Posted on 17 Comments

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – July 2008

Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus)

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

According to the garden columnist in our local newspaper, this is the time for gardeners to sit back, relax, and enjoy their flowers. If only that were true. Here at Hayefield, we received just half an inch of rain in the last five weeks, spread out over three quick showers, interspersed with many days of sunny days with temperatures in the upper 80 and low 90s. So no, sitting and relaxing haven’t been on my agenda; mostly, I’ve been dragging hoses around, trying to keep my veggies alive and occasionally throwing some water on the ornamentals as time allowed. And no, I can’t say I’ve been enjoying my flowers much either, simply because there aren’t all that many flowers out right now.

I’m thrilled to report, however, that that’s all about to change. Last night, we were blessed with almost 2 inches of a lovely soaking rain. I’m happy (tonight I get to weed instead of water, for a change), and I can feel the plants preparing to celebrate with a burst of fresh foliage and flowers any time now. I hope to have lots to show next month, but for now, I have only a few shots to share.

Giant coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima)
Sundown coneflower (Echinacea ‘Evan Saul’) with Diabolo ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Monlo’)
Drumstick allium (Allium sphaerocephalon) with ‘Isla Gold’ tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) and Persicaria ‘Taurus’
Checkerbloom (Sidalcea malviflora) and purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
‘Limerock Ruby’ coreopsis with ‘Merlot’ lettuce

I hope Bloom Day is more flower-filled for you, wherever you are. Now, don’t forget to check out everyone else’s offerings through the main Bloom Day post at May Dreams Gardens!

Posted on 17 Comments

17 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – July 2008

  1. Your blooms are beautiful! I hope you continue to have more of that wonderful rain. Today we had our first rainfall in over two weeks.

    I’m glad to hear you too got rain, Chey. Isn’t it great to be able to share the thrill with others who understand how important it is to receive rain when it’s much needed? I was about ready to go postal on the next person who said how “beautiful” the weather has been here.

  2. I’m glad you got a good rain! I hope you are blessed with more blooms soon.

    Thanks, Robin. I look forward to seeing what’s blooming at your place!

  3. Send me some rain! Same problem here. Watered the pumpkins this morning. They do like the heat though don’t they! Merlot and limerock ruby make me thirsty and hungry. All great pictures as usual, Nan.

    Oh, poor Layanee. Believe me, if I had any control over the weather, I’d be glad to send some rain your way – and order up another rainy day for us too.

  4. Thank goodness for your rain, Nan. We also had some, but not nearly enough. There is new foliage on many things, it brightens one’s spirits. I planted Limerock Ruby when it first came out and it didn’t make it through the winter. Maybe it wasn’t the cold, is it perennial for you there? And lettuce growing, you must have much cooler temps that we do. I have some arugula to start, but am waiting until mid August or later. I have noticed echincea in nearly every single bloom day post, what a great plant.

    Hi Frances! No, ‘Limerock Ruby’ isn’t hardy here, but I think it’s such a fantastic color that I’m happy to grow it as an annual. And you’re right about the lettuce: all the others are long gone, but ‘Merlot’ seems to have exceptional heat tolerance. It didn’t start to bolt until about 10 days ago, and it looks fantastic even when it’s in full flower. I too am looking forward to arugula season again!

  5. And so rude of me not to say how beautiful your flowers and photos are. ;->

    Oh, you’re silly, Frances. But thanks!

  6. That Cardoon is sure a show stopper in that first photo Nan. It looks as though you have some great blooms if not as many as you would like. I am glad to hear you got some much needed rain.

    Thanks, Lisa. I think the cardoon is really awesome too, and it’s loaded with many, many more buds, so I look forward to lots more cool flowers.

  7. That photo with the persicaria is truly a work of art…and the others are none too shabby either. My cardoon is all of twelve feet tall, and I continue to wonder how such a thing could have come forth from a tiny seed purchased for 25 cents from the Hardy Plant Society. Mine is yet to bloom, but you give me hope.

    Hi Ricki! Your cardoon sounds fantastic – 12 feet??? Mine are barely 4 feet tall. But then, cardoon is sort of marginal hardiness here, so I’m glad to have it live over at bloom at any height.

  8. Stunning flowers and images! You’ve added to my “must have” list — and that cardoon is phenomenal! Thank you for the tip about Merlot being heat tolerant, that is always an issue for me.

    I appreciate your visit, Ann. I think you’ll really love the ‘Merlot’ lettuce; it’s such a stunning color and behaves beautifully.

  9. Lack of rain for and extended time makes you rethink the pleasures of having a garden. This year we have plenty–very unusual for the prairie. In fact we have flooding which of course you’ve seen on TV. I hate the misery the floods have caused but it has been heavenly in my garden… never to lift a hose. To have seeds sprout without constant sprinkling.

    I hope our rains are coming your way.

    Oh, my, yes – I’ve seen that you’ve had way more rain than you need. I won’t wish for *that* much! But I’m glad it’s been good for your garden.

  10. Hi Nan!
    It is not so many flowers in our garden eather,
    But you may enjoy the foliage instead.
    I have some pictures on my blog now just on some of our
    foliage planting.
    Have a nice weekend Nan.

    Thanks for the tip, Ken; I’ll be over to visit your blog soon!

  11. Nan, one of the things I most enjoy about your garden is the way you mix the exotic with the “mundane.” I try to do that, but my combinations just don’t approach the genius of yours–yet–with your Limerock Ruby coreopsis echoing the color of that red lettuce, and so on. Thank you for continuing to be an inspiration.

    Thanks so much, Kim. Honestly, I think it’s impossible to create a *bad* combination with the ‘Merlot’ lettuce; it’s that awesome.

  12. There was a problem & I wasn’t able to see all of your photos. But I did see most of them & they’re inspiring as always. I wonder if your Persicaria could substitute for Lythrum salicaria? The flowers look similar. I recommend Liatris or one of the hybrid Lobelias, but that plant seems the most lookalike. Thanks for another great idea of a plant pairing with ‘Monlo’ (Diablo) Ninebark.

    Thanks for the heads-up, MMD. Apparently it’s a WordPress issue that’s in the process of being fixed. I’ll check back tomorrow and see if the photos are back.

    The persicaria doesn’t get quite as tall as lythrum can (my ‘Taurus’ is about 5 feet in full bloom), but the effect is similar, and the color is fantastic, I think. Normally, I’d be fighting the Japanese beetles on it right now, but fortunately, we have hardly any of the little buggers this summer – so far, anyway.

  13. You got 2 inches of rain?! I am so jealous! We’ve been hauling water here at Hawk’s Haven for weeks. Ugh! Who thinks hot, humid, rainless weather is “beautiful”?!! Poor us, poor plants! Finally got a little rain last night. I’m hoping for more today!

    I’ll bet you got plenty of rain too. We ended up with about 4 inches over two days. Yay!

  14. No problem with rain here, Nan–we have so much fog and humidity that things are insanely lush, especially the weeds–and it’s too soupy-hot to want to go outside and deal with anything. Lots in bloom, though the delphinium did get bedraggled by the annual peony/delphinium drownpour-windstorm, as usual.

    We’re good for rain now here, thank goodness. How amazing to think that you still have peonies and delphiniums in bloom! (Or, at least you *did*.)

  15. delightful to read about your garden in the NYT. But is that a japanese barberry I see in the background? Time to get rid of this invader!!!

    That’s Berberis x ottawensis ‘Superba’, nini. I promise that I’m *very* aware of the invasive potential of Japanese barberry, and yes, I’m gradually removing all of them from the garden.

  16. You may not have had a lot to show for Bloom Day, Nan, but what you did have were lovely, with some of those great combinations that you’re so good at. The Coreopsis with the Merlot lettuce is particularly pretty.
    Sitting and relaxing aren’t on my agenda either :) Isn’t summer flying by?
    I’m so glad you got some good rain. We’ve been lucky here this year, and the field corn is looking fabulous!
    Plenty of storms though, causing us electrical problems (expensive electical problems!) and after they were fixed this past Wednesday my computer wouldn’t work. Major frustration! Ross (hubby) is generously sharing his with me. Thank heavens! :)

  17. Do your ‘Limerock Ruby’ coreopsis come back each year? I haven’t had luck in NJ. Your garden is gorgeous.

    Thanks for visiting, Roberta! No, sadly, none of the coreopsis in the Limerock series have been hardy in my part of PA either (for me, at least).

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