It’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: August 2022, which means it’s time to share what’s in flower in my Oklahoma garden. Some plants, like the Helenium autumnale, common sneezeweed, are just coming into flower while others, like Phlox paniculata, tall garden phlox, are hanging on.
As always, click on images in the galleries to make them larger.
Throughout July and August, much of the country, including Oklahoma, had very hot temperatures day and night. Today is supposed to top out at 101° yet again. It’s been too hot for too long, and many of my garden coaching clients have texted me lamenting their gardens this year.
I hear you. Mine isn’t great either. However, I have great news! Wednesday starts a real cooldown which will get us back into the seasonal temperature range.
All together now, “Hip, hip, hooray!”
Zinnias handle the heat
Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Series zinnias in the cutting garden laugh at the heat. The Oklahoma Series is so good because it’s almost mildew-proof in full sun. I grow ‘Oklahoma Carmine,’ ‘Oklahoma Pink,’ and ‘Oklahoma Salmon.’ My ‘Oklahoma Carmine’ zinnias have struggled this year. Next spring, I will start my zinnias in the greenhouse and set them outside. You can also start seeds under lights indoors. Although zinnias can be sown directly outside in the garden, in the last few years, my seed has washed away time and again in heavy spring rains, so I’m trying something different by starting all of my cutting garden seeds indoors.
My Queen Lime Mixture zinnias are very sad this year. I’ll start them in the greenhouse next year too.
The garden, toasty yet productive
While still producing flowers, the garden looks a little toasty around the edges. The whole thing would be dead if I didn’t have drip irrigation. My upper pasture meadow decided to give up the ghost and wait until fall and spring. I can hardly blame it. I feel the same way. I didn’t water the meadow this year because I just didn’t feel like it.
It will bounce back.
Let’s hear it for the salvias!
All of the salvias continue to be great performers. I’m growing several, but I’ll give a shout-out to ‘Amistad’ –not perennial in our climate, but it produces for a very long time. Salvia ‘Indigo Spires Blue’ is a large and special one that usually isn’t perennial in my garden either, but it’s a great bloom factory. S. ‘Wendy’s Wish’ had a hard time in the cutting garden because the watering system has been a nightmare all summer. The soaker hoses keep splitting; we discover it because we find dying plants. I think we’ve patched these hoses about eight or nine times now. We are replacing all of the soaker hoses with Netafim dripline tubing this winter.
All of the perennial salvias are happy too. I still grow ‘Victoria Blue,’ which is marginally hardy. Remember, I live in the country, so my garden is colder than a city garden. I don’t have the same microclimate created by concrete, asphalt and buildings.
Other plants still alive and flowering
‘Salmon Sunset’ four o’clocks are still flowering in the garage border. Did you know four o’clocks are one of the host plants for white-lined sphinx moths and that adult sphinx moths, hummingbirds, and butterflies pollinate them? I planted my four o’clocks from seed many years ago, and they keep coming back. In spring, I just remove those I don’t want.
Almost all of the native plants, including Eupatorium serotinum, late boneset, are doing fine with a little drip watering. I am watering five days a week on drip right now, and I’m watering at night. I will back off the days when the weather cools down. The perennial hibiscus are fine. I don’t have any good photos of them, though. Hibiscus ‘Mahogany Splendor’ doesn’t flower except in the greenhouse, but its foliage looks fabulous with ‘Salmon Sunset’ four o’clocks. It isn’t hardy in our climate. I must take cuttings.
It’s time to pull out the dwarf sunflowers and put compost on the potager. I’m using Happy Frog soil conditioner because I’ve used up all of my homemade compost. I will do that little chore on Wednesday when the weather cools. Think about what you want to work on this weekend. It is supposed to be quite nice.
At this point, 94° is nice, especially when we start out at 69°.
Our European vacation is over
Bill and I just returned from England and Amsterdam, and I’ll post about those adventures later. I never thought I would write the words European vacation and “our” together. I have a few posts about our trip on Instagram if you want to check them out. I did the rest of the posts in my Instagram stories because I wanted to share them in depth with you here later. Instagram stories only last 24 hours.
Carol and I have a new podcast episode out this week, but last Wednesday’s fun is below.
That’s it for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! Hang in there, my friends. It won’t be long until things are cooler.