Posted on 31 Comments

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – July 2015

Hemerocallis 'Nona's Garnet Spider' with 'Lauren's Grape' poppy (Papaver), 'Irish Poet' tassel flower (Emilia javanica), 'Oakhurst' pineapple lily (Eucomis comosa), Tanacetum vulgare 'Isla Gold', and Corylus avellana 'Red Majestic'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield

After our horribly dry spring here in southeastern Pennsylvania, we’ve been blessed with lovely weather for most of the last month: a few hot and muggy days, but some gloriously cool and dry ones too. The Japanese beetles are back with a vengeance, unfortunately, after being almost completely absent for a number of years, but otherwise, the plants are thriving, and the garden seems to have caught up to where it should be, timing-wise.

July is, of course, prime time for daylilies.

Hemerocallis 'Nona's Garnet Spider' and 'Milk Chocolate' with Spiraea thunbergii 'Ogon' [Mellow Yellow], Crocosmia 'Lucifer', Eupatorium maculatum, Tanacetum vulgare 'Isla Gold', and Corylus avellana 'Red Majestic'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Hemerocallis ‘Nona’s Garnet Spider’ and ‘Milk Chocolate’ with Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’ [Mellow Yellow], Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, Eupatorium maculatum, Tanacetum vulgare ‘Isla Gold’, and Corylus avellana ‘Red Majestic’
Above is ‘Nona’s Garnet Spider’ (in the center) and ‘Milk Chocolate (in the foreground). Some other highlights are the feathery shoots of Mellow Yellow spirea (Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’), ferny ‘Isla Gold’ tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), and, in the back, ‘Red Majestic’ contorted hazel (Corylus avellana).

Hemerocallis 'Jungle Beauty' against Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold' and Atriplex hortensis 'Rubra'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Hemerocallis ‘Jungle Beauty’ against Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’ and Atriplex hortensis ‘Rubra’

I do have some yellow and peachy daylilies, but Duncan and Daniel seem to think that the really dark reds and oranges taste best, so I’ve been growing more of those. Above is ‘Jungle Beauty’ against ‘All Gold’ Hakone grass (Hakonechloa macra); below is ‘Royal Occasion’ against ‘Latifolia Maculata’ boxwood (Buxus sempervirens).

Hemerocallis 'Royal Occasion' against Buxus sempervirens 'Latifolia Maculata'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Hemerocallis ‘Royal Occasion’ against Buxus sempervirens ‘Latifolia Maculata’

White-striped foliage is the best feature of ‘Kwanso Variegated’ daylily (Hemerocallis fulva), but its double orange flowers add a certain something (and they, too, are considered acceptable offerings for alpaca snacks).

Hemerocallis fulva 'Kwanso Variegated'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Hemerocallis fulva ‘Kwanso Variegated’

And then there are the lovely true lilies (Lilium). ‘Purple Prince’, below, blooms in a rich pinkish purple color (darker this year than it has been for a while), with an even richer fragrance.

Lilium 'Purple Prince'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Lilium ‘Purple Prince’

Below is the amazing Longiflorum-Asiatic Hybrid ‘Freya’. Its large, upward-facing flowers open lemony yellow, then age through cream to near white on sturdy stems that never need staking. There are so many buds on each stem that it flowers for weeks, and its an excellent increaser, too.

Lilium 'Freya'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Lilium ‘Freya’

There are plenty of orange Asiatic Hybrid lilies, but the clear, bright blooms of ‘Orange County’ are my current favorite. Below is ‘Orange County’ with ‘Sun Power’ hosta, blue-leaved rose (Rosa glauca), and a no-ID clematis.

Lilium 'Orange County' with Hosta 'Sun Power', a no-ID Clematis, and Rosa glauca; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Lilium ‘Orange County’ with Hosta ‘Sun Power’, a no-ID Clematis, and Rosa glauca

Some years–including this one–red Asiatic ‘Monte Negro’ overlaps with ‘Jacob Cline’ bee balm (Monarda), which is kind of unfortunate as they look so similar. For whatever reason, ‘Monte Negro’ decided to produce a few orange flowers as well, which added some variety. Below it’s with golden meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria ‘Aurea’) and ‘Strawberry Seduction’ yarrow (Achillea).

Lilium 'Monte Negro' with Achillea 'Strawberry Seduction', Filipendula ulmaria 'Aurea', Monarda 'Jacob Cline', and Corylus avellana 'Red Majestic'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Lilium ‘Monte Negro’ with Achillea ‘Strawberry Seduction’, Filipendula ulmaria ‘Aurea’, Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’, and Corylus avellana ‘Red Majestic’

Lilium leichtlinii isn’t nearly as vigorous as the hybrids, and its slender stems usually need some support (I use half-hoop stakes), but it is elegant and lovely.

Lilium leichtlinii with Monarda 'Jacob Cline'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Lilium leichtlinii with Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’

The first of the burnets to bloom here is Sanguisorba obtusa. To be honest, it’s not one of my favorites: I’ve seen pictures that make it look good, I’d like it better if the flowering stems were shorter, and if it produced more flowers at one time.

Sanguisorba obtusa; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Sanguisorba obtusa

The summer phlox (Phlox paniculata) come into their own around now too. Below is a new one for me, ‘Peacock Cherry Red’, with ‘Red Majestic’ contorted hazel (Corylus avellana). That color is hard to miss!

Phlox paniculata 'Peacock Cherry Red' with Corylus avellana 'Red Majestic'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Phlox paniculata ‘Peacock Cherry Red’ with Corylus avellana ‘Red Majestic’

On the subtler end of the spectrum is the pretty-much-pointless ‘Empty Feelings’ summer phlox. This is all it does: no petals, just bract-like things. I acquired it during an “oh, weird plant, must have it” phase, and it has persisted without any attention.

Phlox paniculata 'Empty Feelings' against Physocarpus opulifolius 'Monlo' [Diabolo]; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Phlox paniculata ‘Empty Feelings’ against Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Monlo’ [Diabolo]
The Culver’s roots are starting now too. Below is pink-tinted ‘Erica’ (Veronicastrum virginicum).

Veronicastrum virginicum 'Erica'  with Lilium 'Conca d'Or'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Erica’ with Lilium ‘Conca d’Or’

It continually surprises me that thymes do well here, considering the winter-wet conditions, but so it is.

Thymus praecox Coccineus Group with Veronica prostrata 'Aztec Gold' and Sempervivum tectorum 'Rocknoll Rosette'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Thymus praecox Coccineus Group with Veronica prostrata ‘Aztec Gold’ and Sempervivum tectorum ‘Rocknoll Rosette’

Above is creeping thyme (Thymus praecox Coccineus Group), with ‘Aztec Gold’ prostrate speedwell (Veronica prostrata) and a bit of ‘Rocknoll Rosette’ hens-and-chicks (Sempervivum tectorum). Below is ‘Oregano’ thyme: really a thyme, but it smells just like oregano. Not sure why it’s so hard to find, because it’s good-looking, too, and not fussy. Richters lists it, but their picture looks more like ‘Doone Valley’; ‘Oregano’ is bright green and more upright, and it isn’t variegated.

Thymus 'Oregano'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Thymus ‘Oregano’

Moving on to some showier things…

Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy' with a seed-grown, red-leaved Prunus persica; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy’ with a seed-grown, dark-leaved Prunus persica

Above is ‘Cherry Brandy’ black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) with an unnamed red-leaved peach (Prunus persica). Below is ‘Lauren’s Grape’ poppy (Papaver).

Papaver' Lauren's Grape' with Emilia javanica 'Irish Poet'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Papaver ‘Lauren’s Grape’ with Emilia javanica ‘Irish Poet’
Leucanthemum 'Goldfinch' with Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Leucanthemum ‘Goldfinch’ with Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’

Above, ‘Goldfinch’ Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum) mingling with ‘Moonbeam’ coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata); below, Japanese iris (Iris ensata) with wood betony (Stachys officinalis).

Iris ensata with Stachys officinalis; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Iris ensata with Stachys officinalis

The purple coneflowers are coming into bloom now too. Below is some seed-grown Echinacea purpurea with ‘Dewey Blue’ bitter panic grass (Panicum amarum).

Echinacea purpurea with Panicum amarum 'Dewey Blue'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Echinacea purpurea with Panicum amarum ‘Dewey Blue’

Below the purple coneflowers, you can see a bit of southern bush honeysuckle (Diervilla sessilifolia), which is always buzzing with various bees.

Diervilla sessilifolia; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Diervilla sessilifolia

Below is a male plant of bastard hemp (Datisca cannabina) in full bloom–another relic of the time that I was seriously into collecting oddities.

Datisca cannabina (male flowers); Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Datisca cannabina (male flowers)

It’s been a long time since I had luck growing hollyhocks, but they’ve been really nice this year. I suspect that the extended spring dry spell slowed down the rust enough that the plants could start flowering before showing signs of infection. Below are a couple with a short flowering stalk of common angelica (Angelica archangelica).

Alcea rosea with Angelica archangelica and Veronica 'Eveline'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Alcea rosea with Angelica archangelica and Veronica ‘Eveline’

Speaking of “short”: I’m trying again with Russian sages (Perovskia) this year, so I bought four different cultivars. Below is ‘Rocketman’, flowering at barely 1 foot tall. Granted, it’ll be taller once it gets established–it’s supposed to max out at around 3 feet–but it’s distinctly more compact than the others I planted at the same time. In the shot below, it’s paired with Agastache ‘Kudos Coral’.

Perovskia 'Rocketman' with Agastache 'Kudos Coral'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Perovskia ‘Rocketman’ with Agastache ‘Kudos Coral’

I decided to give some of the newer coreopsis a second try, as well. We’ll see if they return next yer. But for now, I’m really liking the color of ‘Mercury Rising’. In the shot below, I have it with ‘Sweet Georgia Heart Red’ sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas), cushion spurge (Euphorbia polychroma), ‘Golden Sword’ yucca (Yucca filamentosa), and ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ dahlia.

Coreopsis 'Mercury Rising' with Ipomoea batatas 'Sweet Georgia Heart Red', Euphorbia polychroma, Yucca filamentosa 'Golden Sword', and Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Coreopsis ‘Mercury Rising’ with Ipomoea batatas ‘Sweet Georgia Heart Red’, Euphorbia polychroma, Yucca filamentosa ‘Golden Sword’, and Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’

In that same area is an old favorite (one of those annuals you plant once and have pretty much forever): hare’s ear or thorow-wax (Bupleurum rotundifolium), with bronze fennel (Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’) and golden oregano (Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’).

Bupleurum rotundifolium with Foeniculum vulgare 'Purpureum' and Origanum vulgare 'Aureum'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Bupleurum rotundifolium with Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’ and Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’

It’s a little early for dahlias, but a few are starting to open now, including ‘Karma Fuchsiana’, below…

Dahlia 'Karma Fuchsiana' with Hydrangea arborescens 'Anabelle'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Dahlia ‘Karma Fuchsiana’ with Hydrangea arborescens ‘Anabelle’

…and a new-to-me, compact, dark-leaved one called ‘Dracula’, in the Dark Angel series. I’d have saved that name for a blood-red cultivar (this is more of a deep purplish pink), but whatever.

Dahlia 'Dracula'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Dahlia ‘Dracula’

As I mentioned earlier, the ‘Jacob Cline’ bee balm’ is flowering now. Below are a few short stems that popped up through ‘Isla Gold’ tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) and ‘Golden Foam’ euphorbia (Euphorbia stricta).

Monarda 'Jacob Cline' with Euphorbia stricta 'Golden Foam' and Tanacetum vulgare 'Isla Gold'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’ with Euphorbia stricta ‘Golden Foam’ and Tanacetum vulgare ‘Isla Gold’

I used to have lots of these drumstick alliums (Allium sphaerocephalon), but I pulled out many of them by accident, thinking that they were wild garlic shoots. I missed these, though, because I avoid weeding close to the prickly stems of this ghost bramble (Rubus thibetanus).

Allium sphaerocephalon with Rubus thibetanus; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Allium sphaerocephalon with Rubus thibetanus

Allium cristophii has been done flowering for weeks, but the seedheads last for months. Below, they’re set against ‘Oakhurst’ pineapple lily (Eucomis comosa) and ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ dahlia.

Allium cristophii seedheads with Eucomis comosa 'Oakhurst' and Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Allium cristophii seedheads with Eucomis comosa ‘Oakhurst’ and Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’

I mentioned the thymes before for flowers, but many also offer beautiful foliage. Below is a patch of what’s usually sold as ‘Clear Gold’ these days, started from one 2.5″ pot about 5 years ago. You can see how much more vigorous it is than the creeping thyme just behind it.

Thymus 'Clear Gold'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Thymus ‘Clear Gold’

Below, Sedum alboroseum ‘Mediovariegatum’ in front of ‘Filigran’ Russian sage, with a bit of ‘Prairie Munchkin’ little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) on the side.

Sedum alboroseum 'Mediovariegatum' with Perovskia 'Filigran' and Schizachyrium scoparium 'Prairie Munchkin'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Sedum alboroseum ‘Mediovariegatum’ with Perovskia ‘Filigran’ and Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Prairie Munchkin’

Below, ‘Goldenvale’ ghost bramble (Rubus cockburnianus).

Rubus cockburnianus 'Goldenvale'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Rubus cockburnianus ‘Goldenvale’

Even the “weeds” are contributing some color.

Plantago major 'Atropurpurea'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Plantago major ‘Atropurpurea’

Above is purple-leaved plantain (Plantago major ‘Atropurpurea’); below is variegated pokeweed (Phytolacca americana ‘Silberstein’ or ‘Variegata’). This clump had three main shoots this year, and they’re all different.

Phytolacca americana 'Silberstein'/'Variegata'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Phytolacca americana ‘Silberstein’/’Variegata’
Phytolacca americana 'Silberstein'/'Variegata'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Phytolacca americana ‘Silberstein’/’Variegata’
Phytolacca americana 'Silberstein'/'Variegata'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Phytolacca americana ‘Silberstein’/’Variegata’

Thank you so much, Frank, for sending me some seeds of ‘Sunny Side Up’. I sowed six of them: most were green but one was the bright yellow I was hoping for. It’ll stay in this holding bed and get pampered in the hopes that I have seeds to pass along next year.

Phytolacca americana 'Sunny Side Up' seedling; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Phytolacca americana ‘Sunny Side Up’ seedling

I’ve been able to overwinter peppermint geranium (Pelargonium tomentosum) in my basement the last two winters. The clump is a really good size now, which means lots of furry, fragrant foliage for petting and sniffing. Below it’s with ‘Fire Island’ hosta, ‘Fire Alarm’ heuchera, and Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’).

Pelargonium tomentosum with Hosta 'Fire Island', Heuchera 'Fire Alarm', and Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Pelargonium tomentosum with Hosta ‘Fire Island’, Heuchera ‘Fire Alarm’, and Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’

Below, the seedpods of ‘Pennies in Bronze’ honesty (Lunaria annua). They’re still maturing, so maybe the bronze will develop later.

Lunaria annua 'Pennies in Bronze' with Artemisia 'Powis Castle'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Lunaria annua ‘Pennies in Bronze’ with Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’

Below, another new addition for this year: ‘New Moon Maroon’ cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) with ‘Cheyenne Sky’ switch grass (Panicum virgatum).

Lobelia cardinalis 'New Moon Maroon' with Panicum virgatum 'Cheyenne Sky' and Origanum vulgare 'Aureum'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Lobelia cardinalis ‘New Moon Maroon’ with Panicum virgatum ‘Cheyenne Sky’ and Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’

Fruit-wise, it was a great year for cherries: enough for me and the birds as well. They got all but one of the blueberries too, but they left me the ‘Pixwell’ gooseberries…

Gooseberry 'Pixwell'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Gooseberry ‘Pixwell’

…and the ‘Caroline’ red raspberries, too.

Raspberry 'Caroline'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Raspberry ‘Caroline’

To finish, some general garden shots.

Veronica grandis, Symphytum x uplandicum 'Axminster Gold', Amsonia hubrichtii, Lilium 'Freya', Juniperus 'Gold Cone', Vernonia noveboracensis, and Catalpa bignonioides 'Aurea' in the Side Garden at Hayefield; Nancy J. Ondra
From front to back: Veronica grandis, Symphytum x uplandicum ‘Axminster Gold’, Amsonia hubrichtii, Lilium ‘Freya’, Juniperus ‘Gold Cone’, Vernonia noveboracensis, and Catalpa bignonioides ‘Aurea’
From left to right, Acer palmatum, Carex plantaginea, Persicaria affine 'Dimity', Hosta 'Sun Power', Lilium 'Orange County', Vernonia noveboracensis, Sambucus nigra 'Aurea', Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple', Iris 'Gerald Darby', Solidago shortii 'Solar Cascade', Tanacetum vulgare 'Isla Gold', Imperata cyllindrica 'Rubra', Rosa glauca, and Weigela florida 'Alexandra' [Wine and Roses] in the Front Garden at Hayefield; Nancy J. Ondra
From left to right, Acer palmatum, Carex plantaginea, Persicaria affinis ‘Dimity’, Hosta ‘Sun Power’, Lilium ‘Orange County’, Vernonia noveboracensis, Sambucus nigra ‘Aurea’, Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’, Iris ‘Gerald Darby’, Solidago shortii ‘Solar Cascade’, Tanacetum vulgare ‘Isla Gold’, Imperata cyllindrica ‘Rubra’, Rosa glauca, and Weigela florida ‘Alexandra’ [Wine and Roses]
Parthenocissus quinquefolia with Rudbeckia maxima; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Parthenocissus quinquefolia with Rudbeckia maxima

This spot out back is mostly a holding area, for testing new acquisitions and for bulking up seedlings that don’t need to be in a nursery bed but aren’t quite large enough for the outer gardens. Some years, it looks rather messy, but it’s kind of cute this year.

The Happy Garden at Hayefield; Nancy J. Ondra
The Happy Garden at Hayefield

The ample rainfall over the last month has a lot to do with making all of the gardens here look pretty good. There have been some wicked storms (and some fantastic post-storm skies, as in the shots below from the evening of June 23rd), but fortunately, we’ve been spared serious damage.

Mammatus Clouds - June 23, 2015; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield

Mammatus Clouds - June 23, 2015; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield

Mammatus Clouds - June 23, 2015; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield

Mammatus Clouds - June 23, 2015; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield

The rain has helped the new grass paths, too. They’re still spotty, and the Canada thistles are still appearing, but it’s a start, anyway. I’ll overseed them in the fall and hope for more a even appearance next year.

Front Garden Middle Path at Hayefield; Nancy J. Ondra
Front Garden Middle Path at Hayefield
Side Garden Middle Path at Hayefield; Nancy J. Ondra
Side Garden Middle Path at Hayefield

I’ve made a couple of other changes, too. For the last two years, the space next to the greenhouse has been filled with containers for a book I was working on. I finally got around to cleaning them up and restoring my little sitting area, with a small patch of ‘Pignoletto’ corn from my friend Clark.

Sitting Area before Cleanup; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Sitting Area before Cleanup
Sitting Area after Cleanup; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Sitting Area after Cleanup

I sowed most of the raised beds in my vegetable garden to alfalfa for the boys, so I had to find somewhere else for the edibles. I ended up putting a dozen ‘Brandywine’ tomatoes and a row of nasturtiums and bush beans out front, where I usually do my main annual display. It’s a lot more green than I’m used to, but having the plants this close to the house makes it much easier to keep up with the harvesting.

Amaranth, pod corn, 'Brandywine' tomatoes, and 'Dragon Tongue' beans in the front garden foundation border; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Amaranth, pod corn, ‘Brandywine’ tomatoes, and ‘Dragon Tongue’ beans in the front garden foundation border

I was too busy this spring to start any annuals indoors, and I figured that if I sowed the cotton seeds in the garden, they wouldn’t ripen before frost. So, I planted them in containers in the greenhouse. The shorter, really dark ones on the right are from some old seeds of Gossypium herbaceum ‘Nigrum’ (or ‘Nigra’). The plants toward the front, on the left, were supposed to be ‘Black Beautiful’, from Cotton Acres. According to their description and photo, they should look like ‘Nigrum’; however, they are identical to ‘Red Beauty’–the plants in the orange pot–from the same source, so I guess they mixed up the seeds at some point.

Gossypium 'Red Beauty' and G. herbaceum 'Nigrum'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Gossypium ‘Red Beauty’ and G. herbaceum ‘Nigrum’

More exciting (to me, anyway) is this variegated dahlia. Last year, it was the only variegated seedling in a four-pack of ‘Figaro Violet Shades’. I kept it separate and brought the pot indoors in fall. I’ve never had luck overwintering these short bedding dahlias, though, so I didn’t water it at all. It was a big surprise to notice several vigorous shoots emerging from the pot earlier this month. Since I’ve started watering it, a few seedlings have also appeared in the pot: most are green, but a few look like they might be variegated too.

Variegated dahlia; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield
Variegated dahlia

One more new project for the past month: finally getting some boards set up on Pinterest, focusing mostly on plant combinations. I think you need a Pinterest account to see them; it doesn’t cost anything to sign up, though.

Hayefield on Pinterest

Here’s hoping that your own midsummer garden is all you hoped it would be. To see more beautiful bloomers, check out Carol’s main Bloom Day post at May Dreams Gardens.

One last thing: I collected seeds from my ‘Ravenswing’ cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) a few weeks ago. Since they’re best sown soon after ripening, I figured I’d mention them now, rather than wait to offer them with the other seeds in the fall. If you’re interested in trying some, I’d be happy to send you a packet if you’ll send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Leave me a note in a comment here, or email me at I’ll fill as many requests as possible–I can make up about a dozen packets, I think–in the order I receive them.

Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing'; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield


Posted on 31 Comments

31 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – July 2015

  1. Nan,
    How I laughed when I got to this phrase, where I saw myself and where so many of your readers probably see themselves!
    “I acquired it during an “oh, weird plant, must have it” phase, and it has persisted without any attention.” July is a tiny bit boring here at Corte Eremo. I think Daylilies might add the drama and color that is missing from a few borders, but I fear they would all flower in May or early June with everything else!

    Hey, Clark! You really think your place looks “boring” right now, with all of your gorgeous annuals? You’re probably right about daylilies blooming earlier where you are.

  2. If Monet where alive he would be painting at Hayefield not Giverny!

    Hah, Kimberly. I can enjoy the impressionistic effect any time, simply by taking off my glasses. In fact, I sometimes do that when I’m trying to figure out if colors need to be moved or added.

  3. I always enjoy seeing your floweferous estate. It is fun seeing the bumbles enjoying all you have to offer.I can see how busy you are. Your sitting area looks quite inviting with so much to see. Happy GBBD.

    Happy Bloom Day to you, Lisa! When I added the “after” picture of my sitting area, I kind of thought it looked as cluttered and messy in its own way. Well, it *is* a bit cluttered, but it looks better now that the plants are filling in.

  4. I absolutely love your blog! So many pics with everything identified, just what I appreciate. If I’m not too late, cow parsley seeds would be fantastic.

    Thank you, Mimi! I sent you a message about the seeds but didn’t hear back from you. If you would, please email me at Thanks!

  5. Hi Nan, Your garden is looking luscious as ever and I’m impressed with the sheer number of plants you manage. The variegated dahlia looks pretty cool – wonder what the flower will look like?

    Hi Rob! If I remember correctly, it had the typical ‘Figaro Violet Shades’ flowers last year; just the foliage was different. It’s budding up now, so I’ll know for sure in the next few weeks.

  6. The garden is looking great despite the dry spring you had.

    I just thought I would mention that the “no-id clematis” in one of the pics, looks mostly like viticella Betty Corning – right flowering time, right flowering habit, right colour the only thing that leaves me with doubt is the slightly non-typical flower shape with the ones in your pic being a little less recurved than one would see in Betty Corning, but they may not be fully developed.

    Betty Corning is one of the few scented summer flowering clematis, although some plants don’t exhibit it and many people can’t detect it. I have one that grows over an obelisk near my deck that has a sugary-lemon fragrance that wafts through the air on still humid days.


    I appreciate the lead, Nick. I have two of these: they’re slightly different, but both have very small flowers, and no scent that I can detect. I was in a “growing clematis from seed” thing about 15 years ago, and managed to lose the labels on the seed pots when I moved, so they could be anything.

  7. Breathtaking pictures, as usual.
    It must take a lot of time maintaining. And how do you do it – the plant combinations are impeccable.
    I would love a few seeds of the Ravenswing cow parsley, if you have any left – thanks!

    Thanks so much, Niren: just sent you an email.

  8. Hello Nancy! :)

    as always your post fascinate me and combinations of plants in your garden are always interesting and inspiring for the projects of my borders.

    I would be interested in the seeds dell’Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Raveswing’ tell me how to proceed, since the last time I had not had time …

    I’d be glad to share, Tyziana. Check your email for my message to you.

  9. Love your garden but why oh why are you knowingly growing pokeweed, the bane of my existence?

    Sorry about that, Nada. I promise that I won’t try to convince you that these could possibly be garden-worthy, or that ‘Variegata’, at least, is so much less vigorous than the species that my plants barely reach 3 feet tall, or that they seem to last only a few years here before self-destructing.

    1. I have to admit that I always leave a couple of these towering giants for the birds. Glad that there are varieties that are more tame than their wild cousins. I know that all parts are toxic and I worry that my dogs will decide one day to snack on them.I hope that your boys know better.Too bad there was no photo of D &D this time! I love their sweet faces.

      Hah! Clearly, you have the same relationship with pokeweed that I have with teasel. I ruthlessly weed it out or cut it down whenever I find the plants, but somehow I manage to leave a few in the meadow because the butterflies adore their blooms. Teasel, at least, is not toxic–just prickly. Trust me, the ornamental pokeweeds aren’t where the boys can reach them. I don’t think they would nibble them anyway: I’ve seen them eat around the regular poke seedlings when I’ve had them out to graze after a walk. We’ll try for pictures next time. During this part of the summer, they just look grumpy and miserable from the heat.

  10. Gosh, the landscape you have painted leaves me speechless! I love all of it, but if I had to pick a favourite, it would be the filipendula/lilium/achillea/mondara combo. Just stunning!

    I’ve been working on that one corner for years, Matt, and I finally got it right this year. It was fantastic earlier with a deep blue Chinese delphinium behind the red lily blooms and the bright yellow meadowsweet leaves. As soon as the delphinium was done, the achillea and monarda started. And now, some ‘Tanna’ sanguisorba is joining the show.

  11. I’ve got the other pokeweed growing, couldn’t refuse it , since it shot up in the perfect place. I will snip the berries of though .
    Thank you again for the seeds , they are all thriving despite the heat wave this year in the PNW . Happy GBD!

    Ah, yes – the species plants certainly have a knack for coming up in unexpected places, don’t they? Good to hear that the other seeds are doing well for you!

  12. I love how each Bloom Day starts with me waking up and seeing an email that you’ve posted, Nan! Everything looks wonderful…as always…but I’m especially loving your pairing of the red Lobelia and Panicum ‘Cheyenne Sky’…genius!

    Aw, that’s so nice, Scott; thank you! And yeah, I’m pretty darn pleased with that Lobelia cardinalis ‘New Moon Maroon’ and Panicum ‘Cheyenne Sky’ combo. I love the pairing of the regular cardinal flower with Japanese blood grass that I have elsewhere in the front garden, but I’m experimenting with alternatives to the Imperata, due to the concerns about it being potentially invasive. So, I figured that ‘Cheyenne Sky’ would be good to try, and once I saw that new dark lobelia selection, I simply couldn’t resist putting them together.

  13. Thanks for the feast, Nan. As usual, things are looking splendid. I’ve noted L.’Freya’. Sounds like the lily for me. Loved the ‘Goldfinch’ daisy and coreopsis combo. For some reason it was an echo that really resonated. Oh, and sorry to hear about those darned Japanese beetles.

    I hope you can give ‘Freya’ a try, Barbara, and that she performs as well for you as she has here. That ‘Goldfinch’ Shasta and ‘Moonbeam’ coreopsis pairing worked out even better than I expected–another of this year’s successes. Be very happy that you don’t have Japanese beetles; I had forgotten how bad the sanguisorbas, persicarias, and hardy hibiscus, in particular, can look when all chewed up.

  14. Glorious, glorious, glorious!
    Love the lacy fireworks allium christophii
    And the “can you see me now” rudbeckia maxima.
    what zen.

    Hi Paula! The Allium seedheads really show off well against the dark foliage partners, don’t they? And in a similar way, the vine-covered arbor makes a good backdrop for the pale leaves and bright blooms of the giant coneflower. If only I could take credit for either one; they were both lucky accidents.

  15. “Pretty good”! Your gardens look absolutely fabulous. I always love your plant combinations and there are some here that I’ll need to give closer study. Unfortunately, due to the differences in our climate, many of the plants you grow aren’t suitable here in southern California, especially with our new water restrictions, but I can still use the ideas. I’ll be sure to check out your Pinterest pages too.

    It seems so unfair that you can’t have even a little of our current rain surplus, Kris. The five-week dry spell we had earlier this spring was enough to make me want to give up on gardening for the year. I can’t imagine how you cope as well as you do!

  16. Loving the Goldfinch Shasta combo too! Thanks to your teaching, I am now enjoying new plants in my garden this year. Axminster Gold comfrey, Lauren’s grape poppy, pineapple lilies, and Isla Gold tansy have been the most commented on when people visit. Love them! I’d also love some seeds of the cow parsley if you have any left.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge! You have been such an inspiration to me!

    Great to hear that your garden is doing so well, Liz! I’ll make sure you get some of the ‘Ravenswing’ seeds; the plant would look gorgeous at your place.

  17. Hi Nan,
    It’s amazing how your garden looks different every year and how you achieve such wonderful plant combinations. I loved the golden thyme. Also am interested to see you have reverted to grass paths. They really are lower maintenance, especially for me since my husband is in charge of lawn mowing and I manage the beds! I’d love some cow parsley if you have some seeds to spare. When and how should it be sown? Is it a biennial or what?
    Thanks for the wonderful blog, it really lifts the spirits! Oh and if you are interested in adding another daylily you might enjoy H. ‘Creature of the Night’. It is tall, dark, graceful and somewhat mysterious. It’s one of my favorites.
    Kate Patrick

    Hi Kate! I’ll be in touch about the seeds. You’ll want to sow them soon after they arrive. I suggest putting them in a pot, covering them lightly, then setting them in a protected spot outdoors (keeping them moist, of course, as with any other seeds). Look for seedlings this winter or next spring.

    Thanks for the daylily recommendation. That definitely looks like a must-have. I already have ‘Bela Lugosi’, so they could be good partners!

  18. Nan,

    Another wonderful post. In spite of the peculiar weather Hayefield looks spectacular. Your combinations are masterful and Kimberly’s Monet thought was not an exaggeration. Thank you for being so generous with your time and home.

    Hi there, John. I was just thinking about you and your family. I’m sure you’re having a wonderful time playing in your new garden-to-be. Thanks for taking the time for a virtual visit!

  19. I’m so glad you included your many kinds of thyme. ‘Oregano’ looks really appealing, ‘Clear Gold’ as well. Definitely something to try in my dry garden! Wonderful post. Happy Bloom Day, Nan.

    Good morning, Denise! I imagine that thymes would thrive at your place. I just now found a listing for ‘Oregano’ thyme at Deer Creek Herb Farm. They also carry ‘Clear Gold’ thyme under its other name, ‘Yellow Transparent’. I’ve not ordered from them before, but they could be worth a try.

  20. Nan, your gardens are looking divine! I adore the monarda and the dark rudbekia.

    Am I the only one that thinks that the gold ghost bramble has a very unfortunate Latin name?

    Hope you’re having a glorious summer in your own garden, Kerry. And yeah, sometimes it’s just fine to stick with common names.

  21. Your garden is lovely as usual, and filled with so much gold and yellow foliage this year, it really brightens everything up and accents the red flower colors. I have yellow Oregano (Marjoram?) that I like, I’ll have to look into more of them.

    I know some people have a real dislike of yellow foliage, thinking that they plants look “sick,” but I can’t imagine being without it here. I agree with you about the golden oregano: it’s a winner and practically indestructible.

  22. So many beautiful photos, so many beautiful combinations. It’s really inspiring. ‘Freya’ is really something though, I bet you could set up a whole garden around that plant. I’ll need to keep an eye out for it since I finally added a few real lilies last fall and might as well keep going.
    I am so glad I didn’t get that phlox. It sure looked more interesting in its catalog glamour shot. (although I still think the bastard hemp is very cool!)
    I’m so glad to see the pokeweed! Oddly enough I don’t think I had a single green seedling, but that might be a case of selective memory since I do remember thinning the pot a bit. For a weed I’m always surprised how hard these are to grow on purpose… considering I pull handfuls up all year!
    The grass paths look great. I bet between the rain and warmer weather you won’t even consider overseeding come the end of summer!

    Hey there, Frank. It’s hard to find ‘Freya’ now, for some reason, but I see that Eden Brothers has recently carried her in season, so you might want to keep an eye on the listing there. So you’re not wowed by the ‘Empty Feelings’ phlox, huh? You have to admit that it was well-named, anyway. And yes, I noticed that in your photo of your ‘Sunny Side Up’ seedlings, they are all yellow, and someone (Plant Delights, maybe?) said that they come true. Maybe I should have waited to see if the green ones turned yellow later. But this one was so distinctly yellow from the first that I assumed they would all be that way if they were going to be yellow at all (if that makes sense).

  23. Fabulous as usual! Oh that Lobelia…I lust after the dark leaved varieties but have had no luck growing them. Perhaps it’s time to try again. Happy GBBD!

    I know what you mean about the other dark-leaved lobelias, Sue, but this one is a selection of L. cardinalis and is supposed to be hardy in Zones 3 to 8. Here’s its page from the nursery that named it: Lobelia cardinalis ‘New Moon Maroon’. (The photo there isn’t at all flattering, but the plants are really lovely, obviously.) My plants are new for me this season, but I’ll report back on them next year.

  24. Love your variegated sedum, Russian sage and grass grouping! I could substitute little bluestem or blue fescue for the grass. I would like more details about how you overwinter your scented geranium. Looks like you have it planted in the ground in the photo. Do you dig and pot it and keep it under lights? Or do you try to store it bare root like I know common geraniums can be kept? Thanks for all the inspiration!

    Happy Bloom Day, Amy! ‘Prairie Munchkin’ is a selection of little bluestem, so you could use the combo as-is, or yes, a blue fescue would be lovely too. I’ll try to show the combination again next month; it already looks quite different, now that the grass is sending up its flowering stems.

    As far as the peppermint geranium goes: I put it in the ground during the growing season, then dig it up with a ball of soil and loosely plunk it into a pot in fall. It spends the winter in my basement, where it gets down in the range of 35 to 40F. The plant gets maybe an hour of sunlight a day but is mostly in the dark, and I water it only sparingly, so most of the older leaves drop by spring. Once nights are above freezing, I cut it back and bring it outdoors again.

  25. I just love your plant combinations. Always something new to see. I’m thinking of getting the Coreopsis ‘mercury rising’ I just love it.
    Here in Ohio we’ve had so much rain and sunless days that I haven’t had enough garden time.
    How are you liking your grass paths? Are you finding it easier than the mulch?

    Hi Mel! Too much rain, too little rain; it’s always something, huh? Overall, I’m pleased with the grass paths. I can’t help but think that they add too much green to the wider garden shots–right now, at least. But maybe they’ll be great in late summer and fall, when the plantings are more colorful. And, they will definitely add definition during the winter and spring, instead of having an expanse of mulch and bare soil. I got a little reel mower to trim them, and it takes barely 10 minutes, so that’s cool! Next project will be adding edging strips.

  26. Hi, I noticed a spelling error in one of your plants; it should be Allium cristophii, (no ‘h’ after the ‘c’). Named after Cristoph. A wonderful plant no matter what.

    Thank you, Jack. I see it both ways all the time, but you’re right, of course, about the origin of the name.

  27. hi,when other gardens are ho hum yours is spectacular in July. I have recently planted agastache Kudos Coral,Russian Sage,Angelica Archanglica. I hope to accomplish some mid summer color in my gardens.After seeing your allium Cristophri I want to try it for the beautiful seedheads. I grow moneyplant but not the bronze one. Are the flowers purple?

    Hi Sandy! Certainly, it’s hard to beat the agastaches for a long season of color. And yes, the flowers of Lunaria ‘Pennies in Bronze’ are a good purple. I should have seeds to share this fall if you want to give it a try.

  28. Oh Nan, another post where I feel like I am getting a PhD in horticulture. I read your posts at least three times, take notes, look up nurseries or seed companies, imsgine where they will fit in my garden in the woods. Fabulous as always. I was at Linden Hill on Sunday, sharing it with another Master Gardener from Phipps in Pgh. We ohhhed and ahhhed, as you do. I might have done some retail therapy. We were also at Wave Hill this weekend and loved the Blackberry Lily, Iris domestica. Do you know of a good source for a plant or know whether starting it from seeds is terribly difficult? Thanks for all you do. Heidi

    Sounds like you two had a great time, Heidi. Funny you should mention blackberry lily: mine came into bloom just a bit too late for this Bloom Day, but it is spectacular this year and loaded with yellow swallowtail butterflies. Mine self-sows, so seeds shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll make a note to collect some for you this fall.

  29. Ohhh wow, thanks and good to know.

  30. Loved my stroll through your garden. I pinned a few pics (straight from the site so it comes back to you) so I can remember combinations for future spots. I always appreciate your general pics so I can see how things nestle in to each other

    Thanks for stopping by, Shelley, and for the pins too. The feedback about the general photos is helpful as well; it’s good to know what folks find of interest. I hope you and you’re garden are handling the summer heat all right.

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