Every time the 15th of the month comes around, I’m immensely grateful to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for coming up with the idea of Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. Besides providing a great opportunity to share what looks best in the garden, it’s been the only form of garden journaling that I’ve ever kept up with for more than a few weeks. There’s only one problem: sometimes there’s so much going on outside that once a month isn’t enough to keep up with all the good stuff. So, rather than make one super-sized post, I’ve decided to concentrate on just the flowers and foliage this time and save the combination and garden photos for the end of the month.
So…flowers. Well, the main theme for the last month can be summed up in one word: lilies. Of the true lilies (Lilium), the star has been ‘Freya’. I’m embarrassed to admit that I misidentified this one as the Orienpet (Oriental-Trumpet hybrid) ‘Conca d’Or’ last month, when I showed the buds and raved about its vigor. Well, here’s the real ‘Conca d’Or’.
It’s ok but reaches only 3 to 4 feet, finishes quickly in hot weather (often in less than a week), and bleaches out within a few hours of opening in its full-sun site.
‘Freya’, an LA (Longiflorum-Asiatic) hybrid, is growing just a few feet away, but it’s miles ahead in performance. It was beautiful just in bud (below on June 20th) at about 40 inches tall…
…and opened to a wonderful clear yellow two days later.
Look at the substance of that thing! It ages to almost ivory, but new flowers keep opening daily over a long period, so it has a nice range of yellow shades through most of its bloom period. It’s so bright that you can’t miss it. Here it is on June 25th.
On the same day, from a different angle:
The very last petal finally dropped yesterday, but the rest of the plant still looks so good that it will remain a presence for several more weeks, at least.
Below is the Orienpet ‘Satisfaction’.
Like ‘Conca d’Or’, it’s nice but no comparison to ‘Freya’ in vigor. Below is a shot of the two of them together on July 8th for comparison, with ‘Satisfaction’ at barely 18 inches (and with one dying stem) and ‘Freya’ at nearly 4 feet..
An Orienpet that has done very well here is ‘Purple Prince’. Above it’s just opening on June 5; below it’s about at peak on July 8th.
Behind and to the left of ‘Purple Prince’ is ‘Robina’, another Orienpet. It was a giant for the first two years but seems to be getting less vigorous, while ‘Purple Prince is increasing nicely. Here’s a closer shot of ‘Robina’, from July 13th.
Among the Asiatic hybrids blooming in the last month are rich red ‘Monte Negro’, at peak on June 20th at about 28 inches tall…
…and “black” ‘Landini’, above on July 2nd and below on July 8th, at about 20 inches tall.
I planted all of these true lilies at the same time (October of 2010), so it’s been very interesting to compare their performance here over the past several seasons.
Midsummer is also prime time for the other lilies: daylilies (Hemerocallis). I have quite a few, but most are now stuck in a corner out back, kept only for the purpose of providing bedtime alpaca snacks for Daniel and Duncan. There are a few that have proven to be interesting enough for the main garden, though, including ‘Nona’s Garnet Spider’…
…and ‘Milk Chocolate’ (both on July 8th).
The main season for ornamental onions (Allium) is about done, but there have been some neat ones opening over the last few weeks, including drumstick chives (A. sphaerocephalon, below on July 2nd)…
…nodding onion (Allium cernuum, July 13th):
…keeled garlic (A. carinatum subsp. pulchellum, July 13th):
…and regular garlic (A. sativum), below on July 5th with Leucanthemum ‘Becky’ and cilantro (Coriandrum sativum).
Two other bulbs just started their season this week: Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ above and ‘Oakhurst’ pineapple lily (Eucomis) below (both on July 14th).
Among the perennials that have peaked in the last several weeks are Knautia macedonica (below on June 20th):
…wild quinine (Parthenium integrifolium) and Geranium ‘Brookside’ (also on June 20th):
…American ipecac (Gillenia stipulata, June 20th):
…’Governor George Aiken’ mullein (Verbascum, June 22nd):
…eastern prickly pear (Opuntia humifusa, June 25th):
…Miss Willmott’s ghost (Eryngium giganteum, June 25th):
…meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria, July 1st):
…Japanese burnet (Sanguisorba obtusa, July 1st):
… Teucrium viscidum ‘Lemon and Lime’ (July 8th):
…purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea, July 13th):
…and Culver’s root (Veronicastrum virginicum, July 14th).
False hemp (Datisca cannabina, July 13th) is technically a shrub, but it dies back to the ground each year here, so it acts more like a perennial (a self-sowing one, at that).
Among the vines, ‘Goldflame’ honeysuckle (Lonicera x heckrottii, July 13th) above and the species clematis below (July 2nd) are still flowering from last month…
…while this other, very vigorous , no-name clematis (July 5th) started around the end of June.
Some really cool annuals have been doing their thing too. ‘Lauren’s Grape’ poppy (Papaver, June 20) started just a few days after the last Bloom Day.
I’ve grown tassel flower (Emilia javanica) before, but this pure orange strain, called ‘Irish Poet’ is new for me this year. It may well be one of my top favorites for 2013. Below it’s shown on June 20th, about a week after it started flowering, and it’s still going strong a month later.
Above (June 20th) and below (June 22nd) is annual mallow (Lavatera trimestris)—most likely ‘Silver Cup’. (Thanks for the seeds, Clark!)
Amethyst flower (Browallia americana, July 1st) started flowering about 3 weeks ago and should keep going through the end of September.
Midsummer brings out the best in many tender coreopsis selections, such as ‘Limerock Ruby’ (July 2nd) above and ‘Desert Coral’ (July 14th) below.
Pretty little Petunia exserta started flowering about a month ago. Despite the heat, high humidity, and practically daily rains we’ve had over the last month, it is still quite happy.
Now, in honor of tomorrow’s Foliage Follow-Up at Digging, some leafy shots, starting with ‘Limon Blush’ coleus (June 20th):
…’Big Red Judy’ coleus with Tropicanna canna (Canna ‘Phaison’, July 8th):
…’Keystone Kopper’ coleus with ’Golden Delicious’ pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) and peppermint geranium (Pelargonium tomentosum), on July 13th:
…Plectranthus ‘Lemon Twist’ (with Delosperma cooperi and Sedum pachyclados, July 2nd):
…rosary vine (Ceropegia woodii) with rex begonia vine (Cissus discolor), on July 13th:
…‘Splash Select White’ polka-dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya, July 14th):
…variegated peppermint (Mentha x piperita ‘Variegata’ , July 14th):
…a variegated form of dayflower (Commelina communis f. aureostriata; thanks for the seed, Kim!) on July 14th:
…and ‘Old Gold’ corn (Zea mays) on July 13th.
This photo isn’t impressive, but I think the plant is: ‘Silver Drop’ cider gum (Eucalyptus gunnii). I planted three of them from 4-inch pots in June of 2011, transplanted them into my unheated greenhouse in November of that year, and moved them back out the the garden in May of 2012. By the end of that growing season, they were 5 to 6 feet tall. All three plants survived the winter outside (mid-Zone 6), but I had to cut most of the stems back to the crown, where new growth was appearing. One of the tall stems survived, though, so I now have a really nice patch of eucalyptus and one 6-foot-tall eucalyptus tree in the herb garden—pretty cool! It’ll be very interesting to see if it makes it through yet another winter.
Well, that’s more than enough flowers and foliage for one post. Don’t forget to visit the main Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post at May Dreams Gardens to see what other gardeners are showing off today.
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