Garden Bloggers Bloom Day September, 2013

Containers on the deck filled with flowers and foliage.
Containers on the deck filled with flowers and foliage.

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.

The back garden looking east. We've just walked through the gate.
The back garden looking east. We’ve just walked through the gate.

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.

Tecoma Bells of Fire.
Tecoma (esperanza) Bells of Fire.

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.

'Cramer's Amazon' celosia which is at least ten feet tall. I probably won't grow it again.
‘Cramers’ Amazon’ celosia which is at least ten feet tall. I probably won’t grow it again.

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.

Potager with its motley crew of boxwood.
Potager with its motley crew of boxwood.

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.

Heirloom Phlox paniculata
Heirloom Phlox paniculata

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.

Sunpatiens, pentas, Brazilian Red Hot alternanthera, 'Alabama Sunset' coleus
Sunpatiens, pentas, Brazilian Red Hot alternanthera, king’s crown, and ‘Alabama Sunset’ coleus

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.

Rosa 'Frontier Twirl' with 'Bright Eyes' phlox and ironweed
Rosa ‘Frontier Twirl’ with ‘Bright Eyes’ phlox and smooth ironweed

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.

Boltonia asteroides 'Pink Beauty'
Boltonia asteroides ‘Pink Beauty’

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.

Looking north in the middle of the back garden. Variegated tapioca is a star in this part of the garden.
Looking north in the middle of the back garden. Variegated tapioca is a star in this part of the garden.

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?


  1. Hi, Dee, Reviewing this post for the second time. And you know what? I’m pretty sure this is the most beautiful your garden has ever looked. You have worked so long and hard to achieve this, Dee. It’s all come together. I’m sure you will go on recreating it and moving things around, and adjusting to the seasons, like you always do. But this year so far is the best. Spectacular!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Kathryn, thank you very much. I do think the rain we had made the garden more beautiful than ever. It’s easy to garden when you get rain. Thanks again!

  2. Robin L says:

    That Rose Rosette is such a nasty thing, isn’t it? I’ve lost one, and two more could be in trouble. I was more heartbroken at the storm taking down my beloved Forest Pansy redbud. We’ve already replaced it, but the new one is so small! I saved the trunk of the old one for a future craft project.

  3. Linda says:

    Sure looks beautiful Dee. Love the tapioca! This was a great year for phlox here too. It’s bloomed longer and more prolifically than I can ever remember. Clients have been saying the same thing.

    Your summer sounds a lot like it was here. We didn’t have the triple-digits, but close. It started out cool, rainy, and very mild. The heat and lack of rain hit here a bit earlier, but otherwise it sounds like we had very similar seasons. I’m so glad you got good rains early in the summer.

    Beautiful photos – looks so nice and lush. I can imagine what a relief it has been this year, compared to the last couple of years. Sure was a relief here, especially after last year’s brutal heat and drought.

  4. Everything looks so nice! I’ve never seen celosia get that big!

  5. It’s all gorgeous, Dee. We do have very different gardens, but it’s so fun to compare. I really appreciate your honesty and fun writing style. I’m planning to plant Boltonia from seed for next year’s garden. I was told it can handle some shade, and I need more autumn-flowering, shade-tolerating blooms. From your pictures, I can see that I will like it in my garden. Thanks!

  6. Jennie Brooks says:

    Dee, you always make me laugh. First, the celosia – i love the color but the bloom to the far right looks to me like it’s giving everything on the other side of the fence the finger. this proves again the weird sense of humor i have. then sneaking the boxwoods in bit by bit. haha!
    i adore your gardens. thanks for sharing.

  7. Ann says:

    Your garden is stunning. The individual pictures probably don’t do your garden justice. Ever give tours? If you ever do, give me advance notice and I’ll make the drive up!

  8. Carol says:

    You know I like bloom day. Your garden looks great. So different from last year after the awful drought. Thanks for joining in for bloom day!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Since you started this madness, I would hope you love it. Thanks Carol for making us share.

  9. Rose says:

    I love that celosia, though I’m not sure I’d want something 10 feet tall, either. Last year I planted some ‘Flamingo,’ which I really liked and has somewhat of a similar bloom, but I forgot to order seeds for it this year, drat. Every time I see photos of your garden, Dee, it makes me want to take a trip to Oklahoma just to see your garden–simply beautiful!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thank you Rose. I went and looked at ‘Flamingo Feather,’ and it does resemble this one, but shorter which is a good thing. Thanks for the tip. Please come visit sometime. I’d love to have you.~~Dee

  10. Jacque Dunn says:

    Love the entry and pics! Since I am a relative newbie to gardening you always teach me alot and help my “wish list” to be ever growing! We got rain last night too, of course I had just watered!!!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Hi Jacque and thanks! It’s okay that you just watered. It simply prepared the ground to receive more moisture. It’s all good.

  11. Lea says:

    Lots of beauty in your garden!
    Love that sweep of False Aster, and your Phlox are lovely!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Lea’s Menagerie

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thank you Lea. I hope your bloom day was grand too. We got rain last night. Oh joy!

  12. I agree, the variegated tapioca is stunning. I’m sure it’s not hardy in my garden. Is it an annual or a perennial for you?

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Kathy, it is definitely not annual here. I usually just let them die, but since I have the greenhouse, I’ll be digging them up before winter.

  13. Christine B. says:

    Looks like we had the opposite summer you did. We started unusually hot (in Alaska that’s anything over 70…stop laughing) and it has culminated in a month of rain. Not gentle misty rain. More gray, angry, blowy, sideways rain.

    The coleus in your container is gorgeous. Every year I buy coleus and every year it sulks. Well, grandpa said you can’t fix stupid. I’ll probably try it again next year after seeing your photo, too. Sorry, grandpa.

    Christine B. in Alaska

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Hi Christine, I guess coleus wouldn’t like your weather. It loves the heat. I’m sure there are so many things I can’t grow that you can. Sorry about your summer.

  14. Greg says:

    Yes, I enjoy bloom day posts as it gives me a reason to post. Your garden looks great! Really like the Tapioca, did you plant it from seed? I like to use Tropicals also, especially for there foliage. I purchased a few on clearance, cannas, bananas, taro, colocasia and papyrus. Happy bloom day Dee.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Greg, I did not grow the tapioca from seed. I’ve never seen it bloom because it is day sensitive so I don’t even know what the blooms look like. I bought the plants small at Bustani Plant Farm. I usually don’t splurge on two.

      1. Greg says:

        I must visit that place sometime, maybe after a ball game.

  15. Helen says:

    I spy your greenhouse I looks great. I’m quite happy to pull up plants when they are past their best, I get bored of annuals so quickly

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Yes, dead annuals are the boring-est.

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