Monday, August 15, 2011

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day August 2011

Panicle Hydrangea 'Tardivia'
It is August in the northeast garden and even though it is still summer there is a hint of fall in the air.  Crape Myrtles are in full bloom, hydrangea are in full display, fountain grasses have already developed their plumes and the later blooming plants such as sedum are getting ready for their time in the spotlight.  Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens we are here again for another walk in the garden to experience all there is to see.  Come walk with me through my zone 7 northeast garden. 

Crape Myrtle 'Tuscarora'

Overall is was a good year.  The spring was cool and rainy followed by a hot and dry summer.  The temperatures in the northeast have cooled down somewhat in the past week and for the past two days we have had steady heavy rains to rejuvenate the landscape.  Even though the summer is dwindling away the blooms that are occurring now are in their prime.  The Crape Myrtles are the first to visit.  Here are Crape Myrtle 'Sioux' and 'Tuscarora'.

Crape Mrytle 'Sioux'

The flower below (platycodon) also known as balloon flower is a conversation piece in my garden every year.  Just like plastic bubble wrap as the balloon-shaped flowers dry out you can pop them loudly between your fingers.  My guests of all ages get a kick out of trying them out!  There are a couple here ready to go!
Platycodon (Balloon Flower)

Lilies as always are the reliable staples in the garden.  They are always there producing lots of blooms throughout the entire summer.  Here we see Hemerocalis 'Sammy Russell' and 'Stella D Oro', a personal favorite for long bloom.  The lilies are getting ready for fall but there are still a few left to highlight the garden.

Daylily 'Sammy Russell'
Stella D Oro Daylily
Nikko Blue Hydrangea

I enjoy when the Hydrangea and Rudbeckia are blooming side by side in the late summer and fall garden.   Here we have Hydrangea 'Nikko Blue' and Rudbeckia 'Goldstrum'.
A Hint of Fall (Fountain Grass)

There is another hint of fall as the fountain grasses have already formed their wonderful plumes.  Along with the heuchera (coral bells), sedum and blue star juniper this combination creates a welcoming spot in the garden.  Even Garden Gal (below) is smiling!
August Garden Gal (still smiling with her bouquet!)
Pool Rock Garden (August)

The flowers of the Sedum 'Aurea' take on a new look in August as dried flowers in the rock garden along side the pool.  I have been enjoying this new addition to the garden since it offers interest all year long and even tends to stay evergreen throughout most of the winter.
Astilbe Chinensis 'Pumila'

While all my other astilbes are mostly done for the season this particular variety (Astilbe Chinensis 'Pumila') is coming into its glory during the month of August.  It is adding some inviting color to the garden. 
Endless Summer 'Twist & Shout' Lacecap Hydrangea
Dwarf Butterfly Bush Buddleia Lo & Behold

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly Enjoying Butterfly Bush

As I walk through the garden I am often thrilled to get a glimse of a butterfly visitor on the dwarf butterfly bush that I just added this year.  I was able to capture this moment with my camera one morning as this butterfly put on a show.  That and the blooms of the lacecap hydrangea and knock out rose are supplying so much enjoyment in the August garden.
Knock Out Rose "Radrazz' (A new addition)

Coleus in flower

Delighted Bumble Bee

I was also able to get a shot of this busy bee gathering its pollen and not at all camera shy.  I was also fortunate enough to capture the last of the stargazer lilies that  popped open that day I was gathering my August photos.  They are one of my favorite additions to the garden.
The very last of the Stargazers
A Little Bit of Whimsy!
Thank you for visiting my gardens in August.  You are always welcome here and I enjoy hearing from you.  Please also visit our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens for more August blooms from gardeners around the world and join all of us in celebrating our true passion and love of gardening.  As you go through life making each day count be sure to stop by the garden and always take time to "smell the roses".

Happy GBBD and Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Feature Plant: Dwarf Butterfly Bush

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on Buddleia Lo & Behold 'Blue Chip'
New in 2010 is the first dwarf Butterfly Bush and first of the Lo and Behold variety, Buddleia 'Blue Chip'. Developed at North Carolina State University, Lo and Behold 'Blue Chip' displays a low mounding compact habit, growing to approximately 24-26 inches high by 30-36 inches wide. Its neater well branched habit makes it an ideal addition in tighter spaces or small gardens.

Buddleia Lo & Behold 'Blue Chip' Flower

Buddleia 'Blue Chip' is summer bloomer, prefers full sun and a well-drained soil and is hardy in USDA zones 4-9.  Buddleia 'Blue Chip' is also heat tolerant and deer resistant and can be grown in a planter due to its compact size. Continuous fragrant blooms are blue-purple (similar to Buddleia 'davidii'), bloom from mid-summer into fall and are an attraction for butterflies and hummingbirds.  No pruning or dead heading is necessary but if desired this dwarf version can be pruned in early spring to maintain it's rounded shape.

Buddleia Lo & Behold 'Blue Chip'

If you always wanted a Butterfly bush but just didn't have a place to put it this dwarf variety could be just the one for you!  I gave this beauty a test run this year in my zone 7 garden and it is a sure hit.  It has lived up to every expectation that I have had for it and then some!

As Always~ Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@Guide To Northeastern Gardening Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved


Monday, August 1, 2011

The Gardens of Aruba: A Look Beyond

Allamanda cathartica 'Sunee' (Dwarf Allamanda )

I recently traveled to the island of Aruba in the Dutch Caribbean and of course brought along my trusty camera to photograph some of its flora and fauna.   The island of Aruba has a daily average temperature of 82° F with an average rainfall of less than 20 inches per year making it a semi-arid climate.   While mostly inhabited by cacti and aloe Aruba is also home to tropical plantings that one can view around the resorts. Being out of my gardening zone I am not familiar with the species of many of these plants but the colors and textures are so magnificent that they were definitely worth sharing.  They are in full bloom throughout the year and are a welcome site to the avid gardener! You will also view some of the local fauna that by the way are not at all camera shy!

Ixora coccinea (Jungle Geranium Red)
Duranta repens (Golden dewdrop)

                      Ixora coccinea (Jungle Geranium Orange)

Tropical Berries

Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)

Ixora coccinea (Jungle Geranium Pink)

Garden Arch

Tropical Blooms


Tropical Tree


Black Swan

The Bananaquit or chibichibi (One of the most common birds of Aruba)

Colombigallina passerina (Common Ground Dove)

Aruba Sunset

Aruba Sunset
Hope you enjoyed the gardens of Aruba: A Look Beyond.   As the sun quietly sets below the horizon it is time to head back home to the gardens of the northeast. Farewell.

As Always ~ Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@Guide To Northeastern Gardening Copyright 2010-2011. All Rights Reserved.