Saturday, August 15, 2009

August GBBD: Hellos and Goodbyes

Here we are already at the mid-point of August--where did the summer go?? For years, this was panic time for me, knowing that the freedom of lazy summer days was almost over, and soon I would be back in the daily busy routine of the classroom. While that stress is behind me, I do have a few mixed emotions on this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

I'm sad that it's almost time to say goodbye to my favorites, the purple coneflowers. Fortunately, the butterflies who have recently arrived are content to rest upon the thistled cones, no matter how tattered the leaves have become.

Besides the Painted Lady above, this little fellow enjoyed a brief moment on a late bloomer. Can anyone identify this butterfly for me? After looking at image after image of butterflies on an identification website, I thought this might be some type of comma, but I'm not sure.

A few late blooms are looking young and sprightly, far outshining the delicate pink threadleaf coreopsis or the sweet alyssum.

But most of the coneflowers are looking more like an aged beauty queen, dull, wrinkled, and droopy. I'm not sure what these black leaves are, but they can't be good.

On the other hand, it's time to say hello to the zinnias that are finally beginning to bloom.

And hello to my first blooms of the "Limelight" hydrangea planted late last fall.

Time to give a little press to the roadside galliardias "Oranges and Lemons" and to the white Profusion zinnias that are spreading . . . profusely.

Time to turn the spotlight on the new Butterfly & Friends garden where many annuals started from seed have finally matured, like these old-fashioned nasturtiums.

Did I ever mention that blue is my favorite color? Another bit of serendipity in this chaotic garden--a salvia, "Black and Blue" planted next to the blue, blue Bachelor's Buttons.

And for all of you who have been showing your beautiful, faithful Rudbeckias, I have my first Susans ever! They may be hiding out amongst the cosmos, butterfly weeds, and cleomes, but they're there!

They refuse to be outdone by even the Black and Blue Salvia.

It's hard to command someone's complete attention, though, when the cosmos are taking center stage. Besides the beautiful orange ones from Tina I showed on my last post, I planted some "Seashell Pinks." They're growing almost as tall as the orange ones, blooming in all shades from this pink-tinged white to a dark fuschia.

It's time, too, to notice the coreopsis "Moonbeam" and the "Homestead" verbena that has finally come into its own. Time to appreciate the long-awaited arrival of the butterflies, as well, like one of the black swallowtails that has made itself at home here.

And perhaps it isn't quite time to bid adieu to the coneflowers--they are still providing a feast for all kinds of winged creatures.

For more views of what is in bloom today all over the world, do visit the originator of GBBD, Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Just a note: I will be out of town all next week and may not have internet access. I've planned a post for Aug. 20, a "Veggie Garden Update," but otherwise I will catch up on visiting all of you when I return!


  1. Rose you have the most amazing butterfly pictures ! .. I can't seem to catch any (in a picture) in my garden ..I love it when the echinacea do start turning "old" with those fantastic black petals .. I keep thinking perfect ! for the Munster family bouquet ? Just Halloweeny in general ? .. love the hits of blue too in your garden : )

  2. My echinacea is looking tattered, too. I hunted a while to find one to photograph. love your black and blue sage! I'll have to get me some o'that!

  3. Hi Rose, beautiful blooms, and I second what Joy said about your butterfly photos.

    Your combo of the black and blue salvia and rudbeckia is absolutely luminous - gorgeous! Happy Bloom Day!

  4. Nice to see such an old-fashioned flower as Bachelor Buttons. And your butterfly photos are amazing. I never have a camera in hand when I see one!

  5. I know it must be wonderful not having to worry about going back to school. My neighbor teaches high school biology and she is pulling her out out as she is at a new school as in new to her and the county and it has been hectic! So glad you can relax. We all need that. Fall is a wonderful time but so sad the seasons go by so fast. The butterflies are awesome and I see those rudbeckias! They shine for sure. I did not know blue was your favorite color in the garden. That combo of the salvia and buttons is super! I also like the alyssum with the coneflowers. Everything is lovely!

  6. I don't know what I like more, your blooms or your butterflies - what a delight! My Echinacea are far from done blooming, but the ones in full sun look even more tattered than yours because of the Japanese Beetles. As long as the bees, butterflies and Gold Finches continue to visit them, I'll leave them.

  7. Lovely photos. I'm so envious of the hydrangeas. Thanks for sharing, and happy Bloom Day!

  8. that butterfly is either a Comma or Hop Merchant, or a Question mark or Violet Tip, according to my butterfly book. Both are Polygonia, and both have a summer and a fall form. I'm leaning towards Question Mark, but there's a lot of variation in individuals. Interesting they are both named after punctuation.

    Your garden is beautiful, and your pictures of it are very good. I sure enjoyed my visit.

  9. Did that make sense at all? There are two butterfly species listed in my book, and both of them have two names. Egads.

  10. What a pretty, pretty post. I think your garden contains every color in the rainbow. I, too, feel a little sad about the faded and tattered cone flowers.

  11. You have a lot of beautiful pictures for Bloom Day! Either Randy at Randy and Meg's Garden Paradise or the folks at BugGuide.Net could ID your butterfly. The last shot with the bee and butterfly together is fantastic. The butterfly looks like it has gold dust on its wings.

    The Seashore Pink Cosmos is beautiful. I love the combination of Echinaea, sweet alyssum and pink coreopsis too.

  12. Hi Rose,
    I like your blooms and butterflies, too. I planted Homestead verbena a couple years ago, and was disappointed it didn't survive last winter. I had an old fashioned kind for a number of years, but haven't seen more of that kind to get some started again.

    I've been deadheading my coneflowers so far, and plan to quit closer to fall. I don't know if they will send up more blooms or not.

    My bachelor buttons are finished for the season. They never live all summer, but always come back from their own seeds in the spring. Yours sure look pretty with the Black and Blue salvia.

    I hope you get your butterfly identified.

  13. Beautiful August blooms and butterflies Rose :)

  14. Beautiful photos throughout Rose. Your flowers are so pretty, I love the name Bachelor's Buttons, as far as I know we don't have that name here, we just call them Cornflowers, nowhere near as attractive!

    The butterfly photos are lovely too, what a beautiful creature the Black Swallowtail is.

    I always have that sinking feeling at this time of year, we wait so long for Summer and it goes so quickly, there are signs of Autumn's approach all around now, it always saddens me.

  15. Your blooms look so pretty Rose. Those Cosmos that are pink and double petals are gorgeous. I will have to look for some of those next year. Isn't it just the time of year that we start saying "next year". Have a good time out of town. I think that butterfly is a comma or questionmark.

  16. Have fun Rose and thank you for a tour of your wonderful blooms. I love the chaos of your wildflower garden~~It's exactly what critters want and need! Take care and take lots of photos of where ever you're going! gail

  17. I still don't have many butterflies in my garden - so sad! My butterfly book says your butterfly is either a comma, gray comma, or question mark, and unfortunately the crucial field marks are on the lower sides of the wings. So, if you see him again, chase him around with the camera! (Incidentally, my book is Field Guide to Butterflies of Illinois, Bouseman and Sternburg, from the Ill. Natural History Survey, and is nice b/c it's strictly local)

    Congratulations on your first Susans; I promise you will never want to be without them again!

  18. All those butterflies and still lovely flowers. You have nothing to worry about. Everything looks really appealing!
    Although we have had many butterflies this year compared to normal, our native Skippers, that frequent my garden are quite insignificant little creatures compared to many larger brighter species that are not so frequently seen. However it does show that I have a healthy garden.
    Cabbage whites are a problem as they lay their eggs on my little tubs of salad plants & I have to keep destroying the eggs.

  19. Rose, Everything looks so nice--I too love blue, but I love all colors in the garden, even ones I'm not wild about in real life, like reds and pinks. Looking forward to seeing your garden in person a week from today, hoping it's still OK for Beckie to lead me and Carole there on our way home from MOBOT.

  20. Hi Rose.....a beautiful selection of blooms and butterflies. The unidentified butterfly is similar to our Comma......I expect Sherry would know.

    Blue is a cool colour to have in the garden and very special at twilight. I have the little cornflower dotted around the always manages to draw the eye....

    I always feel sad when a much loved plant is coneflowers are still in full bloom and I am loving them. They seem to thrive around the pond.....

    Have a good week Rose.....

  21. Rose, isn't it thrilling to finally see butterflies. We have had such a looong wait. Your photos of them are great. Like your, my coneflowers are just about spent and the gardens would look much tidier if I were to cut them, but the finches seem to be enjoying them so.

    Your Butterfly and Friends garden is looking wonderful and I like the name. You are going to have to put seating out there to enjoy it even more.

    Have a safe tripp and do stop every so often to 'look at the flowers'. And of course take pictures. :)

  22. Thanks to everyone for your comments. Forgive me for not replying individually to all of you, but I'm busy packing and attending to last minute details. I'll visit all of you when I return!

  23. How do you like your 'Limelight' hydrangea? I saw some on sale at the garden center.

  24. Your blooms and butterflies are exquisite! I always begin to feel panicky when the fireweed blossoms, like "NOOOO, it cant be that late in summer yet!" The big maples in the village are just beginning to show some golden leaves.....Wait! Slow down! We're not ready for fall!

  25. Wonderful post Rose. I love blue too. Looks great with the yellows in your garden. They didn't have Oranges and Lemons at my garden center so I got Goblin. Don't like it as well, so next year I'll look harder for O & L.

    Cosmos have become a favorite. I'm grateful to all you bloggers who introduced them to me.

    Have a good trip.

  26. I'm glad to see your Limelight blooming. I planted mine this past spring and it has one tiny little bloom. Hopefully it will bloom more next year.

    Have a great trip next week Rose.

  27. Dear Rose,
    All of your flowers are so pretty and I love seeing the butterflies.
    So many of my cone flowers are over and the Gold Finches are ejoying them now!
    I do think your mystery butterfly is an Eastern Comma but it could be a Question Mark ...
    Have a fun time in Oregon.
    My daughter lives in Portland!

  28. Your flowers are so gorgeous! How long has it taken you to establish a garden? Mine is looking pretty miserable and I am downhearted so i need to get out there and get planting. I will post a photo of my first zinnias but they haven't been awfully successful i'm afraid.

    And such wonderful butterfly photos too!

  29. It's so sad. I cannot seem to get Echinacea to grow here. I've planted it two years in a row, and it just rots away in a few weeks. I don't think it likes the sandy soil or the extreme heat and humidity. That Homestead and the Moonbeam look lovely together, just the right combination.

  30. I hope your absence because you are having a lovely holiday.

    Beautiful photos of your garden, it all looks so lovely but I especially like the blue mix of flowers (though the swallowtails I am glad to be without, a it of a large butterfly phobia!)

    I agree that the month has just zipped by and here we have had a mixed bag of weather, not particularly summery, and not much time left to expect very much more sun either. Still, it has been a lovely time in other ways. I do hope you are having fun somewhere.



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