Friday, August 15, 2014

Octopus's Garden on Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: August 2014

With the temperature ten degrees below normal, it feels like fall this August Bloom Day. I love the cool air and clear, blue sky following a day of soaking rain. My plants love this weather, too, and the garden is more beautiful than usual for the time of year. Usually, ever flower is struggling in extreme heat and humidity. What a different and strange year it's been so far.

On my morning walk I tried to photograph what is new, but couldn't resist adding a couple of old friends to the pictorial mix. Let's start with the pond garden, or as my grandson (a Beatles fan) calls it, "Octopus's Garden."

Angel Falls

The water lily is just opening its petals to the morning sun. Can you see Mr. Bullfrog?

Octopus's Garden, surrounding the pond, is full of color with cleome, butterfly bush, Russian sage, perennial geranium, and the deep red leaves of the Japanese maple...

 Rozanne is a hardy geranium. This is the true geranium, not to be confused with the annual pelargonium. It grows, reliably, in several parts of my garden. Here it is in the rose garden.

Old friend, perennial geranium, Rozanne

My roses suffered horribly this past winter. I lost some and had to cut back others so severely they failed to produce flowers this year. One rose, my yellow Knockout, is attempting to bloom, but as the buds appear they are greedily devoured by Japanese beetles. 

Knockout rose bravely bearing buds.

A plant bearing yellow flowers with much more 'blooming' success is the threadleaf coreopsis.

Threadleaf coreopsis

Not many butterflies are visiting my garden this year. I am so sad! Every day I examine the milk weed for eggs or caterpillars, but I am not finding them. I have spotted only a couple of monarchs passing through. The blooms of the butterfly bushes entice them to stay. Please stay ...

Phlox, shasta daisies, and pink butterfly bush.

Purple butterfly bush, daylily 'Chicago Apache,' and cleome.

Behind the shasta daisies I see blue mist shrub has started to bloom. 

Shasta daisies and blue mist shrub

I planted containers with zinnias and placed them at the end of the path to provide a 'destination.'

Path through octopus's garden.

Entering the kitchen garden I am delighted to see a clematis is still blooming on the arbor.

New this year, I planted borage among the vegetables to attract pollinators. It's striking blue flowers are real bee magnets. I just wish the bees would stay on each bloom long enough for me to take pictures. Please stay ...

Borage (herb)

As always, I planted annual flowers in the kitchen garden.

Zinnias, delphiniums, and marigolds.

Obedience is full of bees...

Obedience plant.

Finally, at the edge of the top field I found an 'escaped' Turk's cap lily with wild, puple phlox behind it...

I scattered the phlox seeds along the stone row late last fall, but wasn't sure they survived the hard winter ...

White phlox in the butterfly garden.

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broke. --James Dent

Thank you, Carol, for graciously hosting Garden Blogger's Bloom Day each month. What a joy to see all that's blooming around the world.

Happy GBBD,
Pamela x

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. I love your Octopus's Garden! Very sweet! The roses did suffer after last winter. My pink Knockout has been tiny and slow, just now beginning to gain size and buds. It has not typically been bothered by Japanese beetles, but can be prone to aphid infestation. The beetles really attacked some Canna lilie foliage. A friend gave me some pieces of perennial geranium from her garden, but I don't know whether it's Rozanne. Your gardens are always such an inspiration!

  2. Pam I adore Octopuss Garden...beautiful flowers loving the weather as are my flowers. But not my veg garden. it needs several weeks of heat right now. A late hot spring and an early fall makes for a short growing season.

  3. The garden looks great, Pam. We too feel like fall has arrived. I love your little frog pic, so cute. Obedient Plant is one I would love to have for the bees although it is not too obedient - really spreads. I have had butterflies in numbers here this year, but like you have seen very little eggs, caterpillars or evidence there of. One pupa of a Monarch is all I found which I did show on my blog. I think that is sad in a way because of the numbers of adults seen.

  4. Hi Pam, Your garden is looking just beautiful! Love your pond and falls. Good capture with the bullfrog! You and I have many of the same flowers in our gardens. I have found the butterflies absolutely love the Verbena bonariensis. They seem to enjoy the phlox this time of year as well. Have a nice wknd, Pam!

  5. It's Sunday, next door's lawn mower is quiet! I hear birds and waterfall. 25C and a blustery breeze.

    I love that quiet undercurrent of gardening with your grandson.

  6. It's feeling autumnal here too at the moment, more like September than August. I love the flowers of borage but once you have it in your garden you'll never be without, it seeds itself all over the place.

  7. I think out of all the blogs I've found through GBBD, yours has to be my favorite. I dream of someday having a space and a garden like yours. I just love everything... all the flowers, the way it is designed... even the bullfrog! Just wonderful, Pam!

  8. All the flowers in your garden look so wonderful, Pam! I don't know how the butterflies could resist such enticing fare -- maybe the hard winter was too cold for them? Your cleome look especially nice -- mine have hardly grown since I planted them as starts in May. I'm not sure what's going on, whether it's too cool for it or what.... Anyway, thanks for sharing such beautiful scenes with us! -Beth

  9. Your angle fall and pond are so beautiful and the bullfrog watching from between the waterlily leaves. Your waterlily has a lovely soft colour. Love all these flowers in your garden and also the vegetable garden.
    Have a nice gardening week!

  10. Octopus's garden looks so well tended and colorful, it still has that early summer freshness to it! ...and I love the water. I really need to find the leak in my own pond and set it back up. It's been over a year!

    The waterlily shot is fantastic!

  11. There's a real lush 'Zing' in your garden Pam. It all looks so inviting & clealry loved by the owner x

  12. Baeautiful! So many colors there look so interesting. I love water lily, the color of your water lily is so unusual. I have nrvrr seen before.
    thank you for sharing the beauty.

  13. Hi Pam! That frog is so funny, looking straight to the camera! Clematis is still blooming - how exciting! And, I am falling in love again with white phlox! I have only one white plant and the rest are red... I need to change it.

  14. I so love seeing pictures of your garden, Pam, as it always looks so lush and beautiful! The Octopus Garden is such a cute name. It is too bad about all the butterflies. I haven't seen any Monarchs up here in MA. I used to get lots of them in North Carolina, and I wonder if they are still coming to my old garden. I love the Rozanne geraniums around your statue! Rozanne is on my list of plants to get at some point!

  15. Your garden is beautiful, I especially love your bed of annual flowers, it's so colourful.

  16. Your garden certainly does seem to be enjoying the unseasonal cool weather Pam. Your Rozanne planted along with Roses reminded me of home.

  17. I certainly enjoyed my tour through your lovely garden! Like you, I've seen a few monarch passing through, but have yet to spot a caterpillar. Luckily, I've seen many swallowtail cats, so that made up for it. I've found my yellow knockouts to be popular with JP beetles too, but not this year. I think I've finally conquered those stinkers, I've only seen a couple. One year, it got so bad that I cut all my rose blooms off until their season was past. It was depressing, but it worked.

  18. Pam, what lovely photographs. I especially love seeing the overall ones, like the 'path way through the octopus' garden'. Wowzers! I'd love to spend some time wandering through there.

    Did you know that blogspot has a new sidebar addition where you can let people fill in their email address and they will get an email when you make a new post? I find it really handy to check my contact's blogs....think about checking it out! (Sometimes the email doesn't come for a few days after they post, but it's pretty good.)


  19. We enjoyed some cooler weather in mid-August, but now the weather has turned hot and humid. I suppose it is nature's way of making us appreciate the cooler weather of the approaching fall.
    Your garden is looking wonderful. Like you, I find Japanese Beetles love yellow roses for some reason. I have also read that Knockouts of all colors are a favourite food on several blogs. I would love to know why the consume some types of roses and ignore others!

  20. Dear Pam, your garden is truly amazing, so much colour and interest and you grow my favourite Zinnias which I love. I grow them from seed every year and this year has been brilliant for them.
    I am so sorry I missed your messages when you were in England I hope your visit went well.
    Also thank you for your message on my blog after my brother died. I have only just gone onto my blog this evening and published it I appreciate your message.

    M xxxxx

  21. Your garden is stunning, Pam. Truly an inspiration to me.

    I planted cleome for the first time this year too. I'm hoping it self seeds for me as I really like it :-)

  22. Your garden is looking really lovely - so much colour ! 'Rozanne' looks wonderful as per usual, I agree with all the accolades it receives as it is such a reliable, long flowering plant. Looks great with the statue too!