We’ve finally gotten some rain here in southeastern Pennsylvania, along with a brief respite from temperatures in the 90s and 100s, so the plants have perked up just in time for a quick Bloom Day photo shoot. I could easily fill a whole post with pictures of my new favorite plant: ‘Jade Princess’ millet (Pennisetum glaucum). I love the form, and the flower and foliage colors too. I’d like to see it with a little more height – maybe to 24 to 30 inches, instead of the 18 it has reached so far – but otherwise, it’s just lovely.
There’s a lot of hot color going on in the front garden – some of it from flowers but much from some great foliage, such as the ‘Bright Lights’ chards. Above is a red one with ‘Gartenmeister’ fuchsia, ‘Purple Knight’ alternanthera, and ‘Profusion Orange’ zinnias; below is a pink one with ‘Limerock Ruby’ coreopsis and a bit of purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’).
I love globe amaranths (Gomphrena) and plant them every year, but they usually don’t seem very happy here. They’re thriving this year, though. Below is ‘Rainbow Orange’ globe amaranth with ‘Religious Radish’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides).
One red I can always depend on is ‘Lady in Red’ Texas sage (Salvia coccinea). The plants I started indoors are at their best in July and August; then the self-sown ones take over for September and October.
Above, ‘Lady in Red’ is mingling with ‘Sweet Caroline Purple’ sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas), ‘Fireglow’ euphorbia, ‘Nona’s Garnet’ daylily (Hemerocallis), Diabolo ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Monlo’), Mellow Yellow spirea (Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’), and ‘Mandarin Orange’ creeping zinnia (Sanvitalia procumbens).
Below, it’s with ‘Classic’ narrow-leaved zinnia (Zinnia angustifolia), ‘Sweet Caroline Purple’ sweet potato vine, ‘Chim Chiminee’ Gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia hirta), ‘Coppelia’ sneezeweed’ (Helenium), ‘Red Shield’ hibiscus (Hibiscus acetosella), and ‘Nona’s Garnet’ daylily.
Above, the very cool inflorescence of ‘Carmencita Red’ castor bean (Ricinus communis), with the spidery red stigmas of the female flowers at the top and the cream-colored stamens of the male flowers along the lower half.
Below, a foliage-focused combo of ‘Chocolate Mint’ coleus and ‘Jester’ millet (Pennisetum glaucum).
While we’re talking about millets, I can’t resist tossing in another shot of ‘Jade Princess’, this time with an unnamed sweet potato vine and ‘Purple Knight’ alternanthera.
A few more foliage shots: above, ‘Sedona’ coleus with ‘Purple Lady’ beefsteak plant (Iresine) and ‘Empress of India’ nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus). Below, ‘Neon Glow’ Swiss chard.
July is also lily time. Above, ‘Stargazer’ with ‘Kiwi Blue’ honeywort (Cerinthe major), ‘Swift Creek’ variegated privet (Ligustrum), and a bit of chastetree (Vitex); below, the gorgeous and richly fragrant ‘Robina’, a topping out at about 7 feet. (This clump started from just one bulb about 5 years ago.)
There are a lot of other pinks around now too: above, ‘Cherry Queen’ cleome against ‘Grace’ smokebush (Cotinus); below, ‘Erica’ Culver’s root (Veronicastrum virginicum) against a self-sown phlox.
Above, ‘Carin’ Joe-Pye weed (Eupatoriadelphus [Eupatorium] maculatus); below, purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) with ‘Indian Steel’ Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans), Joe-Pye weed, and cut-leaved sumac (Rhus typhina ‘Laciniata’).
Below, even more purple coneflowers, this time with ‘Karl Foerster’ feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora), ‘The Blues’ little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), aromatic aster (Symphiotrichum oblongifolium), spike gayfeather (Liatris spicata), ‘Temptation’ Culver’s root, and ‘Dewey Blue’ switch grass (Panicum amarum).
Below, ‘Axminster Streaked’ balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus) and ‘Brookside’ geranium. The balloon flower is easy to grow from seed and most of the seedlings have blue-and-white flowers, though the exact coloring patterns vary from flower to flower.
A couple of whites: Above, white-flowered shoo-fly plant (Nicandra physalodes); below; ‘David’ phlox with ‘Silver and Gold’ yellowtwig dogwood (Cornus sericea), ponytail grass (Stipa tenuissima), and African foxglove (Ceratotheca triloba).
Above, ‘Psyche White’ cosmos and ‘Quadricolor’ corn (Zea mays); below, bells-of-Ireland (Molucella laevis).
Above, ‘Sunspots’ sunflower (Helianthus annuus); below, common mullein (Verbascum thapsus) and false hemp (Datisca cannabina).
And to finish: above, ‘Grace’ smokebush (Cotinus) and ‘Golden Foam’ euphorbia; below, ‘Autumn Touch’ amaranths (Amaranthus).
To see what’s blooming in other gardens today all over the world, visit Carol’s Bloom Day post at May Dreams Gardens.