Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – August 2019

And so it begins…my favorite part of the gardening season. Except for a very brief groundhog incident, my unwanted-wildlife issues seem to have been resolved (for now, anyway), the garden and meadow are full of flowers, and loads of seeds are ripening. I did my best to pare down the photos for this post, but there’s just so much to share; let’s get to it.

To start with, a few garden shots.

©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
The Courtyard
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
The Courtyard: yellow wingstem (Verbesina alternifolia) with Joe-Pye weed (Eutrochium maculatum)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
The Courtyard: the same Joe-Pye weed (Eutrochium maculatum), which is about 6 feet tall, with the aptly named tall coreopsis (Coreopsis tripteris)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
The Front Garden – Outer Path
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
The Front Garden – Outer Path: a vignette of orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii) with a compact form of great burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
The Front Garden – Front Corner: male false hemp (Datisca cannabina) with blackberry lily (Iris domestica)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
The Front Garden – Another Corner: orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii) with a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
The Side Garden – Outer Path
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
The Side Garden – Outer Path: a reverse view, with purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea var. arundinacea) and golden lace (Patrinia scabiosifolia)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
The Side Garden (I never get tired of this view!)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Side Garden – Cross Path

I adore the tufted hair grass (Deschampsia cespitosa) this time of year–particularly when it’s golden in the setting sun. It is, however, becoming problematic by seeding around enthusiastically, so pretty soon, I’ll have to cut it all down before its seeds ripen. Sigh.

The meadow, at least, is still low-maintenance, besides a once-a-month path mowing and much more frequent forays to visit the plants and wildlife.

©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Speaking of wildlife: I’m very happy to display my “Pollinator-Friendly Garden” sign, indicating that Hayefield has passed muster with the Penn State Master Gardeners Pollinator-Friendly Garden Program. If you too are interested in becoming certified, you can find more info here: PA Pollinator Garden Certification.
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
There is certainly an abundance of flowers out there this year!
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Mountain mints (Pycnanthemum) are getting a lot of attention for pollinator-friendly gardens. This year, the Virginia mountain mint (P. virginianum) is doing particularly well in the upper meadow.
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
The huge patch of short-toothed mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum) isn’t nearly as dense this year, but it’s still abuzz with insect activity, including lots of bees.
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
The great golden digger wasp (Sphex ichneumoneus) is so large it can hardly fit on the flowerhead, but it manages. It’s kind of scary-big, actually, but reportedly not very likely to sting. I didn’t test that report.
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
And there are ever so many butterflies! At the moment, the common buckeyes (Junonia coenia) are particularly abundant.
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
There is a lot of other plant action in the upper meadow besides the mountain mints, such as this patch of cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum) mingling with eastern gramagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides) in the foreground and big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) in back.
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
I first tried eastern gramagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides) in a border. It thrived there, but after a few years, I realized it wasn’t well suited for that: The flowering stems are originally upright, but as the seeds form, those stems sprawl outward, and the whole plant looks rather open and messy. It’s fine in the meadow, though, and it’s seeding around happily there, which is great. It’s native to parts of southeastern Pennsylvania, apparently, but isn’t common and is now considered endangered, according to this species factsheet.
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Many grass flowers are fascinating at close range, and the flowers of eastern gramagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides) are particularly intriguing. The male flowers (see the dangling bronzy bits above) are at the upper part of the inflorescence, and the female flowers are below.
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
The female flowers of eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides) form at the base of the inflorescence. They get pollinated and then develop into seeds, while the male parts fall off.
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans): also a beauty in bloom
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
The big bluestem (Andropogon virginicus) is living up to its name, easily reaching to 7 feet tall as it begins to flower.
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) may be “little” in relation to its “big” cousin, but it’s still a good 3 feet or more in height.
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
The first swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) to appear in the upper meadow
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
In the lower meadow, I mow in winter, then again in late April. That seems to be helping the later-blooming flowers, such as New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis), as well as the many native asters (Symphyotrichum) yet to come.
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
The wild quinine (Parthenium integrifolium) is still blooming and still loaded with insects. I felt a bit guilty about bothering these pearl crescent butterflies having an intimate moment.
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
I really like this unplanned combination of wild quinine (Parthenium integrifolium) with Maryland senna (Senna marilandica).
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Another nice wild combo: Joe-Pye weed (Eutrochium maculatum) with flat-top goldenrod (Euthamia graminifolia)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
I’m really pleased at how this slope at the bottom of the lower meadow is filling out. It looked terrible for many years because not much would grow there. I started tossing leftover perennial seeds out there each year, and many wonderful things are starting to come along. To be fair, it doesn’t look wow in this view at this time, but it’s full of young baptisias that should reach flowering size next year.
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
This cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) popped up in that area for the first time last year and produced several more stems this summer.
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
I don’t mind our township mowing the edge of the road down there, because it’s hard for me to do it, but sometimes they mow up on the slope as well. I just added this cool sign I got from Prairie Moon Nursery, in the hope that it will make the mower guy realize the slope is intentionally meadow and not just “weeds.”

Back to the garden now, to check out closeups of some current stars, starting with two beautiful grasses.

©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Siberian graybeard (Spodiopogon sibiricus)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
‘Dewey Blue’ bitter panic grass (Panicum amarum)

The rest of these perennial plants are from seed.

©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Wild petunia (Ruellia humilis): I didn’t plant this one, but I’m happy it appeared
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Blackberry lily (Iris domestica, formerly Belamcanda chinensis): look at all the butterflies!
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
‘Axminster Streaked’ balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus): I particularly like the markings on this one
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
False hemp (Datisca cannabina): female inflorescence
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Horsemint (Monarda punctata), also known as spotted bee balm: technically perennial, but it acts like an annual for me
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
White-veined Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolochia fimbriata): marginally hardy for me. Thanks for the seeds, Mel!

More things that are true annuals, or that I grow as annuals here (all of these too are from seed).

©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
‘Red Noodle’ and ‘Pretzel Bean’ vines (both Vigna unguiculata)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Lavender moonvine (Ipomoea muricata), also known as clove bean
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Pink cypress vine (Ipomoea quamoclit ‘Rosea’)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
White cypress vine (Ipomoea quamoclit ‘Alba’)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Snow on the mountain (Euphorbia marginata)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Brazilian bachelor’s button (Centratherum intermedium)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Porcupine tomato (Solanum pyracanthum)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Redwhisker clammyweed (Polanisia dodecandra)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Nicotiana mutabilis
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Variegated tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum ‘Variegatum’): first flower!
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Black-leaved cotton (Gossypium herbaceum ‘Nigrum’) thriving in the greenhouse
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
‘Mischief musk mallow (Abelmoschus moschatus)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Devil’s trumpet (Datura metel)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
‘Silky Gold’ tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Silver ponyfoot (Dichondra argentea)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Job’s tears (Coix lacryma-jobi)
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Pineapple helenium (Helenium aromaticum, a.k.a. Cephalaphora aromatica): tiny flowers, but the plant really does smell like pineapple when you rub or crush the leaves
©Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com
Blue milkweed (Tweedia caerulea, a.k.a. Oxypetalum caeruleum)

Well, that’s it for the August highlights here at Hayefield. For more Augusty garden goodness, be sure to visit the list of participants at the main Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post at May Dreams Gardens. Thanks for stopping by!

26 responses to this post.

  1. A truly splendid array of beauty!!

    Thank you, Ginny. Happy Bloom Day to you!
    -Nan

  2. Posted by Emma Spary on August 15, 2019 at 4:47 am

    I always love not only the unusual plants but also the photography!

    You are so kind, Emma. Thank you so much for visiting this morning!
    -Nan

  3. Posted by Mel Donat on August 15, 2019 at 5:50 am

    Nan,
    Every thing looks beautiful. Love the wild look of all the cool plants you grow.
    Mel

    Thanks, Mel. I hope you noticed the Aristolochia fimbriata–grown from the seeds you shared with me. I passed some along to others too, so your generosity has been enjoyed far and wide.
    -Nan

    • Posted by Mel Donat on August 16, 2019 at 8:36 am

      I did notice. So happy to share. A single person can’t possibly use that many seed.

  4. Posted by Rebecca on August 15, 2019 at 7:11 am

    I do believe I found my next ‘must have’ plant. Your Great Burnet photo caught my eye.
    I could not find any seeds on Etsy. Will any be available? I suppose I better discover its preferred growing conditions. Great morning viewing. Thank you

    Hi Rebecca. I do expect to offer seeds of that strain of Sanguisorba through my Etsy shop again this fall. They will probably be ready in November. If you wanted to create a similar combination in the same height range, you could try pairing Sanguisorba ‘Tanna’ with Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ or Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii. The sanguisorbas prefer moist soil but can take some dry spells once established.
    -Nan

  5. Posted by Helene on August 15, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Hey Nan, soooo great to have you back! And wow all this lovely flowers and grasses in your garden right now – I am very jealous! Thank you for sharing it with us!
    Keep on going, Helene

    Wonderful to hear from you, Helene! I was thinking of you recently, because I am once again growing the variegated tomato that you kindly sent me seeds of. I hope you and the dogs are all doing well this summer.
    -Nan

  6. Posted by Liesbeth on August 15, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Thanks for showing your beautifull pictures!
    A lot of inspiration!

    Thank you so much, Liesbeth. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment here today.
    -Nan

  7. Posted by Patty on August 15, 2019 at 9:48 am

    A delight to find your post this morning, Nan; lovely to view your gardens and meadows – as it always is, no matter the season. I’ve been eating and enjoying Penndragon beans grown from your 2014 seed for a couple weeks now – thanks! Patty in Seattle

    So nice to hear that, Patty. My harvest was delayed by the deer issue last month, but the vines finally recovered and I was able to pick some for dinner last night. I still haven’t determined if they are the same as or different from ‘Rattlesnake’. I suppose the name doesn’t matter as much as the great flavor!
    -Nan

  8. Posted by Carol on August 15, 2019 at 11:00 am

    It is always fun and educational to take a virtual walk through your beautiful plants.

    Thank you for that, Carol. I appreciate you taking the time to visit today.
    -Nan

  9. Your meadow is inspirational, and your posts are always so full of great information. Thanks!

    “Inspirational” is a lovely word for it, Alison. It’s a really special place, for sure.
    -Nan

  10. Posted by Judith HIcks on August 15, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Thanks for posting the picture of the wild petunia. It showed up in my yard last year and is all over the place this year and I (and my extension agent friend) was not able to identify it.

    That’s great! I wonder why it’s popping up around here now? Apparently the seeds get flung good distances when ripe, so I guess once you have it, you get it more places as time goes on. I’m hoping to collect some of the seeds to sell or share.
    -Nan

  11. Posted by Tiiu Mayer on August 15, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Nan – so glad to see your bounty again. Siberian frostgrass (same as graybeard???) seeds from you years ago have produced a wonderful clump that grows larger slowly and can compete (nicely) with anything including Canadian thistle.

    It’s really good to hear that, Tiiu. It’s certainly vigorous (but not aggressive) here, forming large clumps, but I have never found any seedlings. I’m happy to know that you had good luck with the seeds. (And yes, the common name should be “Siberian graybeard” or “frost grass.”)
    -Nan

  12. Posted by Deb on August 15, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    Oh Nan! How beautiful you have made your corner of the world, and how blessed we are you share your talents! Thank you for the lovely photos,.

    Hi Deb! I feel blessed myself to be the steward of this bit of land and all the critters who call it home. I really appreciate you taking the time to visit.
    -Nan

  13. Posted by Gabriella on August 15, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Your meadows are always such an inspiration to me! I’ve been mowing mine in winter, before the naturalized daffs come up, but I think I might have to follow your lead and mow again in late spring (but find a way to preserve most of the daffodil foliage.) My late bloomers tend to get crowded out by the grasses, so they don’t bloom with the abandon of yours. Just gorgeous!

    Thanks! Yeah, the daffodils would delay your spring mowing until mid- to late May, I think? Your late bloomers would probably end up being a bit shorter at bloom time, but I imagine they’ll be more vigorous if they have less competition from cool-season grasses.
    -Nan

  14. Beautiful magnificient blooms ! They are an array of beautiful blossoms.Balloon flower shade is astonishing.Happy blooms DAY.

    Thank you, Arun. Happy Bloom Day to you in return!
    -Nan

  15. Wow, wow, wow! I love everything about your gardens. I too want to create a pollinator garden and right now I am keeping it small but when we build our house next summer, we are going full blown with native grasses and flowers. We are pretty fortunate that we have a new business in town called Prairie Restoration and we will be working with them. We have a very long driveway and we want it, on both sides going up to the house, to be native plants and create a pollinator haven for the little insects. :)

    That is so exciting, Angie! You’re lucky to have a great local resource to help you get your new pollinator plantings going right from the beginning. I wish you loads of luck in your upcoming house-and-garden adventure!
    -Nan

  16. What abundance! I love the views of your garden and of course the diverse range of plants you grow. It seems that every time I visit your site, I find plants I’ve never heard of, much less seen. That Dutchman’s pipe is choice, as is the Monarda.

    Hi Kris! I imagine you could grow both the Aristolochia fimbriata and Monarda punctata–probably even better than I can. I hope to have some seed of both available this winter.
    -Nan

  17. Posted by Karen Lee Rossow on August 15, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    Nan, so glad you have got the wildlife in hand. I have been inundated by heaps of Kangaroos, Potaroos, Paddymelons and my chooks, bantams and cockerels. I’m not prepared to give up on my garden but it is really descimated in a big way.I’m inspired by your wonderful images. Thanks Karen (in Tasmania)

    Oh my goodness, Karen–that does sound overwhelming. I will think of you anytime I’m tempted to complain about my own minor gardening challenges. I will send good thoughts your way for the survival of your garden, and for you to have a little time to enjoy the good parts.
    -Nan

  18. Posted by opelski on August 16, 2019 at 8:03 am

    Such educational beauty so pleasantly shown! Thank you so much!

    Aw, thanks! I hope your garden continues to thrive during the “dog days.” Fall is coming soon!
    -Nan

  19. Oh wow it all looks so nice, it’s obvious why this is your favorite time of the year to be out there. I hope you have a little free time to just enjoy it as well, maybe maintenance isn’t as pressing now since it kind of is what it is… or at least that’s how things go here… but I’m sure you’re heading into seed collecting mode!
    I love all the meadow areas you’ve nursed along, they look so much nicer and more interesting than lawn. The garden has grown so much over the years and it’s cool to see how they’ve changed, but are you missing the early days when you had bare ground to fill? I love my garden filled in and all the color and activity, but I’m halfway tempted to clear out a spot or two just to fill it up again… assuming I can convince myself to get rid of (there’s no moving some of these things!) so many perfectly nice plants!
    Enjoy the season!

    Hey there, Frank. Yeah, you know about seed mode. That’s the first hour of every evening gardening session here; has been for over a month now. I need to get started on cleaning very soon!

    Hmmm…I don’t think I mind not having many new spaces to fill. Right now, I am looking forward to transitioning the former pasture areas back to meadow, and starting seedlings to plug into to some of those spots. I’m also trying to figure out how I can simplify some of the more “garden-y” areas to make them easier to care for–all with the point of allowing more time for seeds.

    Best of luck to you with your own garden renovation projects!
    -Nan

  20. Nice macros of the grasses. So good to see your garden at this time. Happy GBBD.

    Thanks, Lisa! Great to hear from you today. Happy GBBD back at you!
    -Nan

  21. Posted by Allan Robinson on August 16, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Hi Nan, always a pleasure to read your blog and of course see the great pictures of your lovely plants and garden. Particularly pleasurable today, as Im stuck indoors, it has been raining very heavily most of the day. August in UK is becoming a washout, it has rained heavily almost every day, so far this month, not been able to enjoy, or get much work done in my garden. Hopefully better weather is on its way.

    So sorry to hear that, Allan. From watering bans a few years ago to an overabundance of rain for you this year–some moderation in the weather would be a blessing, wouldn’t it? I will send good thoughts for you to get a break soon and enjoy a lovely autumn to make up for the late summer washout.
    -Nan

  22. Posted by Jean on August 17, 2019 at 2:09 am

    So Beautiful!
    Always a treat to see your garden. I am so glad to see your tobacco in bloom and the Lavender Moon vine which I didn’t know existed!
    Thank you for sharing your garden lifted my spirits!
    Jean

    Thank you so much, Jean. That lavender moonvine is new to me too. No fragrance, unfortunately, but it’s pretty, and the seedpods are very interesting.
    -Nan

  23. Posted by Orlando Freitas on August 17, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    Beautiful and truly inspiring. I love meadow gardens and all this array of forms and colors. Always something to be appreciated all year round. As a painter your photographs mean to me an endless source of inspiration. Down in Brazil, where I live and work, your gardens and pictures, are most welcome.

    You are very kind, Orlando. Thank you for your comments. May your work bring you much joy.
    -Nan

  24. Posted by Mike Layman on August 18, 2019 at 7:16 am

    Your posts are “2 cups of coffee” reads. I have to go through them several times to soak-up everything. Wow. Thank you for your time and effort. Much appreciated.

    Wow, Mike–that is a high-level compliment; thanks! Readers like you make the effort worthwhile.
    -Nan

  25. Joe Pye weed in the first several pictures is excellent. I know that others think it is common; but it is not native here. I might have grown it as a cut flower crop in 1986, but have otherwise not worked with it. I am sort of craving it now, but would prefer the wild species that grows in the Midwest to a garden variety.
    Anyway, your pictures are exquisite.

    Thank you, Tony. Yes, the Joe-Pye is a real treat this time of year–for garden color, for bees and butterflies, and for cutting too. I did plant ‘Carin’, ‘Gateway’, and ‘Little Joe’ at various times, but at this point, what I have is mostly self-sown seedlings.
    -Nan

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