August Bloom Day

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As morning dawns on the Fairegarden this fine day, let us walk the pathways and see what is in bloom for the monthly Garden Bloggers Bloom Day instituted by Carol of May Dreams Gardens, shall we?

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It has been an unusually rainy summer here in southeast Tennessee USDA Zone 7a. The plants are dripping with moisture in the early hours, the better to see the weavings of arachnids. This small one on the Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’ is noticed. The pink in the background is Phlox paniculata, having the best year ever with all the moisture. The same can be said of many plants in 2013.

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Such a work of craftmanship and beauty this little web is. I often walk into webs in progress that stretch across the pathways, wearing a hairnet of sticky filaments when returning to the indoors. It makes me laugh but there would be no humor if the web master hitched a ride on my shortly shorn hair.

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The annual Rudbeckia triloba volunteers have filled the Yellow/White Bed to overflowing. A standard trained Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’,commonly named PeeGee offers white fluffs that will later turn to a dusky rose hue.

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The Rudbeckias have never been so lush. Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ waves hello from behind the picket fence of purple Perilla frutescens. A post was written about this purple beauty that can be read by clicking here, if you so desire.

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The Perilla pops up around and about this sunny section. Most seedlings are pulled to allow passage through the pathways, but a few are allowed to grow on to adulthood and seed about to ensure future purple punctuation of the beds. It would be much less colorful around here without it. Agastache ‘Orange Nectar’ joins red Salvia coccinea and orange Cuphea ignea to entice hummers and butterflies.

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Joe Pye weed, which is no weed at all but rather a very desirable native is attracting buzzers and larger swallowtails at present. The name is now Eutrochium purpureum subsp. maculatum ‘Gateway’ , formerly Eupatorium and so forth. I can barely keep up with these name changes. Neither name is as memorable as Joe Pye.

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Deliberate thought has gone into the summer plantings to best attract the flying flowers. Inside and in front of the raised box that is home to the Dahlias, Cuphea ssp. are favorites. Yellow Cosmos sulphureus has been selected out over the years from a packet of C. ‘Bright Lights’. I like the double layer of lemon petals and am now trying to select for those.

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Even as I am wishin’ and hopin’ for a clear, crisp image capture, the hummers provide plenty of practice with the camera. They visit this smörgåsbord often.

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The most perennial, never fail Allium is garlic chives, Allium tuberosum. Flowering in August the white puffs are most welcome by the gardener and adored by tiny pollinators. These are promptly deadheaded to prevent world domination, and yes, we use them in culinary dishes.

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My name is Frances, and I have succumbed to the fancy Echinacea ‘Double Scoop Cranberry’, against all of my beliefs and tirades. The shaggy topknot offers no nourishment to pollinators and these hybrids too often do not return for even a second year here. But, for $2.74 on the bargain racks, rules can be broken. I am a tightwad at heart.

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The blackberry lilies are winding down but this particular colorway has been noted and the plant will be dug up and moved to a special location for future division. The petals are unique. It looks quite similar to this offering in the Plant Delights Catalog,

xPardancanda norrisii ‘Wine and Yellow Roses’ (Wine and Yellow Roses Candy Lily)
(aka: Iris dichotoma x Iris domestica) This is a lovely strain of candy lilies (Pardanthopsis dichotoma x Belamcanda chinensis)…

Tony Avent knows better than I do about the names, but my plant seems to be the same, a chance seedling in the Shed Bed.

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Very few plants escape munching insects here for there is no spraying done. Seeing holes in the leaves of the passion flower, Passiflora incarnata makes us very happy, for it is the host plant to the larvae of the Gulf fritillary butterfly. We have not seen any of the black and orange catts yet, or burnt orange adults, but the plethora of vines that have sprung up leads to a belief that a herd of them will arrive soon.

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This lowly baby blue morning glory caught the camera’s eye, growing in the asphalt pavement in front of the mailbox down at the street. There is a whole garden of plants springing up out of the cracks there, some good, some awful like the crabgrass that I detest. It’s been quite a year for flowers.

Frances

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18 Responses to August Bloom Day

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    This summer has been so much fun what with all the rain. It has been the summer of plants and blooms. I have a blackberry lily and it never blooms. Isn’t that strange? It has been in the same place, in the sun for years. It has nice green foliage. I have taken pieces of it and planted them around hoping to coax a bloom to no avail. Your variety is quite pretty. Happy GBBD.

    Happy GBBD to you, Lisa, thanks for sharing here. The only thing I can think of about your blackberry lily is that it is in too rich a soil, they like it lean and mean. Do you have a sunny,dry spot with poor, rocky soil? I would move it there.
    Frances

  2. Is this the most floriferous Aug. ever in Fairegarden’s history? It certainly looks like everything is thriving. What a perfect picture capture of the two butterflies on the Joe Pye weed…they are a stunning couple and so beautifully color co-ordinated.

    Thanks, Michaele. It is certainly the most lush August we have experienced in recent times. I have also pruned the chamaecyparis hedge and the deciduous azaleas way back, allowing much more sun to light up that border. That, the rain and finally getting the mix of plants right, or at least better is showing results. I got lucky with the swallowtails on the Joe Pye.
    Frances

  3. Elis Fischer says:

    You have a gorgeous garden and you made wonderful pictures – I love the one with the hummingbird and the one with the butterflies! Thanks for sharing!
    Elis

    Thanks, Elis, for visiting and those kind words.
    Frances

  4. Karen says:

    So pretty

    Thanks!

  5. Lea says:

    Rains this summer have been good for the flowers and the critters, too.
    Your flowers are so pretty!
    I found a Passionflower vine on the side of the road. I’m watching it closely, hoping to get seeds to move to my yard.
    Happy GBBD!
    Lea
    Lea’s Menagerie

    Hi Lea, thanks for stopping by and Happy GBBD to you. Good luck with the passion flower!
    Frances

  6. commonweeder says:

    Two butterflies posing at once! Talk about photographic skill. And the gardens are so beautiful. If I were a butterfly I’d never leave.

    Hi Pat, thanks so much, but you are giving me too much credit with the camera. The Joe Pye is so floriferous this year and the swallowtails are so numerous and slow flying as the feed, I just point and click.
    Frances

  7. Alison says:

    What a beautiful pair of butterflies on the Joe Pye Weed, a name I much prefer as well. It sounds like you are having a wonderfully moist and floriferous summer, WooHoo! I have lots of the species Echinacea purpurea in my garden, so I figure a couple of special ones won’t be a problem. I wish I could get more butterflies, though. I see swallowtails occasionally floating around my garden, but they seldom seem to land on anything. Maybe they don’t want to compete with the hummers, which I do have in abundance. Happy GBBD!

    Hi Alison, Happy GBBD to you! Lucky you with the Echinaceas and hummingbirds. It sounds like your garden is a most wonderful place to be. Perhaps you need some of the swallowtails favorite larval food? Here, for the Eastern tigers, that would be the bronze fennel. They eat that first and move on to parsley or carrots when that has been chewed down to nubs.
    Frances

  8. Anne Boykin says:

    Hi Frances, We’re having the same wet summer here too in the Atlanta area. Lots of beautiful flowers to enjoy. Thanks for sharing yours. Love the passion flower.

    Hi Anne, thanks for visiting. What a difference the rain and cooler temps have made in the garden. If that is why we have so many butterflies, too, I hope it continues for years to come.
    Frances

  9. My Kids Mom says:

    I find the comments about the abundance of rain being so good this summer to be a surprise. My garden is lush and green, but there have been many fewer blooms this year. Shade plus rain does not induce flowers it seems. The drought summers must have influenced my plant choices enough that they can’t live with so much rain. My lantana has but scattered flowers, my purple coneflowers are sad and almost dead, everything seems to be in poor shape. It is good to see what you have in abundance.

    Thanks Jill. It is true that the xeric plants are not so happy with all of this rain. My slope is mostly sunny and the drainage is good. Those conditions make a real difference. Lantana has not bloomed as well as hoped, but it often doesn’t hit its stride until fall here for some reason. The Joe Pye, Dahlias, Zinnias and Phlox have been the best ever.
    Frances

  10. Lola says:

    I always enjoy your post. With my declining health even more so. Bless you my dear for all your efforts.

    Thank you for being such a loyal reader, Lola. I do appreciate you and wish you the best.
    Frances

  11. Hannah says:

    I’m constantly walking through spider webs at this time of year too. Your garden looks so lush, the red mop head Echinacea are lovely. I see swallowtails sailing by or visiting my butterfly bush sometimes but never get close enough to photograph them this year, so it is nice to see yours. It is the dry season here all summer so the plants that do well like it dry, or at least hang in there.

    Hi Hannah, thanks for sharing here. We are normally quite dry at this time of year as well, but 2013 is very different in rainfall and temperature. The garden has never before been so lush and green in August.
    Frances

  12. sandy lawrence says:

    I have the problem of no return with the fancy Echinacea hybrids, too, here in zone 8a. Just read a tip that the key to their robust return is to cut off every bud the first year to send energy back to the roots for a vigorous clump next year. Plan to try that.

    Hi Sandy, thanks for that tip about the Echinaceas. I have heard that, as well, but have never been able to make myself cut off the blooms. Maybe this time will be the charm…
    Frances

  13. Les says:

    Has this not been the best summer ever for Joe Pye? I am seeing it everywhere, and it is full and proud.

    It really has, Les, the Joe Pye and the numbers of swallowtails both. This is unique for August for us and I am so glad.
    Frances

  14. Joe Pye sure does attract the butterflies, doesn’t it? Your garden is so colorful. Happy GBBD!

    Happy GBBD to you, Beth! The Joe Pye is having an epic year.
    Frances

  15. Rose says:

    Oh, I love the photo of the Joe Pye with the two swallowtails! It has indeed been a great summer for it. I saw a lovely stand of it at an arboretum in northern Illinois this past week–no butterflies, but just swarming with bumblebees. I barely knew the previous botanical name, so I’m not even going to try to remember the new one–I’ll just stick with Joe:)

    Can’t blame you for picking up that echinacea–it’s a beauty! Love seeing your garden in the early morning light.

    Hi Rose, thanks for sharing here. Joe Pye should be more widely planted, although it should be given plenty of room. Mine is Gateway, a so called dwarf and is still 7 feet tall. The species can be 12 feet when happy. I am going to try cutting off the flowers of the new Echinacea as experts have suggested. If I can make myself do it, that is.
    Frances

  16. Greetings from NJ! I stopped over through a search on Pink Muhly grass because I wanted to see how it would look in the off season. I totally enjoyed walking through you garden virtually! I garden with under the double threat of deer and groundhogs, so my plant selections are limited. But your garden is an inspiration. And thank you for your post on Pink Muhly! It was just what I wanted to know about those plants. Off to order some for my garden!

    Greetings, Agnija! Thanks for visiting and good luck with your pink muhly. May it grow and prosper for you. Critters seem to leave it alone, here.
    Frances

  17. gail says:

    Fairegarden is looking wonderful my dear. Love the hummer action shot and the blackbery Lily is fantastic. I have been watching my passion vine for blooms but nada! The super sun lovers aren’t completely happy here, but I do have enough foliage for any caterpillar to live happily on it! I have loved the summer rains and so have all the plants. I am savoring it every day, you never know what next month will bring! Happy gardening my dear. xoxoxogail

    Hi Gail, thanks so much. I hope you get lots of the gulf fritts. We haven’t seen any yet, but there is still lots of time left for them. This has been a wonderful summer.
    xoxoxo
    Frances

  18. Cyndi says:

    I Always love visiting your garden! It is ALWAYS so beautiful!
    Smiles, cyndi

    Smiles to you, Cyndi, and thanks for the kind words.
    Frances

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