Friday, July 15, 2016

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up: July 2016 Long Island Garden in Bloom!

July 2016 Garden
Welcome to my Long Island garden! The arrival of July has prompted a succession of colorful blooms throughout the landscape. While June temperatures had remained in the upper 70's to lower 80's, the month of July has delivered a warming trend with some days reaching into the upper 80's and low 90's. The perennial borders are bursting with an array of color, along with the arrival of new blooms daily. Come take a walk with me in my July garden.
(Coneflower) Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit'
July marks the appearance of Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' blooms in a multitude of colors, all on the same plant. I never knew I could get so much enjoyment from a single species of coneflower. Now that this one has become established in the garden, it has become a focal point at the entrance to the front beds.
Pollinators love Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' (Coneflower)
As an added bonus, the pollinators love it and the blooms are often visited by a multitude of bumble bees and butterflies.
Alium Mont Blanc Seed Head
Another plant which has given me much pleasure is Allium. This dried seed head from Allium 'Mont Blanc' even offers interest once the flower is spent, so I keep the decorative stalks in the garden bed all throughout the summer months.
Montgomery Globe Spruce and Stella D' Oro Daylily
As we walk around to the back garden beds, Montgomery Globe Spruce and Daylily 'Stella D'Oro' make an excellent combination of foliage and blooms. The brilliant blue of the globe spruce with the bright yellow blooms of the lilies complement one another perfectly.
Backyard Long View (North Side) Perennial Border and North Garden
As we follow the gardens to the north side of the property, here is a better view of the perennial border as it wraps around from the patio area to the north fence garden.
Backyard Long View (North Side) from Garden Tour 2010

Funny...I was just looking at some photos of the garden tour from a few years back and the photograph is of the same identical spot. The upper photo shows the new Arborvitae additions to the left that were planted just last summer. All things considered, the garden has remained pretty stable.

Perennial Border

Here is the perennial border as we get closer up. It has gotten to be very established over the years with a combination of Allium, Salvia 'May Night', Astilbe 'Fanal' and 'Pumila', Lamb's Ear, Hosta, Echinacea and Daylily.
Perennial Border Lamb's Ear and Astilbe
The white of the Lamb's Ear and shocking pink of the Astilbe provide contrast to one another.
Salvia 'May Night' and Sedum 'Brilliant'
Salvia 'May Night' has become a stable in the gardens. providing bright purple blooms.  It companions nicely with just about anything...
Add a little Heuchera 'Caramel' to the Mix!
including this combination with Sedum and Heuchera 'Caramel' in the south garden bed.
Backyard Left Long View
As we travel along to the southeast gardens, there is a mix of evergreens and flowering shrubs. The blue evergreen to the left is a grafted Montgomery Globe Spruce and the golden evergreen is Hinoki Cypress 'Verdoni'. It wraps into the island bed which is home to Crape Myrtle 'Sioux' (which will bloom at the end of this month and into September).
Backyard Right Long View
Here is a view from the back island bed to the western corner of the property. Prior to 1996 this entire backyard area consisted of all lawn and just a few maple and cherry trees. It was when the pool went in that year that the property started to transform, which was also the time I had started a second career in garden designing.
Lampost Planting
The lamppost seen at the end of the driveway is surrounded by Coreopsis 'Zagreb', Nepeta 'Walker's Low, Weigela 'Wine & Roses' and Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' with more of a cottage style look.
Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' (Mix)
The blooms on the Echinacea never cease to amaze me!
North Border
Around towards the western side of the property is a combination of Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar, Gold Mop Cypress, Purple Salvia 'May Night' and Dwarf Butterfly Bush (which will bloom in August). There are also Nepeta and Knock Out Roses to the right.
Heuchera 'Caramel" Blooms
Heuchera 'Caramel' is blooming in July. The blooms are just an added bonus to the fascinating caramel colored foliage, which is also semi-evergreen. Heuchera 'Caramel' is a personal favorite of mine, as the foliage varies 
throughout the seasons with hues of caramel, peach and orange, depending on the sunlight and temperature. 
East Perennial Border
Here is another view of the east perennial border...
Nepeta 'Walker's Low'
along with some Nepeta blooms and a visiting butterfly moth.
Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' (Peach)
'Cheyenne Spirit' displays more blooms...this time peach in color...
Hosta Blooming
and the Hosta 'Patriot' are producing blooms on long graceful stalks.
Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' (Orange)
Here is one last stroll by the coneflowers sporting their multi-colored blooms...
Birds Loving the New Feeder
and views of the new feeder, which has been a haven for birds visiting all day long.
Birds Loving the New Feeder
I can't seem to keep it filled enough and the birds are loving it!
This Year's New Succulent Planter
Last, but not least, I have a new interest in creating succulent planters such as this one here for the summer of 2016. It is about as low maintenance as you can get and the various species of sedum are producing blooms.
Hens and Chicks Blooming!
This Hens & Chicks planter which I made up last year is blooming profusely, which actually came as a surprise. They are thriving in the full southern exposure and the blooms are magnificent!
In a Vase on Monday! (Pardon Me Daylily, Stella D'Oro Daylily, Heuchera Blooms, Hosta Blooms, Salvia May Night and Coleus Bloom)
Cut flowers from my July garden to brighten your day!
2016 July Garden
I  hope you enjoyed your stroll through my July garden. Special thanks go out to our hostesses Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Pam at Digging for hosting Foliage Follow-Up.  I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Today's FlowersFloral FridaysI Heart MacroMacro Monday 2, and Nature Notes at Rambling Woods.  Also check out What's Blooming This Week Garden Update and In a Vase on Monday at Rambling in the Garden.

For more gardening information, you may be interested in my newly published book, A Guide to Northeastern Gardening: Journeys of a Garden Designer (Gardening in Zones 3-9). You can see a preview here on Amazon


Monday, July 4, 2016

Desert Flora and Landforms of Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona
Last fall I had the pleasure of visiting Arizona with its unusual flora, consisting mainly of drought tolerant cacti and desert succulents, along with its amazing terrain and unusual landforms. We traveled the famous Arizona State Route 89A, which is an 83.85-mile state highway that runs northward from Prescott Arizona, entering Jerome, then heading to the picturesque area of Sedona

Historic Route  89 to Sedona, Arizona
Route 89 was an experience in itself. The twisting, turning highway has vast changes in elevation and views of cliffs and rock formations below as the road travels up and around mountains. The sights are beautiful, but for the first timer the voyage is more like an amusement park ride, with one occasionally clutching the seat underneath them.  Once we hit the town of Jerome we saw signs that said , "I survived Route 89", which we thoroughly understood, but we glad to have had the experience!
Historic Route  89 to Sedona, Arizona
As you can see here, the terrain along the route is rugged, mainly dry and desert-like, with a combination of Cascalote Tree, Desert Ruellia, Tumbleweed, Prickly Pear Cactus and other drought tolerant plants.
Historic Route  89 to Sedona, Arizona
Here is a long view of the desert mountains with the higher elevation snow covered peaks to the right in the background. I am not used to experiencing 70 degree temperatures with snow covered peaks at the same time, so this was beautiful to see.
 Agave palmeri (Native to Arizona)
Along the way we did get to experience many of the desert plantings of the mid-west. Here is Agave palmeri, which is the largest Agave species growing in the United States and native to the deserts of Arizona. It produces fleshy, upright green leaves up to 4 feet in length, with jagged edges and ending in thick spines of 1.2–2.4 inches long. Flowers are pale yellow and green which grow on flower spikes, which can be up to 16.5 feet tall.
Dasylirion wheeleri  (Desert Spoon)
 Dasylirion wheeleri, or Desert Spoon, produces small white blooms on a 10 foot high spike, followed by fruits that mature in August. It slowly builds a trunk up to 5 feet tall. 
Arizona Barrel Cactus

Arizona Barrel Cactus blooms August-September in southern Arizona and grows to a height of 4-5 feet up to 8 feet with hooked spines The flowers are red-orange, shading to yellow and bloom in a ring at the top of the cactus.
Historic Route  89 to Sedona Arizona Watson Lake Loop Trail
On the way to Sedona is the Watson Lake Loop Trail. Located in Prescott, it is a picturesque loop around Watson lake, covering approximately 4.8 miles. The terrain varies in steepness from the rocky steep terrain of the Northshore trail to the relatively flat terrain of the Peavine and Lower Granite Creek Trails. This was one of the most beautiful and amazing sites I have ever experienced.
Historic Route  89 to Sedona Arizona Watson Lake Loop Trail
Watson Lake is one of two reservoirs at the Granite Dells, outside of Prescott, Arizona, that was formed in the early 1900s when the Chino Valley Irrigation District built a dam on Granite Creek. The 70 acre lake is at an elevation of 5100 feet and is lined with granite boulder piles that extend all around the northwest and northeast shores and line Granite Creek, which flows north from Chino Valley towards the Verde River. 
Historic Route  89 to Sedona Arizona Watson Lake Loop Trail

Historic Route  89 to Sedona Arizona Watson Lake Loop Trail

Historic Route  89 to Sedona Arizona

Deadman's Pass Trail Sedona Arizona
Once we got to Sedona we hiked the trails in Red Rock State Park to see the well known rock formations of Arizona.
Sedona Arizona
Sedona’s rock formations were formed over millions and millions of years as a result of natural sculpting by seas, sands and winds. The rock layer closest to the surface is mainly red wall limestone, which was once covered by seas and formed by layer upon layer of ancient sea shells cementing together. This layer was then subjected to wind erosion and re-submerged under another shallow sea. The red wall layer is the oldest layer of exposed rock in the Sedona area dating back to about 350 million years ago.

Sedona Arizona
Red Rock Trail Sedona, Arizona
  Many species of desert plants can be observed along the dry and rugged terrain of the Red Rock Trail.
Mexican Blue Yucca
There were many varieties of Agave and Yucca as well as Prickly Pear Cactus (as seen below). This Blue Yucca is a trunk-forming species which grows to 12 feet tall.  Its blue leaves are about 3 feet long by 1 inch wide with a sharp spine at the tip. In the late spring the blue foliage is complemented by a showy 5 to 6 foot stalk of white flowers. 
Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia phaeacantha) 
Native to the southwest desert, Prickly Pear bears yellow flowers in the spring and purple edible fruit.
 Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia phaeacantha) 
 Prickly Pear Cactus requires a dry, course, well-drained soil and grows in rocky flats or slopes, mountain pinyon/juniper forests and in the steep, rocky slopes of mountain foothills.
 Agave 'Blue Glow'
This is another variety of Agave which is native to the area of Sedona.  Blue fleshy leaves are tinted red at the tips on this 2 to 3 foot plant.
Cathedral Rock Sedona Arizona
Cathedral Rock Sedona Arizona

Cathedral Rock is one of Sedona's most well known landmarks.  This towering rock formation was formed during Permian time and is a result of the Schnebly Hill formation, a red sandstone formed near the shoreline of the ancient Pedregosa Sea. It towers to 4,921 feet and is a sight to behold.

Arizona Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Sedona Arizona

While out of my comfort zone as far as naming some of these plants, I enjoyed doing the research and learning about them.  Also, being from the northeast, I had never experienced firsthand the magnificence of the stately rock formations that exist in the mid-western parts of the U.S. along with the geologic history behind them. I hope you enjoyed the tour of Sedona Arizona along with its famous landmarks and native flora. Linking with Our World Tuesday. 

As Always...Happy Gardening!


A Guide to Northeastern Gardening: Journeys of a Garden Designer Zones 3-9

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2016. All rights reserved


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