Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - August 2016

I'm losing track of the days again. Yesterday I wrote a post and had it all ready for today, completely forgetting that today is the 15th, when Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Be sure to follow the link to see what's blooming in Carol's garden and to find more links to other bloom day posts.

The garden is feeling rather sleepy in these dog days of summer (or maybe that's just me). As usual, I look out in the garden and don't think there's that many flowers, but when I compile them all into a post like this, it turns into a lengthy list. I've left out a few of the more repetitious and standard plants, the everblooming Daphne x transatlantica 'Blafra' and 'Summer Ice', Streptocarpus 'Bristol's Waterbug', lime thyme, Lobelia cardinalis 'Queen Victoria', a few Sempervivums, most of the many Calluna vulgaris that make up a big part of the floral display in my garden at the moment, the ridiculous mass of dahlia blooms in the vegetable garden, Mimulus cardinalis, Hoya 'Minibelle', Phalaenopsis Rong Guan Mary, and probably more. Grevillea x gaudichaudii continues to put out more and more blooms as it grows larger, but I've already shared it several times, so I'll abstain this time.

 Out in the greenhouse, another bud on Rhododendron 'Littlest Angel' has opened. There's still a couple left.

Salvia forskaohlei is a bit weedy, but wonderful for it's toughness and long bloom season.

The bees, especially the bumbles, are in and out of the Origanum 'Kent Beauty' all day. I'm amazed I didn't get any photobombing bees in this evening shot. The bracts are starting to look a bit rough, bits of brown showing up in the dry summer weather.

I finally have a decent picture to share of Origanum dictamnus. It's much more airy and delicate than 'Kent Beauty' and in some ways I prefer it, though it doesn't show up as well in the wider landscape. Not yet anyway. It's still young.

The Aster x frikartii 'Monch' are blooming, and look great with the background of Stipa gigantea and Molinia caerulea 'Variegata'. My idea of supporting the asters by surrounding them with heathers and these grasses seems to be working.

The Nigella damascena took a short break between the early and late germinations. Now they're back and pairing nicely with plants like the chartreuse Erica and orange Calluna vulgaris below.

I'm happy that this volunteer Spiranthes romanzoffiana survived the redesign of the driveway island. There are more in the dry woods along the road, but it's fun having one call a garden bed home. It's like Nature is approving my garden, or some hippy spiritual crap like that.

Intriguing candelabra-style flowers of Jovibarba heuffelii 'Angel Wings'.

My one non-self-sowing annual this year: Bidens 'KOIBID1346', sold as Campfire Fireburst. Please, plant breeders, take the time to give your creations real names, instead of being lazy and continuing to call them by their breeding codes. I don't care if you name it Gertrude von Cocklebaum, just give it a real name! Rant aside, I do love the orange blooms and refreshing green foliage amongst the purple sage and Carex testacea.

Sempervivum in the evening light.

Echinacea purpurea. Where once I was seriously considering getting rid of these plants, I'm now planning to add more. I love the orange, red, and some of the yellow hybrids, and a recent garden tour showed me that they can be reliable perennials in my area. My one previous attempt to grow 'Tomato Soup' resulted in a plant that failed to return after winter. I might have to do some extra research to figure out which of those hybrids produces seeds, as I do love having the birds come to harvest them in the fall.

Daboecia cantabrica in the evening light. The clear-cutting on our neighbors' properties to the east and west may be ugly, but the silver lining is that at least from the west we now receive more light later in the evening, making for some nice photography opportunities.

Iris chinensis 'Gone with the Wind'. I'm not sure if I want to keep this plant. It's definitely too tall for where it's located. I may have to move it to one of the new areas I'm developing.

This Iris x norrisii is much more compact and I strongly prefer orange to yellow.

And then there's this beauty, another Iris x norrisii that I grew from seed. More on these in a later post.

I'm sorry to say I don't remember which Kniphofia this is. It might be one I got from Ricki at Sprig to Twig, or it might be another similar one I picked up at the spring plant swap. I planted them at opposite ends of the same bed and lost track. The other one didn't bloom this year, but the leaves look similar enough that I forgot which was which.

I have three California fushias (Zauschneria or Epilobium, depending on who you ask), represented here by my favorite of the three: 'Wayne's Silver'. Dicliptera squarrosa (formerly suberecta) is just starting to show its tubular red flowers, as well, but wasn't quite open enough to include here.

Definitely one of my favorite wildflowers that I sowed this spring: Collomia grandiflora. I didn't manage to capture the blue anthers.

A mystery lupine from the seeds I sowed in spring.

It has a shrubby, branching habit, so it's not the usual Lupinus polyphyllus that occurs naturally elsewhere on the property.

I'm hoping future generations of this Gilia capitata will be shorter and scattered a bit more widely, but for now I admit it does make for a pretty picture. I know, it sounds silly to complain about this beautiful display, but I was going for a much lower carpet effect and clearly didn't check the heights of all the species in the seed mix. The tall meadow look is a bit too messy for me and it turns out it makes excellent cover for rabbits, which is not a good thing. So future plantings will be of much shorter groundcovering plants, with taller wildflowers like this dispersed more widely.

I'm a sucker for blue.

Heptacodium septentrionalis, planted as a half-dead, misshapen thing from a discount section at a nursery, has grown over 4' this year (after much corrective pruning and without any supplemental water) and is full of buds. They're getting closer and closer to opening. Here, you can see the seven individual buds in each cluster, which is why this small tree is commonly known as the seven sons flower.

Alchemilla mollis, picked up at the Oregon garden bloggers' spring plant swap, is blooming and looking lovely.

And Calceolaria integrifolia 'Kentish Hero' is loaded with buds. Supposedly hardy to zone 8, I'm nonetheless hoping for a mild winter. If it's going to survive anywhere in my garden, it will be in the Acer griseum bed, raised up above the surrounding garden in very loose soil.

Alstroemeria 'Glory of the Andes' is past peak, but still has a decent display of flowers. I still haven't decided where to move this beautiful plant where it won't spread quite so vigorously. I'm sure I'll find a spot in the expansion I'm developing for this bed, which is outside of the raised area and just has the regular clay loam. Things don't spread nearly as fast through that soil.

Abutilon megapotamicum, another slightly risky planting in the Acer griseum bed, though not nearly so risky as planting my Abutilon megapotamicum 'Red' in a spot outside of the raised bed.

The big, fragrant blooms of Hosta 'The Shining' in the evening light.

This Eccremocarpus scaber was struggling in a two-gallon pot last year and earlier this year on the patio. I finally decided to just put it in the ground and let it climb up a rhododendron. After being cut back, it's regrown and is starting to flower again. Considering I had another survive the winter in tough conditions (though it didn't survive being moved this summer and then neglected), I think this one will do quite well. Still, hopefully we'll have a mild winter, or at least a mild fall so these late blooms have time to set seed.

Cyclamen purpurascens continues to bloom while C. hederifolium hasn't woken up yet for its fall bloom. Note the brown seed heads of Prunella vulgaris all around it. Now that I've lured a few people into letting this plant reseed in their own gardens, it's time to show the flip side (Oh, by the way...). Personally, I think the seed heads are interesting and like to leave them in most cases, but the dead brown look can be overwhelming if they aren't moderated by the green foliage of other plants. They can always be cut back if they look too untidy, and then the plants will stay green and rebloom. I want lots of seed, so the seed heads stay.

 Fuchsia 'Delta Sarah' with her full range of colors.

My favorite of the hardy fuchsias in the garden, so far, is 'Lady Boothby'. I love the dark petals and fairly simple form. This cultivar can grow into a bit of a rambler, making it a good choice for a small trellis or planting near a tall shrub that could use some extra color in summer.

Fuchsia 'Pat's Dream' is a tough, reliable hybrid. The hummingbirds are really loving the fuchsias, and so am I. Not pictured is Fuchsia magellanica 'Aurea'. It has a few buds, but not as many as these three.

Clethra arborea has been blooming for a couple weeks now and is on its tale end. This photo is from the first week. The scent is fantastic and this is another plant the bees love.

A dark-leaved, purple-flowered dahlia gifted to my mother and planted in the garden. I've got dahlias in the garden, being trialed for their edibility, but this is the first time I've planted a dahlia in the landscape.

The willow gentian, Gentiana asclepiadea. This plant was labelled as a purple form, but I'm glad it's a very blue purple. I still need to get the dark blue form.

 I tore out most of the Coreopsis seedlings that sprouted up from my *cough* northwest native wildflower mix, but left a few. The effect of all those tall stems was just too messy English cottage garden/tall meadow for my taste, and the cover was enticing rabbits further into the garden than previously. But a few that I missed have started blooming and I have to admit they are pretty. I still can't believe a seed company that specializes in northwest and west-coast native seed would sell a mix of entirely native plants (I checked the list thoroughly before ordering) and then substitute in a mid-western native...grumble gripe mumble mumble...

Definitely one of my favorite plants in the garden this summer has been Trachelium caeruleum 'Hamer Pandora'. I absolutely need more of these in the garden, but I think they'll do better with spring planting, so at least I can check that off of my extensive fall planting list this year. Maybe I'll get seed off of this plant. Anyone know if they're self-fertile?...

I'm so glad this California poppy came up next to it.

As you can tell, I really can't get enough of these blooms.

The dark stems and flowers contrasted with the blue foliage of the Mikado California poppy are entirely too captivating to my eye.

Rudbeckia hirta 'Goldsturm' is looking wonderful in its new location along the dry creek bed, interspersed with Molinia caerulea 'Variegata'.

Lapageria rosea, growing in a container on the patio, is absolutely dripping with buds in all stages of development, making for a long show.

Agapetes 'Ludgvan Cross', rescued from a discount table, is blooming for the first time this year and is also growing like there's no tomorrow. It's going to become a very large plant very soon.

The second spike on Dyckia choristaminea 'Frazzle Dazzle' opened its yellow blooms just in time.

The Eschscholzia californica 'Mikado' continue to produce glorious flowers, though I am noticing an increase in the proportion of seed pods to flowers. Yay! Lots of seed to collect, resow, and share!

I think it looks smashing with the pinkish purple heather blooms.

The first of the Glaucium flavum var. aurantiacum bloomed! I kept missing good photo opportunities for the blooms, but finally got this one. I rescued three of the ones that were languishing in poor conditions and I'm hoping they'll bulk up enough to survive winter. If not, at least I'll have the ones in this bed and their seeds.

And thus ends another marathon bloom day post! Hope you enjoyed and happy gardening!


  1. I am speechless at your wonderful array of blossoms but will chime in to say that that does like the Kniphofia 'Percy's Pride' that you got from me.

    1. Thanks, Ricki! I thought it probably was 'Percy's Pride' Thanks again for giving it to me. It's a great plant! The other one has more glaucous leaves. I'll just have to wait for it to bloom to find out what it is.

  2. Holy Gertrude von Cocklebaum but you've got a lot of flowers! I too find that Trachelium caeruleum 'Hamer Pandora' quite lovely.

    1. Haha! I don't know why I'm laughing so hard at my own joke! I'm honestly gasping trying not to burst out laughing because my parents have already gone to bed. Paul told me Xera sells that Trachelium. It's on my list to look for next time I make it down that way.

  3. Ah, so many great contenders, but I especially covet your Trachelium. I had one last year - it was planted in a large pot. I was so disappointed when it didn't come back. If you do manage to get seed from it to grow enough starts, I would love a little seedling.

  4. You have lots of very pretty flowers, but I'm captivated by that Trachelium/California poppy combo too!

    1. It's definitely one I need to replicate elsewhere!

  5. a lapageria dripping with blooms? What an amazing August garden!

    1. Thanks! It's lucky for me Lapageria grows well in containers. It would be wonderful to live somewhere I could plant it out in the garden.

  6. Great post of late summer blooms. I'm happy you are reconsidering Echinacea; I find them so lovely and reliable. Among the plants you mentioned without a picture is Daphne x transatlantica 'Blafra', which you showed many time in the past. I saw it enough to fall in love with it, and now it's blooming constantly in my own garden!

    1. Thanks, Chav!That daphne is such a wonderful plant.


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