Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -- July 2017

Here's my one-day late Bloom Day post. Are you interested in excuses why it's late? Probably not, so I won't offer any.

Every year there's at least one plant that blooms in a flash in the interim between bloom days. This year it was the tall Campanula that I got at a bloggers' exchange a couple of years ago. It was just preparing to bloom as I went away to the Bloggers Fling back in June, and by the time I got back, it had very few flowers left that were unopened and unfried by the extreme heat (temps in the 90s) that struck while I was away. I took a picture and then cut the stalks back to the ground a few days later.

Tall Campanula

I took a handful of pictures out in the garden earlier this week, but many of these were taken last evening as the sun was going down, so the light was fading. They're not my best.

Hydrangea 'Annabelle'

Hydrangea quercifolia has become a big, sprawling monster

Cyclamen coum still flowering in the northeast corner, where I've been watering all summer

A few honeysuckle buds are left, all the others are blown

Who can advise me about Agapanthus? I planted one in the front bed about 3 years ago, and this is the first time I've had a flower from it. The basal foliage is about a foot wide, but only one flower stalk?  What a stingy plant. That's a lot of space to devote to a plant that gives back so little. Is it common for Agapanthus to flower like this?

My one and only Agapanthus

I love how Inula blooms unfold

While weeding the front bed earlier this spring, I realized I recognized the leaves on this plant. I was pretty sure it was a self-sown Inula, from a mother plant several feet away. I'm glad to see I was right.

Echinacea purpurea

The daylilies and true lilies are in full swing.


Hemerocallis 'Strawberry Candy'

Hemerocallis 'Bold Tiger'

Some of the lilies planted only 3 years ago in the front bed by the street have created large swaths of blooms from just a handful of original bulbs.

Lilium 'Royal Sunset'

Others still send up just a couple of blooms after several years in the ground.

Lily 'Llandini'

Lily 'Eyeliner'

Lobelia tupa

Geranium 'Rozanne'

Berkheya purpurea, which gets very tall and flops like mad. I may have to yank it. It's an interesting flower, but not interesting enough to justify the ugliness of support poles.

Glaucium flavum aurantiacum

Glaucium flavum auranticum seedhead which gives it the common name horned poppy -- looks pretty horny to me

Unopened Glaucium bud

Acanthus dontknowsius

Dianthus caryophyllus  'Chomley Farran'

Floppy Cupid's Dart (Catananche caerulea)

One of the delicate bell-shaped Clematis

'Lucifer' is the only one of my Crocosmia to flower this year, which also happened last year. Lots of foliage on the others, but no flowers. I thought last year it was a lack of water, so I watered more this year, to no avail. I fear my recourse is to dig them up and divide.

Crocosmia 'Lucifer'

Agastache 'Golden Jubilee'

Veronica spicata
In the annuals department:

Cerinthe sown from seed this year has started blooming

Annual poppies that have self sown into the gravel

The Nigella is not quite as prolific this year as in past years, with a less interesting range of colors

Flowering in pots:

Iochroma 'Ashcott Red' is a gawky, ugly plant, but it does have beautiful flowers

Aloe aristata

Begonia boliviensis

Tuberous Begonia

As I headed back to the door, I spied this bee settling down for the night on a bloom of Eryngium 'Blue Glitter'

Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, on the fifteenth of the month. Check out her post here.


  1. Stunning pictures (Glaucium flavum aurantiacum!). The spread of the lilies in the front bed is astonishing. Do you remember the name of that bulb?

    1. That big yellow trumpet with a bit of pink on the outside is 'Saltarello' from B&D Lilies. The website describes its color as melon, but it's yellow.

  2. I love your frank commentary! I'm wondering if 'Chomley Farran' meets your complete approval, since I've long had my eye on that one. I've had fantastic crocosmia years and then duds, so there's that unknown sweet spot when the clump is just big enough to put on a good show but not overgrown.

    1. I don't know why I didn't think to complain about it, but Chomley is HORRIBLY floppy, and has very ugly legs. I have it corraled every which way. Such a fabulously gaudy flower, though, and very prolific in producing them.

  3. Love all your flowers but especially those lillies! 😍😍 Kris at Late to The Garden Party knows all about Agapanthus - I only know that they don't like the desert. Happy late GBBD!

  4. You have a glorious display of lilies, Alison! The Asiatic lilies appear to be miserably unhappy here but, every few years when the sting of failure fades, I try them again, as it did this year. Other than the no scent-noID plain pink lily that I received as a freebie years ago, I got zip this year. (My daylilies weren't very vigorous either.) I love that Hydrangea quercifolia too - it may sprawl but it's a beauty. As to the Agapanthus, I'm at a loss to offer suggestions. I do nothing whatsoever with mine except water them along with everything else in the garden. They don't get extra water; I've never fertilized them; and I don't even divide them except when I want to dig up an area they populate. But coastal SoCal is "their zone" I think. I wonder if your harsh winter affected their bloom? We don't freeze and my plants are evergreen year-round so that may be a factor in their performance here.

  5. So many fun and interesting blooms!

  6. Oh those clumps of lilies! And your daylilies are mighty nice as well .

  7. Yum, those purple poppies!

    I've got two patches of Agapanthus, one which I planted years ago, and one which came about as an accidental division of said patch (I pulled too hard on an expired bloom stem and out came a chunk of plant). This is the first year the baby patch has bloomed, but the mama patch has always sent up multiple blooms, this year though, none. Isn't that odd? I have no idea why. Nothing different, the two patches are about a foot apart.

  8. Your lilies are great. I planted several last year and only one has returned ('Silk Road' which is about to start). Got an 'Annabelle'-ish hydrangea ('Incredibelle') to plant. How much sun does yours get?

    1. My Annabelle is in a corner where it gets morning sun and afternoon shade. She keeps throwing up suckers, which I plan to dig and bring to the swap.

  9. Ha ha ha on the Acanthus variety! I'm so jealous over your lilies. Red lily leaf beetle has made them so impossible to grow here. Happy GBBD!

    1. Yes, when I lived in Massachusetts, I gave up on lilies because of that damn disgusting beetle and its excrement-encrusted offspring. We've had sightings of it here but it's not the scourge it is back east.

  10. I have nigella which keep reseeding but never paid much attention to them. They are beautiful up close. Perhaps I should put my glasses on the next time I look at them.

    Jeannie @

  11. Wow, I wish my Lilies would naturalize like yours. Love the blue flowers, especially the Campanula and Clematis.

  12. Your garden looks wonderful. I'm trying to comprehend Lilies increasing and forming a swath, instead of declining rapidly and vanishing. Really? Lilies increasing??!? I'm dumbfounded.

    Does your Agapanthus have full sun? They don't like root interference from other plants. They like water, which apparently you have up there. But why should I help you? You have lilies that create swaths. I'd trade all the Agapanthus in California (all ten billion of them) for that.

  13. Such a plethora of beauties! Love your horny poppy. Lily time in the garden is grand. We should maybe change things so that July would last much longer.

  14. Thanks for visiting my corner of Katy, Allison! Sorry you've had to deal with the respiratory crud as well. No fun, is it? Your blooms are bountiful and beautiful. I've had a similar issue with agapanthus here in my own garden, yet I see them around my neighborhood with lush foliage and multiple blooms. It's humbling! I wish I had an answer for us.


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