Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - August 15, 2011

GBBD_August 2011
August is here...that's crazy! Here in Portland, we've been lucky to have an amazingly mild summer so far...it might be the first time I can say I've enjoyed summer weather! The garden is looking better and better as the weeks go by. Of course, now that most of the plants are at or near their full size, it's easier for me to judge what is and isn't working...so a few things will get moved in the following weeks (as long as the weather stays pleasant). I know there are A LOT of GBBD posts for everyone to get though, so I decided to only feature a few individual flowers and post wider shots of the garden this time...and off we go!

Agastache and Monarda
Agastache 'Blue Fortune' and Monarda 'Raspberry Wine'
I've been thrilled this summer that my 'Raspberry Wine' has escaped from getting Powdery Mildew (the same can't be said of the smaller 'Blue Stocking'. 'Raspberry Wine' has been blooming for over a month and will likely continue until frost (if it blooms as long as last year). I'm smitten with it's vigor and floriferous nature. In the past, the biggest problem I've had with it (aside form PM) is that its bottom stems get pretty bare during hotter weather. This year, it's been cooler and I planted a few Agastache 'Blue Fortune' in front of it to hide it's knobby knees. Love the contrasting color and shapes of the blooms.

Astrantia major, unknown variety
Some of the Astrantias are setting seed, but this one and 'Star of Beauty' decided to flower for a 2nd time this season. I thought about deadheading the others, but am interested to see if any of them set seed.

Knautia macedonica, Verbena bonariensis 'Lollipop', Agastache 'Ava'
The backyard is now officially a jungle! I'll have to do a more in-depth post soon. All of the plants are highly attractive to pollinators. Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds...all of them jostle and fight for a spot at their favorite flowers.

Agastache Blue Blazes Agastache ava
Agastache 'Blue Blazes'Agastache 'Ava'
Two new Agastaches from High Country Gardens I'm trying for the first time this year. 'Ava' has been around for a few years on the market. I'm amazed at how full and bushy it is for a first year plant. 'Blue Blazes' is HCG's new Agastache introduction this year, so I wasn't sure what to expect. It has impressed me beyond all expectations. While a few of the plants are smaller and more compact, some of them have shot up to 6' tall and about 3-4' wide and are absolutely festooned with their gorgeous blossoms. The plants are a bit open and lanky, which I think will change next year as these were straggly sprouts when I planted them. HCG also recommends pinching this one back in spring to encourage it to stay bushier...which seems a good idea. Can't wait to see how these perform next year!

Front Garden
This is the front (East) border. The Rudbeckia certainly draws the eye, but is tempered by the blue and magenta of the neighboring Geraniums ('Rozanne' and 'Ann Folkard'). The 'Tiger Eyes' Sumac is finally coming into its own this summer and growing...it looks smashing...such a vivid spot of color and texture. I am crossing my fingers that it gets enough sun to give a good show of fall color as well.

Persicaria and Eupatorium Echinops bannaticus
Persicaria polymorphaEchinops bannaticus
I've been wanting a Persicaria polymorpha since last year when I really started getting into Persicarias. Sadly, no one was selling them. This spring, however, I found one at Portland Nursery and grabbed it! I'm pretty sure it will have to move next year, having seen just how big they can get. The plants in the background are Eutrochium 'Little Joe' and Foeniculum vulgare. The Echinops is a plant I always wanted to have in my garden someday, back when I lived in an apartment. I love it's little spherical flowers...they seem utterly perfect...almost unnatural. They are such a great contrast to all the other forms in the garden.

front crop  443
Here's the front border looking from the other direction (and on a sunny day, no less). I love how the repeated Agastache draw the eye through the garden...can you tell I have a bit of an obsession with plants that bloom in spikes and spires?!?

lilium black beauty 1 salvia and helenium
Lilium 'Black Beauty'Salvia 'Black & Blue' & Helenium 'Mardi Gras'
Lilium 'Black Beauty' begins blooming, for me at least, around the last week of July and continues until about the first week of September. I am totally in love with them, there is just something so elegant and dramatic about those richly-colored, recurved petals. Salvia 'Black & Blue' is one of those plants I get very frustrated with early in the season, as it takes forever to emerge and start growing...leaving a very large empty spot in the garden. Then, it blooms, and all is forgiven (at least until next spring). The color and stature of them is just so lovely...nothing comes close.

Helenium 'Mardi Gras'
This is the orange/yellow blob in the background of the above pic. I love Helenium and keep thinking I'll get more someday (they come is such a rich array of autumnal colors). This one is definitely a keeper. It has been blooming for over a month already, and if I keep it deadheaded, will go until frost. Plus, how many other plants are tough enough to survive (even thrive) wedged between a Miscanthus and a Eutrochium...not many.

Here is a pic of the North border from the West. I've been very happy with how this border (which is only a year old) has shaped up this year. It's one of the few times I've felt very little need to fuss around or move things...well, not TOO much, anyway ;-)

Joe Pye
Eutrochium 'Gateway'
Ah yes, what would my garden be like without Joe Pye Weed...very sad, indeed! This is actually a pic of the smaller of my 2 'Gateway', the larger one is by our front steps. This one is on the North Side of the house and is sizing up nicely. Love those large heads of mauve flowers...and so do the bees. Joe Pye provides good structure and mass to my garden...and is lovely in and out of flower. As a bonus, the stems are a wonderful red/burgundy color as well.

crocosmia  440
Crocosmia 'Orangeade'
My only Crocosmia, 'Orangeade' is a good performer and has clumped up handsomely. It provides a nice shot of warm color to my predominantly cool palette of plants.

Agastache and Persicaria echinacea magnus
Agastache 'Golden Jubilee' & Persicaria 'Taurus'Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus'
Agastache 'Golden Jubilee' is such a great plant and I use it around my gardens, including paired here with Persicaria 'Taurus' and Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem). I love that both flower with spikes, but they are very different in size, shape and color. Echinacea are, for me, the signature flower of summer...I can't imagine a garden of mine without them.

Monet Moment
The North border form the East...love the play of color, form and texture.

Sunny Garden 2
And here is the whole shebang...hope you're having a great summer so far...for more blooms, head on over to May Dreams Gardens for more Garden Bloggers Bloom Day posts!


  1. so when are you going to move the arborvitae? lol. Great photos and garden. I'm impressed with your success of agastache. I struggle greatly with them. My blue fortune got to 3' and mature and just cratered overnight. I think it's herbicide from the tree stump killer, picloram.

  2. I appreciate the broader shots with the plants in context. We seem to share a similar garden style with a no bare earth attitude. Happy GBBD!

  3. You have a nice place as a corner lot. Every photo is enticing but as i always prefer, the wide angle shot. Beautiful.

  4. Wow! Pretty spectacular. I can imagine your house almost disappearing in a sea of perennials in a couple more years.

  5. Do you get lots of comments from your neighbors? It is stunning!

  6. Major eye-candy post, Scott. Your neighbors must be so jazzed at the sight of this amazing corner-lot garden. Hasn't the weather been awesome this summer?

  7. I cannot believe what a variety you manage in that space. Beautiful!!

  8. Your gardens are put together so well and each plant compliments the other. Really lovely.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  9. As breathtaking as ever. As I was doing my own bloom day post I kept taking breaks between photo's to check in constantly for your BD pictures, sign of addiction if ever there was one.

    I'm stunner that your North border is only a year old!!! It looks so established. I'd been feeling pleased about the bits of my West border that are nearly a year old but it's mostly been grown from cuttings so it looks very straggly by comparison. Now I'm tempted to go out and buy some proper pots of flowers, oh the impatience, but budget beets desire at the moment, though I do have a couple of things listed for proper shop buy in Spring if I can't 'acquire' bits.

    I've decided to wait until winter to do the post on your garden because that is when we most need the inspiration of beautiful images and a reminder of what is to come as the year passes on and it's a great way of keeping in mind the scale things reach, so easy to forget as I look onto bare soil and think there is room for plenty more. Always do it, guilty as charged - no wonder I've had lots of powdery mildew the last few years.

  10. Great look Scott! Digging Dog Nursery used to carry Persicaria. I may have to move mine it is huge and prone to topple in the storms.

    Agastache Blue Fortune also gets very tall and leans forward in my alley garden. I hate to but I may have to hoop it next year. I can't get close to it now because of the bees. I also had Agastache Rosita in this area but it has been taken over by the Blue Fortune.


  11. Looks like the grass parkways are ripe for a spillover of perennials. Wonderful August garden. My Salvia vert. has taken midsummer off, whereas yours looks fantastic. The new agastaches look supremely happy, which makes me rethink what growing conditions they thrive in, since you've had such a cool, mild summer. And I do agree you really nailed the shapes and textures on the year-old border.

  12. Scott, Your photos today were really nice to see. Gives me a great overview of you yard and the many many flowers. Now my advice, don't complain about your summers i POrtland. This one was obviously good for your garden. You place looks great. Like the combinations of plants. In Winter I will be posting more photos of the gardens here at Lake Michigan. Figure I need the reminder at that time of year of how good life can be here at the shore. See you soon. Jack

  13. Your garden is beautiful, I love your perennial borders, so lush and colorful and well planned. My back yard is a jungle now too, it is amazing how big everything becomes by summer's end.

  14. just gorgeous! beautiful garden, beautiful pictures. i particularly like the agastache with monarda...will have to try that myself.

  15. What an amazing garden you have. That first shot almost stole my breath, the monarda is stunning and makes a great combination with the agastache. I have some small monarda to plant out into our fledgling garden once I've dug them over some space, think I've just found another must-have to add to the collection! Agastache is already on my wish-list, especially 'Black Adder', along with some of the hot pink persicarias.
    Lovely photographs, and your borders are a wonderful mix of colour and form - you have a good eye!

  16. Hello again Scott, I’m loving the longer shots I especially love the first one :-)

    Never grown Monarda but have been very tempted after seeing it in a Piet garden. What put me off when I went to local nurseries/centres was… the mildew on the leaves. I’m going to make a note of this variety… thanks :-)

    Your borders look just brilliant to me. If I had space in the sun this is what I’d like to achieve. I can imagine they are a haven for bees, butterflies and other insects.

    A great post of beautiful images and plantings – well done :-D

  17. Scott, I love your stunning garden and your photographs are terrific! I see you are an agastache fan too. A local nursery has 'Black Adder' available, so I'm going to try that next year. A lot aren't hardy in my area. The 'Blue Fortune is fabulous with the Raspberry Wine monarda.
    I got a persicaria polymorpha 2 summers ago, a single foot-tall stem in a little pot. This year, it is nearly 5 feet tall and the same around and topped with plumes. Wonderful plant!
    I've had good luck with a couple of panicums, 'Prairie Sky' and 'Shenandoah'. They look good together if you've got the room.

  18. Beautiful garden and use of a small space. I love looking at gardens from different climates than my upstate NY home enjoys. I've never been able to grow monarda (mildew) I also loved the Joe Pye weed, the wild version of which is in bloom here.

  19. Your photos suggest that your corner is a favorite place for passers-by to stop and dawdle for a while. Lovely gardens!

  20. Dear Scott, Every part of your garden is stunning! Love that Joe Pye Weed -- I must get some! As always, I am in awe of your photography. I will take your advice and take more wide shots and less macros, in future. P.

  21. Beautiful post! Your gardens are vibrant with color and your photography is stunning. Love your Monarda 'Raspberry Wine' and Echinops bannaticus-just fabulous!

  22. Great garden. Like what you've done. I'm a follower now.
    Ohio Outdoors

  23. You've a great show of colour and a great variety of plants. I like your verbena - I've grown it from seed and imagine it will self-seed (hopefully) for a better show next year. Thanks for visiting my bloom day post. I also find it interesting to have lupins flowering in Aug. I grew some in pots from seed last year, stuck them in the ground this year (June I think) and they've only now started to flower whereas the established lupins were finished awhile back. All the best, Kelli.

  24. How utterly fabulous - I love your Monarda, mine is stubbornly refusing to flower so hasn't made it in to the border to get PM. You grow so many of my favourite plants, and combine them really well. I love your north border, and the overall effect as shown in that last shot is wonderful. Oh, and I think your white astrantia might be 'Shaggy'.

  25. Your garden is absolutely gorgeous this summer. I really love some of your combinations, like the Raspberry Wine Monarda with Blue Fortune Agastache, so striking together. :)

  26. Wonderful photos, Scott. Nice to see the detail images of all your gems PLUS the overview of your exuberant plantings!

  27. A stunning photos of flower garden.

    Cassy from Acoustic Guitar Lessons

  28. Wow! Just when my gardens are suffering from the heat of the summer, yours are exploding with color. Great photos!-I especially liked the last shot of your yard :)

  29. Scott,

    Thanks for coming by my blog.

    Your garden is lovely....so many flowers blooming. I believe I lost my monarda last winter, for this year I had none. I really love it. It looks so lovely with that blue agastache. I have no astrantia, but that is on my "I gotta get some" list.


  30. Scott, you've managed to achieve such a beautiful spot in your lovely corner of the world. You've created great opportunity for photographs and you are so clever with your camera. Your photos are breathtakingly beautiful.
    I love seeing the long shots, and how you put things together.
    Lilium Black Beauty is glorious. I can see why you love them. Wow!
    Helenium is one I'd love to try. So lovely!
    Your Agastaches are wonderful. Do you deadhead them? I've spent hours this summer pulling out seedlings of Agastache foeniculum. This fall I'll fastidiously deadhead them! But it's a small price to pay for such a wonderful plant. I love to see the bees enjoying it.
    The blue Salvias are another favorite of mine. So lovely.
    You've really given us a great treat with these gorgeous photos of your August gardens, Scott. Thank you!
    P.S. I'm having the worst time lately getting Blogger to accept my comments other than anonymously. It won't recognize my Google account. Extremely frustrating! I'm wondering if anyone else has this problem.

  31. Hey Scott, I'm slowly catching up with my blog reading. Your garden looks great. This is definitely the month for the northern gardeners, the rest of us are frying. I'll be in Portland in a week to escape the aforementioned frying, send me a note if you want to try to meet up. I'd love to stop by and see your garden in person.

  32. amazing perennial borders and a great looking house if I may say so. Impressed with your Monarda 'Raspberry Wine, we have the Cambridge Scarlet which seems to be resistant to the mildew.

  33. Scott, The garden looks beautiful as always. How is the Verbena bonariensis 'Lollipop' doing? Is it staying dwarf? We grew these alongside the species this year, and found with the high heat and adequate water and fertilizer they reached the same height in pots.

    Odd how I keep missing bloom day by a few days... I need to get with it. So... when are you going to send me some Agastache cuttings? I don't have 'Blue Blazes' or 'Ava' yet. ;) I think they need a good Wisconsin trial. I should go find something to post about on my own blog now.

  34. Your photography is impressive, Scott, especially the middle distance shots. Lovely array of plants and colour this late in the season.

  35. Just lovely, this is what my garden looks like in my dreams. I love the combos, I have several of the same plants but have not combined them like you have. What inspiration!!! Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Tamazon :-) I also find lots of inspiration from visiting garden blogs! It's amazing how seeing plants used in a different way can really make a huge difference...I always kick myself for not thinking of it first ;-)