Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) is beginning to bloom profusely in several parts of the garden.
This week temperatures are rising along with the humidity. Currently it is 85°F (heat index makes it feel like 91°F). The pattern throughout the day for the last few days and forecast for the rest of the week is this: clouds move in and eventually spill their rain, sun emerges and steams everything, then clouds move in again. Yesterday’s heavy rain turned the meditation circle into a pool for a brief time, but today’s mid-day shower was light and the sun quickly returned.
At this point in the season I enjoy the strong colors that prevail in many of the borders. Previously I showed this tomato-red daylily (possibly ‘Michael Arnholt’) but it caught my eye again today. I very much like its rich color combined with that of the Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue.’
Many birds are enjoying the feeders, but the American Goldfinches prefer to select their own food and so head for the swaying Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena) in the Western Border. Their beautiful yellow against the purple Verbena always delights me. Unfortunately the Goldfinches are too quick for my camera, but the color of Dahlia ‘Stargazer’ suggests a similar idea.
The western border often looks unfulfilled so I have tried to enhance this area over the last few years. Many textures are too similar and plants need to be edited but this spot has been more exciting this year than usual. One successful pairing is the Allium ‘Drumstick’ the Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower).
Here are a few more details within the Western Border.
Also in the western border my favorite Gladiolus bloomed recently. The buds are deep, deep purple, but the flowers open to a lighter hue.
Lavender has been blooming for a couple of weeks now. It is especially nice along the Southern Side garden. Cleome has self-seeded between the stones.
At the end of the Southern Side path I encountered a busy hummingbird a couple of days ago enjoying the Lavender and Monarda. I gave up using hummingbird feeders years ago, but hummingbirds visit the garden often, this year more than ever. These fuzzy hummingbird pictures were fun to take—hope you can make him out.