Thursday, August 18, 2011

Late, Late August Bloom Day

I just returned from a week in Portland, Oregon, helping Youngest Daughter pack up and move back home.  It was a v e r y long four-day drive back home, and it will take me a few days to recuperate and get back into the swing of things.  But I haven't missed a Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day yet and wanted to participate in the monthly celebration of blooms hosted by Carol at May Dreams, even though I'm several days late.

I wasn't sure what I would find in the garden after being gone for more than a week; the heat and lack of much rain has certainly stressed out many plants.  But I was surprised to see a few new blooms and some plants that are actually thriving in this weather.

I'm still on Pacific time and didn't get out very early this morning, so the sun was glaring already, not the best for photo-taking.  But here's a quick look at what is blooming this hot and dry August:

Surprise lilies emerged while I was gone, and are already fading.

Also fading is the 'Vanilla Strawberry' Hydrangea, which was blooming
and just beginning to turn pink when I left.

But the 'Limelight' hydrangea is just coming into its own.  I pruned it this spring, hoping to train it into more of a tree shape, but I guess I need to be more ruthless next spring--it's sprawling everywhere.

I love these beautiful blooms, though.

'Black and Blue' Salvia in the lily bed.

The biggest changes in the garden in the past week and a half are in the arbor bed.  This is a mystery plant, and I wonder if anyone can identify it.  When the foliage first emerged, I thought it was part of the liatris planting.  But I eventually realized it was something different.  It has gotten huge, and the seedheads have emerged in the past few days.  I'm pretty sure it's a weed in the grass family, but I've never had anything like this before.  I'm ready to pull it out, unless someone can identify it as something other than a weed.

Also growing like crazy are two vines on the arbor trellis--cypress/cardinal vine from Lisa 
and hyacinth bean vine.

On the other half of the trellis the new climbing rose 'Don Juan' is putting out a second flush of blooms.

Still not many butterflies here, but the pentas are waiting when they arrive.

Nicotiana has finally started to bloom.

Pink cosmos are filling in behind the arbor bench.  All annual seeds in this area were gifts from Renee's Garden.  One of these days I'll find the names for all of these and post them, because they have all been great performers.

Competing with the cosmos for attention, though, are the zinnias, one of my favorite annuals.

From purple to pink to orange to pure white, they are really making a statement now.

As for the perennials in this area, the new 'Heat Wave' Agastache is living up to its name.  I ordered this from Bluestone Perennials because it was described as thriving in hot, hot summers, and it is fulfilling that promise.

Agastache is a hummingbird magnet, but as you can see, the bumbles love it, too.

After a week and a half of neglect, I'm happy to see anything blooming in my garden!

Thanks to Carol for hosting another Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.


  1. Love the Naked Lady lilies, Lycoris squamigera are just wonderful!
    For being gone for a while your garden looks wonderful. I agree your mystery plant is a grassy weed.

  2. Welcome back! Love those lycoris. Yes, a weed-pull it quick and put in the trash so it doesn't spread.

  3. One of my faves is limelight never fails to blow me away. Your garden blooms are all so lovely despite your absence.

  4. Great blooms for so late in the summer! What a stunning pink the pentas are!

    I made almost that same drive (I-80 to Wy, then I-90 to northern Illinois) this summer in four days --a very long drive!

  5. I think you have a healthy weedy grass growing there. I am not familiar with it. Don't let it seed. Your vines are looking good. Thanks for the link.

  6. I think you have Foxtail grass, there, Rose, pull it, quickly, before those seeds fall and it overtakes your arbor bed!
    I do love the Limelight, the cool white blooms are so delicious!

  7. I'm so jealous of your hyacinth bean! For two years I've tried growing those vines and they are really not happy here. The cosmos look like 'Bon Bon' from Renee's Garden.

  8. Thank goodness for hydrangeas. They are such troopers. I love your Cosmos and Zinnias. Evidently, I started all of mine way too late. I think Rose is right, the Cosmos look like the 'Bon Bon' ones I was sent. Or rather, I should say, look like the picture on the seed packet. I'm still waiting for the 1st buds to open.

  9. Wonderful blooms this month Rose. My Limelight is a bit of a sprawler this summer too, guess I wasn't as ruthless in trimming it this past spring. Oh well at least it looks gorgeous & full of blooms right? :)

  10. Rose, Your garden looks fantastic~If I left mine for 9 days most of the annuals would be dead~Oh to have deep prairie/farm soil and regular rain! xogail ps I know you're gladto have your daughter closer to home.

  11. The Black & Blue salvia is so pretty. Do you have to replant it every year in your zone? The agastache is a busy plant with all of the pollinators. I just adore your bed with the pink cosmos. How pretty. There is always something about pure white zinnias that have always looked so pretty to me in a garden.Your garden is beautiful.

  12. I am a huge fan of those double click your seeds so you can plant more next year!
    Your garden is beautiful!

  13. Your flowers are gorgeous! I like them all. Can you believe we're almost at the end of August? I can't. And your garden looks wonderful.

    You must be happy to have youngest daughter back at home. I can just imagine that long, long drive. Whew!

  14. You must be very happy to be out of the car! Also to be greeted by those beautiful flowers. Love your hydrangeas, cosmos and agastache. 'Limelight' is gorgeous.

  15. Cosmos and zinnias are such wonderful annuals for summer colour - though I lost all my zinnias this year, munched over night in the greenhouse! At least hydrangeas die gracefully, with that long period of fading to muted shades. 'Limelight' looks rather wonderful, for all its sprawling habit, I might have to look out for that. Welcome back!

  16. That journey sounded terribly long. I can just imagine how glad you were to see your garden again and I am as pleased as you were to see everything in such good condition after being left.
    Your photos are stunning and would grace any catalogue.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  17. Agastache is now on the list thanks to your recommendation. I, too, have the pink lilies blooming here and there. There were a gift from a friend.

  18. Janet, Tina, Lisa, and Sissy, I pulled that grassy weed! I've never had a grass like this before, but when I saw the seedheads when I returned home, I didn't think that was a good sign. I hope it doesn't return next year.

    Sage, I first saw 'Limelight' on several blogs; I'm so glad I planted one.

    Renee, Yes, we took I-90 all the way to central Iowa. The drive through Idaho and eastern Montana was gorgeous...except we drove it at night so I could only see the mountains by moonlight. Wish we'd had time to stretch this drive out and enjoy it more.

    Rose, The hyacinth bean looks like Jack's beanstalk, it's gotten so big:) I think the cosmos are 'Bon Bon's.

    MMD, I planted my cosmos and zinnias later, too; don't give up yet!

    Racquel, I have a hard time cutting back the 'Limelight' too much, knowing all the blooms it will have.

    Gail, Yes, the rich soil here certainly helps. But my son was the watering assistant while I was gone; otherwise all the annuals in containers would have been dead.

    Lona, Thanks. Yes, the 'Black and Blue' is not hardy here. I've never tried to overwinter it, but I might this year.

    Rosey, Thanks for the suggestion on saving seeds. I love these cosmos!

    Wendy, It's good to have Daughter back, though I've now lost my guest room:) It was a very scenic drive, but I wish we had had time to stop and enjoy the sights more.

  19. Sweetbay, I don't want drive anywhere over 10 miles away for a long, long time:) I was surprised by all the new blooms when I arrived home.

    Janet, The cosmos and zinnias were welcome sights when I came home. 'Limelight' is definitely one of my favorites.

    Maggie, Over 2,000 miles in four days is a tiring adventure. There are lots of wide open spaces in the western U.S.--I'm still marveling at how the pioneers managed this trip years ago.

    Layanee, We'll see if this agastache survives our hard winters, but so far I'd declare it a definite winner.

  20. Rose, how lovely and healthy your garden looks! We are in a Stage II water restriction now, and cannot water outside except for vegetables. Everything is looking quite toasty. I especially love your Limelight. I think zinnias must be my favorite flower--they are still hanging on here! How could you not love such hardy flowers?

    I bet you are glad to have Daughter's Big Move behind you. I know from experience how tiring that can be! It will be so worth it to have her closer to home. Hope you are rested soon.

  21. Rose, your weed looks like nutsedge to me. Good you pulled it - they can really go nuts in lawns and gardens.

    Your blooms are fantastic. Love the colors of the zinnias. We saw a dwarf Limelight called Pee Wee at the IGC show this week. The shrub is much smaller than Limelight, but the blooms are actually larger. It will be very tempting to me, except the bunnies eat hydrangeas for breakfast here. (and lunch and dinner. :(

  22. I love your double cosmos. I planted my zinnia seeds on July 5, so I'm still waiting for the blooms. I have to plant them in the fenced vegetable garden because the woodchucks enjoy them so much!

  23. Welcome home Rose

    Hope you are beginning to feel less exhausted after such a long drive. Well done, you are a good mother :)

    I have just bought 'limelight'...she is so lovely. I hope that mine sprawls everywhere, it will suit the spot it is in very well.

    Leaving the garden for a week is always a little testing, don't you think? I hate to miss one single bloom....hence why I never go on holiday during the summer months.

    My father loves zinnias. I grow them for him each year, and he is always so proud of them.
    I think the neighbours must be fed up hearing him talk about his daughter and her greenfingers :)

    I love nicotiana but find it does not do very well in my garden. I think the soil is much too heavy.

    Put your feet up Rose, it is much deserved.

    Have a good week.

  24. It must have been nice to return home to such gorgeous blooms after your long drive. I'm due for a long drive tomorrow but this time my 17 year old son will do most of it.

  25. Lots of beautiful color there! I'm with you -- I love the Zinnias!

  26. Lovely pix of your garden, which looks to be planned to look great even in the dog days - you make me want to plant zinnias again!

  27. Glad you made it home safe and sound. Your garden doesn't look any the worse for a little neglect. I miss those Naked Ladies I used to see in Illinois. That doesn't sound right somehow:)

    That sprawling Limelight looks great. Hydrangeas seem to do all right here. Maybe I'll give that one a try next year.

  28. Rose girl I could have sworn I left a comment here .. I came back to check and there isn't one .. I was in the middle of switching computer systems and I wonder if it evaporated into cyber space ?LOL
    I wanted to know if you have a certain hydrangea I just found today (I also swore I was not buying any more plants this season?) It is called "Forever&Ever Summer Lace Hydrangea" .. it is a beautiful lace cap I haven't seen before .. if you know anything about it could you tell me ?
    Joy : )

  29. So many beautiful flowers welcoming you home, Rose; I'm so pleased that all is well and by now you have likely recovered. So sorry we did not get to meet up while you were here, but perhaps you'll come back for a visit and not have to "work". ;) Have a wonderful week.

  30. Morning Glories, We had a nice rain yesterday--such a welcome relief from all the dryness. Yes, it's hard not to love zinnias!

    Linda, Oh dear, I'm lucky that rabbits don't seem to be much of a problem here. I'd be very upset if they ate my hydrangeas. Thanks for the i.d. on the nutsedge--I've never had this before--ick!

    Kim, The cosmos have fast become a favorite annual of mine, and they're so easy to start from seed!

    Cheryl, Thanks; we mothers will do about anything for our children, won't we? Now that the truck with furniture and all Daughter's stuff has been unloaded, I'm getting more time to relax. Of course, she has to find a place to stuff it all:)

    Sarah, I have a 16-year-old granddaughter just starting to's a bit scary:)

    PlantPostings, I have to have zinnias every year!

    Cyndy, If it weren't for the annuals like zinnias, I wouldn't have much in bloom right now.

    W2W, 'Limelight' has been a winner for sure; it doesn't seem as picky about moisture as other hydrangeas. We'll ignore that risque remark:)

    Joy, I'm honored you think I know something about hydrangeas:) 'Summer Lace' sounds lovely.

    Diana, I had so hoped on one of my trips I could have made it down to see you. I love Portland, so I hope to get out there for another visit sometime, and this time it will be a vacation!:)


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you, so please leave a comment. I'll try to reply here, but I'll definitely return the visit.