Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – August 2008

Sunflower Smile

Last month, it was all I could do to scrape up a few photos for my Bloom Day post. This month, I had the opposite problem: how to select a limited amount of images from a superabundance of lovely flowers and foliage. I think I’ve whittled the list down to a manageable amount, so without further rambling, here are some highlights of August color here in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Within the last week, the supposed ‘Violetta’ artichoke (Cynara scolymus) that I started from seed back in February finally came into flower. Looks a lot more like cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) to me.

Cynara cardunculus

Below is a true artichoke flower, from this date last year.

Cynara scolymus

Either way, I think the blooms are pretty cool. The bees think so too; there are usually a few of them crawling on the flowers at any point during the day. The combination below is even more of an extravaganza for bees, and birds and butterflies as well: bloodflower (Asclepias curassavica) in front; the foliage of ‘Golden Delicious’ pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) and the flowers of ‘Raspberry Wine’ bee balm (Monarda) in the middle; and ‘Velvet Queen’ sunflower (Helianthus annuus) in the back.

Asclepias curassavica

On the other side of the sunflowers is one of my favorite combos of the moment…

Zinnia 'Purple Prince', Coleus 'Bellingrath Pink', and Spiraea Mellow Yellow ('Ogon')

…big ‘Purple Prince’ zinnias; the coleus variously known as ‘Bellingrath Pink’, ‘Alabama Sunset’, or ‘Texas Parking Lot’; the feathery foliage of Mellow Yellow spirea (Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’), and the near-black leaves of ‘Sweet Caroline Purple’ sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas). Below, a closeup:

Zinnia 'Purple Prince', Coleus 'Bellingrath Pink', and Spiraea Mellow Yellow ('Ogon')

Below, a pretty pink-and-white pairing of annual snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata), variegated Japanese iris (Iris ensata ‘Variegata’), and ‘Angelmist Deep Pink’ angelonia.

Euphorbia marginata, Iris kaempferi 'Variegata', and Angelonia 'Angelmist Deep Pink'

Elsewhere, a somewhat similar color combo from a seedling phlox, pony tail grass (Stipa tenuissima), and a snow-on-the-mountain that seeded in from the bed across the path.

Phlox seedling, Euphorbia marginata, and Stipa tenuissima

And yet another pink-and-white combo, in just one plant: ‘Chocolate’ morning glory (Ipomoea nil) with the foliage of malabar spinach (Basella alba).

Ipomoea nil (morning glory) 'Chocolate'

Ok, enough pink. So, how about blue and white instead? Here’s the cute annual Browallia americana weaving through the variegated leaves of ‘Snow Fairy’ caryopteris (Caryopteris divaricata).

Caryopteris divaricata 'Snow Fairy' with Browallia americana

For something a little more intense, here’s a pairing of two experiments for me this year: white German statice (known as Goniolimon tataricum, Limonium dumosum, and several other names) with the reddish summer foliage of ‘Passionate Pink’ gaura.

Goniolimon tataricum (Limonium dumosum) with Gaura 'Passionate Pink'

I’m not sure I really like that combination, but it’s kind of interesting, in a something-different way.

Here are two other dark-and-light combos I definitely enjoy: annual ‘Black Knight’ pincushion flower (Scabiosa atropurpurea) with purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’)…

Scabiosa atropurpurea with Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum'

…and ‘Oakhurst’ pineapple lily (Eucomis comosa) with the seedpods and green leaves of Paeonia mollis, the bright green foliage of Calamagrostis brachytricha, and the dark leaves and seed capsules of Diabolo ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Monlo’).

Eucomis comosa 'Oakhurst' with Paeonia mollis, Calamagrostis brachytricha, and Physocarpus opulifolius Diabolo ('Monlo')

Right next to this grouping is a zippier pairing of bright red ‘Emberglow’ crocosmia and deep purple ‘Lake Louise’ throatwort (Trachelium caeruleum).

Crocosmia 'Emberglow' and Trachelium caeruleum 'Lake Louise'

Across the path, another lively combo of annuals and tender perennials: ‘Strawberry Fields’ globe amaranth (Gomphrena) with Pseuderanthemum atropurpureum ‘Rubrum’ and ‘Merlot’ lettuce.

Gomphrena 'Strawberry Fields' with Pseuderanthemum atropurpureum 'Rubrum' and 'Merlot' lettuce

Nothing says summer like coneflowers. Below is a self-sown purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) in between ‘Purple Knight’ alternanthera and golden elderberry (Sambucus nigra ‘Aurea’).

Sambucus nigra 'Aurea', Echinacea purpurea, and Alternanthera 'Purple Knight'

Below, a wider garden shot of orange coneflowers (Rudbeckia fulgida var. fulgida), purple ironweed (Vernonia), and pink Joe-Pye weed (Eupatoriadelphus) adding contrast of color and form to a variety of glorious grasses, including ‘Karl Foerster’ feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora), ‘Karley Rose’ fountain grass (Pennisetum orientale), ‘Rotstrahlbusch’ switch grass (Panicum virgatum), and ‘Cassian’ fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides).

Arc borders with Rudbeckia fulgida, Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster', Pennisetum 'Karley Rose', Sambucus nigra 'Aurea', Panicum 'Rotstrahlbusch', Vernonia, Eupatoriadelphus, Solidago 'Fireworks', and Pennisetum 'Cassian'

And to finish, closeups of some other beautiful bloomers in the mid-August garden, starting with ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ dahlia:

Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff'

Gladiolus 'Flevo Party'

Above, ‘Flevo Party’ gladiolus; below, ‘Fan Burgundy’ lobelia with Mellow Yellow spirea (Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’).

Lobelia 'Fan Burgundy' with Spiraea thunbergii Mellow Yellow ('Ogon')

Mirabilis jalapa 'Limelight'

Above, ‘Limelight’ four-o’clock (Mirabilis jalapa); below, ‘Ondra’s Green Mix’ flowering tobacco (Nicotiana).

Nicotiana 'Ondra's Green Mix'

Solanum quitoense

Above, bed-of-nails or naranjillo (Solanum quitoense); below, ‘Golden Moon’ wishbone flower (Torenia).

Torenia 'Golden Moon'

For more Bloom Day delights from all over the world, be sure to visit the main Bloom Day post at May Dreams Gardens.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by brenda on December 17, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Your gardens are so awesome! I’ve never seen such a bunch of uncommon plants in one garden. You really delight in the unusual don’t you?

    I do enjoy trying new things, though I’m now also putting thought into using more common plants in interesting combinations. I’m glad you enjoyed this old post; it was one of my favorites.
    -Nan

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