Thursday, August 15, 2013

August isn't so bad this year!

Usually August is my least favorite month, but so far this year, there hasn't been much to be unhappy about. (We won't mention the M word, so other than them!) Rainfall has been nearly perfect in our little part of the world, and temperatures have been quite comfortable as far as summers usually go. No big windy storms yet either. All good! So, it's Bloom Day—let's take a walk around my garden.

Maybe you remember my pink zinnia lament from the last Bloom Day. Well, finally...a zinnia that isn't pink! A couple of white ones eventually came up, too, but I wasn't as excited about them. This one is full of pizzaz, don't you think?

Sweet coneflower (Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Henry Eilers') grew tall and flopped over early on this year. A chipmunk nearly killed it, but it has managed to stay alive, probably because of all the rain we've had. The blooms are nearly flat on the ground, but they still look lovely and smell sweet. This year I put in a couple of dwarf Henrys but they haven't bloomed. I think I'm going to like the shorter height.

Flower Carpet Amber rose is having another flush of blooms. This shrub is a real performer and it's much tidier than the other carpet roses. The color of the flowers varies depending on temperature (and probably other factors), but the range of shades is a favorite of mine—apricot to peachy-pink.

Today is incredibly cool for August—the high temperature is lower than the low temperature often is (75ยบ). This is the sort of weather Alaska nasturtiums prefer, so today mine are looking perky and fresh. I generally treat these flowers like herbs rather than ornamentals, because the plants don't look that great when it's hot. The flowers look good even when the foliage struggles, so I justify having them by considering them an edible crop. As if I have to justify having them.

St. John's wort showed up in my bog garden. Maybe I should remove it; it's kind of large and woody for my container. I like the blooms and the seed pods, so for now I'm just watching it grow. That pink spot in the center of the photo is Sabatia dodecandra. To the left is a copper top pitcher plant.

Rudbeckia nitida will be making seed soon. This plant had a spectacular year—tons of blooms, lots of big, green foliage. The ochre cones are pretty, too.

This is the phlox known as Birthday Phlox around here. A certain girl's birthday makes it bloom in the middle of July every year. Even this year, when nearly everything was late, there were still a few open blooms, right on time.

About that crooked birdbath: you might have thought I was leaning when I took the photo except for the uneven water level. There's a chipmunk Metro station under there. One day I expect to go out and find my birdbath sunk to the rim.

The beautiful pale yellow flowers of woodland sage (Salvia koyamae).

Ironweed (Vernonia noveborecensis). The intense color of the ironweeds is my favorite thing about it. Butterflies like it, too.

Coneflowers might be my favorite ultra-reliable perennial. They bloom for months and the rosy color looks beautiful with any other flower color. Butterflies like them almost as much as they like zinnias. The chartreuse plant to the left is Golden Delicious pineapple sage. Leaves smell like Juicy Fruit gum. Scarlet flowers will be blooming in a couple of months. Hardy for me, but barely. It's a must try if you don't have it already.

That's it for the garden stroll...what's blooming in your garden this August Bloom Day?


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