Friday, August 15, 2014

August Bloom Day

Mid-August.  The dog days of summer.  Usually about this time of year, I am whining about the heat and humidity and ready for the cooler days of autumn.  But not this year.  Sure, we've had some hot weather, but very few really miserable days and no long stretches of overbearing heat, as we have had the past few summers.  In fact, the last two weeks have felt more like fall, and I am loving it!  With such beautiful weather, you would think I would have my garden in top shipshape--I only wish.  I'm blaming it on all the rain we've had this summer (except for the past few weeks), which has been wonderful for the garden, but has also been a boon to the weeds.  That's my excuse anyway.

If you will overlook the weeds and the lack of deadheading, let's take a walk around and see what is blooming today.

My July Bloom Day post was one I started before I left for Portland, and since I didn't have much time to add much else when I returned, I focused on just the purple coneflowers in my garden.  But what I neglected for the very first time in all my summer blog posts over the years was a showcase of all the lily blooms.  Although there are a few stray blooms here and there, most of them have finished for the season, except for two latecomers.  'Andrea's Dragonfly,' above, was the last to start blooming.

'Dragonfly Corner' has been putting out even more numerous late blooms.  Both of these are unnamed hybrids that my friend Beckie named and shared with me in the last couple of years.  It's a good thing they are separated in the garden, or I'm sure I wouldn't remember which was which.

Not a true lily but a member of the amaryllis family, the Surprise Lilies were in full bloom a week ago, but have only a few straggling petals left today.  I'll probably forget by next summer where they are, but I'm pretty sure Frank marked the spot:)

The 'Vanilla Strawberry' Hydrangea has never looked as good as this year.  My only complaint is that all those blooms have made the branches bend over.

The bottom of the blooms gradually turn pink, but then they quickly turn brown, too--making the blooms look more like a vanilla-strawberry-chocolate ice cream cone.

Next to the shade garden in front of the house the 'Limelight' is blooming its head off, too.  I can never get a good photo of the whole plant, but this picture does show what I found out early this summer--my spring pruning was not nearly ruthless enough.  This is my favorite hydrangea, but it is sprawling out of control.

In the shade garden, the volunteer phlox has not only re-appeared, but a second stand of these has popped up this year.

The plainer hostas--Plantain lilies, I believe--are not my favorite, but they do have the most beautiful blooms, which are about to open up.

There are Black-eyed Susans and Brown-eyed Susans in different parts of my garden, but one of my favorite Rudbeckias is this 'Prairie Sun.'  Like other Rudbeckia hirtas, it is a short-lived perennial or biennial, but it can re-seed.  I planted a few seedlings that I started from seed, but for the first time, I had some come back from last year as well.

Elsewhere, the 'Becky' daisies in Roco's memorial garden are doing very well.  This is a new start I had to plant this spring, since last year's plant died.  The original mother plant in the arbor bed is probably five times this size.

The arbor bed is a jungle once again, mainly because I can't resist planting more annuals than I have room for each year.  Cosmos, all from direct-sown seed from Renee's Garden, are one of my old-fashioned favorites.

I'm not the only one who loves these blooms, as you can see.  The funny thing is, I was trying to get one good photo of this bumblebee, but it wasn't until I downloaded my pictures that I realized he had a friend!

Another favorite annual I've been planting from seed the past few years is this 'Zowie Yellow Flame' zinnia.  I'm sure you'll see these again in another Bloom Day post, because they look good all the way until frost.

Another two-fer shot. Ms. Ladybug also escaped my notice as I tried to focus on the butterfly.

A good example of the "jungle"--I planted the Agastache in the middle and a few of the 'Victoria Blue' salvia, but many of the salvia are volunteers, surprising after the winter we had.  The Nicotania are also volunteers--I planted seeds three years ago, and they keep coming back!  Except for the native blue Agastache, most of the cultivars do not like our winters, so they are more of an annual here.  I plant them every year, nevertheless, because the hummingbirds love them.  In fact, I took a dozen photos of a hummingbird enjoying the Agastache yesterday, but unfortunately was rewarded only with blurry images.

The bumblebees are more cooperative, thank goodness.  This one is enjoying the 'Victorias.'

A new bloom I'm excited to see in my garden this year is the new clematis I planted next to the arbor trellis.  I love these little bell-shaped blooms on 'Roguchi.'  I'm glad, too, it has survived some stiff competition from the volunteer hyacinth bean vine and the cardinal vine, which has spread everywhere.

Despite the jungle, my youngest grandson found the perfect seat one day--
yes, this is my favorite bloom of all!

And what about all those coneflowers I showed in July?  Well, some are looking a little tattered and faded, but they're still here.  I've deadheaded a few, but there are just far too many to keep up with.

I intend to thin them out eventually, but as long as others are enjoying them, I'm leaving them right where they are!

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is held the 15th of every month and is hosted by the always-entertaining Carol of May Dreams Gardens.  See what is blooming across the world this month and come join us!


  1. Rose, your garden is SO gorgeous !
    I love all your flowers and colors !
    Great captured the beauty of nature. Children and grandchildren are the greatest joy of life !
    Have a nice weekend :)

  2. A perfect example of a Midwestern garden in August. The August lily (Hosta) is the only one I let flower. The flowers are the best looking and fragrant. What is the name of the native Agastache you mentioned above? Gorgeous color.

  3. Aw, such a cute picture of your grandson with the coneflowers! Your blooms are all so beautiful. I love the hydrangeas. They look very happy! The Roguchi clematis is my favorite plant of all time. In fact, it is what turned me into an avid gardener - I saw a picture of it online and just had to have such a beautiful plant! Sadly, my new garden doesn't have one yet. Next year!

  4. Wow! Such beauty. I loved my visit to your garden this month. It is an inspiration.

  5. Your garden is sure a popular place for those happy insects! Love your two for shots. Cosmos are a favorite of mine but I haven't planted them in years. Next summer! I especially liked the pictures of Frank and the Surprise Lilies and your youngest grandson and the coneflowers - Adorable!

  6. I love your selection of plants.A gorgeous Amaryllis with Mr Pug I love your Hydrangea 'Vanilla strawberry'. and I just have to have that Clematis.
    Lovely butterflies on your Echinacea. I love them I can' t understand why some of the newer hybrids don' t stay around whereas the older ones clump up and seed around.

  7. Beautiful Rose, those last five images are gorgeous. The one of your grandson looks right out of a magazine. Very cute too.

  8. You take such fabulous photos! I love the photo of that new clematis --such a pretty composition. Your grandson is a cutie too!

  9. Rose your garden is stunning especially the butterflies. Love the colors of the daylilies.

  10. The first half of your post today is a menu sof things I can't/don't have! I have only one small patch of Oriental lilies, and I'm always grateful if the deer and rabbits leave them alone so they can bloom! I'm scared to try hydrangeas because of the deer. Can't grow hosta either! However, I do have Cosmos, but only in carefully selected spots, Rudbeckia, and I just planted a 'Becky' daisy! I hope I have good luck with that! I didn't plant 'Zowie' this year, instead opting for 'Old Mexico', but they had very poor germination and I'll look for 'Zowie' again next year. Lovely gardens as always, Rose, and your grandson is adorable! Happy Bloom Day!--Kimberley

  11. Love this update on your garden. So many flowers there.

  12. Rose, I wish our garden looked as good as yours. It sounds as though you have had our weather and we yours. The heat has taken its toll on our plants, but hey, perhaps signs of fall will come soon and hopefully some rain.

  13. Beautiful! I love the cone flowers and Prairie Sun! Your favorite bloom is special! I can relate to the jungle.

  14. You have an amazing collection of Daylilies, Rose! And of course all your other plants. I agree--this summer has been oh, so comfortable. Your grandson is SO cute!

  15. Your big sunny garden is always a delight Rose! Love seeing all those rocous blooms. Happy GBBD.

  16. Lovely to see all your garden blooms Rose.........especially the image of youngest Grandson on the bench. They grow so quickly, don't they Rose.

    Wonderful to see you have lots of bees and butterflies, for me, that is what gardening is all about.

    The weather is cooler here and I love it. The long hot spell left me feeling drained.............

  17. Great butterfly shots! Gardens are often looking kind of tired in August but yours is still luscious. Love the hydrangeas and daylilies. And I'm glad to see your grandson is being raised right - as a Cubs fan.

  18. Blooming lovely bloom Rose. I imagine that you must have relished the comparatively less hot summer that you have enjoyed. No doubt it lends itself to doing so much more both outside and in.
    We baked in July but August so far has been changeable, damp, cool and almost autumnal. Looks like your little grandson has found an ideal spot to contemplate the garden from.

  19. Beautiful garden, Rose. Happy GBBD in August!
    I love your clematis and will find this variety to plant the next spring. The problem of all Hydrangea paniculata is the weak branches that bend with flowers especially after rain. I always find some broken branches after rain! So I took a plastic net (as fishermen') and put it around the branches, so they rise above and the flowers do not bent on a soil.

  20. Linda, the native Agastache is simply called Hyssop, I believe, and is blue. The more colorful cultivars are the ones I like, but they just don't like our winters here.

    Kimberley, I'm sorry about your deer! When they ate so many of my tulips this spring, I understood firsthand how frustrating they can be. So far, fingers crossed, they haven't bothered the garden much otherwise.

    Jason, My grandson is being raised to enjoy several teams, but I think his parents know he has to wear a Cubs shirt at my house:)

    To everyone else, thank you for visiting, and rather than reply to your kind comments, I will stop by to visit your blog. I have a new computer, and while it's faster, I'm still learning how to navigate through everything.

  21. Your garden is looking most summery! I love all the combinations. Fun on the grandson! Too cute!

  22. Your garden is looking gorgeous with so many beautiful things in flower.I love those tall lilies, they are really pretty.

  23. Everything looks beautiful! My garden is a jungle, too. Love those hydrangea. I wish I had the conditions for them but I don't. I'll just have to enjoy yours. :O)

  24. Lov3ed all the photos but especially Frank the pug, youngest grandson and the butterflies.
    Guess I love photos that include other living things (rather than just flowes/plants.
    Lovely post.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

  25. Love the Surprise Lilies Rose. A surprise bloom or two is always nice late in the summer when many things are fading. That volunteer phlox is lovely and so are all the butterflies in your shots. I agree that the best bloom of all has to be your youngest grandson. What a handsome little fellow!

  26. You never cease to amaze me. Such a beautiful garden, and really beautiful photos.


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