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Bloom Day August 2014


August? Come in, August. Ground control to August?

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August: Um, we’re in a bit of a holding pattern here. Over.

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Repetition seems to be a hallmark of my summer Bloom Day posts. It’s been the usual suspects all summer. Still, I can’t say enough nice things about Gomphrena ‘Fireworks.’
The agastaches are over and showed a lot more water stress than I expected, while this gomphrena sailed through heat and dry soil beautifully.
Perennial here in zone 10 but most likely one of the “short-lived” kind, which could mean anything from one year to two years to five. Reseeds.

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With samphire, the umbellifer Crithmum maritimum.
This plant is going into my A Growing Obsession surefire collection of zone 10, drop-dead gorgeous, pollinator-beloved plants sponsored by….daydream fades to black.

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Gaura planted in pots a couple months ago is just starting to bloom. Wind-driven plants are so entertaining.

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Some August triage. Agastache were cut back, a tattered digiplexis moved elsewhere, and a potted Agave geminiflora moved in.
The lemon grass in the background has been a nice surprise this summer. Rudbeckia triloba leans in.

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More triage. A few of the annual Euphorbia marginata, Snow On The Mountain, were picked up at M&M Nursery in Orange.

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Gaillardia ‘Oranges & Lemons’ is unstoppable.

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As are the marigolds. Tagetes ‘Cinnabar’

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Mina lobata nearly faints in full sun but so far recovers by evening

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The kangaroo paws are sending a second, shorter flush of blooms

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Seseli gummiferum…maybe there’ll be blooms next year on the Moon Carrot. With a name like that, I’m staying the course until I see some blooms.
And with those pewter-colored, lacy leaves, waiting isn’t a hardship.

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Also for next summer, there will be agapanthus. Yes, they’re common as dirt here, but has anyone tried them with grasses, agaves, etc? No, I think not.
It’s not a plant’s fault when its amiable nature is abused and taken for granted in strip mall monocultures. This is the stripey-leaved ‘Gold Strike.’

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And one of the darkest I could find locally, ‘Storm Cloud’

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Rare sighting of MB Maher in the garden, home for a couple days.
Maybe he’ll bestir himself and get over to his neighborhood San Francisco Botanical Garden for some AGO photos one of these days. (No pressure, hon!)

To see some spectacular August gardens full of seasonal variety and not at all stuck in a holding pattern, you’ll have to visit the Bloom Day host site May Dreams Gardens.


12 comments to Bloom Day August 2014

  • Yay for the Gomphrena! And I like that Snow on the mountain!

  • Well Denise, your holding pattern looks pretty fabulous to me. I really, thoroughly enjoy posts from the ‘other side’ as they are soooo very different that what one can find here. How long does the Anigozanthus live? I’ve heard they are a short lived perennial. My plants in pots are going strong and in fact are sending out more very tall spikes of flowers, about four feet tall or so. Love them. Great pic of Mina! I’m loving that this year. I especially love the third pic with all those lovely textures. Great post

  • That’s a holding pattern I’d happily be stuck in. Stunners all of them. Love the euphorbia, and even the humble marigold is transformed next to the agave. Is it an agave? If I could grow them I’d know.

  • Denise

    @M&G, this annual euphorb can get shrublike, but I don’t know how it will do planted this late in the season.
    @Deanne, I hear that the anigo is shortlived too, but then I also see some pretty enormous clumps around town.
    @RD, you’re right, the agave really elevates the marigold. It’s a blue form of the foxtail agave, A. attenuata ‘Boutin’s Blue.’

  • *sigh*…that Mina lobata first in Deanne’s post and now yours. Next year I’m finding it!!!

  • I’m kicking myself for skipping the Gomphrena this year – if I’d planted it, my garden would be a lot more colorful this August. Your investment in Agapanthus seems smart to me. While it never would have occurred to me to plant Agapanthus, I now treasure those I inherited with the house (between 40 and 50 clumps I estimate) – they add structure to the borders even when not in flower and, when they flower en masse, you can’t help but be impressed. And they’re relatively drought tolerant too. The Agastaches I’ve tried thus far have wanted more water than they received but I’m prepared to try planting them again this fall in the hope that winter rains will make a difference in getting them established.

  • I need to try that Gomphrena. Lots of repetitions are to be expected with a long growing season, no? I succumbed to an Agapanthus from Joy Creek–had to have some kind of a souvenir from that lovely place.

  • That Gomphrena is a keeper! You’ve combined it well & it seems equally beautiful as a star or ensemble player. I had Seseli gummiferum in my hell strip a few years back & you’re in for a double treat when that gorgeous foliage gives you blooms! Mine went away after flowering and didn’t reseed. Time to get another one as your picture reminded me of how gorgeous it is!

  • I need to get out in my own garden and make more than just a half-hearted stab at triage. I keep meaning to plant Gomphrena, but other plants seem to jump out at me, saying “Plant me!” Good to hear it’s been very drought-tolerant for you. Love that dark ‘Storm Cloud’ Agapanthus too.

  • I’ve been disappointed by the heat tolerance of my agastaches as well. I should take a page out of your book and cut them to the ground. Maybe we’ll get another flush in the fall.

    Tagetes ‘Cinnabar’ is beautiful. I really have to change my attitude towards marigolds; there are some really nice cultivars out there…

  • Les

    I spied moon carrot blooming at the Denver Botanical Gardens for the first time, and had a mild panic that I could not see a name for it. Later it was labeled in another part of the garden. I need to do a little research and see if it is something that will tolerate a southern climate. We are too cold here for Gomphrena to be perennial, but it is a stalwart annual for us.

  • Denise

    @Loree, I’ll send you some seeds if you want to go that route.
    @Kris, imagine some big euphorbias with the agapanthus. Sometimes what’s in front of our eyes all the time needs a fresh look. I’ve even started investigating different tulbaghias! With the drought continuing, including some tough and easy plants will keep our spirits up, right?
    @Hoov, very true. So interesting to build a “matrix” of plants as a spine through the long growing season.
    @Peter, I hope I get to see the moon carrot in orbit! I have my doubts it will come through, but knock wood.
    @Alison, I seem to do some serious triage at about 3 month intervals. This August one should see the garden through to November.
    @Gerhard, that’s so interesting about agastaches. I know I should reserve judgment until they’ve been in the ground another year, but even the 2-year plants showed stress rather quickly.
    @Les, it’s hardy to zone 5, but maybe afternoon shade in the South?

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