Garden Bloggers Bloom Day for August 2011

Parched Earth

This summer has given a new appreciation of the Dog Days of August.  Historically this is a phrase connected with the significant observations of Sirius, the dog star.  But for me, and many others I think, it connotes a tiredness associated with day after day of overwhelming heat.  We have finally just had two days of long overdue rain.  It was the first since July 4th and we’ve been running a water deficit since May.  When you have to supplement the water drops the plants milk out of the atmosphere, it doesn’t leave time for many other projects.  I won’t even mention the blog postings that were completely written in my mind and never made it to the keyboard.  Let it suffice to say that I will be ready and willing to move toward fall.  In the unfailing optimism that must accompany gardening I planted fall peas and beans on Satuday morning, just before we got some rain.

In the meantime, it is GBBD after all and time to celebrate that which has survived to flower even in this heat.  I want to give a special commendation to the chocolate Joe Pye weed which has been sharing it’s remarkable foliage with us all year and has now decided to flower as well.

Eupatorium rugosum 'Chocolate'

The white flowers contrast nicely with the dark foliage.

Another winner is the Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ which is finally coming into its own.

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'

A nice little addition to the party is a seedling Rudbeckia that looks much nicer than the ones which stayed in the ground all winter.  Of course it’s been getting more hand watering than the others.

Rudbeckia hirta 'Prairie Sun'

In the camellia garden we also have the fall blooming cyclamen looking very charming at the moment with their fascinating leaves and flowers combined.

Cyclamen hederifolium

And it would not be fair if I didn’t mention the yellow corydalis which has been flowering continually since spring.  What a great shade garden flower.

Corydalis lutea

There are other flowers out there, such as the rudbeckias, the black-eyed susans, cosmos, geraniums, and the monarda.  But they are on the scraggly side of their blooming cycle right now.  We need to digest this rain for a bit.  Let me close out with one of the regular visitors to our gardens, the crab spider.  They are getting bigger at this time of year and this particular spider seems to be very well suited to the cosmos he/she settled in on.

Spider on Cosmos

Crab Spider Waiting

Please take the time to visit other gardens courtesy of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens

5 comments on “Garden Bloggers Bloom Day for August 2011

  1. Bernieh

    It’s lovely to hear you got some rain, albeit only two days of showers. There are some lovely blooms despite the heat and dry conditions. That Eupatorium is beautiful and so is the Limelight Hydrangea. The little Crab Spider is rather cute too. I do so hope you receive more of that much needed rainfall very soon.

  2. Randy

    John,

    That Cyclamen is really doing great! I found a single bloom weeks ago here, in the 100 degree heat. Your gardens are looking great!

  3. Paul From Alabama

    Glad to hear you finally got some rain. Where I’m from we’ve been fortunate this year in that we’ve had at least enough where things look pretty healthy and the ground isn’t parched. I love your Rudbeckia hirta ‘Prairie Sun’. I grow ‘Indian Summer’ but would love to add your version of a ‘hirta’ to my garden. The Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’ is nice too…..Thanks for inviting me into your garden. I hope you’ll visit me sometimes……

  4. Les

    I am glad it has rained for you. We got to see a bit of Maryland from behind a windshield heading to and from Pennsylvania. It was evidently dry, though it did not seem as bad as last year. I have that Corydalis also and it has nearly weed status, but it is easy to pull and the crushed and bruised foliage smells good on the way to compost.

  5. Scott

    So glad to see you getting some rain…and I think hopefulness in the face of the odds is necessary for gardeners…or we’d all throw in our shovels!