Thursday, July 15

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - July 2010

It's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, and inappropriately enough, my first photo is NOT going to feature a flower... 
... yet!  This is my pineapple lily, 'Sparkling Burgundy' eucomis comosa, which has yet to flower but shows a lot of promise now that the bloom stalk has elevated the bud out past the base of the plant.  Oh wait, there IS a glimpse of an oakleaf hydrangea bloom over its left shoulder--so this photo actually DOES count for GBBD after all!  YAY!

Looking around the front yard, it's obvious that flowers take a backyard to the foliage.  Looking at the photos I took of the few blooms in front, my camera seems to pick up on the foliage-first theme, too:
 From top to bottom:  Agastache blooming in front of the sharper-focused sea kale leaves... 
'Summerwine' yarrow clusters peppering a bed of grasses, heucheras, culinary sage and bergenia... 
Dragonwing begonia blooms bravely peeking out in front of a variegated monstera leaf... 
'Black & Blue' salvia guaranitica fuzzy against a swirl of stipa/nassella tenuissima and sea kale

Hmm... maybe I'll have better luck in the back yard.  Let's head there... but not until I show the one publishable attempt (out of at least a dozen) at obtaining a photo that proves both how high my bronze fennel has become, and how bright my hanging basket of 'Bonfire' begonias blaze on the side of the porch:
 Yeah, it still doesn't look any better than it did at first, even with the addition of Steve's cute blue car for contrast.  

*sigh*

I have a few new pots that match the color of his cute blue car, and I got them for a steal at a local garden center.  Since I want to do a whole post about those, though, I'll just show you a few blooms from one today:
This is a bloom from 'Yellow Doll' watermelon, which is growing up, over and around a few coleus and these 'Vista Purple' salvia. I LOVE the way these pots are turning out!

Most of the backyard continues the theme of mixing edibles and ornamentals:

Top to bottom: "Hummingbird sage" (it was not tagged well--so not sure which salvia this is, sorry) and various portulacas in the clay tile planter, surrounded by blooming Russian sage, Japanese bloodgrass, blueberry bush, 'Opal Purple' basil, woolly thyme and cabbage...
A shrubby clematis (2nd pic) and 'Merlot' echinacea (3rd) pop out from a bed of alpine strawberries...
'Ichiban' eggplant with its demure, downward-facing flowers and pretty leaves...
'Sum & Substance' (I believe) hosta blooming under the 'Concord' grape, with a bed of oregano at its feet.

Lest you think that the backyard is all about me, though, I want to show you that I do a few things for the butterflies, too:
These are 2 of the three asclepias I have in the backyard, in a bed that also includes drumstick allium (when those were not as spent and faded as they are above, the effect of them mingling with the orange butterfly weed was spectacular!) and fescues, serrano peppers and 'Gretel' eggplant.  I wish that I could tell you that butterflies eat as well out of this bed as I do... but as with the fennel in the front yard, they just don't seem to find this table that I have set for their enjoyment!  Boo.  :(

I don't want to end on such a bummer, though, so let's include one last shot from the front yard:
'Albury purple' is my idea of a perfect front-yard shrub:  Awesome form and foliage, colorful berries and cheery, buttery-yellow blooms on a tough plant that needs no extra TLC.


In addition to the above, I also have a few volunteer snapdragons, peppers, tomatoes, heucheras, golden oregano, blue plumbago (a month early!) and brouwallia in bloom this month.  To check out what the rest of the world has in bloom, visit May Dreams Gardens, where the lovely Carol hosts Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day!

22 comments:

EAL said...

Pineapple lily! Must have it. Also, love the asclepias. For some reason I have not managed to squish any of these into my garden. They are really sun lovers though, like most of the natives that I like.

Say, I tred to fix that FB link, but we will be putting up a flickr page of images soon. We actually had an event photographer for Buffa10.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I think all of these photos are perfect for GBBD even if there is just a hint of what will be coming.
Happy GBBD.

noel said...

aloha,

i love your photos of your beautiful flowers especially that soon to be pineapple lilly flower

thanks for sharing your blooms today.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I saw bronze fennel living up to it's potential in Buffalo, so I can imagine how large yours is. (I had always assumed it got about 3 feet high or so.) Did I read that wrong or are you really growing a watermelon in a container? My kids often ask me to grow watermelon, but I tell them we have no room in the ground for one.

Greensparrow said...

Love the watermelon as an ornamental! So cool!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

EAL, YAY! I'm looking forward to the flickr page--I'll definitely keep an eye out for that. The two taller asclepias are actually getting about a half day of sun only, but they still do just fine. I have to keep remembering to cut those seedpods off, though... a. tuberosa is getting a little too promiscuous in my yard!

Greenbow Lisa, sometimes a tease is good, right? Happy GBBD!

noel, aloha! I like having a few somewhat tropical-looking things in my yard, since I can't live in a real paradise like Hawaii. :)

MMGD, no, you read that correctly! 'Yellow Doll' is supposedly one of the few types that you CAN grow in a (very very large) container, since the fruits are 3-7lbs only, and the vines are fairly compact. So when I had the containers, I decided that I couldn't not give it a go.

More info on these pots will be forthcoming--along with a review of how well growing watermelon in them works. I promise. :)

Blackswamp_Girl said...

greensparrow, thanks for stopping by! I actually wanted the watermelon as an edible, but have been wowed by both the foliage and the flowers. In a small garden like mine, double duty is practically required. :)

Heather's Garden said...

I'm noticing the foliage in my garden a lot more than the blooms too. Beautiful as always!

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

So many beautiful blooms. I have a pineapple lily too in a container but it has a white flower. Have to post that. My Crambe Maritima was dug out by my husband in the spring because it was flopping over his hearty prickly pear cactus. Oh the whoa of it.

Tufa Girl said...

I have a couple pineapple lilies. You will love your even more with their beautiful little blooms open. Lovely garden.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Heather, I'm not surprised--you put foliage together so well!

Sandbox Gardener, oooh... I can't wait to see your pineapple lily. I should probably keep this one in a container, but I guess I'm just living dangerously. lol. (Want another sea kale? I always have babies--I can keep an eye out next spring!)

Thanks, Tufa Girl! I'm sure to be posting photos when the bloom finally does arrive--so excited about this. :)

healingmagichands said...

Well, I think that the sprout on the pineapple lily counts as a bloom, myself.

Your yard is fabulous, and I surely enjoyed the tour.

Gail said...

Beautiful flowers Kim...but, my favorite is the eggplant's flower and leaf~It has that touch of aubergine coloring that is perfect! gail

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Ok, now I'm excited about the watermelon. Next year we will try it. I've got some BA pots, so that's not a problem. You asked about Callirhoe. Get it, it's virtually no maintenance and does great in dry soil. It's a sun to part shade plant, but it loves to sprawl. Nan Ondra grows hers over something chartreuse foliaged (golden oregano?), because she finds the foliage of Callirhoe kind of blah.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

healingmagichands, thank you as always for the kind words! And you're right--the pineapple lily is still pretty darn ornamental.

Gail, don't you just love that word--and the color, too, of course! When I say it in my head, I pronounce it like they do on the British gardening shows. :)

MMGD, thanks for stopping by to post about the callirhoe! I just love that color in your photo, so I think I'm going to have to find someplace to add it next year.

Sylvana said...

That pineapple lily sure grabs you attention! I bet Danger Garden would like that.

I like the sea kale and your eggplant the best. Although that echinacea is gorgeous too.

chuck b. said...

Does Monstera live from year to year in Ohio?? I would not have guessed that. So big. I wish I had room for it. It's one of the few variegated foliages that I like immediately. Mostly I have to warm up to them, if that.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Sylvana, I'm partial to the eggplant & sea kale, too! :)

chuck b., you are correct in your guess: monstera is definitely not hardy here! This baby has to come in over the winter... which wasn't so bad last year when it was in a small pot. But will be quite the challenge this year when the temperatures turn colder. I'm trying not to think about that!

Leslie said...

The first GBBD post-visit is so much fun...I can "see" your garden in my mind and love the added level of vision! I'm still jealous of your great buy on those pots...unbelievable!

LINDA from EACH LITTLE WORLD said...

Between this and the foliage you have quite an array of unusual plants. And quite a handful that I presume must live inside in the winter. When I see these beauties I think maybe I should reconsider houseplants!

Elizabeth Barrow said...

I love your pineapple lily. I've always admired it in catalogs and magazines but for some reason, I've never had one in my garden. Thanks for posting it!

Carol said...

I once had a white pineapple lily. I faithfully dug it out of its pot each fall and replanted it in the spring. Then I think one spring I forgot to replant it and it dried up. Now, I must get another one!

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