An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

June 15, 2015

Bloom Day - Garden, Gardener, and Blogger are Still Here

     I've been a bad blogger. I missed May's Bloom Day, it's been more than a month since my last post, and there are over 500 new posts from other bloggers waiting for me to read at Feedly. The problem is that my actual life is interfering with my virtual life. It's still spring, and I come home from work drained (in a good way), both mentally and physically and want nothing more than to sit and sip. On the weekends I am either pedaling, or paddling, or in the garden. Perhaps with the arrival of the more lethargic days of summer, my status might return to blogger-in-good-standing. Until then let's see what's blooming.

     The front garden is quite colorful now, with daylilies coming into season, Salvia and Dahlia blooming, and my questionable lily mugging for the camera in the background. What I paid for was Lilium 'African Queen', a tall trumpet type with a subtle orange coloring. What I got was a much shorter lily with an in-your-face color with no hint of subtlety, but at this point I am not ready to yank them. Fortunately my Verbasucm 'Banana Custard' is still holding court, and drawing an army of native bees and friendly little flies.
Front Garden (2)

Verbascum 'Banana Custard' (2)

Verbascum 'Banana Custard' (1)

x Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame'

Tradescantia and Spiraea thunbergii 'Ogon'

Senecio cineraria

Sedum 'Cherry Tart'

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' and Lilium 'African Queen'

     In the side garden Hydrangea, Coreopsis, Echinacea are in bloom, as is a new-to-my-garden plant, Digitialis ferruginea 'Gigantea', which has been a real pain in the butt to keep hydrated.
Echinacea purpurea (2)

Coreopsis x 'Cosmic Eye'  (1)

SIde Garden

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Little Honey' (2)

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Little Honey', Musa basjoo, and Hosta

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Little Honey' (1)

Hydrangea macrophylla serrata 'Bluebird'

Digitialis ferruginea 'Gigantea'

     Closer to the house, Hydrangea 'Frau Kinue' is looking good, and hopefully distracts your eye from peeling paint.
Jasminum officinale 'Aureum' and Hydrangea macrophylla 'Frau Kinue' (Angel Robe)

     I've spent a good part of yesterday potting up many of the plants that line the front steps. As usual I'm using many coleus, but this year I have also added Begonia 'Bonfire', which after seeing it perform so well at work, I had to have one of my own. At the bottom of the steps I have paired a pale yellow and orange Sunpatiens with Crossandra 'Orange Marmalade', and behind that, plume poppy (Macleaya cordata) is helping hid the winter-stressed foliage of my windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei).
Front Steps

Begonia boliviensis 'Bonfire'

Impatiens hybrida 'Fusion Glow Yellow'

Macleaya cordata and Trachycarpus fortunei

     Up on the porch I still have 2 plants yet to find their final home, an Aralia 'Sun King', and a lizard's tail (Saururus cernuus) destined for the fish pond. I have three rectangular concrete planters on the edge of the porch that all get different levels of sun. Trying to find the same light-flexible annuals to grow in all three was a challenge, but I settled on common wax leaf begonias and a variegated vinca. The combo may not be too exciting, but it works, and they were cheap.
Front Porch Collection

Porch Planters (2)

Porch Planters

     In the back garden other hydrangeas are blooming, as is my Gardenia. I was afraid the winter damaged it, but it is blooming in spades and helping to mask the smell of dog.
Back Garden

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Mariesii'

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Glory Blue'

     If you want to see what other bloggers might have blooming in their gardens, be they good, bad, or something in between, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens where she hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th of each month.

38 comments:

  1. Hi Les! You mean your real life is taking up your time? Good for you. Still, I'm so glad you posted. I love seeing what's blooming in your garden. It's been a good year thus far in Oklahoma. We've even had some rain. Don't you just love verbascum? I grew several kinds last year from seed. They were sensational. That 'Little Honey' hydrangea is great too.~~Dee

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    1. Dee, I do love verbascum, perhaps because I am tall and can look the flowers in the eye without bending an aching back. 'Banana Custard' is a biennial for me.

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  2. Miss your posts but you are allowed to have a life! I've been curious about that digitalis but sounds a bit high maintenance.

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    1. That Digitalis has been thirsty since I put it in the ground. I am not sure it needs more water than other species, or if it is just reluctant to put down roots. I suspect the later.

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  3. That 'in your face' orange lily looks awesome with the black and blue salvia. A happy accident. Is your digiplexis a new plant or did it come back from last year? (a personal survey I'm conducting, mine didn't make back...)
    All the potted plants on the steps and porch looks great. I covet Begonia 'Bonfire': what a perfect summer color.

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    1. Chavliness, that Digiplexis is new in my garden this spring. We grew them at work last year where we had mixed results on performance. Those with any bit of shade were stingy with their blooms, while those in full sun all day bloomed almost non-stop. However, our unusually cold winter did most of the them in.

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  4. Lovely!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

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    1. Thanks, Lea, and happy GBBD to you as well.

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  5. Life happens. I've been feeling the same way lately, and thinking about taking a month off from blogging. But then I keep finding things to post. But, yes, it makes sense to take a break now and again. That 'Illumination Flame' Digiplexis is ... wow. Happy GBBD!

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    1. Beth, I have albums of photos I could blog about. I just don't have time, or maybe it's that I don't make time. I will have to ponder which one it is.

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  6. Just what a June garden should be!

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  7. Beautiful as always Les! Don't feel bad about not posting. I haven't done it in over 2 years so you aren't that bad yet! ;0)

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    1. Randy, you make me feel better about myself.

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  8. Lovely. I had a Foxfire Begonia last year too. I took it in for the winter and it just did not thrive. I nursed it along until about March and finally just sat the hanging pot outside figuring it would die. Lo and behold, it did not.....it just bounced back and keeps getting better. It's by the front door looking just as lovely as it did the day I bought it last year. You just can never tell about begonias.

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    1. Phyllis, at work in Oct. we pull the entire plant out of its pot and allow the foliage and roots to dry and whither. Eventually all that is left is a bulb, and we store this in sphagnum until April when we pot it up again for another summer show.

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  9. Nice to see this post and photos--wonderful as usual! I see you have at least one palm--how well is it recovering from the winter? (And make sure it doesn't get engulfed and shaded out by that Macleaya!)

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    1. John, just this week I cut out some of the Macleaya. I was inspired to see an unfurling frond. There is hope yet.

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  10. And garden that is beautiful to look at and seems intriguing to explore.

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  11. We got to see a few sneak peeks at your house too. You look like you have a wonderful location, secluded maybe? Bad blogger for missing May, I have missed years. It is hard to post on a particular day for me and if my garden happens on the 15th, then maybe I join along in the fun. I do like all your garden beds shown. Pretty combinations, and we so love those bees too.

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    1. Donna, it might appear secluded, but the neighborhood is fairly dense, being built before everyone owned a car. Fortunately we are on the corner so that gives me a bit more room.

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  12. Quality is better than quantity. Your post has the quality!

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    1. You're making my head swell HB.

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  13. Love that evocative down-south atmosphere in your garden Les. Great to see you !

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  14. 500 ? 500 !!! I give you dispensation to NOT check those Blogs. Let 'em go and start afresh.

    BTW I wish you were my neighbour. I'd love walking past your front yard every day. Maybe I'd stop for a "chin wag" over the fence ...

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    1. Sybil, whenever I work in the front garden people always stop to chat and say the plan their walks to come by. It is very affirming.

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  15. Happy GBBD! Your garden looks so lush. I hope now that it's summer, you'll have time to enjoy it.

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    1. Sarah, the garden is not as lush as it could be. We are lacking a bit of rain right now. Several storms have dumped copious amounts, but it comes so fast and quick, most of it ends up in the river.

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  16. I take a break every Nov/Dec. Blogging should never interfere with life. Your garden looks wonderful. If you're ever up this way, let me know. :o)

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    1. Casa M., thanks for the invite!

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  17. Hi Les, your garden and pots look well tended to. I see some plants that look familiar, and some that don't. Thanks for your comment on my GBBD post. It was nice of you to say my beds look lush after seeing how lush yours are.

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  18. Looking good - lots of color and texture! I am curious to see how your Sun King will perform. Mine have been sitting without a considerable progress for 2 or 3 years. I suspect that big firs' roots are suffocating it. Need to find another place, that isn't easy.
    Don't worry about blogging - we remember you!

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  19. I like your purple hydrangea and yellow verbascum! I haven't been a "good blogger" lately either. Too tired when I come in to want to work on the computer!

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  20. I've been very bad about keeping up with my blog feed lately too. I tend to read in big gulps, when I've found a few hours to sit down and catch up. And so here I am! I enjoyed the tour of your summer-lush garden. I'm amazed you have time to keep it looking so good with all your paddling and other weekend activities.

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