Friday, July 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - July 15, 2011

GBBD_July 2011 it really did that happen! Although I hate the heat of summer, even I have to admit that's really when my garden hits its stride. Plants are exploding with growth, bare soil is a rarity at last, and every day brings new blooms.

Salvia Purple Rain
Salvia verticillata 'Purple Rain'
Love, love, love the sultry purple color of this Salvia...let's hope it doesn't succumb to powdery mildew this year.

salvia purple rain  391
Salvia verticillata 'Purple Rain', sunset
Here it is again, at sunset...I just love how the purple is even more intese at this time of day...seeming to smolder from within!

monarda raspberry wine  381
Monarda 'Raspberry Wine'
Every year I'm a little aghast by the color of the first blooms of this Monarda. Did I really plant something THAT garish!?! Yes, I did...and I kinda love it! The color isn't screams from across the street!

Monarda Jacob Cline
Monarda 'Jacob Cline'
I think this is the only pure red flower I have in the garden, primary red being the one color I'm truly not fond of.

Agastache blue blazes 2
Agastache 'Blue Blazes'
One of two Agastaches I'm trying for the first time this year (both are from High Country Gardens). I've been impressed with their vigor (one plant is almost as tall as me!), and their blooms are stunning, a vivid mix of purple and blue...I can't wait for next year to see this plant bulk up and really perform!

agastache ava  385
Agastache 'Ava'
The other Agastache I'm trying for the first time, 'Ava' is even more vigorous than the above 'Blue Blazes', with all 3 plants pushing 5' tall, and very bushy for a first-year Agastache. The blooms are the most luscious shade of bubble-gum pink. It's like 'Tutti Frutti', but without the hopeless flopping.

agstache desert sunrise  387
Agastache 'Desert Sunrise'
I planted these Agastache last year (also from HCG) and this year they are big and full...I couldn't be happier with how they've matured. They have very similar foliage to Agastache rupestris, very fine (not quite as thread-like) and greyish-green, making them very attractive even when not in bloom. The blooms are just starting...but are a wonderful mix of fuschia and magenta...with just a hint of orange...lovely.

Agastache golden jubilee
Agastache 'Golden Jubilee'
One of my favorite plants...beautiful in leaf and flower. I love the flowers the most at this stage, when they haven't been faded by the hot summer sun and are still a grapey blue-purple. These plants are so vigorous and care-free...they just look great all the time!

Agastache rupestris
Agastache 'Acapulco Orange'
I'm not as fond of the orange Agastaches...but I do like the punch of contrasting color they give in my predominantly restful garden...POW!

knautia macedonica
Knautia macedonica
These are the straight species, which are quite a bit taller than the below 'Mars Midget', and in their first year, a bit more sprawly and open. I love how their blooms change color, from cherry red to fuschia, and occasionally, slightly lavender. I love how they are just little buttons of rich, saturated color at the end of these wispy little stems.

knautia mars midget  383
Knautia macedonica 'Mars Midget'
More compact than regular Knautia, 'Mars Midget' is also a blooming machine. The color also seems more uniformly colored...a deep claret. I'm loving the little spot of rich color it provides in the garden...and as a bonus, I love the little spherical seedheads as much (maybe even more) than the blooms themselves. This plant is magical when backlit by the rising and setting sun.

Astrantia abbey road
Astrantia 'Abbey Road'
Ah yes, the Astrantias...they are still blooming...actually, they seem to just be hitting their peak! I was under the impression that they bloomed in June, then sort of rested and bloomed again when the weather cooled down. Maybe it's our cool summer weather this year, but many are still putting up new stems of flowers.

Astrantia maxima
Astrantia maxima
These are mostly going to seed, but are still pumping out new blooming stems each time I those chalky, pink flowers...and that large collar of bracts is sumptous.

astrantia star of beauty  384
Astrantia 'Star of Beauty'
This is the Astrantia I bought in bloom in a moment of flower lust early this spring. I let it bloom until the blossoms were spent, thinking it doubtful that it would bloom again anyway, so I might as well enjoy them for a while. They lasted over a month, at which time I cut them off. The past few months, the plant has been expanding steadily, and to my surprise, a few weeks ago, started throwing up more bloom stalks!

astrantia major roma  399
Astrantia major 'Roma'
I finally found one of these Astrantias for sale at The Oregon Garden a few weeks ago. A hybrid between A. major and A. maxima, it supposedly has the best traits of both (large, lovely luminescent blooms and a very long bloom period). I love its soft pink coloring, which is a nice contrast to the deeper, almost somber, colors of the other Astrantias nearby.

astrantia abbey road  379
Another gratuitous shot of 'Abbey Road'

lilium ariadne  389
Lilium 'Ariadne'
I picked up a trio of bulbs of this lily at the spring HPSO sale. Unfortunately, I had to wait to plant them until we finished our backyard renovation (more on that later) which meant the poor little bulbs sat in my office for over a month. Two of the three did sprout, but are only about a foot tall...they are blooming, however! It was a bit tricky getting a picture through the foliage of the surrounding plants...but here it is! I'm not terribly font of the orangey color when they first emerge, but...

lilium ariadne  388
Lilium 'Ariadne'
...after a few days, they tone down to a luscious silvery pink...which is much more to my liking.

Echinops bannaticus
Ok, so it isn't quite blooming...but it's close!

Epilobium angustifolium
I know I just did a whole post on these, but I couldn't resist putting up another photo of these gorgeous blooms!

Verbena rigida with Geranium 'Ann Folkard'
I've come to rely on Verbena rigida during summer. They come up, spread around and bloom their heads off...with no intervention at all from me (save for dead-heading if I really feel like it).

Verbena rigida
While the ones I've had for a few years are a rich purple, the new ones I bought this year (for filling in a few random areas) are a very light lavender...almost white...strange.

Geranium 'Blue Sunrise'
This little Geranium was purchased as a bare root plant at the Yard Garden & Patio Show this spring. It has been growing slowly and is now blooming. The blooms are much like those of Rozanne.

Geranium 'Rozanne'
Of course, I couldn't do a Bloom Day post without the star performer. 'Rozanne' will add her gracious sprays of blue-purple blooms until frost cuts her down...a reliable beauty if ever there was one...and as I'm discovering...she gets BIG!

geranium ann folkard 394
Geranium 'Ann Folkard'
What can I say, I love this rowdy, sprawly gal. Every day, when I come home from work and walk up our front steps, seeing this mound of flowers, growing every which way, makes me smile!

Persicaria taurus
Persicaria 'Taurus'
These were just starting to bloom at the time of last months GBBD post, and is now going full-force into summer. Love those rich, rosy wands of color.

Impatiens balfourii
The little seedlings I was given by a friend this spring are happy as can be, and are now rewarding me with their charming little bicolored flowers...yay!

veronicastrum virginicum fascination  392
Veronicastrum virginicum 'Fascination'
If I ever had to name a flower that defined elegance, it would be this...Veronicastrum. Tall, wispy and delicate...but with a strong those candelabras of stately.

helenium mardi gras  382
Helenium 'Mardi Gras'
I know summers warmer palette is approaching when the Heleniums start blooming. While decidedly nondescript when not in bloom, Helenium makes up for it by blooming from now until first frost with countless warmly-colored daisies. Soon it will be joined by the Rudbeckia and Echinacea...but for now, it has the stage to itself.

north border above
I guess I'll wrap this up with a view I don't normally show...from above the side border of the house, on the grassy strip I left behind it to walk around...this is the view we have our kitchen window...and it always makes me happy...well, unless a cat is sleeping on one of my plants ;-)

Echinacea bud
Echinacea purpurea bud
Just wait 'til next month...there's still so much just waiting to bloom!


  1. Wow! Great variety of perennials! I like the look of your geraniums - how nicely they spread. And now, I want Astrantia!

  2. I'm completely the opposite: I LOVE the orange 'Acapulco's but have no use for the pinks! :)

    Great photos of your 'Ariadne' by the way. Very impressionistic but dynamic at the same time--I like how the flower looks like a restful spot in the green blur.

  3. Wow! Your Rozanne and Ann Folkard are both just huge! Are those both just one plant? Your pictures as usual are amazing.

  4. Your Rozanne looks so full and lush. I tried one this year because of past posts of yours. It's struggling in my droughty conditions , but is coming along as well as can be expected for the first year.
    Your blooms are all quite beautiful.

  5. Acid yellow is the colour I'm not fond of in the garden, especially mixed with a pale lavender. Your colour combinations are wonderful Scott and that photo of the lily is truly a work of art! I'm surprised your echinaceas are not out yet. Ours are jsu about getting there. Next month!

  6. Lots of beautiful blooms happening in your yard right now. Really lovely!
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  7. All I can say is WOW! The garden you've created, the blooms, the photographs ... all fall into the WOW-ness category!
    Happy GBBD :)

  8. Veronicastrum, astrantia, monardas, heleniums, oh, I envy you the moisture to grow these beauties. Love all your plant choices! My Purple Rain is taking a bit of a rest now. Wonderful agastache too.

  9. You have much more blooming in your garden than I do. Beautiful photos as always!

  10. Sorry I have not commented for a while Scott - a holiday and then family commitments have meant little blogging time of late. Every time I come here I see some familiar friends but also suffer severely from
    'Iwantitnowitis'. Must, must try out agastaches which I believe have the bonus of being scented. Also tempted by the mini knautia - had not realised that there was a smaller version. Off to see if I can locate it on this side of the pond. Really enjoyed your July blooms.

  11. OUTSTANDING TOUR!!!!!Love the Lily
    Thanks Scott

  12. Wonderful! Interestingly, my Persicarias and Monardas aren't blooming yet. I love the Persicaria and Salvia combo. I'm glad to see your Impatiens balfouri is blooming. Such a fun plant. Your garden is looking fabulous.

  13. Wow, raise the bar! where to begin...
    The Lilium 'Ariadne' photo is like a fine chandelier!
    Love the 'Raspberry Wine' Monarda,... is the 'Jacob Cline' invasive for you? Mine was well established and totally disappeared.
    Guess I should take it as a sign its time to switch to the Raspberry Wine!
    Great post!

  14. I'm overdue for a visit to Rhone Street Gardens and what a delightful return! You captured my heart with your Agastache collection. Like Blackswamp_Girl, I'm more partial to the oranges, but I'm slayed by your choices: they are all amazing summer performers. I just hope all we Northwesterners can successfully keep them alive over our soupy winters.

    Lovely to see your Helenium blooming - my H. 'Moerheim Beauty' is still in bud, but it doesn't get as much sun as it would like.

    I always enjoy and learn from seeing your beautifully composed and focused pics, Scott.

  15. So many beauties for Bloom Day ~ wonderful! And so beautifully photographed!

  16. Hi Scott,
    I am going to paste your comment to me on my GBBD post because I am saying the same thing back to you. :o)

    "As always, (Scott), your garden is so charming and beautiful...and full of so many plants I just love! Aren't the Globe Thistles amazing...I am so captivated by their blooms!"

    I don't have all of the agastaches you do, but do have some planted the last couple years, and newer ones I planted this year that are just starting to bloom. I have trouble getting photos of the blooms. I love those astrantrias! I don't know if they grow here.

    I drove by my friend's place after church this morning to see if her persicarias were blooming yet. I wanted to make sure my memory was correct, and the blooms were reddish and not white. I was pleased to see the reddish color similar to yours. I got a couple small divisions from her this spring. They died way back, but now have new leaves that are growing well. I also found a giant fleeceflower, that is another kind, and wanted to make sure that wasn't what she had.

    Well, the friend I just talked about called, and we are going to go out in the 90 plus degree day to see a garden with lots of daylilies that is open to the public today. I wasn't going to go, but agreed to go with her. Have a good day!

  17. Scott you have the type of garden that I aspire to have. So many of your blooms are favourites of mine and if my conditions were right I would grow them aswell. I think your slightly elevated site suits many of those plants aswell and I really like the combination of verbena rigida and Anne Folkard together.

  18. You grow a lot of stuff I can't. Salvia? Man, I can only grow like two. And my agastaches took a huge hit this winter with less snow cover, so I'm left to enjoying yours, I suppose--which is fine. Not really.... :)

  19. Beautiful! I just love you plantings and views.

    I so enjoy and appreciate the time you put into separating each plant variety out and your specific comments for each. One of my favorite pleasures is to learn something new about plants! So thank you.

    Hope you have many more colorful greetings as you come home this summer.

  20. Summer, who needs it, when the plants are so happy? Great photos!

    I think Astrantias are a seriously underutilized NW garden plant, although I've heard they can seed aggressively. We don't seem to have that problem. Do you?

  21. Wonderful pictures! You might have made me an Agastache-convert. I've been a bit annoyed with mine, a white Agastache that self seeds everywhere, but those orange/pink ones are fabulous! Thanks for the tour!

  22. Just stopping by to mention again how jealous I am of your photography skills. Going to have to play around tomorrow in the garden with my camera, see what I can come up with. You don't use flash do you?

  23. I really do covet your beautiful border. And I know that feeling of having a beautiful view which is only spoiled if a cat wants a snooze.

    Every time I see Agastache 'Golden Jubilee' I become obsessed by it and try, again, to find it here in the UK (we can get seeds but people say they are troublesome to grow). I finally found one today being sold online at in trays of 50,for retailers I guess, but the photo looked horrible, short and lumpy, not open and delicate like yours. Perhaps that's how they grown in the UK climate?

    If any of your readers have grown it in Northern Europe I'd love to hear from them on what it turns out like.

  24. Scott,
    Thank you for coming by. Your own garden is quite beautiful. I love your red persicaria mixed with the blue agastache. I seem to have imported one with me when I moved. I certainly hope it self seeds like it did in my previous home. I love the astrantias, although I have yet to buy any. They remind me of little crowns.

  25. Tatyana: I love both Geraniums and Astrantias...I hope you find some...they are wonderful!

    Blackswamp_Girl: hahahaha...I know...I think I'm definitely in the minorty on that one! was tricky, but I do like how the Lily photo turned out too :-)

    Alison: Hahaha...thanks! No...the 'Ann Folkard' is 2 plants, the Rozanne is 3...but each plant is pretty big (about 3' wide and 2' tall)

    Sue: I hope it makes it through...the first year it isn't super impressive, but next year it should be great!

    Janet: Thanks! Isn't it funny how we all have different color aversions. One of my Echinaceas is blooming now (the species) and the rest are just starting up...Love them so much!

    Sunray: Thanks!!!

    Christine: Awww...thanks!

    Denise: Thanks...I know, I'm one of the few Portlanders who doesn't EVER complain about too much rain!!!

    Phillip: Thanks so much!

    Anna: No worries...we all know how that goes ;-) Agastaches really are wonderful plants...good drainage seems to be the key...although mine have done well even without the best drainage. The small Knautia is wonderful...I wish I had grabbed more last year!

    Beech Street Gardens: Thanks so much...glad you could stop by!

    Grace: Don't you love those Persicaria...such great plants...the Impatiens is my baby this year when I have a million seedlings, maybe not so much ;-)

    Karen: You know, Jacob Cline is not so much...but Raspberry Wine is quite the spreader...but it's always succeptable to Powdery Mildew

    MulchMaid: Glad to see you again!!! I'm always amazed that there are some "easy" plants that I don't have luck with, but those Agastaches are, for the most part, really good performers for odd. My Helenium is the would probably like a bit more sun...but oh well :-)

    Sweetbay: Thanks!!!

    Corner Gardener Sue: Love the Globe Thistles...such amazing form and color! I agree about the Agastaches...they are very tricky to photograph well. I'm not sure of your zone for the Astrantias...but there might be some hardy up there...I remember being surprised at how wide their range was. I'm so happy about your Persicaria...they are such a great plant...and so great at filling in space and tying other plants together! I just planted one of the Giant Fleeceflowers (Persicaria polymorpha) this spring...but will probably have to move it at some point...they get HUGE!

    Rose@leavesnbloom: Thanks so much...I agree about the elevation...even though it's a pain to maintain...good drainage is so important!

    Benjamin Vogt: Hahahahaha...I agree...that's not good need these plants too :-) If it makes you feel have WAY more space than me...I'm going to have to start gardening my neighbors yards soon!

    Wife, Mother, Gardener: So glad you liked the post...I do tend to spend a bit of time on them...and always feel like I might be it's nice to know it was worth it!

    MosaicGardens: hahahaha...totally...and truly, I'm one of the few here in Portland who is loving the cool and the rain (don't tell anyone)! I agree about the Astrantias...I just sort of discovered them last year and am thrilled at how well they are doing...and in a spot where nothing else would grow! This is their first year in my I guess I'll find out next spring if they are too prolific :-)

    HA: Glad to convert you!!!

    AllAndrewsPlants: Thanks so use flash!!!! :-)

    Cally: Hmmmm...that seems strange...I think we here in Portland have a very similar climate to you...I bet the photos they are showing are transplants (or many first-year plants)

    Yael: Thanks for stopping by here too! I love that combo as well...such nice your description of the Astrantias...I'm gonna use that someday!

  26. Scott, I just stumbles upon your garden blog. Like it lots. Your photos are very nice. Here on the shore of Lake Michigan I am able to grow many of the same plants as you. So I am going to put you done to follow. Here too the Summer has be making everything bloom like crazy, except that it has been so very hot and humid lately. I always thought it was said "cooler by the lake". Someone lied about this Summer. Though the sunrise yesterday was great. So that sort of makes up for all the heat which I really could do without! See you soon. Jack

  27. Hi Scott, I've decided to start a series of posts on my blog entitled 'Gardens I'd Love to Visit' and would really like to feature yours first. Would it be OK to use photo's from your blog to illustrate your wonderful garden and photography?

  28. Scott, your posts are like a wish list I didn't know I had. You expand my gardening wants and horizons and deplete my wallet with each posting. ;-)

    Now do you have a favorite, blooms-like-crazy daylily. They are as so nicely drought tolerant yet flashy that I've become a fan.

    Speaking of bossy, I'll have to post a photo of my Orienpet lily Frisco when it blooms, currently about 7 feet tall with stems like broomsticks.

  29. Wow, all those plants look so great! And your astrantias are obviously more established than mine with lots more blooms. So pretty. Too many of my plants are begging for more water by now, it's just hard to keep up with the dry spots from the sprinklers. Yours all see very happy :-)

  30. You certainly have a wonderful variety of color, shape, and texture. And such wonderful drifts of flowers! I need Astrantia in my garden.

  31. Found your blog the other day-very nice. I love the astrantia maxima. They look like they were cut from paper. I dont think I have seen them before!

  32. Scott, this is my first visit to your site and am I glad I dropped by. You have a fantastic range of perennials many of which we have grown in our many years of gardening.I suspect your climate is more moderate than many other areas of the US. I have to say your photography is stunning and Astrantia Maxima is one of my favourites. Your description of chalky pink is better than my attempt at describing, I may even store it for use at a later date, if you don't mind. You may well find that we can be a bit red for your liking. will be back again.

  33. Scott, it's official I am now addicted to Agastache, thanks to you. On my first purchase, I came home with shivers and needing more, more, more I say! Bought a pretty little golden yellow one, but now can't find the tag. The color of citrine almost.

  34. Great photos! Your Agastache look wonderful. I can't keep mine alive through the winter. Thanks for your comment. I agree about that other park in the Pearl District. I saw it, or rather I walked past it as quickly as I could, on my way to Tanner Springs.

  35. Gardens at Waters East: Thanks so much! Sorry to hear about the uncomfortable weather, I moved out to Portland just to get away from that! Something about it does make for some amazing sunsets, I'll agree with you on that too!

    Cally: That would be so flattering…I can't wait to see that series!

    Tom: You are too kind…and now I'm blushing too! I'll have to keep an eye out for that lily…I adore lilies and only regret I have so little room in which to grow them! Oh..and I'm SOOO excited about your Agastache! I can't wait to see it…I've never seen a yellow one…I MUST do some research ;-) You'll be pleased to know that almost all of the Agastaches I've had have been VERY amenable to rooting of cuttings ;-)

    VW: Thanks…it's been easy for us so far…we've had an incredibly cool, mild summer so far (which I'm enjoying tremendously)!

    Violet Fern: You must get some…they look super delicate, but are wonderfully hardy!

    Three on Grove: So glad you stopped by…those Astrantia are so lovely…they are worth searching out!

    Tom: So excited, I hope you post about them soon!!! If only my influence extended beyond plants!!!

    Jordan: Thanks! The Agastache do apparently like good drainage…but mine have survived so far (granted, i'm on a slope…which MUST account for their longevity! I love that you passed by the "yuppy park" without a backward glance!

  36. If a plant is known to be susceptible to powdery mildew..can you head it off before hand by spraying it with something or giving it an application of something around the soil? Just wondering?

  37. Betty819: Thanks for stopping by. Yes, there are a few things you can do...I usually buy a spray bottle of fungicide (you can get them at most garden centers). There are different kinds, so I usually ask the clerk if they can recommend anything in particular. I just keep an eye on my plants and if I see even a hint of powdery mildew, I pull of the leaves that are already showing symptoms and spray the rest of the plant with the fungicide thoroughly. I will also usually spray the other Monardas in my garden pre-emptively, as tehe spores can travel on the wind. The spray should last until it's washed off by rain, and then you have to re-apply. It seems to help, but I've had years where it didn't matter what I did...the Monardas were just determined to get sick!