Sunday, July 15, 2018

An Explosion of Color: July GBBD

I don't get to travel as much as I would like.  Between family obligations--including who's going to take care of four dogs??--and this and that, it is hard to get away.  So when my daughter offered to let me tag along with her to Washington, D.C. a few weeks ago, I jumped at the chance.  My husband stayed home, so I didn't have to worry about the dogs, and not much was going on in the garden that needed my immediate attention, so it was perfect timing.

While the garden was kind of at a lull when I left, all that changed in the few short days that I was gone.

In six days' time, the purple coneflowers had gone from a few opening blooms to a sea of pink!  And when I say "sea," I'm not exaggerating.  It's hard for me to get a good photo of the sidewalk garden that shows all the flowers, but maybe this one section will give you an idea.  Even though I dug up many seedlings in the spring, there are so many that there isn't much room for anything else.  Good thing I love coneflowers:)

Almost all the coneflowers that grow here are the native species, but 'Cheyenne Spirit' is one hybrid that has done well here and hasn't been overtaken by the natives--yet.  'Cheyenne Spirit' is one that will have different colored blooms on the same plant.  I bought this one before it bloomed, hoping for yellow blooms, but as you can see, I didn't quite get what I had wished for.  Still, I like the varied shades of coral and orange on this plant which sets it apart from all the common coneflowers here.

The other coneflowers have spread everywhere, including to the Lily Bed, which has been a riot of color for the past two weeks.  Even though I initially named this the Lily Bed, not all my lilies are growing here--I ran out of room here long ago! Since the daylilies are the other star of the garden right now, let's take a little closer look at some of them.

One of the first to bloom, 'Little Hug' is still putting out a plethora of blooms.

'Susan Webber,' a registered cultivar named after a local gardener.

'Moonlight Madness'

A NOID lily, given to me by a friend.

'Andrea's Dragonfly,' a division shared with me by my friend Beckie who named it in memory of her daughter. (Not a registered daylily)

Another NOID lily that I call 'Nettie's Coral' after my aunt who gave me several of these years ago.

It's probably apparent from the previous photos that I am partial to pastel lilies.  Take me to a daylily farm, and no matter what my buying intentions are, I always gravitate to the pastels:)  But I do have a few darker ones, including this lovely whose name has long been forgotten and which was also given to me by my friend Beckie.

Another non-pastel is this NOID that apparently got mixed up with some 'Stellas' I bought years ago.  I keep meaning to divide it because I really do like it much better than the Stellas anyway.

Some of my "literary lilies" are also a little darker like 'Divine Comedy.'  

And 'Canterbury Tales.'

'Romeo is Bleeding' is a bright red edged with yellow.

Of course, 'Romeo' had to have a companion, so I named this no-name hybrid 'Juliet.'

More of my "literary lilies"--and pastels again--'Tennyson' is a prolific beauty. I can't quite decide if this is my favorite daylily....

...or if 'Mistress Prynne' is my favorite.

I have many more daylilies than this, but I think you get that idea that I have become addicted to them.  The last few years, though, I've  also branched out a little to other types such as the Orientals, including what I call everyone's favorite, 'Stargazer.'  I've yet to see any blooms on the Casablancas, however, one of my favorite Orientals.

There are a few Orienpets as well, including this one whose name I've already forgotten.  With their downward-facing blooms, they are interesting but hard to photograph.

Although the coneflowers and lilies are the stars of the garden right now, there are other blooms as well.  Grey-headed coneflowers have been blooming for several weeks in the butterfly garden.

Hostas are just beginning to bloom in the Oak Tree garden.  All the rain we have had recently has turned my shade gardens into jungles once again.

In the Arbor Bed, the phlox are just starting to bloom.  This is 'David' with a fuschia no-name peeking behind it to the left.  I noticed this combo one day of whites with the pinks of the coneflowers and 'Stargazers'--another one of my happy accidents in planting.

I love, love the garden this time of year, but it's not just the blooms that I enjoy; it's all the creatures that come to visit it that bring me joy as well.  Well, not that darned Japanese beetle on the left coneflower, of course.  But I have been thrilled that finally the butterflies have appeared.  I was beginning to worry that their numbers were down this year, but in the last two weeks, I have had so many come to visit that my camera memory card is filled with nothing but  butterfly photos.  Black swallowtails, Red Admirals, and many smaller butterflies that I haven't identified are enjoying the coneflowers.

The Tiger Swallowtail is one of my favorites, 
and I'm pretty sure on Friday a Giant Swallowtail made a short visit as well.

But what makes me happiest of all is to see the Monarchs.  I've had at least two--my husband says he saw four at once--hanging about the garden for the past two weeks.  My milkweed plants are pretty puny, but at least I can provide some nectar for the adults with all these coneflowers!

It's been a hot, hot summer so far, but I am enjoying the garden right now, and I hope you are enjoying your summer garden, too.

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is brought to you once again by Carol of May Dreams Gardens.