Saturday, July 15, 2017

July Bloom Day? Aready?

In my neck of New England, July is notorious for hot, humid, sticky weather. Rain becomes non existent and days begin to soar into the 90s. The garden (and the gardener) can quickly become parched.

Not this year. At least not this year so far. Rain has been plentiful and beneficial. Yesterday the high temperature was in the low 60s, more than twenty degrees below normal. Last night I took some of the pictures for this post in drizzly weather wearing a light down jacket. In July. But I'm not complaining and neither are my plants.

When I started filling up the newly created gardens this spring I knew that if Mother Nature turned off the spigot I could be screwed. City water doesn't exist here; we're on a well. Last summer our area was in drought mode. I spent hours hand watering pots of plants I had moved from my old garden and plants I had heeled in. Everything struggled but survived to bloom another day.

So what have I got to offer up for Bloom Day?

No late frosts and plenty of rain has made for a lot of happy Hydrangeas.

Oh how do I love you Hydrangea macrophylla 'Lemon Wave', let me count the ways.

'Bloomstruck' is an Endless Summer introduction. I had a love/hate relationship with Endless Summer in my old garden and chose to leave both plants there but I have high hopes for this one. It's been moved twice in two years but is "home" now.

Hydrangea serrata 'Tiny Tuff Stuff'. Given the choice between a macrophylla and a serrata, I'll take the serrata every time. Tiny Tuff Stuff is new to me but so far I'm impressed.

H. serrata 'Kiyosumi' is much happier here on the north side of my house than it was getting hot afternoon sun in my old garden. I love it for the burgundy tone on the new foliage and the white lacecap flowers edged in pink.

'Little Honey' is the only H. quercifolia I am currently growing but that won't last long.

H. serrata 'Blue Billow' is sulking in my dry shade street garden. I may have to move it (yet again) but I'll wait til fall to decide.

Hydrangea paniculata 'Bobo' seems to be blooming just fine on the north side of my house.

Unfortunately Hydrangea paniculata 'Dharuma' is still sitting in a holding bed. Soon, I'll find you a home. Soon. 

After dissing daylilies somewhat on Instagram this week, I now have to admit that I grow a few. Only two are currently blooming though. Now that I have more space, I *may* add one or two more but don't quote me.

You won't find any 'Stella D'Oro' in my garden but I do grow 'Happy Returns'. Does anybody else grow plants they aren't crazy about but can't shovel prune for whatever reason? I do and you're looking at it.

'Indian Giver' is a daylily that will always have a spot here.

An unknown daylily I found growing at the edge of the woods in the front yard.

The rest.

Corydalis lutea is welcome to self sow all over my garden.

I should have cut back or supported Heliopsis 'Lorraine Sunshine' before it bloomed. Prematurely declining blooms are one of the downsides to summer rain,

Phlox paniculata 'Blue Paradise' (pictured with Rudbekia hirta 'Prairie Sun') is an example of another plant with flowers also turning to mush in all the rain.

A seedling from Echinacea 'Sombrero Salsa Red'. Something is eating the petals off my Echinacea this year.

I'd like to add more Echinacea to the garden but going forward I'll likely stick with more simple flower varieties not these mop tops like 'Coconut Lime'.

I could grow Astilbe 'Amber Moon' for the foliage alone. Cotton candy like flowers are icing on the cake.

Between the Astibes I moved and some I inherited I lost track and have no ID on this one. It is growing in mostly sun though and doing well which is likely a result of plentiful water. In the inevitable fall reshuffle I will likely move it to a shadier spot.

A hodgepodge of rain weary Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Golden Arrow', Digiplexis 'Berry Canary' and Calamagrostis x acutifolia 'Overdam'.

My poppy experience is limited. I picked up a six pack of 'Lauren's Grape' this spring. Hope it reseeds for me!

Agastache foeniculum 'Golden Jubilee' can reseed annoyingly but the foliage is hard to resist.

Another new to me plant: the annual butterfly weed Asclepias curassavica. I do believe I'm quite smitten.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' is a staple in my garden. It's a winner in the ground or in containers.

Clematis 'Etoile Violette'

Clematis 'Madame Julia Correvon' is starting to wind down

Spigelia marilandica is one tough plant. It's one of my go-to plants for dry shade.

Gooseneck loosestrife (Lysimachia clethroides) has a well deserved reputation for being a garden thug. The variegated variety does run but is less aggressive. 

Planting containers in the spring is what I do. Usually I have them in place before adding the plants but this year I planted them in anticipation of a patio that doesn't exist yet so I used my imagination. Maybe by August bloom day they will be in place.

OK this post has gone on long enough. I had hoped to get it published earlier but you all know how that goes. I want to thank Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting this monthly event. If it wasn't for her I'd never get off my patootie and put a blog post together.

Home sweet home!



  1. Well I must say you should feel pretty good about what you have going on there considering the brief duration of your new garden ! And your containers look splendid.

    1. I'm feeling better about it. Now that these original gardens are coming together I'm starting to think about where I can expand next.

  2. Beautiful blooms!
    Blue Paradise and Prairie Sun look really good together
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

    1. Thank you Lea! I like to use blue/purple and yellow together.

  3. Low 60s! We're not even getting down into that territory at night. Still, I'm glad to hear that Mother Nature's given your new garden a break. You've got a lot going on - the Hydrangeas alone were impressive. I hope that patio construction is coming along well (or have you had rain delays?). I look forward to seeing the new pots in their chosen spots.

    1. The patio is coming along, Kris, just a bit slower than I would prefer. Yes, there have been weather delays. Soon I hope to publish a progress post but we're not there yet.

  4. So lush! I'm glad that the weather is playing nice with you and your new garden. I grew up with well water and know the balancing act that goes on when its not producing at the rate you need it to.

    1. I'm working to improve the soil so going forward established plants will be able to tolerate drought conditions on less water.

  5. Incredible what you have accomplished. All those hydrangeas remind me of our visit to Joy Creek. Those pots without a patio are classic "idyll," a very cheerful sight in your new home. What a great new adventure.

  6. Great post Sue! It's already looking like a signature Sue garden!

  7. Hi Sue, Yes, we New Englanders have really lucked out when it comes to weather this summer! Your gardens are beautiful and lush. I love the Corydalis and may have to try it. The potted plants are eye popping....really gorgeous. Consider giving Lilies a try. There are more wonderful ones every year and they are the energizer bunnies of perennial flowerbeds. (Ok, now I"ll stop butting in!;)

  8. Your Hydrangeas do look happy. I'm intrigued by that blue Phlox - I might try that some day. And I agree that Spigelia is a great shade plant. Your garden is looking good!

    1. Thanks Jason. I highly recommend Phlox 'Blue Paradise'. Even Dave noticed the eye catching color.

  9. "Rain has been plentiful and beneficial." Is that the same thing as "it never stops raining!!!"? Hard to believe that you have only been there two years. Many people would be thrilled with those results after two decades. I am impressed with the number and variety of your hydrangea. Find a place for a run of limelight.

    1. I've only been here a little more than a year, Jack. I'll toss a Limelight somewhere but there are so many great Hydrangea paniculata cultivars out there now. Not sure I would mass any one of them.

  10. Beautiful garden and I LOVE your house!!

  11. I've only watered my pots about 6 times this summer. Mother nature with the watering can. Oy. I'll take it over drought, though.

  12. Hi, I came here from following you on Instagram. My Bloomstruck hasn't bloomed since the first year I got it (2015). The winter was mild and my other macrophyllas are blooming, so all I can conclude is that it's not getting enough sun with a western exposure. Saw your patio on Instagram and I'm really impressed.