Tag Archives: summer garden

Thursday Morning Garden Views

From the breakfast table I spotted swallowtails flitting about in the garden, but by the time I had retrieved my camera and stepped outside the butterflies had disappeared.

I snapped a few views to share of the early morning garden, mostly of Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again’ (Zinnia elegant pumila). Each flower, each plant reflected relief at yesterday’s rain.

Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again’ (Zinnia elegant pumila)

Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again’ (Zinnia elegant pumila)

Looking toward the meditation circle…

Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again’ (Zinnia elegant pumila)

Additions I made in early May to a little corner bed behind the zinnias have been rewarding this summer. Dianthus Ideal Select Mix, Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge) and Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood) all have been attractive.  I had expected great things from 3 Dahlia ‘Fireworks’ but they are small and not showy.

Artemisia, Euphorbia, Dianthus

Cleome and Verbena bonariensis add nice vertical accents to this same corner bed.

Verbena bonariensis, Dianthus, Cleome

A few days ago my husband and I sat on our front porch enjoying a summertime pleasure, chocolate ice cream. We amused ourselves watching a languid Blue dasher that had settled along the table’s edge.

Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)

The coloration is marvelous on this creature.

Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)

Wordless Wednesday—June On The Wane

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens)

Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens)

Eastern carpenter bee (Xylocopa virginica)

Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia)

Summer In A Garden

June Solstice 2018. Northern Hemisphere. 6:07 AM Thursday, June 21.
(Images from June 16-18, 2018)

Allium and Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)

Baptisia and Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)

Bee on Echinacea With Lavender

Calla Lily

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Sedum s. ‘Autumn Fire’ (stonecrop)

Dahlia ‘Fireworks’

Dahlia ‘Fireworks’

Dahlia ‘Fireworks’

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

In A Vase On Monday—Summer Zinnias

In A Vase On Monday - Summer Zinnias

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Zinnias

Monday brings the chance to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden.

As this is going to be a very busy week with little time for flowers or the computer, I planned ahead with a simple vase of zinnias prepared on Saturday.

In A Vase On Monday - Summer Zinnias

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Zinnias

I have grown zinnias for many years, but they are stronger and more beautiful this summer than I ever remember. The same types of zinnias were used last week, but instead of a spare grouping of Ikebana vases, today’s is a hefty vessel embracing a fierce burst of floral colors.

Materials
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’ (Burpee, popular cutting variety, 24” H)
Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’ (Burpee, colorful huge 6’ Blooms, 24” H)
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’ (Botanical Interests, 4-6” wide, 2-3’H. Heirloom Twist and shout. Double and semi-double)
Brown and blue glazed ceramic vase

There is no real front to this type of bouquet but here is a look at the opposite side.

View From The Back

View From The Back

There are plenty of pinks but having so many yellow and orange flowers this year makes for more eclectic combinations.  Here is a close-up peek at this white flower tinged with green.

In A Vase On Monday - Summer Zinnias

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Zinnias

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

 

In A Vase On Monday—High Summer

In A Vase On Monday - High Summer

In A Vase On Monday – High Summer

Each Monday brings the chance to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday to create an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden. That anything can bloom in such hot, humid conditions invites pause and contemplation. Nature surprises again and again.

It is a treat today to share a new botanical themed vase, a gift from my sisters. The ceramic vase is three-sided with a green, embossed exterior that is highly textured.

Birthday Vase -Three-sided with embossment

Birthday Vase -Three-sided with embossment

 

Birthday Vase - Width and height are same

Birthday Vase – Width and height are same

The interior is colorfully patterned and decorative. Top edges are adorned with berries and tendrils.

Birthday Vase

Birthday Vase

Berries and Tendrils Sit Atop The Vase

Berries and Tendrils Sit Atop The Vase

Working with such a complex vase was a bit challenging. First I imagined it filled with hydrangeas, but mine are well past their prime. Next I envisioned using lots of foliage and that is what I decided to try. My pass-along dahlia is five feet tall and full of buds but very few flowers. The leaves are healthy and attractive so I cut several stems to use a a starting point for the arrangement. I also chose one stem of Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow.’

Vase - Outlined with Foliage of Dahlia and Euphorbia

Vase – Outlined with Foliage of Dahlia and Euphorbia

Next flowering stems of heuchera and sprigs of multi-hued lantana were added help define the design.

Early stage- shaping the design

Early stage- shaping the design

I liked the vase at this stage and could have stopped here, but with many other cut flowers left,  I wanted to continue working on the arrangement, forgetting to take any more photographs as the design was progressing.

Materials
Flowers:
Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)
Fresh Look Mix Celosia (citrus colors)
Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)
Lantana camara (Common lantana)
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Liriope muscari
Pelargonium (Geranium)
Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)
Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
Zinnia

Foliage:
Dahlia sp.
Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’

These are some of the colorful summer flowers growing in the garden that fill today’s vase.

Lantana camara (Common lantana)

Lantana camara (Common lantana)

Pelargonium (Geranium) and Liriope muscari

Pelargonium (Geranium) and Liriope muscari

Zinnia hovers above Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’, Liriope muscari, scarlet Pelargonium, Physostegia virginiana

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Cactus Flowered Zinnia

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow', Lantana, Zinnias

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’, Lantana, Zinnias

I need up having to remove some of the foliage to give room to the flowers. A view from above:

In A Vase On Monday - Overhead View

In A Vase On Monday – Overhead View

At our house this week we will be enjoying the colorful summer bounty of the garden.

In A Vase On Monday - High Summer

In A Vase On Monday – High Summer

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday. Feel free to join in.

Late June Garden Highlights and GBFD

Daylily

Daylily

Summer arrived officially on Monday, and right on schedule the season was underscored by higher humidity and temperatures this week. The late June garden is full of flowers. Cicadas vibrate their song, hummingbirds sip at the offerings of Monarda and Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red,’ fireflies pulse their glowing presence in early evening. Sitting on the front porch we often observe Carolina anoles (Anolis carolinensis) scuttling about. They exhibit a range of color from brown to green and occasionally we see males with extended red throat fans searching for mates.

Day lilies have added bright color and interest to the eastern border, much happier than in recent years.

Daylily

Daylily

Daylily

Daylily

Last year Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers,’ a dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea, quickly faded to brown under the severe heat and drought. Now with sufficient rain, after three years it at last has fulfilled its promise of colorful summer flowers. These started out crisply white and have taken on a blushing red aspect.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

Phlox paniculate and Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) have made a welcome return to the western border.

Phlox paniculata and Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Phlox paniculata and Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

This phlox, possibly Robert Poore’s, is especially attractive this year. In last year’s drought it scarcely bloomed at all.

Phlox paniculata, possibly 'Robert Poore'

Phlox paniculata, possibly ‘Robert Poore’

Phlox paniculata, possibly 'Robert Poore'

Phlox paniculata, possibly ‘Robert Poore’

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) once again has self-seeded. It has a fascinating flower structure.

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Two hybrid echinaceas add spark to the summer garden, ‘White Swan’ and ‘Big Sky Sundown.’

Echinacea 'White Swan'

Echinacea ‘White Swan’

Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)

Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)

Hybrid echinaceas are nice and pollinators love them, but the unnamed ones make a larger impact in my garden. Echinacea is reputed to be drought tolerant but adequate rain brings superior performance. It has spread itself in satisfying ways and runs throughout the northern border.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

More echinacea is planted against the back of the house which has western exposure and so receives the hot afternoon sun.  This view is from slightly behind the border at the corner near the north end gate, looking toward the meditation circle. In this area echinacea plays a supporting role Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm).

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) and Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) and Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Beebalm actually makes up the larger portion of this area. Bees love monarda, as do hummingbirds.

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Shasta daisies line a border against the house between the back garage steps and steps leading to the screened porch. (That’s the red monarda peeking through the railing from the opposite side of the house.)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Looking very fresh this daisy grows at the far end of the same border, in front of the hydrangeas.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Dahlias both bright red and rich deep mahogany or wine red have returned from last year and I look forward to using them in indoor arrangements.

Dahlia (from Libby)

Dahlia (from Libby)

Dahlia

Dahlia

Breakfasting this morning on the screened porch overlooking the garden we watched as a baker’s dozen American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) sat feasting on Verbena bonariensis in a small island at the southwest corner. I have tried many times to photograph bird visitors but my camera produces dismal results at this distance.  Still you may be able to spot the males clothed in brilliant yellow and the equally lovely females wearing more subdued greenish garb.

A baker's dozen American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) feast on Verbena bonariensis

A baker’s dozen American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) feast on Verbena bonariensis

Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day (GBFD)

For the first time in a long while I missed sharing Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day on the 22nd with Christina and others, so thought I would include in a few images to illustrate how the foliage is holding up. This time last year even rigorous daily watering, which generally I am loathe to do, could not keep things green. This year feels totally different though. Because of plenty of spring rains and some recent heavy thunderstorms, the June garden feels lush and green.

For some unexplained reason the Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood) barely tried to flower this year. Perhaps the poor weather last year kept it from properly forming buds last fall for spring display. Its foliage however looks nice. Often by now the leaves are drying and turning brown but this year it remains happy. To its left Callicarpa americana (American beauty berry) has grown immensely in the past couple of years and is forming flowers.

Also ‘Carolina Sapphire’ Arizona Cypress adds evergreen structure to this corner that forms the northwest boundary of the garden.

Arizona Cypress, Callicarpa americana, Cornus florida

Arizona Cypress, Callicarpa americana, Cornus florida

I have kept the flowers of Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ for the time being but went ahead and removed those of Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ several weeks ago.

Euphorbia 'Shorty' (Shorty Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ (Shorty Spurge)

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow'

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’

This passalong dusty miller makes a nice complement to the ‘Ascot Rainbow’ forming a nice ground cover as it threads itself along the western border. Columbine which was cut back after blooming has freshly regenerated leaves.

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow', Dusty Miller and Eastern columbine

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’, Dusty Miller and Eastern columbine

Somewhat resembling the passalong Dusty Miller seen above, the Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood) seen below behaves much differently, forming a well-behaved mound of silvery foliage. Something I often show for GBFD, it is at its best this year.

Artemisia 'Powis Castle' (Wormwood)

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

Thanks to Christina for hosting GBFD each month.

I will leave you with two more images I am out of time to describe. I am off to get ready to celebrate 39 years of marriage with my sweet husband this evening. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Petunia Easy Wave ‘Red Velour’

Petunia Easy Wave ‘Red Velour’

 

 

Early June In The Garden

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

Having missed an end of May report, I am compelled to record some of the special garden joys of early June.

Recently Annette wondered about the white flower she was expecting on her Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’. I assured her these plants do have white flowers and promised to follow through with a planned post to show how these penstemon are looking in my own garden.

I planted Husker Red penstemon in the meditation circle as an evergreen choice for a section of the “wall.” It has thrived, reseeding freely, enabling me to establish new plantings throughout the borders and to pass along specimens to friends.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

Other penstemon planted in the labyrinth at the same time have not fared as well. One of my favorite colors, this purple one is called Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’. Of a dozen or so plants only this one remains in the meditation circle, but last summer I was able to transplant a piece into the northern border.

Penstemon  mexicali 'Pike's Peak Purple' (Beardtongue)

Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ (Beardtongue)

Penstemon x mexicali ‘Red Rocks’ was added last year and has done great this spring.

Penstemon x mexicali ‘Red Rocks’ (Red Rocks Penstemon)

Penstemon x mexicali ‘Red Rocks’ (Red Rocks Penstemon)

Bees love these penstemons. They also have been enjoying tradescantia, foxgloves, Verbena bonariensis, echinacea and recently blooming Blue Sky salvia.

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Digitalis Foxlight 'Ruby Glow' PPAF (Ruby Glow Foxglove)

Digitalis Foxlight ‘Ruby Glow’ PPAF (Ruby Glow Foxglove)

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena) with Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena) with Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Salvia uliginosa 'Blue Sky' (Bog sage)

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Bees really love Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear). It will soon need cutting back but I hate to when the bees are so enamored of it.

Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

I like Echinacea in early summer. The flowers are fresh and take on so many forms before finally opening their petals. In the background at right is the meditation circle with Husker Red penstemon blooming. I also planted Angelonia in white and purple for color throughout the summer.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Here are more echinacea with explosions of pink flowers from Red Rocks Penstemon in the distance.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

A pass-along dahlia overwintered successfully and began blooming this week. (Thank you Libby!)

Dahlia sp.

The dwarf oak leaf hydrangea has finally put on its first big floral display after taking several years to get established.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'  (Lil' Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

My favorite pass-along old-fashioned rose had a few new flowers this week. Unfortunately I spotted a Japanese beetle on one. Those haven’t been a problem in several years.

Old-fashioned Rose

Old-fashioned Rose

Three of five August Beauty gardenias survived near the northwest gate, where they were planted to provide a screen for the air conditioning units. It has taken them much longer than expected to grow but with the heavy rainfall this spring they finally look healthy and are blooming.

Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty'

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

And finally to close I leave you with some favorite photographs of a second purple gladiolus that opened this week. The sunlight coming in from behind made the centers of the flowers glow like fire.

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

Gladiolus