MidAugust Blooms

Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' (Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

Echinacea have been a mainstay this summer, drawing bees, hummingbirds and American Goldfinches to the borders. The blooms on this white one, Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’, really improved after the recent rains.

Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' (Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

By design I have a lot fewer Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy) and Tradescantia (Spiderwort) in the garden this year, both of which were becoming rather aggressive spreaders.

Tradescantia (Spiderwort) and Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Tradescantia (Spiderwort) and Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

The sap of Tradescantia lately is causing me to have an itchy skin contact rash. For that reason and because I want to control its spread, I tried not to allow it to bloom at all this year, but a few sneaky flowers remind me why I have enjoyed it for so many years.

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

I have simply grown tired of Shasta daisy after letting it roam for a lot of years.  One entire bed was taken over by this plant, so I still have a lot of work to do to tame it.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage) and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude) are pairing up in a lovely color combination. This salvia also spreads freely but I have finally learned to be ruthless in pulling it out when it wanders too far.

Salvia uliginosa 'Blue Sky' (Bog sage) and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude)

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage) and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ is finally blooming again encouraged by the recent rains.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

This passalong everlasting Sweet Pea looked miserable most of the summer but, like the Black and Blue salvia, it was rejuvenated by the rainfall.  I planted annual sweet peas seeds this year but none survived.

Perennial Everlasting Sweet Pea

Perennial Everlasting Sweet Pea

The bird feeder is always a source of entertainment and occasionally the birds plant a few flowers for themselves. I am not sure exactly what this volunteer is but it is cheerful enough.

Birdfeeder Volunteer

Birdfeeder Volunteer

For the first time in many years my Stargazer Dahlia, did not return, done in by the cold winter I suppose. It was a passalong from a friend and former neighbor and so I missed not seeing it this year.  In spring though I had picked up a dinner plate Dahlia bulb, packed in a fairly generic-looking box, but labelled to have come from The Netherlands.

Dinner Plate Dahlia 'Blue Bell'

Dinner Plate Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’

Well the dahlia has finally bloomed. Granted I selected a poor spot for it, but I do not think it will  reach the promised “up to eighteen blooms per plant.” Neither does the size nor color correspond to the package at all. The flower is beautiful though and I am happy to have another dahlia for the garden.

Dahlia

Dahlia

31 thoughts on “MidAugust Blooms

  1. Donna@GardensEyeView

    Your volunteer looks like a sunflower. I leave up the sunflowers for the birds and they scatter the seed and I have volunteers every year. Echinacea have been going strong all summer and I have them in a vase again. Even those that are fading look great in vases and last a long time.

    Reply
  2. Julie

    Echinacea ‘white swan’ is an elegant flower, I really like the pairing too of Sedum ‘Autumn joy’ with Salvia ‘Blue Sky’ and especially love to see Butterflies enjoying late summer flowers.

    Reply
  3. rusty duck

    I love that Salvia ‘Black and Blue’. Not fully hardy in the UK, but on looking it up I find it is also huge! It must make a real statement in your garden.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Salvia ‘Black and Blue’ grows to 36 inches tall, but it has not formed very large clumps in my garden. Supposedly in five years it can spread to be 6 feet wide, but not mine.

      Reply
  4. Stephi

    I have some volunteer birdfeeder sunflowers in odd places too. I let them be since it’s food for so many. Too funny about the dahlia. It does look like it’ll be pretty though. Glad you’re having some rain finally.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Stephi. The blue dahlia would have been nice but this one is a good strong color too. After a bit of a respite, we’re in for very high temperatures and humidity this coming week.

      Reply
  5. Christina

    What the rain can do! I was like Salvia ‘Black and Blue’ whenever I see it, I must make more effort to find a plant, I think it would do well here. I have ‘Indigo Spires’ which I think would good be a good addition for you.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks for recommending ‘Indigo Spires’ for my garden. I looked it up and I do love it already. It needs winter protection in my growing zone, but I will look for it and give it a try. ‘Black and Blue’ might do better for you than it does here.

      Reply
  6. Pauline

    Your Echinaceae and Salvias are beautiful. I have just started to plant Salvias, but will need to take cuttings to increase my numbers. I keep getting a rash on my arms and hands when I garden, such a nuisance, I should wear gloves and long sleeves, but in the heat of summer it was too much!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Pauline. You have such an extensive collection of plants to enjoy, but I think you’ll like the Salivas too. There are so many different ones to choose from.

      Reply
  7. bittster

    I also lost my love for Shasta daisies. They’re beautiful for a few days but there are just too many bugs in my garden to leave the pristine blooms alone. Last winter did the dirty work for me and they all died out.
    The Echinacea looks great and I’m tempted to try the perennial pea.
    … and I better check the forecast, a little warmer weather would still be nice.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The shastas as you say, look good for a short time. I did successfully deadhead them this year and kept them going for a while, but then I just lost interest. Sorry, we’re getting your warmer weather here this week.

      Reply
  8. Annette

    I like your volunteer! Looks very similar to Helianthus Lemon Queen. Didn’t have much luck with S. uliginosa but it’s so pretty and one of the few true blues, maybe I should try again.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Annette. Lemon Queen sounds familiar but I must have seen it in others’ gardens, don’t think I planted it here. It is a nice bloom though.

      Reply
  9. Cathy

    A little rain can really work wonders, and your flowers look happy! The white Echinacea is lovely, and I really love the blue salvia next to the sedum.

    Reply
  10. Kris P

    I’m impressed by that dahlia, Susie, even if its color is nothing like that shown on the package. The growers know we’re all suckers for blue and constantly try to lure us in by suggesting that their offerings are blue when they’re, at best, purple. This one looks closer to burgundy – is it?

    Reply
  11. Chloris

    But have you ever seen a blue dahlia? I don’ t think there is such a thing. The colour on the packet was misleading. Still never mind you have a lovely dahlia.
    Echinacea White Swan is one of the few echinaceas that keep going here and seed around modestly.
    I love salvias, Salvia uliginosa is the only one which is hardy here but they are so easy from cuttings. Your Black and Blue is lovely.

    Reply

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