Yes...I'm a whole day late for GBBD this month. Actually, I'm almost always a day late (oops...TWO days late), so really, I'm right on schedule! July has seen temps rise quite a bit...and while most of the plants seem to be relishing it, I have to admit, I'm VERY grateful to have A/C right now! Amazingly, we got a tiny bit of rain on Sunday...which is pretty unusual for Portland during summer (there is even talk of thunderstorms in the next few days).
Before I start our tour of what's blooming here on Rhone Street, don't forget to visit Carol at May Dreams Garden
for a showing of Bloom Day posts around the world!
I'm totally smitten with this plant...I first saw it featured on Nan Ondra's blog, Hayefield
, and like so many of the plants she features, it became an instant object of lust! Luckily, I found some for sale at the HPSO sale last fall, at the Far Reaches Farm
booth. Even though I had technically spent my budget for the day, I snatched these up, knowing I'd regret it if I didn't. They are quite handsome, even when not blooming, but the blooms are definitely the icing on the cake...plus, they are gorgeous backlit...I'm sure you'll see them in MANY future posts.
Veronicastrum virginicum 'Fascination'
Amazingly, I was proactive this year in staking these beauties long before they bloomed, at which time they will inevitably flop in my garden. It's my fault...to much shade. Still...they are so lovely, I wouldn't be without them. Even before blooming, their foliage appears in graceful whorls, spaced widely on their stems...they are extremely "light-looking" for such a big plant. I adore their wispy, candelabra-esqu flowers...and so do the bees!
Echinacea purpurea 'Prairie Splendour', Leucanthemum & Pennisetum 'Karley Rose'
What would summer be without the "daisy-like" flowers. To me, nothing quite says SUMMER like they do. Of course, I love my Echinacea, and plant them all over. Well, to be honest, I plant them once and move their seedlings all over to fill empty spaces! I have a love/hate relationship with the Leucanthemum. They get so tall and floppy...not matter what I do. Also, while many plants have the good manners to fade gracefully once they've finished blooming, these Daisies don't...their spent flowers look like dingy, wet scrap of toilet paper.
|Verbena bonariensis||Persicaria 'Golden Arrow'|
For the first few years I had this Verbena planted in my garden, I never saw a single seedling. Suddenly, in the past 2 years, I seem to have them everywhere. I'm not complaining, mind you, I love them...and let them grow pretty much anywhere they want. 'Golden Arrow' was another Far Reaches find last fall at the HPSO sale...and it's doing so well! I can hardly believe how big and vigorous it is...and the color of the foliage...WOW!
I was going to save the grasses for a different post, but couldn't help but want to share the amazing, golden seedheads of this one!
Persicaria 'Firetail' with Geranium 'Rozanne' & Geranium 'Ann Folkard' in background
I think this Persicaria is going to be too big for this spot in a year or two, but for the time being, I love it paired with Geranium 'Rozanne'. The contrast in form and color is wonderful.
Geranium 'Rozanne' & Deschampsia 'Tatra Gold'
'Rozanne' looks good pretty much everywhere, but I really love here growing through other plants, as with the wonderful, textural seed heads of this Deschampsia.
|Monarda 'Raspberry Wine'||Origanum 'Hopley's Purple'|
While I have to admit, I do have a fondness for "subtle" and "soothing" colors in the garden, occasionally, even I have to have something that is brazen...like 'Raspberry Wine'...that color is visible from a block away! 'Hopley's Purple' is an ornamental Oregano I got at Joy Creek Nursery
a few years ago...and it's never been very happy for me. Then again, I think I move it every single year, so it has never had much of a chance to settle in. This year, I was determined to let it be where it was...and it's performing like a champ...I love it!
Sanguisorbia 'Pink Elephant'
This is another plant that flops without fail every single year. It always seems so sturdy...then, suddenly...it topples over. For some reason, this year it seems to at least be mingling nicely with its neighbors...and now I kind of like it again :-)
|Teucrium cossonii||Persicaria polymorpha|
I stumbled upon this little groundcover Tuecrium at Portland Nursery a few weeks ago...and even though I really don't need (well, don't have room for) more plants in general, I can always seem to find room for another groundcover. This one has wonderful, silvery evergreen foliage...and lovely purple blooms...which smell amazing if you brush against them. Persicaria polymorpha is HUGE this year! I can't believe I just planted it last summer...it's so big! It keeps pumping out new blooms...as the older blooms fade to an earthier beigey-white. Normally, I think white flowers tend to look pretty ratty as they age, but this Persicaria is the exception to the rule...if anything, the older flowers look even nicer.
Persicaria 'Inverleith' & Salvia 'Purple Rain'
Ok...yes, there are a few more plants than that in the pic above...but those are the two main ones! I truly adore this diminutive (comparatively) Persicaria is actually about twice as big as it usually is this year. I have no idea if our winter is to blame...but it's kind of crazy. Of course, it grew so tall, so fast, that now it wan't to open up in the middle and flop all over. Luckily, I've grown quite adept at corseting plants up with bamboo stakes and twine. Sadly, it seems to have also caused it to be less able to deal with the stress of our summer heat/wind combination...and has been scorching a little bit...more so than any other plant.
Agastache 'Purple Haze', Pennisetum 'Karley Rose' & Panicum 'Huron Solstice' with Geranium 'Ann Folkard' & Rhus 'Tiger Eyes' in background
Sometimes I plant a combination...thinking in my head that it's going to look RAD...but the reality is a bit of a letdown. Sometimes, however, like in the photo above, it works out even better than I had imagined. I LOVE the smoky purple spires of this Agastache, paired with the smoldering mauve tassels of the Pennisetum. For some reason, they really work for me. Add in the brighter magentas and chartreuses behind them and I'm kind of gaga for this vignette.
Persicaria 'Firetail & Molinia 'Moorhexe'
I know I've already shown this Persicaria in this post...but I really like it in combination with the Molinia (another fabulous find at Wind Dancer
) above as well. Why don't we see more Molinias in gardens around Portland?
|Geranium 'Ann Folkard'||Eryngium yuccifolium|
Much like 'Rozanne', I probably don't even need to call out Geranium 'Ann Folkard', as it appears in so many other pictures in this post...but it's so great, that it still merits its own shout-out! The Eryngium was a surprise find at Joy Creek
Nursery this spring. I had been interested in it, ever since seeing it appear in numerous Piet Oudolf-designed gardens. I was thrilled to see them offering it..and it's doing REALLY well in the new front parking strip (a full post on that is forthcoming)!
Agastache 'Black Adder'
This is the very first Agastache I ever bought...and I'm still a little bit smitten with it every year when it blooms. I just love that wonderful two-tone effect that the darkly-colored bracts give the blooms.
I'm always a little surprised at how much I love this plant. I think it's one of those plants you really have to see in person to appreciate. There is something utterly charming about its freely-produced raspberry-colored blooms. The best thing is that it just looks good...with EVERYTHING!
|Agastache rupestris||Cephalaria gigantea|
This Agastache is so tough...and so beautiful. I just adore it's silvery, finely-divided foliage...and the flowers are just a bonus. Their color is every-changing and sort of indescribable...a mix of orange, pink and purple. It makes for some surprising combinations, to be sure. The Cephalaria is sort of in plant limbo, for the moment. It's a frequent victim of my neighbor's chickens...who think it's delicious. I've moved it to a spot where I can more easily defend it...but it's not terribly happy. Nevertheless...it rewarded my diligence with a few blooms...a promise of what's to come, should I ever find it a really good spot.
|Eryngium venustum||Epilobium angustifolium|
I got this particular Eryngium at Xera Plants
this spring...smitten by it's amazing rosette of spiny foliage...and the promise of it's spiky, star-like seed heads. The Epilobium is a PNW native...and is really tough...these blooms are from root fragments left behind last year after I had relocated the parent plants!
I just love the crazy, spherical flowers of Echinops...they hardly seem real.
Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus'
Another coneflower...can't get enough of them!
|Drumstick Allium||Selinum wallichianum|
While it's not the biggest or the showiest of Alliums, the tiny drumstick Alliums are among my faves. They bloom much later, with rich, saturated colors...and just go so well with so many other plants, adding nice "pops" of color wherever the show up. I planted the Selinum last year, after waiting for it to become available on the Annie's Annuals
website. While one of them didn't make it through the winter, for some reason, the other two are growing vigorously...and are about to bloom!
Astrantia maxima & Astrantia major 'Star of Beauty'
You knew you weren't going to make it without seeing a few Astrantias...right?!?!
Astrantia major 'Abbey Road'
This is the latest of the Astrantias to bloom...towards the end of the bloom cycle of the others. I'm starting to chop off the blooms of the Astrantias that have already bloomed...hopefully this will stimulate them to re-bloom this fall.
Agastache 'Desert Sunrise'
I just love this Agastache...all the qualities that make Agastache rupestris so great...but in a color that's much easier to work with :-)
Agastache 'Blue Blazes'
And now we come to the Agastache that has consumed the backyard! It's a good thing I love these, because they are going crazy back there...there is almost nothing else visible! They are as huge as the are beautiful, some are over 6' tall (and wide). They've knit together to form an almost-impenetrable thicket. And yes...the hummingbirds battle daily over this prime piece of real estate.
|Astrantia 'Ruby Wedding'||Agastache 'Golden Jubilee'|
'Ruby Wedding' started blooming a month or so ago...but seemed to only producing a few bloom stalks...which was a bit disappointing. Well, apparently, that was just the pre-show...now it's blooming like mad! Agastache 'Golden Jubilee' is a bit of a staple in my garden. For some reason, this year, they are almost two full months behind where they would normally be. I'm not sure if it was our mild winter or what...but I had almost given them up for goners. Luckily, they do seem to have come through it...and are blooming now...although at a MUCH smaller size.
Knautia 'Melton Pastels'
Variety is the spice of life, and even though I love the regular Knautias...I was intrigued last year by these hybrids with their range of colors. While all the ones I started from seed last year are the same light-ish pink, the ones in the front parking strip are blooming now in a nice mix of red, lavenders and pinks.
Whew...well, that was only slightly gratuitous,right? I leave you with a few wide shots of the garden right now.