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, 2011

Bloom Day Resolution

Here in southeastern Virginia, we have until just recently been suffering through a sustained heat wave and a conspicuous absence of rain, and things were getting desperate.  Mind you I am not complaining, just stating, besides this is the year I have resolved not to complain about the weather.  It is not right to worry about wilted annuals when so many people across the country are trying to rebuild their lives after losing their homes, and in some cases losing things even more precious. So I will be grateful for whatever blessings the weather brings, but especially for the two back to back evenings of rain this past weekend, prompting the garden and the gardener to both breathe a sigh of relief. 

I have a lot of things in bloom right now, and two of my favorite plants are at their peak - the Hydrangeas and the Daylilies.  So this post will be heavy on those two plants, but I have a few other things to show as well.

Here are a few Daylilies (Hemerocallis) whose identification has been lost to poor record keeping or indifference.

Hemerocallis (2)

Hemerocallis (4)


Hemerocallis (6)

Hemerocallis (3)

Here are two I remembered, 'Smoky Mountain Autumn' ...

Hemerocallis 'Smoky Mountain Autumn'

... and 'Milk Chocolate'.

Hemerocallis 'Milk Chocolate'

This is the first year I have grown Castor Bean (Ricinus communis), which some sources list as the most poisonous plant in the world.

Ricinus communis

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Echinacea purpurea

This year my Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides) had more flowers on it then ever.  Unfortunately a large limb came down out of my Linden and took out 3/4 of it the day after I took this picture, but now there is more room for something else.

Gardenia jasminoides

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Penny Mac'

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Penny Mac' (2)

I am not positive, but I think this is one from the Halo Series.

Hydrangea Angel Series

H. macrophylla 'Pia'

Hydrangea macrophllya 'Pia'

H. macrophylla 'Sun Goddess'

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Sun Goddess'

The latest Hydrangea in my garden is one that I found mis-labeled at work.  The tag said 'Glory Blue', but this one was a double flowered variety whose flower stems match the color of the blossoms.  I have no clue to it's real identity, but I like it.

Hydrangea Lucky Find

If you have made any mid-year resolutions, please let me know. And if you would like to see what other garden bloggers are showing this month, then please visit Carol at May Dreams Garden who is our gracious host for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th of each month.


  1. I really like that resolution - I think sometimes it's not the weather that's wrong, but our selection of plants not suited to the conditions. About to relocate south to NC, I'm inspired by the variety of what does grow well for you in the heat.

  2. Your daylilies are stunning, especially that purple one. Our day lilies have long faded but like you I have no idea of their names. Happy GBBD.

  3. Such vibrant color you have captured here! You are right, we should stop complaining about the weather.

  4. My midsummer's resolution? Be more proactive against the critters who enter my garden. Perhaps a Caster Bean plant or two is the ticket.
    So when you Linden tree branch came down, did you have any further ideas whether it was a Tilia cordata or Tilia americana?
    Beautiful daylilies.

  5. Hi i am new here, and i agree with you of not complaining about the heat. If you happen to be here in our country you will see you are much loved by God maybe, haha! Last year many fruit trees died due to long dry season, we only have 2 seasons, dry and wet. At least this year typhoons arrived early so we had early rain. Your hymerocallis are so awesome, I only have the orange and white here. Your colors i very much want to have too!

  6. As usual your photos are gorgeous. They actually make me want to go buy more Daylilies!

    As for your Castor Bean for it to already have blooms definitely shows the heat you've been experiencing. Mine here in chilly wet Oregon is just a foot tall with a only few leaves.

  7. Your photos are fantastic! How do you get your Hydrangeas to be so blue? And the Lilies are simply breathtaking.
    Happy GBBD!

  8. Hi Les, I know you aren't complaining, but I hope you get some wet weather soon. All your daylily shots are just great!

  9. Love those Hydrangea...especially the blue/purple one (I think it was Sun Princess), so lovely...and you are making me want some of the dark daylilies!

  10. My gosh, Les! Those daylilies look good enough to eat. Mine have just started to open. They are a bit more of an end of June, July plant up here. Glad you got some rain. It is hard not to complain about the weather for gardeners since we are so conscious of it.

  11. You've shared a lot of beauty in one post... thank you, L

  12. I'm blown away by the beauty of all your blooms! But I'm particularly thrilled by the hydrangeas, something we can't grow here even in non-drought years. Thanks for sharing such exquisite blooms.

  13. Great shots - I love the purple daylily.

  14. Les, you do good. Sounds kinda okie. lol. used to live there. Always enjoy your posts. Planted my second and third hydrangeas right before mothers day. You must have acidic soils or is it alkaline?

  15. I exclaimed aloud about your gorgeous Smoky Mountain Autumn daylily and all of the dogs looked at me. I also love your double double hydrangea in the last photo.

  16. Les,
    Everything looks luscious. It is hard to believe you are having a drought. Are gardenias hardy in Virginia?

  17. For some reason, I've not seen your posts on my "following" list. Hmm, I don't know what happened. I'll make sure you are still there. This was a nice post. Our heat wave is over and we are left with perfect weather in the 70's. I like your philosophy. What is the point of complaining? We rob our own happiness. There is something good in whatever the weather. Your beautiful photos prove the point.

  18. Love the daylilies and echinacea is my favorite flower, well one of them anyways....Thanks for inviting me into your garden.

  19. Les, My daylilies (except stella etc.) have not started but I would have to say the same thing about the names and the explantion would be indifference. The first photo is beautiful--wish I had that one. Your hydrangeas are beautiful. I have just started with hydrngeas since getting a deer fence and have already killed Annabelle! Carolyn

  20. LOVE your daylily photos. I was just kicking myself for never recording the varieties I planted. Of all the things to forget, considering how I like to document everything!

    Fun seeing David Bowie on your listening list. A friend just gave me "Diamond Dogs" on vinyl and I can't stop playing it. One song actually makes our dogs howl!!

    *Go* to see Anne Spencer's house. Magic.

  21. My hydrangea and daylilies are looking good but not half as vibrant as yours. We're planning a garden club visit to Smithfield Gardens in 2012 and I'm keeping a list of things you grow that I must have.

  22. looking good over there les. the daylilies you've shown have some pretty amazing details. thank you for taking the time to see and share them with us.

  23. Gorgeous blooms this month Les! You have some pretty Hydrangeas which are my favorites. But I love the Daylilies too. :)

  24. Lots blooming around here but I forgot about GBBD. I was wowed by your photographs, again!

    p.s. My mid-year resolution is to use the word "no" less frequently.

  25. Beautiful daylilies, and a good reminder not to moan about things that are, actually, really unimportant in the cosmic scheme of things.

  26. I especially enjoyed the photos of the daylilies. Beautiful. 'Milk Chocolate' looks very intriguing.

  27. Wonderful gardenia bloom. I can't get them to grow here in NY like I've seen them in VA.

  28. Loving your daylilies. I have white and pink planted, the white being my favorite. They just starting to form blooms, can't wait for them to open.

  29. We had rain one day this week after a month of none and it was exactly as you said, "A relief." Beautiful daylily pictures!

  30. Hi Les, Your hydrangea varieties are gorgeous. That first daylily you've pictured is quite pretty, as well! I like Janet's comment about the Castor Bean's and the critters! I'll bet they have 'built in' sensors to know not to eat it, though;-) Glad you had a 'reprieve' from the did we. Not for long, though...!

  31. Everyone,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to visit me on Bloom Day. I am sorry that I have not responded to each of you individually.


  32. Larry, Michael and Rhonda,

    I have tried unsucessfully to leave a comment on your blogs, but Goggle will not let me. This type of thing has been going on for a while, but I was always able to leave my name and URL to comment, but on your sites I am not given that option.

    Sorry, Les

  33. I used to have Milk Chocolate daylily and I really loved it, but unfortunately it died. I plan to purchase another one of these next year. I like the double hydrangea - I didn't know there were double ones.

  34. Cottage Dome,
    Thank you for stopping by. My co-workers wanted to know why I liked such an ugly daylily as Milk Chocolate, but I think the color is pleasantly unusual.