It has been another week without rain and several more 95°F days have pushed some plants over the brink, including a Phlox paniculata ‘David’ I bought in May. ‘David’ is a sophisticated white phlox that grew well in my former garden and I have been trying for years to establish it here. Seeing its sad state spurred me to water the entire garden thoroughly Thursday evening, but the effort was too late to save that new phlox I think.
Meanwhile pinkish things are blooming and thriving.
Purchased the end of April, this stubby foxglove may have been mislabeled as Digitalis purpurea ‘Camelot Rose.’ It is supposed to be 35-47 inches (90-120 cm) but while attractive, it is more like 12 inches tall. ‘Camelot Rose’ flowers in its first and second year. This one is finally blooming many weeks later than another variety in the same border. Maybe it will achieve its true height in the second year.
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) is attracting lots of bees. I have begun deadheading some of it, but the best bee photos always seem to be those where the flower has faded. At least one flower looks fresh.
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ is looking better than it has in years. Although I cut it back, it is still flopping but at least this summer it is blooming.
When I could not find my preferred blue Angelonia this spring to use as the meditation labyrinth’s walls, I ended up using some lavender and some darker shades of pink on one side of the circle. I think Angelonia angustifolia ‘Archangel Dark Rose’ is on the left below and ‘Raspberry’ is on the right.
Most of the outer wall of the meditation circle is actually planted in white, specifically Angelonia ’Serena White.’ Hot temperatures arrived in late spring before the young plants had time to get established, but with judicious water they have filled in nicely and finally are acclimated after many weeks.
Many thymes are planted in the circle. The center is largely covered in Thymus serpyllum ‘Pink Chintz.’
Not everything in the garden is pink. This morning I was thrilled to see this Iris domestica (Blackberry Lily) in flower. I had wanted to add Blackberry Lily to the garden for years and finally came across one in April at my favorite garden center. Then, when I was cutting back iris leaves a few weeks ago, I trimmed its foliage back accidentally. I assumed I had lost the chance of seeing it bloom this year, so spotting this orange color today was a nice surprise.
Speaking of iris leaves, this little skipper was perfectly content to sit on one in the early morning sun today.
Bees were everywhere this morning. This Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ was knocked down by wind a couple of weeks ago and I propped it back up as best I could. The bees do not seem to mind that the huge stalks are still leaning.
Blue Sky salvia has its own admirers.
Next to the back steps the first dark red flower has opened on a passalong dahlia from Libby at An Eye For Detail. Last year was the first time I really took an interest in growing dahlias. The one planted late last summer overwintered but has yet to bloom. This spring I bought tubers of several red and purple dahlias and I hope they will carry the garden through the summer and into fall.
It is just a number, but having arrived here, I like the idea of marking my 550th post.
Most days this week I have enjoyed the garden by getting up early, between 5:00-6:00 a.m., to take pictures, water certain plants and spend some time in quiet reflection before the neighborhood starts bustling. A red Daylily started flowering a week ago, this yellow one opened today.
Wednesday I noticed a colorful creature spiraling an Allium Atropurpureum. Perhaps someone will be able to help me identify it.
Scattered all around the garden, Echinacea purpurea has been reliable in the heat. Some planting of echinacea received no extra water during this drought, but I watered this section fairly regularly since I was watering nearby. Even drought-tolerant plants such as this one respond positively to some attention.
Bees are becoming active at this early time of day, but frequently during my walks I have come upon them asleep on Echinacea and once, on Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint).
Another bee pair was lazily hanging out on the spire of a Liatris spicata. This one is the only liatris that has kept its dignity during the recent heat wave.
Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox) came into its own this week. Along with Cleome it helped to fill in some gaps along the fence in the western border, attracting more bees at the same time.
A recent addition to the garden, Ruellia brittoniana ‘Purple Showers’ (Mexican petunia) is taking its time getting adjusted to its new home. Eventually it should make a nice large clump and overwinter, I hope. There are a couple of new flowers each morning, gone later in the day—the bunny or some other phenomenon? I have not seen the rabbits in 4 or 5 days nor have I come upon an abandoned little blue velvet jacket.
Under the screened porch a long border was overtaken years ago by Shasta Daisies. When they first come into bloom they are fresh and inviting.
Always too quick for my camera on a few mornings there was a single hummingbird sipping among the Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm). The blooms are drying out so one time the tiny bird caught a a long red petal in its long beak instead of finding nectar—I could almost see it trying to spit it out.
Last night a huge storm passed us right by and hovered instead over the town of Chapel Hill. Several friends reported hail damage. Tonight a smaller storm carried some light rain our way for 45 minutes. The bird baths were filled only half-way, but the water should help refresh the garden. Have a great weekend.
Once again I am joining Cathy for In A Vase On Monday, a weekly invitation to fill and share a vase using materials gathered from one’s garden. The pass-along gardenia featured in last week’s vase continues to be the main source for cutting.
We had guests visiting on Sunday and at the last minute I ran outside to gather a few fresh flowers. With no time for me to arrange them, the flowers practically settled themselves into a small blue ceramic vase. The blossoms looked content and I was too.
A few extras fit easily into the colorful multi-stemmed vase my daughter gave me. I adore this vase, which seems to work with any type or color of flower.
Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Today’s “Four Seasons” refers to the annual cycle in the garden as this week marks the first year anniversary for Cathy’s weekly challenge called In A Vase On Monday. During the past year Cathy has inspired quite a few fellow garden bloggers to create fresh arrangements each Monday using materials found in our gardens.
I first joined Cathy’s Monday vase project on January 27, 2014, and since then I have been looking forward to seeing everyone’s creations each week. The vases have been delightful and the resulting sense of sharing and community has been gratifying. Thanks to Cathy for hosting and congratulations.
Winter: Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne) was featured last winter in my first Monday vase. Today I used some of the green foliage for concealer leaves.
Spring: Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ is a spring favorite and has rebloomed for the past month.
Summer: Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) and Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) are mainstays of my summer garden.
Fall: Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle) has compelling orange fall foliage color.
Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)
Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne)
Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)
3 Round Ikebana Kenzan Flower (Frog) Pin Holders
Large round black plastic dish
Each Monday brings an opportunity to join in Cathy’s weekly challenge called In A Vase On Monday where the goal is to fill a vase using materials collected from the garden.
I had planned a quick arrangement today of newly blooming chrysanthemums, but a traditional design seemed more appropriate to honor the flowers I selected instead. My delicate pink-tinged Camellia sasanqua is blooming. While I was collecting some of these fragile flowers I noticed the neighboring Gardenia jasminoides had offered up 4 or 5 more blooms. What a fragrant pairing these flowers made.
A few pink and white Echinacea are used to fill out the arrangement. Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower) is still going strong after many, many weeks in flower, but I have not used it much indoors this summer.
Gardenia leaves are dark green and shiny, making them a perfect background to accentuate the flowers in this week’s vase. For this traditional round design, I first established a spherical shape using the foliage, before adding the flowering materials. Eventually I removed some of the foliage as the initial quantity made the arrangement seem too heavy.
A few sprigs of ‘Carolina Sapphire’ (Arizona Cypress) lend an airy texture to the arrangement.
Today’s container is a piece of crystal that once belonged to my maternal aunt. It seemed like a good choice for this formal floral design.
The scent of the gardenias and the camellias made assembling this vase such a pleasure today.
Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
‘Carolina Sapphire’ (Arizona Cypress)
6-inch plastic Lomey dish