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'|
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'|
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|
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|
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|
|Eryngium venustum||Epilobium angustifolium|
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|
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'|
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.