Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – August 2010

Cuphea platycentra, Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra', and Coleus 'Sedona' Aug 14 10

I don’t know how anyone who looks after a garden can have any sort of ego. Just when I think I know what plants need to grow, I quickly find out how wrong I can be. At times, I’ve given them “perfect” growing conditions and watched them wither away. And yet this year, with its ridiculous excess of heat and appalling lack of rain, the gardens have somehow managed to survive with almost no help from me. I’ve spent much of this summer moping around indoors, whining about the weather and wondering why I even bother trying to garden. But now, I remember why.

Zinnias 'Profusion Yellow' and 'Profusion Fire' with Angelonia 'Serena Purple' Aug 14 10

First, some closeups, starting with a new favorite: ‘Profusion Yellow’ zinnia (also a favorite with cabbage white butterflies) with ‘Profusion Fire’ and ‘Serena Purple’ angelonia. Below, heat-bleached ‘Cherry Brandy’ rudbeckia with ‘Bronzilla’ sedge (Carex flagellifera).

Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy' with Carex flagellifera 'Bronzilla' Aug 14 10

Eucomis comosa 'Oakhurst' Aug 14 10

Above, ‘Oakhurst’ pineapple lily (Eucomis comosa); below, ‘Jade Princess’ millet (Pennisetum glaucum).

Pennisetum glaucum 'Jade Princess' Aug 14 10

Ceratotheca triloba 'Alba' Aug 14 10

Above, white African foxglove (Ceratotheca triloba ‘Alba’); below, golden lace (Patrinia scabiosifolia) with ironweed (Vernonia).

Patrinia scabiosifolia Vernonia Aug 14 10

Sanguisorba tenuifolia and Sambucus nigra 'Aurea' Aug 14 10

Above, Japanese burnet (Sanguisorba tenuifolia) with golden elderberry (Sambucus nigra ‘Aurea’); below, false hemp (Datisca cannabina).

Datisca cannabina Aug 14 10

Amaranthus 'Hopi Red Dye' Aug 14 10

Above, ‘Hopi Red Dye’ amaranth; below, ‘Cassian’ fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides) with orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida), ‘Morning Light’ miscanthus, and ‘Lemon Queen’ perennial sunflower (Helianthus).

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Cassian' Rudbeckia fulgida Miscanthus 'Morning Light' Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' Aug 14 10

And now, a quick trot around the gardens, starting with the arc borders…

Rudbeckia fulgida, Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster', 'Pennisetum orientale 'Karly Rose', and Pennisetum orientale 'Cassian' Aug 14 10

Fallopia baldschuanica 'Lemon Lace', Amsonia hubrichtii. Rosa 'Faru Dagmar', and Pennisetum orientale 'Karly Rose' Aug 14 10

…the courtyard (above and below)…

Eupatoriadelphus maculatus, Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster', and Stachys byzantina 'Big Ears' Aug 14 10

Caryopteris incana 'Jason' (Summer Sunshine) with Ensete maurellii, Ipomoea batatas 'Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Red', Sedum 'Angelina', and Coleus 'Sedona' Aug 14 10

…the front path, left side (above) and right side (below)…

Coleus 'Sedona' with Iresine 'Purple Lady' Aug 14 10

'Bright Lights' Swiss chard with Helenium 'Mardi Gras' and Hibiscus acetosella 'Red Shield' Aug 14 10

…and two other random shots from the front garden (above and below).

Front garden at Hayefield Aug 14 10

Heading around to the side, there’s the pink-and-yellow border (below), with patrinia, ‘Fireworks’ globe amaranth (Gomphrena), ‘Cassian’ fountain grass, and orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida).

Patrinia scabiosifolia, Gomphrena 'Fireworks', Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Cassian', and Rudbeckia fulgida Aug 14 10

Vitex negundo and Ligustrum 'Swift Creek' Aug 14 10

In the white area, there’s chastetree (Vitex negundo) with ‘Swift Creek’ privet (Ligustrum) [above]. Below, snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata) with ‘Silver and Gold’ yellow-twig dogwood (Cornus sericea) and not-yet-blooming aromatic aster (Symphiotrichum oblongifolium).

Euphorbia marginata, Cornus sericea 'Silver and Gold', and Symphiotrichum oblongifolium Aug 14 10

Below is another view, with pony-tail grass (Nasella tenuissima).

Nasella tenuissima in side garden at Hayefield Aug 14 10

'Red Noodle' beans with cardinal climber (Ipomoea x multifida) Aug 14 10

Heading around back, there are ‘Red Noodle’ beans and cardinal climber (Ipomoea x multifida) on the arbor to the orchard (above) and the now-filled-in Happy Garden (below).

Happy Garden at Hayefield Aug 14 10

Schizachyrium scoparium 'The Blues', calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster', and Panicum amarum 'Dewey Blue' Aug 14 10

Outside the fence, the grasses are looking better than they ever have (above): ‘The Blue’ little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and ‘Karl Foerster’ feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora) in front of ‘Dewey Blue’ switch grass (Panicum amarum). And below, the meadow is full of color from goldenrods (Solidago), compass plants (Silphium perfoliatum), and Joe-Pye weeds (Eupatoriadelphus purpureus).

Hayefield meadow with Silphium perfoliatum, Solidago, and Eupatoriadelphus purpureus Aug 14 10

To see what else is blooming today in gardens all over the world, check out the Carol’s Bloom Day post over at May Dreams Gardens.

29 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Brenda on August 15, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Love it, love it, LOVE IT! Just discovered your blog and I’m blown away by your color and free flowing style. It’s very inspirational, and has motivated me to take another look at my own gardens.

    Where would I get seeds for those foot-long Noodle beans? Never saw them but they sure are striking!

    Hi there, Brenda! I’d be glad to share some seeds of the noodle beans. I’ll e-mail you directly.
    -Nan

  2. Nan, Happy Bloom Day! Your gardens are as lovely and inspiring as ever, regardless of this crazy summer weather. Gardening certainly is humbling at times. I also find gardeners are a hopeful bunch – always looking forward to the next season, assuming they can right whatever wrongs might have happened in their gardens. And then along comes Mother Nature and reminds us she can take care of herself with or without us!

    “Humbling” is exactly the word, Debbie. But I think that’s what I like best about gardening for fall: there’s no choice but to give up control and simply enjoy whatever happens.
    -Nan

  3. The Gardens look great!

    With hopes of getting better, if the rain we’re promised actually arrives!
    -Nan

  4. Very, very nice!

    Thanks, Craig!
    -Nan

  5. I’m always amazed at your garden! The colors and combinations are so inspiring. Your use of burgundy and orange is superb! I need to expand my vernonia (I’m testing one variety) for sure. Glad the summer is ending on a positive garden note!

    I find that once you have one vernonia, it doesn’t take long to end up with a lot of them if you leave the seedheads on for winter interest. I hope the kind you’re trying works well for you!
    -Nan

  6. Nan,your astonishing garden just blows me away. Everything looks simply gorgeous. Thanks for the inspiration!

    I can say exactly the same back to you, Yvonne!
    -Nan

  7. Love the Bloom Days. I get to see what the heat can do with Hopi Red amaranth compared to my little ones. And I’ve been stubbornly resisting the Profusion zinnias, and they’re everywhere on the bloom day posts. And the size of your African foxgloves! Apart from all the comparisons, let me simply say your garden floors me every time you post. The textures, colors, the health and exuberance of the plants. Happy bloom day.

    Those ‘Hopi Red Dye’ are the biggest ones I’ve ever had, Denise; they are amazing. Same for the African foxglove: the ones in the pictures are self-sown seedlings from last-year’s plants. Those that I started indoors and transplanted are not even half that size.

    I hope you’ll rethink the ‘Profusion’ zinnias. Granted, they’re so strongly mounded that they can look a little blobby, but that’s not so much of a problem if you mix them up with some trailing or weaving companions.
    -Nan

  8. You have a stunning garden. I love your grasses and your ornamental use of yellow chard. Happy bloom day!

    Thanks for visiting, James. The chards have performed beautifully this year, even without supplemental watering – once they recovered from being munched by bunnies soon after planting. These suckers are tough!
    -Nan

  9. Posted by Lisa at Greenbow on August 15, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    All of your color and texture is marvelous Nan. I read your article in Fine Gardening this month. I knew it was your garden as soon as I saw a picture or two. Good article too. Happy GBBD.

    Hey, thanks, Lisa! Happy Bloom Day to you too.
    -Nan

  10. Your garden is absolutely wonderful. That small section of purple fence works very well with those less imposing plants. Did you hand paint?

    Mom did the purple base with spray paint, and I did the yellow accents.
    -Nan

  11. It does look full and lovely, Nan. Words are inadequate! Those grasses are stellar. The Blues has never looked like that here. I need better plant material! Is the stipa perennial for you? Such a workhorse. The really like that Patrinia as well. Looks like another plant order in the making! :-)
    Frances

    Frances, ‘The Blues’ has never been so tall and so upright here either. Now I know what it’s *supposed* to look like, I love it even more. The Stipa didn’t used to be hardy but has been squeaking through the last few winters. I use the volunteers to thicken up the two patches each spring. And yes, do try the patrinia – it’s a beauty, and a nice change from the goldenrods.
    -Nan

  12. How can you mope when you have a “Happy Garden”? Even the little fence makes me smile. Your garden is wildly exuberant this summer. As always, I just love your Sanguisorba, especially with the golden elderberry. I’m really into the ruby/chartreuse color scheme at the moment.

    When it was baking in the midday sun, it was a Not-Very-Happy Garden. But things are seem to be improving weather-wise (meaning cloudy and drizzly), so we’re all a lot happier today!
    -Nan

  13. Nan, I study your images on every post you write. Your plant combinations–and photos of them–are simply magical.

    Aw, thanks, Pam! That means a great deal to me. I’m glad you enjoy the pictures.
    -Nan

  14. What a great garden. I like the mixture of flowers, foliage plants and grasses. Your plants look amazingly healthy and lush. A great achievement!

    Thank you, Anja. I can’t take much credit for its lushness; by all rights, it should have been all brown and crispy by now. But I’m more than willing to enjoy it in its current state. Thanks for visiting!
    -Nan

  15. Awesome, Nan. I’ve been losing most of my Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ (and all helianthus) blooms to black weevils. They are small insects that make a perfect cut on the stalk just beneath the bloom, like someone came by and snipped them off with scissors. I’m guessing you don’t have this issue out east?

    Gee, no, I haven’t run across that problem, Benjamin. Let’s hope they stop deadheading your plants in time for you to get some fall bloom.
    -Nan

  16. Posted by Rob Broekhuis on August 15, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Wow, your gardens really do look like they weathered the weather without looking back! You’ll have to teach me some of your secrets someday – my own gardens are so sadly decimated that I’m too embarrassed to walk through them many days. Luckily, the dreary coolness of the last couple of days has reawakened the inner gardener in me, and your post inspires me to see what it could look like one of these years :-)

    Rob, if I understood myself how it survived, I’d be glad to share. I’ve given up trying to analyze it and am just having fun now.

    I hope you got some of the rain too!
    -Nan

  17. nan, i think i said “wow!” to every photo you posted! the colors and textures of the plant combinations you featured are STUNNING! i think you’ve earned the rest of the summer off… enjoy!

    Thanks, Andrea – I intend to enjoy every minute from now on. I hope you have a great fall too.
    -Nan

  18. Hi Nan,

    Your photos are superb, your garden absolutely “something else”and I´m sorry I can´t visit it!

    Susie

    I think it’s better in pictures, Susie, because that way you don’t see the weeds and the areas that aren’t quite so spiffy (yet).
    -Nan

  19. You have a garden heaven, Nan. Well done.

    Thanks, Joene. Happy Bloom Day!
    -Nan

  20. Gorgeous! Your garden seems to be absolutely thriving in the heat! I love your combination of helenium and Hibiscus acetosella – it’s a great combination of rustic and sophisticated looking plants.

    I’m honored to have you visit, Stacey. I’m having a great time with the ‘Red Shield’ hibiscus this year, now that I’ve found that I can grow it from seed and have as much of it as I want. And it sure hasn’t minded the high temps.
    -Nan

  21. Nan, your gardens are full of interesting plants and pairings. I especially love the front path beds. Gorgeous color combos!
    Your Happy Garden is so much fun. You and your mom did a wonderful job!
    Love the red noodle beans paired with the cardinal climber. You’ve given me an idea about how to place my cardinals now. I was drawing a blank.
    Great inspiration in every corner, Nan – thanks!
    Happy Bloom Day!

    That combo of the red noodle beans and the cardinal climber was purely by chance, Kerri, but I’m loving it – and so are the hummingbirds!
    -Nan

  22. Oh Nan…the garden is amazing (even with a mind of its own!!! haha) I LOVE your color combinations and your garden art is awesome. It’s beautiful where you are;-)

    It sure is, Jan. Aren’t we lucky to have such a great hobby?
    -Nan

  23. As always, Nan, your garden is an unbelievable inspiration, you have the most amazing eye for combinations…it seems like every time you post something, I’m inspired to try a new combo, or discover some plant I’ve never heard of…you are pretty much the reason I fell in love with Amsonias and Pink Muhly grass together…keep up the amazing work!

    Ow, you’ve touched on one of my big regrets of this season, Scott: the muhly grass didn’t make it through the winter, so I won’t get to enjoy that combination this year. I guess it was time for a change, anyway, but I really don’t like what I ended up sticking in that spot as fillers. I hope I can get the muhly grass back for next year!
    -Nan

  24. Loved the rosy shades of the grass and sweet potato plant together. Beautiful gardens and photos.

    That’s one of my favorites too, Rhonda!
    -Nan

  25. This is about my 5th time through these photos, a great lesson in both photo and garden composition. And at long last, an ID on a plant I saw 3 years ago at Wave Hill ,untagged, the Datisca cannabina, and a Google search reveals they grow it at Annies.. hotcha ! Too bad it gets bigger than I can accommodate at the moment,a common dilemma in my garden.

    That’s great about the Datisca, Kathy. I started growing it because Piet Oudolf showed it in one of his books. I can’t say that I’m absolutely in love with it, but I’ve let it stay and seed around. This one plant is a key feature in the view from one of my office windows, and I’ve become very fond of watching it move in the slightest breeze. If you ever find that you have the room (I imagine that some pruning could keep it shorter than the usual 6-8 feet it reaches here), I’d be glad to share some seeds.
    -Nan

  26. So very, very beautiful, stunning and always an inspiration. (I spent a few hours this week-end pouring over your book: “Grasses”)
    I am amazed – the beds along the featured garden path look so beautiful and full – and if I remember right from a previous blog post – they was just designed and planted this year?
    Lene

    Hi Lene! The bed that’s right in front of the house does get completely replanted each year. But it’s the Happy Garden in back that you’re probably thinking of – that was the area where I removed my old holding/veggie beds and did a complete redesign.
    -Nan

  27. Posted by Rita Sillivan-Smith on August 18, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Howdy Nan,
    Your gardens look fantastic–they appear to servived better than mine. Love the bottle tree–I have used a large bottle in the front cottage garden the last three years–only colored bottles to match the flower colors are allowed—except for the wayward beer bottle from Jim. I’m out to H2O pots–keep up the great work.

    Hey there, Rita! Good to hear from you. Yeah, that rain was skimpy and short-lived, wasn’t it? At least it’s not quite as hot this week.
    -Nan

  28. According to what I see here, I think this weather must have been perfect for you.

    Far from perfect for me, but ok for the plants, apparently!
    -Nan

  29. Judging by the responses to your post and from the images that take my breath away, I hope that you never again wonder why you garden.

    Aw, thanks, Allan. It’s still depressingly dry here, but for the most part, the garden continues to amaze me.
    -Nan

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