Hey gang! It’s that time again. Time to share with Carol at May Dreams Gardens and the world our blooms for the month. So, please step through the garden gate with me, and let’s take a look.
Oklahoma had a splendid summer, so mild and full of rain I could hardly keep up with the weeds; honestly, I’ve lost the battle here and there. Then, starting in late August, the heavenly spigot shut off, and the weather turned sunny and super hot ever since. We even saw a few “triple digit temperatures” as our weather people say with tightened smiles.
I’m sometimes afraid the heat will make them go all Network on local TV.
Some plants responded to the heat with tremendous growth. Others, like some of the petunias, went into shock and died. I don’t let dead plants worry me much. I just focus on what looks good and pull out what doesn’t. A quick trip to Bustani Plant Farm, Lowe’s, Home Depot and Tulsa’s Southwood fixed the garden and me right up. I also think the petunias, which bloomed all summer nonstop, were understandably tired-to-death.
Celosia ‘Cramers’ Amazon’ which I started from seed indoors in late February responded to the heat by growing at least ten feet tall throughout the garden. I probably won’t grow it again though. I like the shorter ‘Intenz’ better. It fits better in the garden and makes a more robust clump. However, if you need a back-of-the-garden filler, ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ might just be the ticket.
I planted the potager with a fall crop of veggies, and birds ate nearly every seedling. What the birds didn’t eat, the grasshoppers did. What did I do? I replanted. I also bought starts of two kinds of broccoli and three kinds of cabbage from Lowe’s. My bok choy is okay, and two types of lettuce are fine. I’ll replant under hoops in a week or so after I get back from Ft. Worth where I’m speaking on the 20th. The motley crew of boxwood to the right of the potager got four new members. This is what happens when you must plant your boxwood border in stages. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the funds to plant them all at once. Plus, Bill doesn’t really like them, and I snuck them in bit-by-bit. Bless him, he just turns his head the other way and pretends not to notice.
Although the heirloom Phlox paniculata looks purple in the photo above, it’s actually bright pink, a trick of the light, perhaps? It started blooming at the end of June and is still going strong although in some beds, it’s time to deadhead. I’m rather relieved. I have a lot of phlox in my garden, the scent is overwhelming in the heat. I shared starts of this phlox with several people last week, and doing so, I opened up some holes in the garden. I filled one with native pigeon berry, Rivina humilis, that likes partial shade in my climate. The plants are tiny so I don’t have a good photo, but I’ve linked to it above.
The Sunpatiens were glorious all summer, and pentas are always a sure bet if you water. I tried Dicliptera suberecta, (syn. Justicia suberecta, Jacobinia suberecta), king’s crown, this year because I’m attempting to incorporate more silver foliage into the garden. It is a good transition between bright colors like that of Iresine herbstii or some of the alternantheras. After 2011 and 2012, I decided the garden needs more bright foliage and fewer tricky new flowers. Tropical foliage always shines no matter what the temperature shows.
Smooth ironweed sowed itself into this bed between ‘Bright Eyes’ phlox and an old rose. I wouldn’t suggest planting either it or the rose in this bed because it will take over this small space, and ‘Frontier Twirl’ is always afflicted with blackspot. I’ll probably pull the ironweed at the end of the season, but really it’s a toss-up. I’ll let you know what I decide. I like ironweed. It sows itself in lots of places on the property, and pollinators love it.
Another native now blooming is Boltonia asteroides ‘Pink Beauty.’ It looks like an aster, but it isn’t. It is commonly called false aster. It should eventually grow tall, but for now, it lies on its side in one of the hottest parts of the lower garden. This is its second year.
Not everything shining in the garden is blooming. The grasses are in bloom, and many of them are making their presence known. They will only increase in beauty over the next two month. Variegated tapioca is at its best as it grows next to Pink Knockout roses. The grass was labeled Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Little Bunny,’ but I’m not sure it is.
On another note, Bill and I removed three roses yesterday. Two had Rose Rosette Disease, and the other one, ‘Cliffs of Dover’ was dying from within. I haven’t a clue why. I replaced it with Callicarpa americana ‘Welch’s Pink’ that my friend, Stephen Durham, found. I’m excited because this variety was difficult to locate, and its placement is another wonderful native in the garden. I also planted Lespedeza thunbergii ‘Gibraltar’ (Gibraltar bush clover) which will grow pretty large. It is a very airy plant though, and I have it in another spot of the garden too.
I could go on and on, but I think I’ll stop here. I hope your bloom day was fun, and you have loads of good-looking plants in your garden. I can’t wait to stop by and see everyone else’s posts. I love Bloom Day. Don’t you?