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

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

I've Got the Blues

For the past week and a half or thereabouts, the PNW has been held in the torturous grip of an unusual heat wave, with temps hitting the 90s over and over. My garden doesn't like it, and neither do I. I made a lot of changes this spring, and I was depending on the spring rains and a normally cool summer to get everything established.

I have quite a few crispy critters out there, even though I water just about every day. But I'm not going to show you them.

My front garden has a mostly golden orange and hot pink color scheme, but to balance all that hot color, I do have some blue and purple flowers and foliage to cool things down a bit.

Eryngium 'Blue Glitter' -- tiny flowers and big leaves

Eryngium 'Blue Hobbit' -- tiny plant, only about 8 inches high, easily overlooked at the feet of a huge Kniphofia

Eryngium 'Jade Frost' -- ice blue flowers against purple smoke bush foliage

Dark lavender

Lighter purple lavender further down in the same bed

Allium sphaerocephalon (Drumstick Allium) and tall Inula (possibly I. magnifica)

Drumstick Allium

Lilium 'Landini'

Catananche caerulea (Cupid's Dart)

Cupid's Dart and the bright orange flowers of Asclepias tuberosa (Milkweed)

Purple foliage of Ricinus communis 'New Zealand Purple' with Callistemon 'Woodlander's Hardy Red' in front and Tetrapanax 'Steroidal Giant' behind

Purple Devil's Trumpet announcing only four more days of hellish heat

They say we should get a cool-down on Friday. I hope so. It may be too late for some of my new plants, but it's not too late for my sanity.


  1. Oh, I forget about cupid's dart, how enchanting. I love that first Eryngium 'Blue Glitter', nice. May have to add that to the hellstrip. I know, this hot weather is even much for me, a heat lover to take. It's too much too early and the plants don't appreciate it, do they??

  2. You didn't mention the humidity -- how some of your plants will handle the heat depends on the humidity. Some will simply melt if the humidity is also high and 94º temperature 'feels like' 106º. That's the difference between a Mediterranean climate and our semi-tropical wet heat that makes one's hair frizz.

    On the other hand, Ricinus and Datura thank you for some hot weather.

  3. The Purple Devil's Trumpet looks wonderful. We had a top heat of 96 degr. last week, very unusual for our country and I think too hot.
    Hope you get some (or a lot) of rain soon, good for the plants, good for you.
    In the meantime, enjoy your hot but beautiful garden!

  4. Nothing like blue to tone down the hot colours of summer! Hope that cooler weather arrives soon or as promised on Friday.

  5. I've never been so pleased to wake up on a summer morning; and find it slightly overcast…this morning...and only 91 F today ,

  6. Whoop Whoop we have overcast skies in PDX!! Like delighted. I love your blues. Wow, what a statement those Eryngium make. Mine did not blossom this year. I think I have it in too much shade :( Lovely lovely gardens Alison!

  7. Your blues are quite lovely, but that image with the Ricinus communis/ Callistemon/ Tetrapanax stole my heart.

  8. I love your Eryngiums, they are plants I'm trying to establish but having difficulties. Jade Frost failed to bloom last year, but is still alive, so here's hoping, and I got Blue Glitter too at Hortlandia, I think it was making buds but I need to go check on it. I also planted Rattlesnake Master from seed and hope it could bloom this year. I'm estatic to see your Inula flowers, it is a NOID plant that bloomed mysteriously last year, very tall. It's great to see your A. tuberosa blooms too, I hope mine will get big enough to bloom. I'm wondering about the rest of the summer, here's hoping it won't be too hot.

  9. These are the kind of "blues" that will never get you down.

  10. Blue Glitter lives up to its name for sure. Glad to hear you're finally cooling down a bit.

  11. We gripe about heat here but then we're used to it - it seems so wrong to me that this kind of heat has penetrated the PNW, especially as it's turned relatively cool here. The weather gods must be smoking something they shouldn't. I hope your break comes soon. Your photos prove that some plants can withstand anything you throw at them. I have to look into that Eryngium 'Blue Glitter'.

  12. You have such beautiful plants and a lot of color!! I love it. I think you obtain lots of it by seed? I'm impressed.
    I understand you and your garden...I´ve been suffering in Madrid, Spain, for a week now 107 F every day, and it looks as if I´m living in Hell. It is too much for me...

  13. Not too late for your sanity? Oh please, that train has sailed. That Ship has left the station. Welcome aboard! Great shots of your blues!

  14. Gorgeous eryngiums. Blue Glitter has gone on my list. And Jade Frost against the Cotinus - magic combo. :)

  15. I do hope it cools down soon for you...wonderful blues that i have in my garden too in summer!

  16. I love eryngium but we don't have enough heat or direct sun for it here in our yard. Well, maybe enough heat THIS year.
    We're n the process of getting ready for our open garden this Saturday, we we're worked to keep things watered and growing. Later in the summer we may have to cut back on the watering. Hopefully the heat will moderate and we might get a bit if rain soon.

  17. Oooh, I'm adding that blue glitter to my wish list. And I, too, am SO ready for cooler weather.


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