Posted on 30 Comments

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – July 2012

Verbena 'Oxena' (Babylon Red) with Hypoestes phyllostachya 'Red Splash Select' at Hayefield

Yep, things are heating up this month, both temperature- and color-wise. Above is one of the hottest spots in the front garden, featuring Babylon Red verbena (Verbena ‘Oxena’) and ‘Splash Select Red’ polka-dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya).

There are more bright spots to show off, but I’ll try to mix them up a bit to give you a break in between. So for now…

Allium ampeloprasum (leeks) in bloom at Hayefield

The alliums, which have featured prominently the last few months, are starting to slow down, but there are a few left. The leeks (above) are just about done, and the garlic (behind the leeks, and below with ‘Becky’ Shasta daisy and Lagurus ovatus) is forming bulbils. I know you’re supposed to cut off the stems, but I mostly grow garlic for the greens, not the bulbs, so I prefer to let the stalks mature and then scatter the bulbils around the main patch. They make great alpaca treats too, unless the boys are in a bad mood. (You haven’t really experienced garlic breath until you’ve been misted with garlic-mixed-with-rumen spit.)

Garlic scapes with Leucanthemum 'Becky' and Lagurus ovatus at Hayefield

Allium flavum at Hayefield

There’s also a new allium blooming this month, in an unusual color among the onions: Allium flavum.

I got the iris below years ago as a tiny seedling labeled Iris setosa, but it looks rather more like Iris ensata, I think. It’s pretty and tough, whatever it is.

Iris ensata? with Stachys officinalis at Hayefield

Digitalis ferruginea with Hydrangea arborescens 'NCHA1' (Invincibelle Spirit) at Hayefield

I don’t have much luck with common foxgloves here, but rusty foxglove (Digitalis ferruginea) has been well established for several years now and is starting to produce lots of seedlings, which is great. In the photos above and below, it’s with Invincibelle Spirit hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘NCHA1’), which I received as free test plants a while back.

Digitalis ferruginea at Hayefield

Hemerocallis 'Milk Chocolate' at Hayefield

July is traditionally daylily (Hemerocallis) time around here. I have a bunch of no-name clumps out back to provide summer alpaca treats, along with a few special favorites out front, including ‘Milk Chocolate’ (above and below)…

Hemerocallis 'Milk Chocolate' at Hayefield

Hemerocallis 'Nona's Garnet Spider' at Hayefield

…and ‘Nona’s Garnet’ Spider’ (above).

Lots of true lilies (Lilium) have come and gone over the past few weeks, too. ‘Robina’ (below), an Orienpet (Oriental-Trumpet) hybrid, can be a rich pink but tends to bleach out a bit in the heat.

Lilium 'Robina' at Hayefield

Lilium 'Purple Prince' at Hayefield

‘Purple Prince’ (above and below), another Orienpet, seems to hold its color a bit better, but it doesn’t have the large, tiered bloom clusters of ‘Robina’. Both of these lilies have wonderfully strong stems and a heavy scent.

Lilium 'Purple Prince' at Hayefield

Lilium leichtlinii at Hayefield

Lilium leichtlinii (above and below) isn’t fragrant, but it’s still a beauty. It’s normally more upright, but the ‘Red Majestic’ hazel next to it has expanded by several feet over the last few years, so the lily now has to lean a fair bit. This scene has made for a very nice view from my office window over the last few weeks.

Lilium leichtlinii at Hayefield

Platycodon grandiflorus 'Axminster Streaked' at Hayefield

Other July-blooming perennials include seed-grown ‘Axminster Streaked’ balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus, above), wild quinine (Parthenium integrifolium, below)…

Parthenium integrifolium at Hayefield

Echinacea purpurea 'Prairie Frost' at Hayefield

… ‘Prairie Frost’ purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea, above) and giant coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima, below with Southern bush honeysuckle [Diervilla sessilifolia], frost grass [Spodiopogon sibiricus], and Virginia creeper [Parthenocissus quinquefolia])…

Rudbeckia maxima with Spodiopogon sibiricus and Diervilla sessilifolia at Hayefield

Coreopsis tripteris with Cotinus 'Grace' and Euphorbia 'Golden Foam' at Hayefield

…coreopsis (I think the one above is a fine-leaved form of Coreopsis tripteris, paired with ‘Grace’ smokebush [Cotinus] and Euphorbia ‘Golden Foam’), and Culver’s root (below is Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Erica’ with ‘Conca d’Or Orienpet lily)…

Veronicastrum virginicum 'Erica' at Hayefield

Lobelia cardinalis at Hayefield

…cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis, above), and New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis, below).

Vernonia noveboracensis at Hayefield

Clematis glaucophylla at Hayefield

Clematis glaucophylla (above) is mostly seedheads now from its earlier flush of bloom, but it’s already producing new buds and normally keeps flowering into fall. It produced a show like this last year too, but when I went to collect seeds, only two of the dozens of seedheads actually had plump, viable seeds.

Below is common buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), a deciduous shrub, heading out of bloom.

Cephalanthus occidentalis at Hayefield

Ipomoea batatas ‘Sweet Georgia Heart Light Green’, Calibrachoa ‘Aloha Neon 2011’ and ‘Noa Tangerine’, Anagallis monelli 'Angie Blue', Lantana camara ‘Samantha’, Zinnia ‘Profusion Orange’, Solenostemon ‘Sedona’, Iresine lindenii ‘Formosa’, Thunbergia alata 'Susie Orange Clear', and Asarina scandens ‘Joan Lorraine’

Many of the annuals and tender perennials are really taking off now. Above is the planter by the barn door. I keep container plantings to a minimum around here to reduce watering, but it’s easy to give this one the leftovers every time I dump, scrub, and refill the boys’ water bucket. This one includes ‘Sweet Georgia Heart Light Green’ sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas), hot pink ‘Aloha Neon 2011’ and orange ‘Noa Tangerine’ million bells (Calibrachoa), ‘Angie Blue’ anagallis (Anagallis monelli), yellow ‘Samantha’ lantana, ‘Profusion Orange’ zinnia, ‘Sedona’ coleus, yellow-and-green Iresine lindenii ‘Formosa’, ‘Susie Orange Clear’ black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata), and ‘Joan Lorraine’ chickabiddy (Asarina scandens). Below is a bit of detail.

Ipomoea batatas ‘Sweet Georgia Heart Light Green’  with Anagallis monelli, Lantana camara 'Samantha', and Calibrachoa 'Noa Tangerine' at Hayefield

The pink-and-yellow flowers of Echeveria glauca (below) don’t really fit with the other colors in the side garden, but they’re neat-looking, so I usually leave them.

Echeveria glauca at Hayefield

Tweedia caerulea (Oxypetalum caeruleum/coeruleum) at Hayefield

I decided to try a few old favorites again this year, including tweedia (Tweedia caerulea or Oxypetalum caeruleum/coeruleum, above) and bunny tail grass (Lagurus ovatus, below).

Lagurus ovatus at Hayefield

Polanisia dodecandra at Hayefield

A couple of self-sowers making a repeat appearance include dwarf cleome or redwhisker clammyweed (Polanisia dodecandra, above) and ‘Ondra’s Green Mix’ flowering tobacco (Nicotiana, below). (By the way, I see that ‘Nancy Ondra’s Green’ nicotiana is now available commercially through Avant Gardens. It looks like their strain has more N. alata in it, though, while my plants usually appear to have more N. langsdorffii influence.)

Nicotiana 'Ondra's Green Mix' at Hayefield

Lavandula viridis at Hayefield

I grew yellow lavender (Lavandula viridis) from seed last year and managed to overwinter one clump in the basement, so I got a few flowerheads this year. It’s not particularly ornamental, but the clean, refreshing scent is great.

Below, another tender perennial: Iochroma cyanea. It’s related to brugmansias, but the individual flowers are much smaller: about 2 inches long and maybe 1/3 inch wide.

Iochroma cyanea at Hayefield

Ceratotheca triloba at Hayefield

Above, South African foxglove (Ceratotheca triloba); below, with its sticky hairs quite visible, is clammy cuphea (Cuphea viscosissima), also known as blue waxweed.

Cuphea viscosissima at Hayefield

Petunia integrifolia at Hayefield

I generally don’t have great luck with petunias once summer heat arrives, but this little gem – Petunia integrifolia, above – is one that keeps getting better through the growing season. I was thrilled to get the seeds through the Hardy Plant Society/Mid-Atlantic Group’s Seed Exchange last winter. Come to think of it, the South African foxglove and clammy cuphea came from there too. For any of you who who enjoy finding unusual annuals, I highly recommend joining HPS/MAG (membership info is here) so you’ll have access to the seed exchange this winter. Even better, start collecting seeds now so you can be a donor, too!

The potato beetles have been slow to arrive this year, so my Solanum pyracanthum seedlings got off to a great start and are already starting to flower. If all goes well, I hope to include some of the seed in my HPS/MAG seed donation this fall.

Solanum pyracanthum at Hayefield

Eucomis comosa 'Oakhurst' with Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra', Canna 'Phaison' (Tropicanna), Corylus avellana 'Red Majestic', Atriplex hortensis 'Rubra', Canna 'Australia', Pelargonium 'Dark Velvet Red', Hypoestes 'Red Splash Select', and Verbena 'Oxena' (Babylon Red) at Hayefield

‘Oakhurst’ pineapple lily (Eucomis comosa, above), doesn’t come completely true from seed, but you can get some nice dark-leaved seedlings from it.

‘Jade Princess’ millet (Pennisetum glaucum, below) doesn’t want to set any seed for me, unfortunately.

Pennisetum glaucum 'Jade Princess' at Hayefield

Vertigo pennisetum (Pennisetum ‘Tift 8’, below) is another one that I usually have to buy new plants of each spring, but it’s worth it.

Pennisetum 'Tift 8' (Vertigo) at Hayefield

Stipa tenuissima with Verbena bonariensis at Hayefield

Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima) continues to look fantastic this month. Above, it’s with Brazilian vervain (Verbena bonariensis); below, it’s with the seedheads of ‘Cramer’s Plum’ love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena) and ‘Dark Towers’ beardtongue (Penstemon).

Stipa tenuissima with Nigella damascena 'Cramer's Plum' and Penstemon 'Dark Towers' seedheads at Hayefield

To finish up, some general garden shots, starting below with the front foundation border. The cannas were a gift last year from a fellow blogger (thanks, Marie!). I hope to ID them when they flower.

Front foundation planting at Hayefield

Front garden at Hayefield with Hemerocallis 'Milk Chocolate' and 'Nona's Garden Spider'

Above and below, two sides of the middle path in the front garden…

Front garden at Hayefield

…and below, one of the outermost borders out front, with ‘Full Moon’ coreopsis, Veronica grandis, and Sanguisorba obtusa.

Coreopsis ‘Full Moon’, Veronica grandis, and Sanguisorba obtusa at Hayefield

Side garden at Hayefield with Stipa tenuissima

And the side garden (above and below), with the summer-blond seedheads of Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima).

Side garden at Hayefield with Stipa tenuissima

Daniel and Duncan at Hayefield

Yeah, it’s hot and it’s dry, so stay in the shade, get a cool drink from the sprinkler (or maybe your refrigerator), and enjoy some virtual garden visits from the comfort of your own computer through the links in Carol’s main Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post at May Dreams Gardens.

Posted on 30 Comments

30 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – July 2012

  1. I am envious of your bloom packed garden this summer. My garden looks frazzled what with lack of rain. The county I live in is declared a disaster area. UGH… Our poor friends in England are about to drown. Just seeing all your blooms is so uplifting. Happy GBBD.

    Poor Lisa! We’ve been very dry here as well, so I too am surprised that things are holding up so well. I’ve been carrying lots of buckets for triage but may have to haul out the hoses if we don’t get rain soon.

  2. That was just a feast for the eyes! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Your garden most certainly doesn’t seem to be affected by the heat or the dry conditions. The garden vistas are spectacular no matter where we look. I’m just loving your fabulous borders!

    Thanks so much, Bernie! Yes, the hot weather doesn’t seem to be a problem this year; in fact, the cannas, verbenas, and other heat-lovers are thriving. If we can just get some moisture so they can keep growing, next month’s Bloom Day should be terrific.

  3. Oh wow Nancy everything just looks wonderful and lush. We are battling drought and dragging the hose full time. Your garden looks extra fantastic to me this month!

    “Hot and dry” seems to be the general theme for this Bloom Day, huh? I’ll wish you some rain too, Brooke!

  4. Hi Nan,
    So lovely to take this beautiful tour. Thank you for coloring up my day!
    Best regards, Dorothy

    So good to hear from you, Dorothy. I hope your garden got at least a bit of the rain that missed us on Friday night. Today’s not looking as promising as the forecast indicates, but we can still hope. Stay cool!

  5. I love making virtual garden visits to your garden! Every bloom day I like to pick out one particular plant to try in my own garden sometime, and, to be honest, it’s usually something from yours. This month, the bunny tails have really charmed me, but all your blooms are drop-dead gorgeous.

    Thanks, Sharon! Considering that the wild bunnies kept eating the bunny tail grass, I’m surprised that the plants had enough energy to bloom. They sure are cute!

  6. Your blog just makes me so happy! Those purple cannas! the orange and blue in-your-face combo in the planter! What a delight! Gardens peak in june here and under the cruel heat wave mine has struggled. It is wonderful to know somewhere the flowers are blooming. I love the stipa grass bordering the walk way… I am planning a long border along my drive to include alot of that plus sages with a background of taller grasses, cannas and some hardy shrubs. Has to be deer-proof and read well as a “drive-by” bed. We finally got rain this week in Tennessee! It started on July 4th in the middle of my annual Independence Day party! It was so welcome, none-the-less. Hope you are getting some in PA.

    Hooray for your rain, Kate, though I’m sorry to hear about your soggy holiday party. The new border sounds wonderful. It certainly should extend the peak season well beyond June!

  7. Dear Nan, your bloom day post is a feast for a plant lover! While there are so many things to add to my wish list, the Milk Chocolate daylily is numero uno. The color on the buds alone is reason to have it. Everything looks lush and so healthy, your garden seems to be laughing at the heat.

    Hey, Frances! ‘Milk Chocolate’ is so cool: the flowers can be anything from maroon to coppery brown to rust-colored, depending on the light and on what’s growing around it. It’s a little tricky to find, but it looks like Fairweather Gardens currently has it available.

    1. Thanks!

      Always happy to enable, Frances.

  8. Love the photos and also the plants, even if I cant get hold of many of them here in Sweden!

    So sorry to taunt you, Susie. I bet you’d be able to get some of them as seed, but maybe they wouldn’t do quite so well in your climate. At least you have have plenty of other beauties to enjoy.

  9. Ah Nan, a delight as always! The bunny tails took me immediately back to my childhood. They grow wild along our beaches and as kids we would pick bunches of the fluffy heads and dye them. My old mum still has a bunch from all those years ago. I may very well relocate some to my garden next time I’m at the beach.

    And that amazing Vertigo grass. Such a lot of growth for an annual! Wasn’t it darker/blacker last summer?

    How wonderful to be immersed in quantities of bunny tails. I recall seeing them for sale here as dried flowers, both natural and dyed, but I haven’t tried dyeing them myself.

    Yes, Vertigo gets much darker as the season progresses – or at least it did last year. Funny thing: Back in November, I dug up one of last year’s clumps, stuffed in a big black plastic bag, and dragged it down to the basement for the winter. It looked completely dead this spring, so I hauled the bag down to the compost area but didn’t get around to dumping it. Last week, I finally noticed that there’s a gorgeous clump of Vertigo foliage coming out of the bag! So now I know I can overwinter it, but I still wish it would set seed; it would be much easier to manage that way.

  10. So much to see and such a feast for the eyes! I love the mix of unusual perennials and dramatic annuals. Happy Bloom Day!

    Happy Bloom Day to you too, Sue! Thanks for visiting and leaving a note.

  11. I’m speechless. Your garden is a treasure, and I look forward to your Bloomday posts every month .

    Thanks, ks! I look forward to doing them – especially the summer and fall ones.

  12. Thanks for mentioning the cannas, Nan. They are looking good. I look forward to knowing their name when you finish your detective work. :-),

    They are doing you proud, Marie, and I think of you each time I admire them.

    Hope you too got some of last night’s rain!

  13. Love your pictures. I garden in just the opposite climate, lots of rain but love my flowers.and the leaves. The next big project is to remove an arbor full of honey suckle. It is not worth the work after ten years of growing that wild, yellow, rampant grower. We own a corner lot on four city lots. Many rhodedendrons, azaleas, maples, sedums, iris, phlox yet to bloom. The Asiatic lilies are putting on a show and have Orientals yet to bloom.

    Thank you, Lynn. It sounds like you have a big project ahead of you, removing that honeysuckle, but then you’ll have the fun of choosing a beautiful new vine. Have a great summer!

  14. Is it just me, or in the 3rd to the last photo, does the Stipa make it look like that bunny is peeing? (Think Manneken Pis.
    As always, your garden is such an inspiration. Thanks for the info about Lilium \’Robinia\’. That was on my list of possibles, but I don\’t want a lily that fades in heat like we\’ve had this summer.

    Hmmm…depends how you look at it, I guess! And yeah, ‘Robina’ is lovely, but we usually get a hot spell just around blooming time, which spoils the effect a bit. I probably wouldn’t find it disappointing if I hadn’t seen its rich color in “normal” conditions. I bet some afternoon shade would help to keep it from bleaching out.

  15. Isn’t Mexican feather grass fab? I love it so much here too. Your photos made me slow way down to try to capture every detail in my mind. Such great groupings. I grow some of the same varieties, and a few which are different. I have Pennisetum purpureum ‘Princess Caroline’ and ‘Princess Molly’ for example that I also plant every year. I’m thinking about trying to save a piece of each and put it in the garage just in case my local nursery decides not to carry them. I could only buy them one place this year. Would love to try your nicotiana. I will try to buy some seed. I love flowering tobaccos. As for the petunia, that looks so much like one sold here called ‘Laura Bush,’ Petunia X violacea. I grew it with great success, but I was testing so many petunias, I didn’t buy it this spring. Next spring, I’m going back to it. It loves our heat especially when it’s in the ground. Sorry to be so long winded. Thank you for your post. I loved reading it.

    I’m so glad you stopped by, Dee. I haven’t yet found ‘Princess Caroline’ or ‘Princess Molly’ around here, but I’ll keep an eye out for them. I will be glad to share some seed of the nicotiana with you. (And hey, by the way, the pepper seeds you sent last winter are now beautiful plants getting ready to flower. Thank you!) As far as I know, Petunia violacea is a synonym for P. integrifolia. I don’t know how ‘Laura Bush’ differs from the species, though, if at all.

    1. Ah, I see . . . about the petunia. I’ve always wondered if fair Laura was a species instead. Who knows? She works in my garden though and yours too apparently. Yes, to the seeds. I’d love some. Let me know if I have anything you’d like. I’m growing some great, gray, heirloom zucchini this year. It’s a lovely plant. Maybe I could save some seed of that. I think you have nearly everything else I have. Oh, wait . . . I have the most beautiful, shortish red, heirloom okra. It would be beautiful with your other plantings. Have a wonderful day.~~Dee

      Anything that you like, I bet I’d like too, Dee. I need to get busy with seed collecting.

  16. I always take away so much from your posts — like remember to grow leeks and garlic this fall/winter in the borders. And your rusty foxgloves are role models for my young, bloomless plants.

    Hi Denise! You’ll have something nice to look forward to, with your rusty foxgloves blooming next year. And yes, do think about tucking in some garlic, at least. I must admit that I hadn’t meant to to grow the leeks as ornamentals; I simply kept forgetting to harvest them.

  17. You truly are the ‘Queen of Combinations’. Love them all.

    Ah, thanks, Layanee!

  18. Just beautiful. I can’t wait till the next garden bloom day post.

    Yikes – the pressure is on. Let’s hope that the weather cooperates for all of our gardens, Melanie.

  19. Wild quinine and ironweed, two of my faves. Your garden is so lush! What drought?

    Hi Benjamin! Those are just two of our shared favorites, I think. We’ve finally had a bit of rain, thank goodness, and the plants are looking even happier today, despite the heat.

  20. I love your comment about “garlic breath”–so funny! Alpacas are on my wish list…they’re just adorable! Your blooms are amazing. Our gardens are looking terribly tired due to the SC heat and humidity, plus we abandoned them to visit family in Europe for two weeks. I’m now trying to combat unruly cucumber vines and weed-infested perennial beds. So much to do…but I thoroughly enjoyed viewing your beautiful blooms! Happy GBBD!

    They certainly have their adorable moments, Julie, but like all critters, they each have their own range of moods, and they tend to be pretty grumpy in hot weather. I’ve finally accepted that it’s best to leave them mostly alone during these times, except for providing sprinkler time, buckets of Gatorade, and cool snacks on occasion.

    Good luck getting your garden set to rights!

  21. Everything in your garden is glorious, Nan! Can’t believe your Ironweed is blooming already!!! Mine don’t bloom until September. Love the ‘Vertigo’ Pennisetum…which I was lucky enough to find this spring…what gorgeous color (and vigorous)! The Verbena/Feathergrass is one of my favorite vignettes…so simple, but so effective :-)

    Yep, it’s amazing how the heat can bring on some of the later-bloomers much faster. Good thing I cut back the clumps that are inside the fence (this one is in the meadow), or I wouldn’t have them for the late-summer extravaganza. I’m so glad that you were able to score some Vertigo; I can imagine it fitting beautifully into your garden.

  22. I love your assortment of blooms and grasses! I hope my rudbeckia maxima spreads so that it looks like yours.

    It’s taken about 8 years for my original three plants to make that patch, Sue. They’re now seeding around too, though the goldfinches tend to get most of the seeds.

  23. Hi Nan,
    I’m so excited to find your garden blog. I really love your foliage and flower combinations and the great color combinations.
    Happy GBBD!
    David/ :0)
    P.S. I will enjoy finding some of your books. They look terrific.

    Great to have to as a reader, David! Thanks for visiting, and Happy Bloom Day to you too.

  24. My only garden rule for 2013…do whatever Nan says to do. This post is exquisite!!! I want it all, it is glorious. Thank you for taking so much time to share this with all of us. My garden looks so time worn and worst all the same color of green… what was I thinking. Your garden is a feast for the eyes and probably for all the senses. Please let us know when you are on a tour again. I will move mountains to get to your next viewing. Thanks Nan.

    Nice to hear from you, Heidi! Yep, there’s a lot going on here now, and thanks to a little bit of rain and lots of weeding and grooming, things are shaping up well for the late summer and fall display. No more garden tours, but you’ll see the highlights in the next few Bloom Day posts.

  25. Just beautiful! Your eye for combinations is wonderful… sympathetic not just contrasting. And your plants look so healthy! My garden is definitely dragging a bit from lack of rain this year. Thanks for sharing!
    ~Julie in west PA

    Thank you so much for the nice comment, Julie. You should see the plants now that they’ve had a little rain. I hope your garden gets some too, very soon!

  26. Nan–the amaranth seeds you made available are now plants giving the finger to all passersby. The only problem is I’m the one mostly walking around the garden. Hmmm..
    –Bruce S, Ithaca N.Y.

    How fun, Bruce! Maybe it would be a good time to invite some “friends” over. Or, have a garden tour for a group you don’t like much?

  27. Hi, Nan. I was feeling a little bit jealous as I scrolled through your post. Everything is looking so beautiful. But I’m really not envious, just hoping for a little more rain. God is good. He will provide!

    Anyway, I always seem to have times of “rapture” out there, too!! :-)

    Hey, Shady! I really hope you get some rain soon to help your garden make it through the summer and perk up for fall. Take care!

  28. So much to see and admire here! I really dig the combination of the pink Invincibelle Spirit hydrangeas, with the yellow rusty foxglove and thread-leaf bluestar. How many hydrangeas did you plant to get that curve?
    The blue bellflower is so dreamy. Could be it blooms at the same time as blackberry lily. Hmmm.

    Hi, PrairieGirl. There are four or five small plants of the hydrangeas mixed with the rusty foxgloves. Thanks for visiting!

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