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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -- August 2017

I'm both astounded and discouraged that it's already the middle of August. I had high hopes for the gardening season at the beginning of the year, and don't feel like I accomplished even half of what I wanted. To me, August signals the slide into autumn. I keep coming up with new ideas and plans. Move this! Plant more of that! Progress always comes to a bit of a screeching halt when summer comes because anything I plant will need coddling over our dry summer, and I'm not really a coddler. I look forward to the fall rains returning, because it means I can start planting and moving plants again,  but I still feel like I'm behind.

Thankfully, we had some rain over the weekend, just a touch overnight. The soil is already dry as dust again. Breezes came and blew the smoke away, and the temps are lower now, so I can finally get out there and do some things, like cutting back and pulling all the ugly spent California poppies.

Anyway, here's what's flowering in my garden on this Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

Echinacea is wonderfully drought-tolerant, there are some in the front that get watered maybe once a summer and still look ok.

The same can be said for this Eryngium 'Blue Glitter.'

The lilies are nearly done, the only ones left are ones that don't tend to spread, like this, which I think might be 'Stargazer.'

The bees loves ornamental Oregano 'Kent Beauty' and it's also drought tolerant, another once a summer drinker

Joe Pye Weed is flowering much to my surprise, since it hasn't been watered much, but then it also doesn't get much sun. I think I'll reward it by moving it next year to a spot that gets watered consistently.

I never remember to prop up Anemanthele before it flowers

This shrubby Clematis tubulosa is one of the first plants I planted here, but it has spread and takes up more space than I think it's flowers deserve

They're inconspicuous

Cupid's Dart seldom gets water and flowers well

This white Echinops is going to get pulled out and probably potted up for a swap one of these days -- it reminds me of an enormous dandelion gone to seed, which is not a connotation I like

I really need to plant more Geranium 'Rozanne'

Fuchsia magellanica hasn't been flowering all that long -- it died right back to the ground this winter and has taken its time producing flowers

Monarda 'Raspberry Wine' looking unkempt hasn't gotten its fair share of water, it deserves a better spot

Achillea 'Moonshine' is reblooming

Lobelia tupa

I don't know if this yellow Crocosmia has a name, but it needs digging and dividing this winter

Eucomis 'Sparkling Burgundy' looking good

This clump of Echinacea has gotten consistent summer water, and it shows -- I bet it would look good with Joe-Pye Weed and Monarda 'Raspberry Wine' for companions

Tithonia 'Torch' that I grew from seed this year has started flowering, although the plants are not much to look at

Cyclamen coum in the shady back Northeast corner has been watered well all summer too, and hasn't stopped flowering

Just a few of these lilies left ('Black Beauty' I think)

I think this is Geranium 'Wargrave Pink,' another wonderful plant that has been blooming all summer with little water

Corydalis lutea pops up amongst the Geranium

I like the blue Echinops much better than the white, and the bees love it too

I startled a bee as I homed in on this bloom for a photo

Orange Crocosmia through a scrim of Nasella tenuisima

Cardoon flowers are so high, I needed to pull the stalk down closer to the camera

I added this Phygelius last fall, a new acquistion from the fall swap, and now it's flowering

This Sesleria autumnalis is the only one in the garden out of about 5 or 6 that is flowering well and has a nice bushy aspect, I can't help wondering why

Pickerel weed in the stream is beginning to flower

Golden Himalayan Honeysuckle is covered in flowers and the beginnings of berry drupes

Hydrangea quercifolia flowers have all turned to pink, and will eventually all turn to buff

Hydrangea 'Annabelle' -- a bit drought-stressed

Unknown Hydrangea in a pot, the sterile florets look fine, but the center, where the real flowers are, is fried

Another unknown potted Hydrangea

Tuberous Begonia

Pelargonium sidoides

Enormous Sempervivum flowers reach out to grab anyone who passes

Lobelia cardinalis flowering in the pot ghetto

And that's everything!

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


  1. Looks gorgeous. I am in the same mindset as you — freaked that it's August, it's dry and I want to plant and rearrange. They keep predicting rain and it doesn't happen, so I think it's time to drag out the hoses.

  2. So many wonderful flowers, I was touched by the Oregon 'Kent Beauty' it's growing so well in your garden. Here you can buy it as a potplant, but they never survive the cold or too wet winters here. This plant certainly loves the sun and drought in your garden. Also the Lobelia tupa is a showpiece, I had it a long time ago, but unfortunately it has also gone. Not too good for our gardens with a sea climate I think.
    Regards, Janneke

  3. You've got a lot of beautiful blooms in your garden. My lilies are all gone now signaling the garden's inexorable glide toward autumn. Oh that summer could last a few months longer (with a bit of rain, of course.) Seems like autumn blew in on the wind on the day before the rain. She's not yet unpacking her bags but I can feel her presence in the cool morning temperatures, dew on the grass and the changing feel of the light and air.

  4. Well, I can get sesleria to bloom fine, but I'd love to succeed with that Golden Himalayan Honeysuckle and so many more that seem happy despite your extreme conditions this summer. I was prepared for the worst, but your garden looks fantastic. I guess you must have a very high bar for success!

  5. Despite your summer dry conditions, your garden looks marvelous, Alison. So many things I've tried to grow thrive in your space. The Ergynium 'Blue Glitter' still looks good to me and I'd have been absolutely thrilled if those I planted were anywhere near as exuberant. (All mine seem to have joined Witness Protection and disappeared into hiding.) I adore the blue Echinops and hope the 2 I planted will decide they like it here. My fingers remain crossed that my Leycesteria will someday look like yours - for now, I'm just pleased it hasn't died in the year since I planted it.

  6. Wow, lots of beauty in your garden Alison! You've reminded me that my Echinops has disappeared, shaded out I guess. And not a single one of my Eucomis bloomed this year. What's this talk of Autumn? You and Peter both. No! Still lots of summer left...

  7. Dear Alison,
    your plants look great! I especially like your Eryngium 'Blue Glitter.' I planted a Eryngium tuber this year, but it hasn´t yet bloomed. Hope it will flower next year. I would´t have thought that cyclamen coum could bloom all summer long if watered regularly. That´s great! Regarding your geranium Rozanne, I´ve heard that it repeats blooming throughout the summer as long as it gets deadheaded. Is this true? I am thinking about buying one for my garden.
    Enjoy your lovely garden!
    Best wishes,

  8. Thanks for sharing what has been without water and still looks great. It is giving me ideas for what to get for next year, or the next year. There is nothing worse than having to drag the garden hose all around the yard in the hot weather.

    My favorite was the blurry buzzing bee.

    Jeannie @

  9. I'm glad you gotten a respite from the heat-smoke crapola you've been having up there.Wouldn't it be great if the west coast got about 2 inches of rain every year in August ? Two storms, 1 inch each, overnight, 10 days apart.I don't ask for much.Beautiful photos of your blooms Alison !

  10. It's amazing what pretty things we can find in our mid August gardens if we just stick to close ups. :-)

  11. I can tell that the light is changing and fall is on the way. So much sooner here than in the South but I am not complaining at all. I love it. Your flowers are beautiful. Our begonias have done so well in pots on our deck that we can't wait to try more. Your red and white one is gorgeous. I don't recall seeing any like that at our nursery.

  12. You still have lots of pretty flowers despite the yucky weather. I love visiting yours and other blogs that are in a different zone than my zone 4b. Happy Gardening!

  13. I'm fascinated by a number of your plants that I do not have: the white Eryngium (wonderful photo), Lobelia tupa, Eucomis, Cardoon, Echinops. I fear the Echinops is the only one that is hardy where I live.

  14. So much awesome in your yard right now! ❤


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