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