Sunday, August 31, 2014

Feature Perennial: Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit-Multi Colored Blooms Mid-Summer Until Fall

Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit

I have discovered a new hybrid Coneflower, Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit with spectacular blooms from mid-summer to early fall.  Winner of the highly regarded Fleuroselect Gold Medal and All-American Selection Awards of 2013,  Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit features slightly fragrant daisy-like blooms in vivid shades of orange, red, rosy-red, yellow, purple and cream surrounding a large brown cone all on the same plant! Besides guessing which color each bloom is going to be, the large colorful petals on this pollinator are just lovely in my late summer garden and are an attraction for butterflies.

Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit

'Cheyenne Spirit' is hardy in USDA zones 4-10 and prefers full sun and moderate watering in a well-drained soil.  Once established watering needs are less and the plant is more drought tolerant. Besides being drought tolerant this perennial is also cold hardy, disease resistant, heat tolerant, humidity tolerant and pest resistant. This herbaceous perennial has a mature size of 24-30" tall by 18-24" wide and displays a full upright habit. Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' is ideal for sunny borders, mass plantings, massing in cottage gardens and cut flowers. Companion plants include Ornamental Grasses, Rudbeckia and Perovskia.

Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit

As an added bonus Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit's stronger stems have shown in test gardens not to topple over with heavy rain like some of the other Echinacea varieties.  Blooms are constant and deadheading is not necessary; however, regularly removing faded blooms will promote continued flowering.  Besides being attractive to butterflies Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' is also "deer resistant".

I am testing this beautiful perennial in my gardens this summer and am happy with the results so far. If you are looking for some late summer color try Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' in your garden!

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2014. All rights reserved

Friday, August 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up August 2014: Late Summer Garden

August Garden
Welcome to another Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up.  The dog days of summer have arrived with temperatures in the 80's and little rain.  This is typical for August before the cooler days of autumn arrive and there have not been many days in the upper 80's and 90's like in previous years, which has made for a pleasant summer.  But wait...that is not the end of the story.  On August 13th we had the highest recorded rainfall in 500 years here on Long Island...13.25 inches in one day with the first 9 inches within a couple of hours.  The long period of drought is over and the gardens are doing well displaying their late summer color.  Come take a walk with me to see what is blooming in the month of August.
Echinecea 'Magnus'

One of the newest arrivals in my garden is Echinecea.  I have always admired this plant for its late summer blooms and have found a place for it along side some fountain grasses in the front entrance where I can enjoy its beauty.
Platycodon (Balloon Flower)
Balloon Flower (Platycodon) is now in full bloom and such a fun perennial. Once again I eyed a friend holding the puffy blue balloon-like flowers in her hand investigating their unusual appearance.  This particular variety fades into little tan puffs that can be popped like plastic bubble wrap at the end of the summer.  One of my favorites, Playtcodon continues to supply much amusement in the garden!
Oriental Lilly (Lillium 'Stargazer')
Around the corner by the pool is Lillium 'Stargazer' which is always a hit with its bright pink spotted blooms, dense orange pollen and fragrance.  They have just about completed blooming for the season but you can still see this one in full display.
August Garden with Dwarf Butterfly Bush 'Lo & Behold Blue Chip'

The Dwarf Butterfly Bush (Buddleia Lo & Behold 'Blue Chip') is showing its deep purple fragrant blooms after coming back from a harsh winter.  The bees and butterflies are enjoying the flowers and so am I!
Hydrangea 'Tardivia'
The harsh winter also affected the hydrangea for this season, The 'Endless Summer' and 'Nikko Blue' suffered severe die back but have grown new foliage and will be back in bloom for next year.  To the rescue is my tree Hydrangea 'Tardivia' with its beautiful elongated fragrant white blooms that are opening in time for August and September.
Daylily 'Stella D Oro'
Constantly reliable throughout the entire summer and into fall is ever-blooming Daylily 'Stella D Oro' which you can see here with its bright golden-yellow blooms.  It brings color to many parts of the garden and draws many pollen loving insects.
Heuchera 'Caramel' in front of Japanese Garden Juniper
Here is Heuchera 'Caramel' in front of Japanese Garden Juniper.  This variety of Coral Bell grows to approximately twelve inches in diameter resembling a miniature hosta  with unusual orange-yellow foliage that lasts all summer and into fall.
Oriental Lilly (Lillium 'Cassablanca')
Here is Lillium 'Cassablanca' which is near the end of its bloom time but still displaying  lovely pure white fragrant flowers with deep crimson pollen....
Hemerocallis 'Sammy Russell' (Daylily)
along with the blooms of Daylily 'Sammy Russell' alongside the pool for some late summer color.
Salvia 'May Night'
In the perennial border the tall stalks of 'May Night' Salvia tower over the rest of the garden displaying their bright deep purple blooms.   The blooms are an attraction for dragonflies as you saw in last month's Bloom Day post and are now are a food source for butterflies and other creatures.
Double Knock Out Rose Pink
The Double Knock Out Roses have been filled with abundant blooms all summer with new buds opening each day...  
Crape Myrtle 'Sioux'
and is Crape Myrtle season with continuous mildly fragrant blooms from July until  fall just when the earlier summer blooms are fading. 
Sedum 'Brilliant' against Mugo Pine
Seen here is Sedum 'Brilliant' which will display deep pink blooms from the end of August into September, fading into straw colored seed heads for fall.  For now I am enjoying the show of light green clusters on succulent foliage before the blooms.
Foliage Combo:  Sedum 'Brilliant', Mugo Pine and Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar

Foliage is important in the garden as well.  Here is a combo of Sedum in front of the medium green of Mugo Pine and blue-green of Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar with a touch of variegated liriope in the backdrop to the right.  Below is the foliage of the Rependens Yew that I could not pass by without taking a macro with the new lens.
Foliage of Taxus 'Rependens'  (Low Spreading Yew)

I hope you enjoyed the walk through my August gardens.  It has been said that "the best way to create a garden is to begin with your heart" and since gardening is my true passion I must agree.  Please visit our hostesses Carol at May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Pam at Digging for Foliage Follow-Up.   I am also linking up to Creative Country Mom's new Home Sweet Garden Party. Thank you so much for visiting and if you leave a note I will know you dropped by to say hello and I will be sure to visit you as well!  

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2014. All rights reserved

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Gardens of Aruba: A Look Beyond Part III-Flora and Fauna

The 33 kilometer long (20 mile) desert island of Aruba is located in the Dutch Caribbean approximately 1600 kilometers (900 miles) west of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea and 27 kilometers (17 miles) off the coast of Venezuela.   It is the home to numerous species of cacti, tropical blooms and wildlife.  Coined as "One Happy Island". Aruba has much to offer for the garden enthusiast.  Come take a look beyond at some of the tropical flora and fauna the island has to offer.
Aruba Iguana
Iguanas are native to the Island ranging in a multitude of colors and sizes. They actually don't mind being photographed as long as you keep an adequate distance.

Tropical Azalea
Aruba is the home to many tropical blooms including tropical Azalea, Allamanda and Ixora (Jungle Geranium). Many of these flowering plants are evergreen and bloom continuously with the constant year-round 80 to 90 degree temperatures.
Allamanda cathartica 'Sunee' (Dwarf Allamanda )
 Ixora coccinea Yellow(Jungle Geranium)
 Ixora coccinea Pink (Jungle Geranium)
Also, beautiful Bird of Paradise can be found at some of the resorts on the Island.

Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise)

Island Dove
The doves are so accustomed to visitors at the resorts and will walk right up to you. It is  difficult photographing birds at home so this was a pleasure to be able to get some close-ups.

Agave can be seen throughout the island in an assortment of colors and sizes and can make quite a statement with its wonderful foliage and large four foot tall stature.

Island Berry

Tropical Bloom

 Ixora coccinea (Jungle Geranium)

Mother Dove and Baby

I especially enjoyed photographing this mother Dove and her baby and was even able to get a glimpse of her feeding her young.

Palm with Croton

Hummingbird Host Tree Orange Geiger (Cordia sebestena) 

This trip provided a rare treat.  I have been wanting to get up close and personal with hummingbirds for years and have tried to lure them with bright red blooms and a hummingbird feeder at my home on Long Island. When a friend and photographer brought me to this hummingbird location on the island I was thrilled to not only see several varieties of these creatures but also to photograph them.  While photography of these rapidly moving birds is almost impossible I was able to capture a few shots.

Brown Hummingbird

Hummingbird Ruby-topaz (Chrysolampis mosquitus) and Hummingbird Blue-tailed Emerald (Chlorostilbon mellisugus)

After research I was able to identify some of the varieties of hummingbird (hopefully) and believe the tree they were being drawn to is Orange Geiger (Cordia sebestena) which is hardy in zones 10 to 11.

Queen Emma lily (Crinum pedunculatum)

Coconut Palm

   Island Dove
Barrel Cactus and Aloe Vera

I hope you enjoyed Aruba's tropical blooms and fauna. For more gardens of Aruba visit Gardens of Aruba and Gardens of Aruba Part II. Now back to the gardens of Long Island!

 As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2014. All rights reserved