Bloom Day July 2013

An extravagant display of blooms isn’t the overwhelming impression the garden is making this July, which is pretty typical.

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Though the Pennisetum ‘Skyrocket’ grasses are technically blooming.
In the dimming twilight, the ferny leaves of Selinum wallichianum can just be made out leaning onto Furcraea foetida ‘Mediopicta’ in the foreground.

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And the sideritis is also technically in bloom.

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Solanum marginatum’s white blooms are for all floral intents and purposes invisible.

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And there are blooms you have to move leaves aside to see, like with this little Aristolochia fimbriata. Since it reminds me of a tick, I don’t mind if the flowers stay hidden behind those very cool leaves.

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In the foreground lean in the bleached-out plumes of Chloris virgata. Eryngium pandanifolium tops the pergola in the background

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‘Monch’ asters are responsible for some of that blue.

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And ‘Hidalgo’ penstemon is the tower of lilac blue. So far this is a beautifully erect penstemon that I’d absolutely include in next-year’s garden if it decides to return or maybe seeds around. From Mexico, zoned 9-10, reputedly long-lived and not touchy about drainage issues. On that count, one of the first casualties this summer is the lovely shrub Phylica pubescens, pulled out yesterday. I pruned it lightly when I returned from being away a couple weeks. Immediate decline followed. Never, never prune touchy shrubs mid-summer. Will I ever learn?

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Peachy yarrows like ‘Terracotta’ line the path cutting through the border behind the pergola, now not more than a dog track.

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Salvia chiapensis flowering at the base of the eryngium.

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More closeups of Eryngium pandanifolium, the undisputed rock star of the garden this summer.

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Persicaria amplexicaulis will pretty much own the garden in August.

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In July I’m glad for every Verbena bonariensis I pulled out of the paving and planted into the garden in spring

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One of the “suitcase plants,” Pennisetum ‘Jade Princess.’

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Crithmum maritimum weaving into Senecio viravira. The senecio is starting to throw some more of its creamy blooms after being thoroughly deadheaded about a month ago.

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So far the crithmum has been the most reliable umbellifer to flower through summer. (Selinum wallichianum is struggling. to put it mildly.)
Crithmum with yarrow and Eryngium planum.

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Crithmum, yarrow, leaves of persicaria, calamint, anthemis, agastaches, anigozanthos in the background

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Some peachy Salvia greggii are building size for a late summer show with the grasses.

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I carved off some bits of the ‘Skyrocket’ pennisetum in spring to replace Diascia personata which I found disappointing, and the grass bulked up fast. Its slim tapers move quickly from burgundy to beige.

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Tall, sticky-leaved Cuphea viscosissima seems to love the heat.

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Plectranthus neochilus is starting to bloom heavily, just as nearby Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ slows down after being cut back

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Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ lightly reblooming

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In a border closest to the garage/office, early spring-blooming annuals and flopping penstemons were replaced with Gomphrena ‘Strawberry Fields’
and Gaillardia ‘Oranges & Lemons.’

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Russelia reminds me of a blooming restio, great for texture tumbling around nearby containers. It’s planted in the garden and does well with minimal irrigation.


There’s odds and ends I left out, such as eucomis and the passion flower vine which has been wonderful all summer, but that’s the sketch for July. Sending out solidarity to those suffering in excessive heat, or too little heat if that’s possible, unseasonal drought, too much rain. It’s always something in July! Thanks as always to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Bloom Day on the 15th of every month (and not minding those straggling in a day late).

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10 Responses to Bloom Day July 2013

  1. Oh my, be still my heart! Gorgeous photos of a very beautiful garden. I know you say your garden is small but it holds a wealth of plant material. So many wonderful things!

  2. David says:

    Hi Denise,
    Everything looks wonderful in your garden. I’m going to try to find that little Salvia chiapensis here in Houston. It looks like it might make it in our climate. I always enjoy your mix of textures and foliage colors. You have some fine combinations that stir the imagination. Happy GBBD!
    David/:0)

  3. Kris P says:

    I would have taken that Pennisetum ‘Jade Princess’ home in my suitcase too! It’s very distinctive. Sadly, I couldn’t find a local or mail-order resource for it on Plant Lust, though (and, as I keep reminding myself, I’m NOT going to plant anything new until fall anyway). After seeing how well they’re doing in your garden, I think I’ll also have to re-try Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ or another variety (if that one’s sensitive to feline attention) and an Eryngium or 2.

  4. Scott Weber says:

    It’s always a treat to “visit” your garden, Denise! I’m in total agreement about the Verbena and Persicaria…they really earn their places in the garden…and that Crithmum maritimum with the Senecio is wonderful!

  5. kathy says:

    O my god Denise, do you just go out and stand in front of the E.pandanifolium and stare ? And they grow it at Digging Dog, so I know I can grow it here.I’m in a dither.Your garden is looking fabulous-there are benefits to collecting !

  6. Blackswampgirl Kim says:

    You think a tick? I thought it looked more like a crab….but that’s the first inch flower I have seen, and the front fringe was curled in just enough.

    By the way, that close up of te eryngium? Amazing!

  7. Denise says:

    @Deanne, it’s a small canvas but it keeps me out of trouble. (I loved hearing about your painting adventures during the IU.)
    @David, this salvia is bulletproof here. Bloomed heavily in spring and now too.
    @Kris, I know, I couldn’t find it local either. First saw it on Nan Ondra’s blog. Seems to be a fairly small grass.
    @Scott, that crithmum has succulent leaves and is a tough plant. The cenolophium/Baltic parsley is still alive but hasn’t bloomed much.
    @Kathy, you know I do!
    @Kim, the bloom strikes me as sinister so it seems tick-like. An oddity but great leaves, and with the heat it’s really taking off.

  8. Heather says:

    It took me less than a month to kill my Phyllica pubescens, probably from looking at it wrong. I actually gasped over so much of your garden; it’s stunning. That Jade Princess is incredible!

  9. Denise says:

    Heather, a blog post cannot convey the heartache…I hate to admit that it’s gratifying to know you killed one too. That Jade Princess is available in seed so I’m hoping to save lots 😉

  10. Okay I’m heading outside right now to see if there’s room for that bloom on my Eryngium pandanifolium should it ever decide to do so. WOW! Spectacular.

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