Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day for August

Black eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta)

Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta)

Well it would be difficult to have a Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day for August without showcasing the Black-eyed Susans.  This is Maryland’s state flower and they grow easily and abundantly here — but they grow almost everywhere else too.  Wildseed Farms thinks that this is probably the most common of all American wildflowers.  What is interesting for this bloom day is that we not only have the Black-eyed Susans but we have a visitor in their midst.

Imagine if you gave a party and a beautiful girl came that neither you nor your wife recognized.  But she adds life to the party and after a while you both kind of imagine that you must have invited her at some point.  Well that’s they way it is with the Euphorbia that has sprung up in the rock garden.  I can sort of imagine that I might have planted it this spring before everything was showing but I don’t have any recollection of having bought it or growing it from seed.

Euphorbia marginata

Euphorbia marginata

Jonathan has identified this as a Euphorbia and since I do have a fondness for them I might well have purchased it but I sure can’t remember doing so … or maybe?  Anyway it’s a pretty plant and certainly adds a splash of green and white that is kind of out of kilter with the rest of the plants in the rock garden, or maybe I should be more positive and say it really stands out from the crowd.

Euphorbia marginata

Euphorbia marginata

I like to kind of go around on bloom day and see what stands out or is new on the scene this week.  It is hard to miss the Bougainvillea as you come up our driveway.  It’s in a big pot and the color of the bracts makes a noticeable impact on the senses.

Bougainvillea 'Barbara Karst'

Bougainvillea 'Barbara Karst'

This plant is about 25 years old now and winters over in the basement quite well.

Another plant with vibrant flowers right now is the Crepe Myrtle.

Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia Indica)

Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia Indica)

Ours is a tree that is about 20 feet tall rising above the garage so that we can see the flowers from our deck.  Since it has a long period of flower it’s easy to take the beauty of this tree for granted.  But I would probably plant it even without the flowers because bark is so incredibly variegated and smooth to the touch.

A recent arrival is an Astilbe that I bought while driving down from Boston on this last trip.  I stopped at Oliver Nurseries in Fairfield, Connecticut and managed to limit myself to 5 plants.  This is a major accomplishment if you have ever visited them (less than 5 minutes from the I-95).

Astilbe simplicifolia 'Key West'

Astilbe simplicifolia 'Key West'

This is a nice new compact Astilbe with dark foliage and pink plumes on red stems.  Though I’ve not been that fond of Astilbes in the past, I think that this variety is about to change my opinion…

We’ve also just seen the first Japanese Anemone coming into flower (though I saw them in Boston two weeks ago — go figure…).

Japanese Anemone (Anemone hupehensis var japonica)

Japanese Anemone (Anemone hupehensis var japonica)

These flowers are almost weed-like in their rugged persistence and long flowering period in the fall.  They seem to relish both deep shade and sun/shade locations as well.  Our experience is that while they spread easily they don’t force their way onto the turf of other plants and they seem to play nicely with many other plants that have spring flowering in the shade environment, for example azaleas and pieris.

In the garden we have a great many zinnias and cosmos ready for cutting every day or so.

Zinnias and Cosmos in the cutting garden

Zinnias and Cosmos in the cutting garden

The zinnias are particularly popular with various butterflies and moths.  Note to self — more time to be spent photographing the zinnias and their visitors.

Zinnia and butterfly

Zinnia and butterfly

2 comments on “Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day for August

  1. Teresa~Gardening with Soule

    You have really shown a lot of differeent flowers. I have never seen that Euphorbia and I just love that Japanese anemone. So beautiful!
    ps~ great adironcdack chairs!

  2. donna

    I also have Euphorbia Marginata in my garden and I’m absolutely crazy about it. I simply call it summer icicle or snow-on-the-mountain. Have never seen it mentioned on a blog before. So glad I stopped here for a visit and didn’t miss your photos.