Saturday, August 17, 2013

August Bloom Day and Foliage Follow Up-Better Late Than Never

I missed August Bloom Day.  Trust me I tried but between work and personal commitments this week I just couldn't pull it off.  When the camera battery died as I was dashing around the garden early yesterday morning trying to pull something together for Foliage Follow Up, I almost gave up.  But so much is going on in the garden right now I just had persevere.  I'm glad I did. 

Today I leave for my annual week at the beach.  Every year I look forward to a week of just watching the sun rise and set and the tide going in and out but this year I am more than ready to get away.  Since I'm pressed for time this morning, my comments will be brief.  Let the pictures tell the story.

Things have gotten somewhat out of control along the side walkway.  I let the too many of the reseeded Amaranthus and Cleomes survive and now I have a grove.  Heleniums are just ecstatic this year with all the rain we've had.  And next spring it will be time to coppice the Cotinus 'Golden Spirit'.

Not sure which Helenium cultivar grows here.  It's either 'Mardi Gras' or 'Coppelia'.  The foliage is Baptisia minor, a nice tidy choice for small gardens.

Yes, we have Crepe Myrtles in Connecticut.  With the exception of the winter voles ran amok in this garden, 'Dynamite' has been a reliable performer for me.

Foliage of Amsonia hubrichtii and Cotinus 'Golden Spirit mingles with fading flowers of Hydrangea paniculata 'Dharuma'.

Nothing beats an Ensete maurelii for tropical foliage drama.  De Big BA-NA-NA!

Another container combo that has really taken off this year.

Can somebody yell me why they call these Four O'clocks?  They bloom whenever they feel like it.  This picture was taken in the early morning.

Another view from the side walkway garden.  Pennisetum 'Rubrum', Coleus 'Sedona' and Heliotrope planted in the ground behind some Allium senenscens 'Glaucum', a great Allium that I have begun dividing and moving around the garden.

Hibiscus 'Kopper King' and Phlox 'Norah Leigh'.  Hibiscus sawfly has been brutal this year.  Despite fairly regular spraying, all my perennial Hibiscus leaves look like crap.

Here is a wider view of one of the patio gardens.  Oddly enough, Musa basjoo has not grown as well as usual although it is still 5-6 feet tall.

Some patio containers.  Variegated Sunpatiens are the bomb.  Too bad they are so difficult to find around here.

Colocasia 'Thai Giant' in a pot with some miscellaneous potted Coleus and more reseeded Amaranthus.

More patio containers.  Fortunately I have a very good friend who takes care of the garden and house for me when I'm away.

More great foliage-Symphytum 'Axminster Gold' and Rex Begonia 'Escargot'

Canna 'Intrigue' and Callicarpa 'Duet' seem to be playing well together.

As the shadows lengthen with the passing season (boo hoo!),  I have to shuffle many of the patio containers around.  The Twerpster is on an inspection tour.

Colocasia 'Illustis' in the ground with Hydrangea quercifolia 'Little Honey'.  In the back ground is Hibiscis syriacus 'Sugar Tip' and Dahlia 'Mystic Illusion'.

Down by the shed, Panicum 'Northwind' glows in the early evening sun.

And Helenim 'Red Jewel' is a perfect companion plant.

Usually I plant Pennisetum 'Vertigo' in the ground but this year I'm also growing one in a pot.  So far, so good.

In case you haven't already figured it out, I love big, bold foliage.  Colocasia 'Diamond Head' certainly fits the bill.

Here is a sneak peak at the Tetrapanax I planted in early spring.  Come fall I will be protecting this in hopes of getting it to survive the winter.  Stay tuned for that experiment.

Phlox 'Blue Paradise' was a new addition this year.  So far it's lived up to it's billing.  I planted it with Sedum 'Autumn Charm' (the best variegated Sedum I've come across BTW).

Albizia 'Summer Chocolate' how do I love you, let me count the ways.  You look great with everything.  Here we also have Eupatorium 'Baby Joe' and Hibiscus syriacus 'Little Kim'.

And here we have Colocasia 'Thai Giant'.  Be still my heart!

Another fabulous variegated Phlox 'Shockwave'.

Another exuberant container backed by a solitary Calamagrostis 'Karl Forester'.

Meanwhile in the east garden...the fine foliage of Indigofera amblyantha contrasts nicely with a large Castor Bean and a variety of other foliage plants.  In the lower right is Sedum 'Xenox'.  Finally a deep purple sedum that actually thrives.

This pass along white Brugmansia has been a trooper in the garden for many years.  In the winter it goes dormant in a closet in my basement.

Sometimes it all comes together like this combo of Ligularia 'Britt Marie Crawford', Aralia 'Sun King' and variegated Lysimachia clethroides.

I was going to move this Eleutherococcus 'Variegata' but Eupatorium not so 'Little Joe' looks too good growing up through.

Hydrangea paniculata 'Quickfire' is still throwing huge new flowers.

Looking back down the path through the screen porch garden.

Just a few miscellaneous shots then I have to wrap this up so I can move on to other things like packing.

Some containers around the hot tub.

One of the last containers I planted with some miscellaneous sale plants.  Love the way Dichondra cascades and covers the ground.

Such a beautiful flower on this double purple Datura.  It looks like porcelain.

Angelica gigas.

One of my favorite foliage plants-Plectranthus 'Troy's Gold'.

Even though there is so much more, that's it for now.  I'm not linking my post this month to either but as most of you know, you can enjoy Bloom Day from around the world at Carol's May Dreams Gardens and Foliage Follow Up at Pam's Digging.





  1. A gorgeous garden, Sue!

    The Twerpster? Would the supreme feline life form appreciate being called that?

    Enjoy the time away!

    1. You're right-usually he prefers The Twerpinator :).

  2. gosh waht amazing feast for the eyes...How do you keep thies tropicals alive in the winter...whats you summer annoual bill? im amzed at the almost looks like washington state...the tectures,shapes and colors are soooo varied...looks like a lot of thought

    1. Some of the tropicals come in and go dormant in the basement and some get cut back and kept alive under lights or do begrudgingly become house plants. Many are just annuals and get treated that way. I spend a few bucks on annuals every year but I plan for it and look at it as part of my entertainment budget :).

  3. So what's the name of the tall plant with the multi-colored leaves in the same shot with the hard to find variegated Sunpatiens? I LOVE it! Also pretty fond of the Symphytum 'Axminster Gold' - I saw it recently in a garden here and it was gorgeous. May need that one next year.

    Have a wonderful time at the beach Sue! (and thanks for squeezing in a post before you left)

    1. Loree that is Acalpha 'Jungle Dragon'. A real beauty, isn't it? I'll be taking that in for the winter. Definitely get 'Axminster Gold'. Another primo foliage plant that no garden should be without.

  4. Wowzer!!!! Fabulous! everything is looking great Sue. Would love to see it in person. We haven't been down since we left for IU. Time for a CT patio party I think.

    1. Give ma a week or two to clean it up after I get home from the beach and maybe we can throw a party together.

  5. I'm glad you posted for Bloom Day and Foliage Follow up. You do have a way with containers! The plants you have chosen go together perfectly. I really enjoyed seeing all of the colocasia and the banana plants. A tropical paradise right at home.
    But it is nice to get away, and I hope you have a great and relaxing vacation!

    1. Thanks Dorothy! I really enjoy the containers and playing with bold foliage. Maybe someday I'll have a greenhouse.

  6. I love the depth of your layers. They're so incredible!

    And in a perfect world, I'd hire you to do my containers. You have a true gift - they look amazing! Enjoy the beach!

  7. Your garden is beautiful. I am especially impressed with its diversity, and I am glad to see crape myrtles slowly marching north.

  8. Well Sue, this is damn impressive for a throw together at the last minute post !

  9. How can you bear to go away and leave your garden looking so gorgeous? I can't get over how much is going on there. I agree with Kathryn - can I hire you to design my containers? And my garden, while you're at it?

  10. So glad you're keeping your appointment with the beach. Your garden just floors me, but you're right, that aralia/ligularia/lysimachia was a great idea and came out spectacular. And I didn't know acalyphas could grow leaves that

  11. Holy cow, that tropical foliage is incredible. I don't know how you do it. Everything looks so beautiful and relaxing...but I know the hard work it takes. Kudos! I'm jealous!!!!

  12. Wow, it looks like acres and acres of botanical garden. And you have managed to get the right balance between tropical exuberance and a refined sense of calm in your garden. All your containers look wonderful for late in the season.

    Love the path and gate partly hidden by all the lush planting. What a garden space you have created!

  13. Your beautiful exploding 'Dynamite' reminds me I should have kept trying crape myrtle in Connecticut after mine failed to withstand the winter. Sue, your amazing images show that your entire garden is dynamite.

  14. Wow, you did have a lot to show! I love all the big, bold-leaved plants - your banana tree looks better than mine (now long gone) ever did. I haven't indulged in as many tropical plants at my "new" location but, after looking at yours, I think putting some in big pots may be just the ticket for a partially shaded area with terrible soil. Enjoy your vacation break!

  15. Love it all!
    I didn't havre a moment to participate at all this go around...

  16. Gorgeous! Now you can come redesign my garden. :o)

  17. Incredibly gorgeous as always, Sue! Each picture is better than the last and each was my favorite until I saw the next. At a bookstore the other day I found on a sale table a book called Bulbs in the Basement Geraniums on the Windowsill. Because the cover had some damage, it was a steal so I only thumbed through it briefly before putting it in my cart. When I finally pulled it out and started reading, I was thrilled to see a full page color picture of a strangely familiar garden. That looks like Sue's garden. The caption confirmed that, indeed, this was a picture of Idyll Haven. How cool is that?

    1. Hmmm...that's interesting. I was at a garden symposium once where the speaker had a picture of my garden in one of his slides and my friend's garden in another. Apparently he had clipped them off Gardenweb which is perfectly legal but boy was he embarassed when we claimed them as ours.

  18. I am so impressed! What a knack you have for mixing foliage colors and planting containers! I love the bold statements like Colocasia 'Thai Giant' and the way you mix in dark maroons like Albizia 'Summer Chocolate' in with other foliage colors.

  19. If I had your Heleniums, they would be making ME ecstatic. I also like the Phlox/Hibiscus combo.