Wednesday, July 27, 2011


 It's the fourth Wednesday of the month, which means it's Wildflower Wednesday, hosted by Gail, of Clay and Limestone.  As is typical of me, I forgot about it until I saw a post on it this morning.  I went out before the pollinators were out and about yet, so they weren't in the photos I took.

I seem to be a collector of liatris.  This is a young 'aspera'.  It's the one I had netting over for awhile because the rabbits had eaten it down.  The ones of the same kind that did not get eaten are taller and have buds that are not open yet.

This wild quinine was tiny when I planted it, and it has grown to a nice size, almost 3 feet, its first season, and I love the blooms.  I'm thinking I've seen insects on them, too.

I have a number of these ratibida pinnata, gray headed coneflowers around the yard.  The ones that have been around longer are much taller than these planted this summer.

This rattlesnake master is in a moister spot than it's supposed to prefer, but it has done well a number of years here.

Skullcap, 'Mongolian Skies':

Rudbeckia, 'Herbstonne' and some gray headed coneflower right in front of it, leaning over to the right.

I don't remember which liatris this is, next to the lovely foliage of amsonia hubrichtii.

This is the plant I asked for from the lady who grows it the corner of her yard, which is on a busy street.  I'm pretty sure it's Rudbeckia 'Goldquelle'.  I found it in my 1996 Eyewitness Garden Handbooks Perennials. I'm tickled that it's doing well and blooming.  It's not as tall as the clump it came from.  Hopefully it will get taller next year.


This is the plant from the friend who locked her keys in her car at a plant sale we happened to be finished with at the same time.  I took her home, and she gave me this plant that gets pretty tall.  It is reminding me of the plant I stopped and asked for, but I think it's a bit different.  That's more gray headed coneflower in the background.

The yellow in the background on the left, is false sunflowers, heliopsis, holding its own with the foliage of amsonia tabernaemontana and baptisia.  The globe thistles are normally loaded with bees and wasps.

This is the phlox that was a passalong over 13 years ago.  It kept getting a disease, so I pulled it up, but it didn't stay pulled, so I let it grow unless it the leaves get very sick looking.  I need to deadhead them soon.  I'll leave some to reseed later in the season.

I've mentioned the lead plant is slow to emerge in the spring, and then, it gets eaten by rabbits, but manages to pull through.  Have you ever made tea with it?  I guess you have to dry the leaves first.  I keep forgetting what others tell me about how to do it.  I'll have to see if the information is on the internet.

The common milkweed was getting quite tall, and a neighbor asked me what my plans were for it, so I cut it back by about 15 inches.  It didn't seem to mind.  If I come across any more ironweed plants, I'll get a couple more.  This is the second year for this one.  I've been seeing monarch and eastern swallowtail butterflies on the liatris plants in the background.

The Virginia mountain mint is a favorite of wasps, and bees like it, too.

I'm thinking this joe pye weed (that I featured in the previous post) is 'Gateway'.  There are all kinds of little insects and bees enjoying these blooms, some of which are 6 feet in the air.

We had a little rain last night, but my pots are not impressed.  I may to need to water them tonight.  There's a 50% chance of rain tonight, though, so we'll have to see what it looks like.   I'm glad I didn't plant as many pots as last year, because we are starting our 3rd week of temps in the upper 90s to 100 some, with heat indexes 100 to 110ish.  Whew!  I'm gardening in the early mornings, coming in hot and sopping wet by 9 or 10 a.m.  I normally don't sweat much.  I am amazed that most plants seem to be doing OK.  I have to grin when I hear the weather folks say we're going to have a cold front come through, so tomorrow, it's only supposed to get up to 88 degrees.  I guess we will feel the difference.

Go visit Gail, and see who else has a post on wildflowers.

Monday, July 25, 2011

"Ooh La La" Time is Here

Recently, Grace said that when my Joe Pye Weed and its neighbors started blooming, it would be, "Ooh laa laa", and I am pleased that they are in the process of opening up their blooms.

There are several kiss me over the garden gate plants in the area.

I trimmed back the outside stems of the Joe Pye Weed in the spring so that they could help support the middle of the plant, and so that they would bloom later, extending the bloom time.

There won't be much of a difference after all.  Here is what the top blooms look like.

The lower ones do have tighter buds, so they are a bit behind the top ones.

Looking to the east, there are more flowers blooming.

I did some checking and it looks like I was correct, that last year's love lies bleeding cross pollinated with a celosia.  They are both amaranths.  Pure love lies bleeding has individual "ropes" that come down from the base of the bloom, not up and down the main one.

This hibiscus plant is taller than it has ever been, and is loaded with buds and blooms.

We're at the east side of the north part of the bed.  Volunteer cleomes and verbena bonerensis have joined the coneflowers, rattlesnake masters, and other blooms.

This one is a different color than the above one.

The delphinium is sending some new blooms up after the first were deadheaded.

The hellenium, 'Ruby Tuesday'  has gotten fuller and taller this year, too. 

It has a couple flowers open.  They don't exactly go with the colors of the other blooms, but I don't think they clash.

Back to the west side of the bed, there are more blooms growing near the Joe Pye Weed.

I think these daylilies are 'Gentle Shepherd'.

The phlox is 'Orange Perfection', looking nice with the volunteer blue salvia, even though it is not really orange.

I don't remember if I planted this mountain mint, but it looks different from the other kinds I have.  It barely has enough room under the Joe Pye Weed.

We're back where we started, the view from our front porch.

I am joining Jean's Bloomin' Tuesday today.  Click on the photo to check out her blog and see what she and others have blooming.