Saturday, August 31, 2019

This Month in the Garden: August 2019

Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata  'Bright Eyes')

For the past couple of years my 'Bright Eyes' phlox has bloomed late, but is always worth waiting for -- how wonderful to see a mass of pink flowers with scarlet centers still blooming at the end of August . 'Bright Eyes' is so reliable and more resistant to powdery mildew than other phlox. It was one of the first herbaceous perennials I planted in the cottage garden border. Today, much of the cottage garden is looking somewhat faded as the summer winds down, but there are some bright blooms elsewhere as you will see if you take a walk with me:

Flowers in the herbaceous border are fading
The new cottage garden area in the Abundance border is abloom with perennial geraniums (bottom left) and the bee-magnet agastache (bottom right). A delphinium is putting on a late show (top)
Helianthus 'Brown Eyed Girl' bloomed profusely all summer. I would buy this annual again although it did crowd out some of the perennials. Notice the soldier beetle in the bottom picture -- one of our beneficial insects

Pretty foxglove with a late burst of blooms

 A cleome self-seeded in the coldframe. I didn't have the heart to pull it out.

Top: Looking over the fence across the cutting garden. Bottom: Coldframe with cleome

 There are a few vegetables and herbs to be harvested in the kitchen garden including red beets, pole beans, and chocolate mint.  Grandson Jonathan helped me pickle nine quarts of red beets a couple of weeds ago. I'll take care of the rest after my trip to Salt Lake City for the GardenComm conference. I leave in a couple of days -- yay!

Top: flowering chocolate mint with cabbage white butterfly. Bottom: 'Rattlesnake' pole beans.

I have seen more butterflies in my garden this year than ever before. There are mainly cabbage whites today, but monarchs and American swallowtails have been abundant. Also, I lost count of the number of monarch caterpillars on the milkweeds. So happy that they have returned.

The cutting garden is still very colorful. Can you see the mirror there? I place a mirror in each of my gardens.

 Turtlehead is blooming in Serenity Garden and in the rain garden. I planted a white one in the rain garden and I was interested to see its flowers as I thought it only came in pink. I see that the white ones have a distinctly pink hue.

Turtlehead, Chelone 'Hot Lips' bottom left. Chelone glabra, white turtlehead, top picture and bottom right
Also in the rain garden - red and blue lobelia

This year I have been rather successful growing caladiums. I particularly like the red one in the Horseshoe Garden and the white one under the palm on the deck.

Two favorite caladiums and Majesty Palm

The deck is covered with a grape vine that provides shade and privacy. It does tend to get out of bounds so Duane gave it a haircut this week. And made a horrible discovery ...

... we saw our first spotted lanternfly. It hopped out of the grape. I dread to think how many more there are. This new invasive insect is spreading rapidly through the Northeastern United States creating devastation. I was hoping it wouldn't find my garden so soon. For more information go to the Penn State Extension website.

Spotted Lanternfly. Picture U.S. Department of Agriculture

The hydrangeas continue to spread joy. And note the lovely morning glory on the arbor next to Pinky Winky

As I write this and look through the window in the den, I see a hummingbird going from morning glory bloom to morning glory bloom. He's too far away for me to photograph but I did capture one on the fuschia earlier this week.

Goldenrod, the harbinger of fall, is blooming in the paddock. The bees are happy.

I can't believe it's September tomorrow. August was mainly hot and humid with thunderstorms sparking torrential downpours of rain. My gardens survived quite well with the hanging baskets of petunias suffering most. Oh, and batchelor's buttons and painted daisies in the cutting garden rotted. Generally speaking it was a wonderful summer in my gardens this year. Prayers for my gardening friends and all others in the path of Dorian.

I'll take lots of pictures of gardens in Salt Lake City and post them upon my return. Have a wonderful September.

Pamela x

On the vine-covered deck

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - August 2019

Monarch butterfly on 'Zowie! Yellow Flame' zinnia

We took a couple of great trips this month, first to Boston then to Charlottesville, Virginia. But as the song says, 'It's very nice to go traveling, but so much nicer to come home'. I was a little nervous that I would find my garden a mess after leaving it untended, but it really wasn't too bad, with some beautiful blooms for Bloom Day.

The zinnias I grew from seed turned out to be quite stunning although I started them indoors in a different medium than usual, and when they germinated, the seedlings seemed awfully puny. I grew two sorts this year: 'State Fair Mix' and 'Zowie! Yellow Flame.' Zowie is my favorite zinnia of all time, not least because it attracts so many butterflies. I captured three monarchs in the picture below, but actually there were at least five on that stand of zinnias.

'Zowie! Yellow Flame' zinnia. Can you see three butterflies?

I have milkweed in three of my gardens. All are supporting monarch caterpillars. Also, there are lots of aphids keeping the ladybugs busy.  I don't spray; I just wait for the predators to arrive.

All except the bottom left are milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). Bottom left is butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) - newly planted in the rain garden.

 Let's take a walk around my gardens ...

Joe Pye in the rain garden is another butterfly magnet. That is the American swallowtail butterfly.

I planted a variety of pollinator plants in the cutting garden. These are from a free packet of seeds I received from Renee's Garden Seed Company.

Hydrangea 'Pinky Winky' turned from white to pink. The blooms were white in my last posting. They will be almost red by the end of the season.
Red crocosmia, aptly named 'Lucifer'.  My mother in England called it Monbretia. Not very full this year due to winter damage.

Most of the daylilies have finished blooming.  I showed you these fabulous red ones last month, but must include them for Bloom Day as they make such a statement -- and are my favorite.

Daylily (Hermerocallis 'Chicago Apache')

After all the bright colors of the cottage garden, let's rest our eyes on some white blooms ...

Clockwise from top right: Shasta daisy; phlox 'David'; German chamomile; caladium 'White Christmas'; David Austin rose 'Lichfield angel'; hydrangea 'Annabelle'      
The water lilies continue their beautiful blooming in Froggy Pond

 There are a couple of signs that summer will come to an end:

Top: Red berries on Korean spice viburnum 'Diana'. Bottom: Chinese lantern plants with their 'lanterns' turning orange

I am linking with Carol at May Dreams Gardens for her meme 'Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day' that occurs on the 15th of every month. Please click on the link to see what is blooming around the world today.

Wishing you all a happy Bloom Day,

The miniature rose that my husband gave me on Valentine's Day is blooming in a Stone Garden planter.

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