The summer continues to be dry here in southeastern PA, but we are finally getting a break from the heat for a bit—a blessing for which the garden and I are very grateful. It’s amazing to see how well many of the plants are holding up, considering the tough conditions they’ve been through. Despite the challenges, there’s still plenty to see, so let’s get started!
A few groups are particular stars right now. The morning glories (Ipomoea), for instance, take a while to get going but are finally producing an abundance of bloom.
‘Sunrise Serenade’ morning glory (Ipomoea): shaggy, bright pink flowers among large, heart-shaped leaves on vigorous vines
‘Fuji no Murasaki’ Japanese morning glory (Ipomoea nil): Large, white-spoked flowers and variegated leaves
‘Kikyo Snowflakes’ Japanese morning glory (Ipomoea nil): Exquisite, starry blooms and substantial, deep green leaves
‘Sazanami’ Japanese morning glory (Ipomoea nil): Watercolor-blue blooms with variegated leaves
‘Keiryu’ (‘Mountain Stream’) Japanese morning glory (Ipomoea nil): variable tie-dye markings on the flowers, and variegated chartreuse foliage
‘Golden Chain’ morning glory (Ipomoea): the fuchsia/magenta flowers really pop against the bright yellow foliage
I’d read that ‘Golden Chain’ morning glory (Ipomoea) would reach 4 to 6 feet tall, so I put it in a planter and gave it a 5-foot trellis.That was woefully inadequate. It is starting to eat the barn!
“Abundance” also applies to the tomato harvest season. I got way too carried away trialing different foliage varieties this year. There has been more than enough fruit for seed-saving and eating as well.
‘Painted Lady’ tomato (Solanum lycopersicum): striped, heart-shaped fruits and variegated leaves
‘Moonlight Mile’ tomato (Solanum lycopersicum): beautiful striped fruit and variegated foliage
‘Sweet Splash Electra’ tomato (Solanum lycopersicum): bushy plants to about 3 feet tall, with variegated leaves
‘Keith’s Ailsa Gold Leaf’ tomato (Solanum lycopersicum): still gloriously golden in foliage and producing an abundance of red fruit
Late summer is also prime time for many perennials: lobelias, including…
Great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)
White great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica f. alba) from seed
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
…and eryngiums, including…
Rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium) with Culver’s root (Veronicastrum virginicum), ‘Raspberry Wine’ beebalm (Monarda), tall larkspur (Delphinium exaltatum), Carolina lupine (Thermopsis villosa) seedheads, and coreopsis (Coreopsis)
Marsh rattlesnake master (Eryngium aquaticum): flowering for the first time here. I hope it will make lots of seeds!
Golden lace (Patrinia scabiosifolia) with plains coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria), Deam’s orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii), and switch grass (Panicum virgatum)
Closeup of Patrinia monandra
Wholeleaf rosinweed (Silphium integrifolium)
Mohr’s rosinweed (Silphium mohrii) with downy skullcap (Scutellaria incana)
Hoary vervain (Verbena stricta)
Pink vervain (Verbena hastata f. rosea) and blue vervain (V. hastata)
…and wild petunias, including…
The regular wild petunia (Ruellia humilis)
A wonderful seed gift that I received this past winter: a white form of wild petunia (Ruellia humilis f. alba), flowering the first year
The color tour I did last month seemed pretty popular, so here are the other August flower, foliage, fauna, and seed-stage stars arranged that way, as best as I can.
‘Jester’ purple millet (Pennisetum glaucum)
‘Red Freddy’ basil (Ocimum basilicum) with salt heliotrope (Heliotropium curassavicum). Just a note that I got tricked into buying this basil based on a photo that showed it being truly red. It is definitely NOT!
‘Albe Red Variegated’ cotton (Gossypium herbaceum)
Korean angelica (Angelica gigas)
Red orach (Atriplex hortensis var. rubra)
Penstemon ex dark-leaved form (Penstemon): The leaves are more of a red-tinged green this time of year, but the stems and seedpods are this lovely deep red
‘Heartthrob’ hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus) with Deam’s orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii)
‘Sultane Mix’ strawflower (Xerochrysum [formerly Helichrysum, and then Bracteantha] bracteatum)
Pretty sure this is ‘Blue Buddha’ castor bean (Ricinus communis); does anyone know? I may just end up calling it “blue pod” until I get confirmation.
Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa): these red calyces are terrific in tea!
‘Mischief’ musk mallow (Abelmoschus moschatus)
‘Firefly’ cuphea (Cuphea)
Red mallow (Pavonia missionum)
Royal catchfly (Silene regia)
‘Prairie Glow’ brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba)
‘Mandarin Orange’ globe amaranth (Gomphrena haageana)
Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia)
Queen Anne’s pocket melon (Cucumis melo var. dudaim), also known as plum granny
Tall coreopsis (Coreopsis tripteris) with Joe-Pye weed (Eutrochium maculatum)
Partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata)
‘Flying Dragon’ hardy orange (Poncirus trifoliata)
Love-in-a-puff (Cardiospermum halicacabum)
‘White Glory’ snake gourd (Trichosanthes cucumerina)
Developing seedpods on false hemp (Datisca cannabina) and rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium)
Greater quaking grass (Briza maxima)
Winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus)
Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) with the distinctive larva of spicebush swallowtail (Papilio troilus)
Northern bayberry (Morella [Myrica] pensylvanica) with the wickedly cool larva of cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia)
A pale form of tall larkspur (Delphinium exaltatum) with—I’m pretty sure—a snowberry clearwing moth (Hemaris diffinis)
Gopher spurge (Euphorbia lathyris)
Downy skullcap (Scutellaria incana)
New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis) with an unnamed garden phlox (Phlox paniculata)
Virginia meadow beauty (Rhexia virginica): I didn’t realize that it would flower the very first year from a winter sowing
Wlassov’s geranium (Geranium wlassovianum)
American basket flower (Centaurea americana)
Smooth purple coneflower (Echinacea laevigata): A unexpected late bloom to celebrate the fact that as of August 5, the species is no longer considered federally endangered! Its status has been downlisted to threatened.
White-leaf leather flower (Clematis glaucophylla)
Surprise lily (Lycoris squamigera)
‘Purple Kisses’ queen-Anne’s lace (Daucus carota) with short-toothed mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum)
Hairy mountain mint (Pycnanthemum verticillatum var. pilosum)
Skirret (Sium sisarum)
Wild quinine (Parthenium integrifolium) with tufted hair grass (Deschampsia cespitosa)
‘Jyunpaku’ bitter melon (Momordica charantia)
White American basket flower (Centaurea americana)
White Japanese burnet (Sanguisorba tenuifolia var. alba)
Spotted beebalm (Monarda punctata): hard to figure out where this one fits color-wise
Drumstick scabious (Scabiosa stellata): flowers and seedheads
White teff (Eragrostis tef)
Pretzel beans (Vigna unguiculata ‘Pretzel Bean’)
‘Ping Zebra’ lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus): At least THESE were happy with the heat!
Well, back to watering the rest of the seed crops and hoping the garden as a whole will get some actual rain very soon. Happy August Bloom Day to you all!
Deam’s orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii) with prairie blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya) and ‘Karl Foester’ feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora) in the Perennial Meadow at Hayefield
August 15, 2022 August 14, 2022