Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day July 2013

It’s a soggy Bloom Day here in Oklahoma. I can’t believe I just wrote those words. The last three years have been nothing but drought, but this year is a whole different animal. I hear from my friends in Seattle that they want their cool rainy season back. I promise we’ll only use it a little while. From the forecast, I think this will be the last of the rain for several weeks.

How about some containers for Bloom Day? Helen Weis from Unique by Design told me to take pictures because I rarely do. I guess I always see my containers in a state of flux, and I am never very pleased with them except at their beginnings and their finale. When Helen visited last week, she also gave me a few pruning tips for containers. Basically, you must prune some things to give other stuff sunlight to grow. Why didn’t I think of that?

Unknown coleus, red petunias, apricot calibrachoa (don't know the name) and 'Silver Falls' dichondra
Unknown coleus, red petunias, apricot calibrachoa (don’t know the name) and ‘Silver Falls’ dichondra. Tap is sitting on the deck enjoying the sunshine after the rain.

For the containers, I did everything in shades of red, hot pink, silver and blue this summer. I’m also growing three blueberry plants in containers with flowers too. I’m trying a raspberry. It’s not too happy so far. The hanging basket above wasn’t either when I returned from San Francisco. My drip irrigation system for the pots went on strike while I was gone. So, I lost a few plants and clipped back others. Bill and I fixed the system, and I went sale shopping. I added a few things here and there where stuff died. It will take the season to catch up, but that’s okay.

Dahlia, supposed to be 'Boom Boom Red' with 'Fireworks' pennisetum behind
Dahlia, supposed to be ‘Boom Boom Red’ and not munched so far. Pennisetum ‘Fireworks’ is planted behind.

That’s the thing about gardening. Grasshoppers munch your dahlias. Your lilies aren’t as big this year as last. The expensive daylilies rot where they’re planted while the cheap ones bloom forever. Life happens. You can’t get too wrapped up in this plant or that. Unless you paid a ton of money for a tree or shrub, remember that plants are pretty much disposable–especially if they’re annuals or short-lived perennials like Gaillardias. It took me years to get this so I understand if you’re not with me.

Plants are living things, and sometimes, no matter what you do, they die.

Hemerocallis 'Blue Pink Beauty' with maiden grass and Tightwad Red crapemyrtle is a good place to look.
Hemerocallis ‘Blue Pink Beauty’ with maiden grass and Tightwad Red crapemyrtle is a good place to look.

It’s okay. Really. Just look to another part of the landscape and enjoy it while you rehab the affected area.

'Becky' shasta daisy with Rainbow Knockout rose and Black Lace sambucus.
‘Becky’ shasta daisy with Rainbow Knockout rose and Black Lace sambucus.

There are years I’m grateful anything blooms. This summer, so far, has been quite wonderful and nothing like the last two years. Plants are so robust they are muscling each other out of the way.

Hemerocallis 'Concorde Nelson', a new one for my garden.
Hemerocallis ‘Concorde Nelson’, a new daylily to my garden.

Daylilies are having wonderful rebloom, and some of the reds are just now starting to really get going. My reds tend to be on the late side. I wish the daylily club could have visited last week when all of the daylilies were blooming themselves silly. Daylilies are wonderful plants for the south. I wouldn’t grow them in a cool climate because they would have trouble opening, but in my hot one, they outperform a lot of other plants. They are also quite happy with grasses, perennials, trees and shrubs, native or not. My garden is a mix of what works here. It’s not like anyone else’s garden, and yours shouldn’t be either. Ignore fashion. Grow what you like.

Hibiscus 'Moy Grande'
Hibiscus ‘Moy Grande’ was nearly eaten to the ground last year by grasshoppers. With the rainier weather, it’s come back strong. I like the center of this bloom. Pollinators do too. They enjoy it like a landing strip. This photo wasn’t enhanced. It looks exactly like this on a cloudy day.

I like perennial hibiscus. Life is too short for drudgery. Have fun.

Last summer I found a little green frog hanging onto a bloom of Hemerocallis 'North Wind Dancer.'
Last summer I found a little green frog hanging onto a bloom of Hemerocallis ‘North Wind Dancer.’

How could you not like Hemerocallis ‘North Wind Dancer?’ It truly dances in the wind, and the little green frogs love the protection of daylily blooms. I find them every morning resting there.

Here is my attempt at better plant symmetry. I must confess symmetry often eludes me, but I try. This path is getting better. I love the arbors painted green and the chairs painted purple. I am no longer afraid of color, and I am glad.

My attempts at symmetry are varied in the garden. I am trying for the main path though by planting similar things on either side.
My attempts at symmetry are varied in the garden. I am trying for the main path though by planting similar things on either side. I should’ve planted another Pink Knockout rose opposite, but at the time, I planted it somewhere else. Something to consider for next year.

I’ll leave you with a shot of Hydrangea paniculata Pinky Winky which has never been very pink. However, it is lovely where it sits, and I don’t care about the color. It took years to get established because it was a small trial plant.

Hydrangea paniculata Pinky Winky
Hydrangea paniculata Pinky Winky

Now that I finally got my bloom day post up and running, I want to thank Carol from May Dreams Gardens for continuing this wonderful exercise the 15th of each month. It’s fun to see plants in others’ gardens and wonderful to see year-to-year what’s blooming in mine. Happy Bloom Day!


  1. Robin L says:

    You sound like me Dee, I am so often unhappy with my containers, or this flower bed, or that one. Nothing ever seems to be at it’s “peak”! But after all the rain we’ve had this year, I am just about as happy as I ever been with how things look around the yard.

  2. Isn’t all of this rain fantastic after those dry years. I don’t hardly know what to do with myself during the rain. I have (had) forgotten what to do on a rainy summer day. Your pots look darn good to me. I love the hot colors for summer. Happy GBBD.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      The rain is simply amazing. We got more last night. I don’t know what to think because the irrigation system isn’t running on overtime.

  3. Les says:

    After the summers you’ve endured, you deserve a little rain and the flowers it brings.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      It’s a good summer. I’m so busy writing that I’m not enjoying it as I should. Note to self, enjoy more. Next year could be hell again.

  4. So happy you got rain! Your garden is looking very lush. I especially love your blue container with the pentas and petunias. Your daylilies are fabulous. P. x

    1. Dee Nash says:

      I’m just thrilled about the rain. We got more last night. Unbelievable. Thank you. I love that container too. You never know which one will do better.~~Dee

  5. Carol says:

    It’s amazing the difference rain makes. I want it to rain every summer (lol). Thanks for joining in for bloom day.

  6. Wow, that ‘Concorde Nelson’ is stunning! I might have to add that one. And your containers are incredible, too–I’m so glad you highlighted them. Some of mine worked, and some just didn’t this year. And some plants and garden rooms are impressive, and others–not so much. So I get it. It took me a while, too. 😉

    1. Dee Nash says:

      It is stunning in person too. My friend told me to buy it, and I’m glad he did. Some of my containers worked better than others. It’s a battle to get them going well when you’re on vacation. Of course, who wants to complain about going on vacation?~~Dee

  7. Dee so happy to see you are having rain and your garden is certainly kicking up its heels with all the color.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Donna, it’s been a great summer so far. However, the heat has now set in again for the next month. I’ll take one month though over three.~~Dee

  8. Denise says:

    So enjoyed your Bloom Day post! Being fearless with color is producing wonderful results. I’m imaging those purple chairs the same color as the wooden fence behind, blending in, instead of contributing so much to that part of the garden.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thank you Denise. Those chairs have been nearly every color of the rainbow. I’m glad they’re part of the garden, and purple seems to suit them.~~Dee

  9. Scott Weber says:

    SO very glad you’re getting rain…I kind of wish we were too! Love those spidery daylilies…so elegant!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thank you Scott. It seems like if you guys get rain, we’re dry, and vice versa. So frustrating. I love your pictures. You’re quite the artist.

  10. Dorothy says:

    I love those brightly colored petunias, and they look just right potted up with the fern. I have given up on petunias in my garden due to my battles with the petunia budworm. They always seems to win!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Okay Dorothy, another pest to learn of. Petunia budworm? Ick.

  11. Peter says:

    Gorgeous containers and that hibiscus is swoon worthy! H. ‘North Wind Dancer’ is beautiful as are all of your blooms! Happy belated GBBD!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thank you so much Peter! Happy GBBD to you too.

  12. Ann says:

    Jealous! I have been looking forever for Tightwad crepe myrtle – cannot find it in the piney woods of east Texas. I am, however, coming to Edmond tomorrow. Can you give me an idea of where to look for it? Thanks!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Hi Ann, I found three of them at TLC Landscape and Nursery three years ago. You might check with Carl Whitcomb on his website: He may know where they’re selling it. TLC may still have it, but they’ve changed ownership so I don’t know. Good luck!

  13. Gail says:

    Your containers are fantastic, but, then so is your garden. I agree wholeheartedly with you Dee, forget fads, grow what ever you like and what makes sense for your garden conditions. happy Bloom Day my dear. xogail

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thank you Gail. I think we should just do as we’re driven. 🙂

  14. Rose says:

    All I can say about your containers, Dee, is Wow! Thanks for the tip on pruning them–I never do much of anything to mine after planting other than snipping off the tops to coleus so they don’t get too tall and, of course, taking out the plants that died. I remember ‘Northwind’ from last year; such a lovely lily. Looks like your garden is loving all this rain–beautiful!

    Thanks for your wise words on gardening–too often I get caught up in all that has to be done and forget to enjoy it. Right now I’m enjoying all the blooms from the comfort of my A/C:)

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thank you so much Rose. It’s been a good summer so far.

  15. I am so with you on accepting the died/got eaten and moving on. And the Chicago area is also having a much more lush summer than last year. I love having perennials twice the height of the drought year. Some even 3x as tall, as though the year of little growth meant more to spend this year. Thanks for the beautiful & inspiring photos. Now I have to get out and appreciate my own gardens more.

  16. Lost Roses says:

    The green arbor – the purple chairs – love, love it!

  17. Helen says:

    You have stolen my lushness and I am left with near drought.

    I love your planters they are so full and fun looking

    1. Dee Nash says:

      I’m sorry Helen. I’m sure we’ll trade places yet again. 🙂

  18. Deanne says:

    I love your attitude! it is so true that no matter what you do things die, get eaten by rodents, smushed and wrecked by downpours and hail. I’m getting better at looking for the beauty instead of the flaws. Gardens are always in a state of flux. Love all your photos and really love those fluttery daylilies.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thank you so much Deanne. Yes, stuff happens, and there is only so much we can do to keep things going some years. Thanks again.~~Dee

  19. Lea says:

    So glad to hear that you are getting rain this year – I can see your flowers are loving it!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Lea’s Menagerie

  20. Leslie says:

    “Life is too short for drudgery. Have fun.” Amen!!

  21. Jason says:

    Sorry to hear about the irrigation strike, but your reaction is very wise. Freaking out when things go wrong in the garden is just a recipe for – well, a whole lot of freaking out. Actually, though, what you’re showing looks great to me. That Northwind Dancer is a wonderful daylily, haven’t seen it before.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Jason, North Wind Dancer is a classic anymore, but so pretty. I had to laugh at your comment. It made me chuckle to think about a whole lot of freaking out. I don’t do that much anymore, but I once did.~~Dee

  22. Oh, Dee! That pink hibiscus makes me swoon. Thanks for sharing your lovely garden. I am grateful for the wisdom you shared as well.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thank you Mia. I have a lot of those hibiscus now–pink ones and red ones too. So pretty when summer is at its worst.

  23. Jennie Brooks says:

    Oh Dee, everything is simply stunning and delightful. And I don’t think I’ve ever noticed that daylily stamens’ colors vary but the purple on the concorde nelson really caught my eye. your gardens are so beautiful! and the shot of your daisies is breathtaking.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thanks Jennie. I think they look purple because of the light.

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