-80-degree days, and a few good deluges.  The occasional breaks from lugging hoses feel luxurious.


Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain. ~ Unknown

To see more Wildflower Wednesday posts, please visit Gail at Clay and Limestone.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

July Bloom Day

Since the ballast shorted out for the light in our basement greenhouse late last winter and it took awhile to replace it, most of the overwintered plants looked pretty crummy this spring.  Turning misfortune to opportunity, it's been pretty nice having a fresh crop of plants for many of our containers.  The spindly, even leafless basement victims recovered in a sunny spot in the meantime, and now fill in pots and other spots in the garden.  Purple fountain grass and the chartreuse-leaved pelargonium  'Crystal Palace Gem'  are among the fresh faces this year.  

Geranium 'Rozanne' sprawls over early-spring bloomers like bergenia and hellebores, churning out blooms from late May through frost, even in part sun.  That's double impatiens in the hanging basket.  

Watering has been a chore during this hot, dry summer.  Most of the pots not directly in the garden have saucers to save water - especially the thirsty impatiens in little pots along this short path between patio and lawn.

The mini-rose has been blooming all season.

Hosta 'Fujibotan' has lavender-pink double blossoms on tall scapes.  It's just starting to bloom, and will keep going for almost a month.   This year it has twenty-one flower scapes!  

I love this combo of  Dragon Wing begonias and Diamond Frost Euphorbia.  

The peachy pelargonium and petunia in the pot on the left are basement survivors.  The geranium is five years old, and amazingly, Supertunia Vista Silverberry, fondly nicknamed Spring Fling Petunia, (gift from Proven Winners for participants at Garden Bloggers' Spring Fling Chicago 2009,) has survived three winters in the basement.

Cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis, a native hummingbird magnet, just started blooming.

Rudbeckia 'Herbstsonne' hasn't much liked our hot, dry summer.  They're two feet shorter, and not nearly as full as they normally are by the time they start blooming.  The first flowers are smaller too.   Behind the rudbeckias and coneflowers, Joe Pye weed is shorter than usual too.

'Sunday Gloves' daylily seems oblivious to the heat.

This brunnera was a volunteer seedling that popped up over here from a neighbor's plants.  It's the first time I've seen a brunnera rebloom.

We have heirloom potatoes from Landreth Seed growing in two of  the samples the nice folks at  Smart Pots gave me last August at the Independent Garden Center Show at Navy Pier.  Potatoes have nice foliage, pretty blooms, and they're fun to grow.  We're looking forward to harvesting our first home-grown potatoes in a few weeks.

Culver's Root, moved last fall,  seems to be thriving in its new, slightly sunnier spot along with a coneflower.  In the background, 'Blue Paradise' phlox, new last year and still small, just started blooming.  Geranium 'Biokovo' is reblooming for the first time, and barely peeking out from behind the tree, 'Jacob Cline' monarda is very popular with hummingbirds.  

Here's a different perspective where you can see the phlox and monarda a little better.  Heuchera villosa 'Mocha' shows up in this shot too.  Besides the nice foliage, this heuchera blooms all season long.

Bloom Day posts here tend to include a lot of closeups, so it seemed fun to change it up with some long shots this time.  Hope you enjoyed them.  To see more Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day posts that will surely include closeups and long shots of what's blooming in gardens around the world today, please visit our host, Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Garden2Blog12 - The Garden Home Retreat

This spring I was honored to be invited to attend P. Allen Smith's Garden 2 Blog 2012, when a couple dozen garden bloggers gathered in Little Rock, Arkansas for a rollicking good time that included a day at his Garden Home Retreat.  

It was wonderful being able to visit the farm for a second time, in a different season.  Last fall after being one of three winners of a photo contest sponsored by Garden Safe, the Lawn Man and I were treated to an all-expenses-paid trip to the farm for an event called A Tale of Two Farms.  Like this time, I did a slideshow of the event so I could cram as many pictures as possible into one post.  If you missed it, you can see the slideshow from last fall here.  

This isn't a wordy post, and without further ado, hope you enjoy this photo visit to the Garden Home Retreat at Moss Mountain.

Attendees at Garden2Blog 2012 received transportation, hotel accommodations, and meals at no cost. Event sponsors provided samples and product giveaways with no cost or obligation.  All opinions in this post are mine.