Friday, July 15, 2011
Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - July 15, 2011
Wow...is it really July...how 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 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 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'
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 subtle...it screams from across the street!
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'
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!
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.
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'
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 '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!
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 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'
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.
These are mostly going to seed, but are still pumping out new blooming stems each time I check...love those chalky, pink flowers...and that large collar of bracts is sumptous.
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'
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.
Another gratuitous shot of 'Abbey Road'
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...
...after a few days, they tone down to a luscious silvery pink...which is much more to my liking.
Ok, so it isn't quite blooming...but it's close!
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).
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.
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'
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!
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.
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'
If I ever had to name a flower that defined elegance, it would be this...Veronicastrum. Tall, wispy and delicate...but with a strong consitution...love those candelabras of blossoms...so stately.
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.
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 purpurea bud
Just wait 'til next month...there's still so much just waiting to bloom!