Sunday, July 15, 2012

July Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Lilium 'Casa Blanca' (oriental hybrid)
Welcome to Garden Blogger's Bloom Day hosted by Carol of May Dreams GardensI hope you enjoy Bloom Day as much as I do.  I think it's useful for me to have a record of what's blooming in my own garden, but even more importantly, I like seeing what's blooming in other people's gardens.  It's so valuable to be able to get an idea of when plants bloom that I might want to grow.  It's such a vital piece of information for planning a garden bed, and yet it's information that often doesn't appear on the plant tag or in the catalog description!

Flower of eggplant, Solanum melongena
So, without further ado, here is what's blooming in my garden this July.  I feel pretty lucky, because I was thinking that July was a slow month for blooms, but I have enough that I'm not going to be able to show everything.  I'm sure I will not be so happy on August Bloom Day, but the crape myrtles will probably be still blooming...
Crape myrtle -- genus Lagerstroemia
I mentioned Gloriosa daisies in June and Shasta daisies a few posts ago.  They are both still going strong.
Leucanthemum x superbum 'Becky' (top) and Rudbeckia hirta (bottom)
The biggest clump of daisies front an area that I cleared a few months ago of overgrown nandina.  I didn't get all the roots out so they'll be back, but the Eastern redcedar (upper left) and Mahonia (upper right) are glad to have a little breathing space.  I like being able to see the old tree stump through the gap, which I think is rather picturesque.  That tree came down in 2003.  It was leaning dangerously after hurricane Isabel hit and a fearless neighbor convinced us that we could cut it down together.  It was much more difficult to cut than we anticipated.  I think hackberries must have exceptionally dense wood.  The persistence of the stump might support that theory.
Shasta daisies -- Leucanthemum x superbum 'Becky'
In another storm several years later, another tree fell and created this gap in the neighbor's fence that has never been fixed.  The "borrowed view" includes a rusty wheelbarrow... and LOTS more sun for these crocosmia that exploded into bloom from complete obscurity.  I hadn't even known they were there.
Crocosmia crocosmiflora
Next are three views of the Butterfly garden.  First, daisies and cannas in the foreground with Rudbeckia hirta (the annual black-eyed susan) and Bee Balm in the background.

Canna indica, Monarda didyma (probably 'Raspberry Wine'), Rudbeckia hirta, Leucanthemum x superbum
Here are the daisies again with white obedient plant and a blue glass bird bath, with the foliage of swamp sunflower beginning to tower over everything, and a rosemary shrub in the background.
Leucanthemum x superbum and Physostegia virginiana 'Miss Manners'
I think the blue speedwell in the next photo combines beautifully with everything.  It's taller and airier than other speedwells I see, which is part of what makes it combine so well, I think, but also makes it hard to photograph well.  I love it with black-eyed Susans and with purple coneflower.  It was not well labeled when I bought it and that was years and years ago.  I'm not sure about the species, but I think the tall veronica is longifolia. (Any help would be appreciated!)

Echinacea purpurea, Veronica longifolia (?), Rudbeckia hirta
I don't have a lot of roses, since they are a favorite snack of deer, but I have never bothered to remove the ones that the previous owners planted.  This one hides in shrubbery until it towers well out of the deer's reach (or mine in fact), and then blooms about ten feet in the air, mingling with the leaves of the sweetgum tree.  I don't know what it is but it seems very common around here.  In fact, I wonder if it's blooming from the rootstock of grafted hybrids that passed away long ago.

Unknown rose
The last photo is in the front of my house.  This is the bed that was covered in a swath of chamomile in the spring, and later with black-eyed susans (again, the annual kind).  All of these are self-sowers, as are the sulpher cosmos you see now.  This is also where I put basil every summer.  This year I'm trying a "lettuce leaf" as well as my favorite Genovese.  This year I mulched with compost to improve the soil.  I hope that doesn't prevent the chamomile seeds from sprouting.  I might sow some seed from a fresh packet for insurance, but it didn't prevent the cosmos coming up, so I guess it'll probably be fine. In fact, you might spot a squash of some kind, just above the lettuce leaf basil in the photo -- that came with the compost I think.  I guess I'll pull it ... maybe later.
Rudbecka hirta and Cosmos sulphureus

For the record, some flowers that are also blooming but not shown: abelia, butterfly bush, doublefile Viburnum (very late blooms, I think), Annabelle hydrangea, mophead hydrangea, Rose-of-Sharon liatris spicata (going over), Evening primrose, four o'clocks, sundrops (just a few last blooms), pickerel (just finishing), oregano, cerise queen yarrow, gaura, black-and-blue salvia and lots of annuals (lantana, zinnia, pentas, sweet alyssum, and still a few larkspur blooms) and another still remarkably early New York aster bloom.