Friday, August 14

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day August 2009

It's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day (hosted by Carol of May Dreams Gardens)... and it's a typical August weekend here in Northeast Ohio. We are finally hot and muggy--yes, I mean that WE are hot and muggy, just like the weather!--and the gardens are in their midsummer doldrums, where most everything looks a little worse for the wear and the annuals try to catch their second wind before they put on a good fall show.

There are a few exceptions to the doldrums, of course, and I think that this time around I'll show off the backyard blooms first before I move around to the front. But only because the star of my garden right now is the lovely verbena bonariensis, a.k.a. "tall verbena," "Brazilian verbena," or verbena-on-a-stick:

Verbena bonariensis, an anual that doesn't quite reseed as freely as I would like, backed by sorghastrum nutens 'Sioux Blue'

Most of my spring bloomers are long gone--and even some summer blooms, like the drumstick allium, have called it quits--but my silene is still blooming off and on:

Silene uniflora maritima 'Compacta' putting out some more blooms and mingling with 'Metallica Crispa' ajuga and one of my golden-leaf thymes... incidentally, I know that I had promised someone seeds of this last year, but I don't have any clue who that was. If it's you, email me to let me know!

Okay, this one isn't quite in bloom yet, but many of my sedums look really pretty in bud, too:

I'm pretty sure that this is sedum cauticola... the leaf color just looks more purple than blue because it doesn't get as much sun as my truly blue-leaf versons do!

... and here's one that I actually prefer in bud, 'Matrona,' (which flowers... ugh... pink!) alongside Russian Sage:

Love it now... but hate it when the 'Matrona' sedum blooms cotton-candy-pink against the already-sweet purple of the Russian sage.

In the shade garden by the driveway, 'Othello' ligularia sometimes pouts and droops its leaves in the heat... but it's still blooming away in a bright cheddar-y yellow:

'Othello' ligularia with golden creeping jenny, 'Jack Frost' brunnera, ferns, 'Chocolate Chip' brunnera, black mondo grass and the brick-y orange of the bamboo pot to break up the monotony

Keeping 'Hopi Red Dye' amaranth confined to one corner is working out fairly well so far... as is having that area be Coco's Corner, since the ones she happens to bend over fall artfully into the also-blooming 'All Gold' hakone grass:

'All Gold' hakonechloa macra, 'Hopi Red Dye' amaranth, and foliage from hellebores, goatsbeard, ligularia and sweet woodruff

Moving on to the front yard, there are more annual reseeders to be found. Nestled amid the catmint (which I need to cut back again for a little more rebloom) are some red-toned snapdragons that were allowed to stay--the white and pink ones are always weeded out for bouquets!

Random red snapdragons with 'Walker's Low' (probably, but a passalong) catmint

'Summerwine' achillea would reseed for me, except that I keep them deadheaded fairly well in order to get more bloom. This one needs to be trimmed a bit for both rebloom and to help it stand upright again--I put a little too much compost and manure on this bed in the spring, which the heucheras love but which makes the yarrows a bit indolent:

A lot going on here by the front porch! Plants from left to right: 'Garden Dwarf' culinary sage, Northern Sea Oats, 'Chubby Fingers' sedum album, 'Peach Melba' (I think?) and 'Obsidian' heucheras, 'Summerwine' achillea, bergenia cordifolia 'Bressignham Ruby'

On the other corner of the porch, the 'Purple Dragon' lamiums are starting yet another rebloom, entirely unaided by any gardener's work:

From top of picture to bottom: Japanese maple, 'Purple Dragon' lamium, Japanese bloodgrass, the foliage of (Spanish foxglove) digitalis parviflora

I've decided that my neighbor has the best view of all of my anemones, since they show up so nicely against the Japanese maple (as seen from her driveway):

From top of photo to bottom: Japanese maple, 'Northern Halo' hosta, golden marjoram/oregano, various Japanese anemones

I DO have a pretty good view of these dahlias, though, as I come down the stairs every morning:

I love this dahlia and wish I knew which one it was, but it came into the garden center without any tags as a spontaneous purchase from a regular supplier. Behind it you see variegated ginger, 'Frosted Curles' carex, 'Amber Waves' and another unnamed heuchera, 'Ivory Prince' hellebore foliage, and a blue haze of catmint blooms.

**EDITED TO ADD A BIG THANK YOU: To Chris, the wonderful photographer and blogger behind Digital Flower Pictures, for the comment that led me toward an ID (I think!) of this dahlia. I believe that it's 'Gallery Art Deco' and you can check it out on Dave's Garden via that link to let me know whether you think I'm on target! ***

And here's the last thing I notice before I get into my car. The lovely blooms on my oakleaf hydrangea:

At the top of the shrub, you can see a new, creamy white oakleaf hydrangea bloom... and in the middle bottom of this same picture you can see the browned remains of an earlier bloom, mixing in with the hazy purple-brown of 'Hameln' pennisetum flowers. Plants in this photo, from left to right: The blue foliage of crambe maritima, variegated iris spears, the oakleaf hydrangea and the pennisetum in front of it, culinary sage, and 'Golden Sword' yucca

That wraps up my highlights of this month as far as Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is concerned. Go to Carol's August 2009 GBBD post to see more of what's in bloom all across the world!

Also in bloom here in my garden in August: 4 different hosta, 'Caradonna' salvia, salvia plumosa, ceratostigma plumbaginoides, my blackberry (weird... I'm eating berries already, and there are still branches in bloom?) and my strawberries, allium senescens var 'glaucum' and an unknown white-flowered allium, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil (oops!) and marjoram, golden marjoram, 'Rotstrahlbusch' panicum, 'Aureola' hakone grass, my wavy-leaf blue (unnamed) echeveria, bronze fennel, 2 kinds of thyme, 'Grosso' and 'Munstead' lavender, unnamed calendula, 'Tequila Sunrise' calibrachoa, 'Vancouver Centennial' geranium, annual salvias, 'Vodka' wax begonias, echonops ritro, and (the coral honeysuckle) lonicera sempervirens. Pyracantha and 'Albury Purple' hypericum have pretty berries, too.


chuck b. said...

So many rich, warm colors. And the anenome is very pretty despite what it signifies, the slow end of summer.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You have such pretty foilage combos who needs blooms??

Les said...

I really like the foliage and texture combinations in the last shot with the Hydrangea.

garden girl said...

Hi Kim, I'll just chime in and say I love your foliage combinations too - really kinda shoots holes in the typical 'planting in drifts' design theory.

Hmmm. . . sedum cauticola. . . very nice!

Oh said...

lovely tour! esp. the dahlias. I was glad to read that the annuals will have a "second" showing in the fall...I hope so. egads, mine are looking a bit "distraught." I love the "star" of your garden, so sweet and singular.
I have finally planted Russian sage and because it's patiently dealing with the constant sun and or sporadic attention, I may have to get more and just plant it everywhere!

LINDA from Each Little World said...

That combo with the Peach heuchera is a winner. You do a great job of mixing in silvers which really seem to make every other color look good. And I'm with you on the Matrona buds vs. flower color. (My word verification today is "aster" — perfect for an Aug. GBBD!)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Congratulations - you got a GBBD post done on time! (tee hee) Are you ever going to replace Sedum 'Matrona' with a different color blooming Sedum or are you trying to develop a tolerance for pale pink? I'm still searching for the perfect dark-leaved Sedum. I love Coco's Corner, it's a lovely planting and a sweet idea. I can just picture her hunkered down in the coolness of the plants. I think you have a very lucky neighbor.

healingmagichands said...

I liked Coco's corner too. WE have to provide a spot for our companions to enjoy in our gardens, don't we? The whole place is beautiful. So glad I stopped by.

Gail said...

Once again I applaud your delightful plant combinations~~love the bloodgrass emerging through the lamium. Very nice. I do agree several sedums look wonderful in bud...but the bloom distracts from the foliage. gail

Muum said...

lookin' good! I love the hakone grass and amaranth together.
My Japanese anemone is just about ready to bloom, too.

Pam said...

Everything looks so beautiful! I feel like my garden right now is green, with a touch of green...but I know that isn't entirely true. Whenever I visit your garden I always love the sedums - and think that I need to learn more about them. It's interesting to see your oakleaf hydrangea - with (what looks like) fresh blooms - mine are brown and not so nice by now. And 'All Gold'! I just love it. I am hoping my new hakone grass will do okay - yours looks great nestled in there.

Pam/Digging said...

Mmmm, that dusky lavender sedum against the orangey rock. Delish! I'm admiring your gorgeous foliage this Bloom Day, as usual.

Benjamin Vogt said...

I'd kill to be able to grow a Jaoanese maple. But instead I just settle for elderberry and sumac--not bad in thmselves at all, and good subs. Ummm, subs... toasted... panini....

Kathy said...

Wonderful foliage combinations! The leaves on your brugmansia look so much better than mine. Mine start to brown up and look a bit tattered. Haven't figured out why.

Shirley said...

Hey Kim, Happy GBBD! Oh... I always love to see your planting schemes especially at this time of year :-D

You do have wonderful foliage planting combos. What a rich variety and tapestry of plants you have! Great blooms too... I agree with you on the sedums... I love to see them just before the flowers open too :-D

Teresa said...

YOur blooms are just beautiful. I especially love the color of those dahlias, they are one of my favorite flowers.

element said...

I love all the pictures.Such beautiful flowers.

A wildlife gardener said...

What a spectacular display of an unusual template...romantic and full of soul, I would say :)

Unknown said...

chuck b, bite your tongue--I'm not ready to talk about the end of summer here yet! :) (But thanks for the compliments.)

Greenbow Lisa, Les and garden girl, thanks to you all. I really can't get away from this foliage thing, can I? Even when trying to show off the blooms... :)

Oh, methinks that "distraught" is the perfect word for most of these annuals in August! Keep an eye out for Russian sage babies next year, by the way... it may seed around a little bit (not too much, though) and help you out on that score. If you catch the babies early enough it's easy to transplant.

Ms. Wis, I agree with you 100% on the silvers. They somehow work with warm and cool colors, and kind of help me bridge the two in the garden. (And LOL at your verification word!)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter, I literally did laugh out loud when I read your comment! Thanks for noticing that I was, for once, on time with GBBD.... *GRIN* As far as Matrona goes, I don't think that I CAN develop a tolerance for pale pink... but I love that plant in every other season, so I'm trying to figure out a compromise. I did buy 'Hab Gray' sedum from Plant Delights last year, and that's been a nice one that blooms in a pale yellow instead of pink--if it gives me one more good year, I might have Matrona's replacement?!

healingmagichands, I agree with you... it always mystifies me that some people have such adversarial relationships with their dogs when it comes to their gardens. But then, I guess that there are days when I get frustrated by seeing Miss Coco eat my tomatoes, too... I just always seem to be able to be equally amused by it, somehow. I feel lucky for that!

Gail, I love the bloodgrass all around! Here emerging through the lamium, in the backyard emerging through the woolly thyme or the 'Chocolate Chip' ajuga... it's just such a bright ray in the garden, no? :)

Muum, thanks! That was Miss Coco's work--she bent those amaranth down just in to the right spot, lol.

Pam, at least it's green! There are lots of parts of my garden now that are tending toward brown... (insert heavy sigh here.) I was surprised by the new blooms on the oakleaf, too, because I had earlier blooms that are already a dark brown color. But they kind of work with the brown grasses, and they look so nice in winter, that I live with them

Pam/Digging, yeah, I loved that combination, too! So much so that I put in the photo even though the plant is in bud instead of bloom. :)

Benjamin, SETTLE for elderberry?!?! Don't just settle for it, you crazy man: Embrace it, and plan to make jam!!! (Elderberry jam is, hands down, my absolute favorite! And sorry, but you started me on the food thoughts with your sub comment... ;)

Kathy, thanks! The brug leaves are still pretty small... I'm wondering if I'm going to ever get flowers on it this season. Is yours flowering?

shirl, awww... you always say such sweet things! I think that when I am feeling down, I'm going to go back and read your comments--they always make me smile. :)

Teresa, thank you! Those dahlias are so fascinating, the way they change throughout their lifetime. I have never grown them before, but I can't wait to do a few more next year.

element, thank you--and thanks for stopping by!

wildlife gardener, really? Romantic and full of soul? That made my day--two things that I aspire to have my garden be! Thank you. :)

Sylvana said...

My favorite picture is the one with 'Peach Melba' in it. Great combos.

Do you just cut the flower heads off when Matrona starts to bloom? I have this one and am not too fond of that washed out pink, but mine are in a garden I don't spend much time in, so that works for me.

Digital Flower Pictures said...

Nice assortment. Your Dahlia looks like 'Gallery Art Nouveau' but mine has a little deeper color. Since there is like 50,000 cultivars to choose from you will probably never know. It's cute whatever the name.

EAL said...

It's amazing how that verbena bonariensis seems to falter (at least for me) through mid-summer and then goes nuts right now. I am loving it in my garden now too.

Kerri said...

I'm late reading this post because we were expecting a houseful of company at the time and I actually had to clean the house...Erk! It took a while to clean up the summer neglect ;)
Isn't V. bonariensis great? I have it growing and blooming for the first time in my garden and am loving it.
My Cerinthe major is growing madly, but no blooms as yet. I like the color of the foliage though.
The J. Anemones look gorgeous against the J. Maple.
I love your dahlia. I fell in love with them last year and planted more this year. They're wonderful. I'll have to try to find that color next year. It's gorgeous!
My hydrangea Limelight is blooming up a storm this summer, even though it's still small.
I like your oakleaf. Great leaf shape to compliment the blooms.
That front porch combo with the huechera, etc. is wonderful.
Happy Bloom's almost time for September's! Ach! Too soon!

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