august bloom day

Are you new to this? If so, here’s the deal: on the 15th of every month Carol of May Dreams Gardens hosts a forum where gardeners from all over the world share pictures of what is blooming in their gardens. Sound like fun? It is! So come along with me for a tour of my garden, then skip on over to my blogroll and click on May Dreams Gardens to be taken to the portal of all things blooming.

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Can you see the bumblebees in there? I counted seven in a single blossom. They seem to sort of drowse in the cardoon, which is way smaller than last year, but more floriferous.

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Whenever something blooms for the first time, it is cause for celebration, even if the show is less than stellar. Campsis tagliabuana falls into that category for me. I brought several from my former garden and placed them at five consecutive fence-posts. You know the feeling. This gives me hope that my vision of a fence line covered with vines is not a mere pipe dream.

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I bought my Clerodendrum trichotomen specifically for the steely blue balls that form after the blossoms fade. So far, no luck…but the fairly inconspicuous blossoms do have a heavenly fragrance that kicks in just as the lilies breathe their last. Here it hovers above the Hydrangea ‘Limelight’.

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And here is a close-up of ‘Limelight’.

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The dangling pagodas of Leycesteria formosa combine fruit and flower over a long season. I hear that the fruit can be used in jams and such, but have never tried it.

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I remember ‘Red Hot Pokers’ from my grandmother’s garden. The newer varieties emerge sporting a single color, like this ‘Primrose Beauty’, which, as you can see, fades to bicolor as it ages.

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But ‘Percy’s Pride’ holds on to its monochromatic pale yellow, making it my favorite of all the kniph’s.

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See the deep colored dahlia in back of the paler one? That is the most vigorous of all the dahlias I have ever planted. The paler one in the foreground seems to be a sport, as it is springing from the same tuber…ain’t horticulture grand?

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August seems like an odd time to be buying plants, but I couldn’t resist this Rudbeckia ‘Henry Eilers’ at the farmers’ market. It is said to reach a height of 5′, so it fits into my plan for the fence line between us and our nearest neighbors.

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This Rosa rugosa ‘Buffalo Gals’ is another introduction along the fence line.

Our extremes of weather have made August feel a bit strange…not so much interest in getting out there to sniff, cut and snap pictures. Thanks to ‘Bloom Day’ there is a little extra motivation, and look what we found…

4 Responses to “august bloom day”

  1. Loree / danger garden Says:

    BEAUTIFUL POST! Everything looks so lovely, especially your Kniphs! And you solved an ID mystery for me, I’ve been seeing Clerodendrum trichotomen around town and no idea what it is. Thank you!

  2. ricki Says:

    Hi, Loree! We were having breakfast on the deck this morning, and the scent coming from the Clerodendrum (also known as Harlequin Glorybower, I think) was just like bubble gum. Can it be that the same plant can produce different smells at different times of day? Maybe it was something else.
    Yes, we do love our kniphs, don’t we? Did you see the movie ‘The Queen’? There was a scene with a long border of them that was stunning.

  3. Wendy Says:

    You have a beautiful selection of perennials! I just saw a photo of an artichoke in bloom and it looked a lot like that cardoon – very interesting. Love that they drowse in the flower – heaven to bees I guess! However, I’m not big on bugs and if I saw 7 in one flower, I’d have the heebie jeebies for sure!

  4. ricki Says:

    Wendy: the cardoon and the artichoke must be first cousins, but they have different edible parts. In my book, the ‘doon isn’t worth all the trouble of steaming the stalks, so I treat it strictly as an ornamental.
    The bumblebees are more like really small, fuzzy puppies, but I recently developed a healthy respect for wasps. First sting I have gotten, but I really couldn’t blame them…I was hacking away at the dead clematis where they had hidden their nests.

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