August 15, 2014

August GBBD: Blooms From A to Z


The Latin names for today's plants progress from A to Z: from Agastache to Zinnia (although a few letters are missing).

I'm squeaking by with a Garden Blogger's Bloom Day post. On the 15th day of each month, gardeners around the world share what's blooming in their gardens.

Here in Southern Wisconsin, USA, it's been an incredible summer! A little challenging for the plants, with record rainfall in June, and nearly no precipitation in July. But the temperatures have remained around 80F/27C nearly all summer. Some plants don't mind the fluctuations in precipitation, especially with those mild temps.

Here are some highlights in my garden this month, from A to Z:

Agastache

Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum 'Golden Jubilee') is new to my garden. I thought it might be too shady here, but it's getting just enough dappled sun and seems quite happy. I'm thinking I should deadhead these to encourage more blooms through the fall.

Antirrhinum

I missed these guys last year--'Rocket Mix' Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus). This cultivar creates various colored blooms that get quite tall and are fabulous cut flowers. I pinch them off early in the growing season for larger late-summer blooms. These flowers are just getting going and will bloom until frost in October.

Asclepias

We had a bit of an accident earlier in the summer when an unnamed family member knocked over the tops of some of these Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) stems. But that's OK: This created more stems that will bloom in progression during the coming weeks. This plant is a bee, butterflly, hummingbird, and White-Lined Sphynx moth magnet. Of course, as a Milkweed, it's a larval host for the Monarch, and I seem to be seeing at least one Monarch butterfly on it each day lately. It has a beautiful vanilla scent.

Citrus

The Meyer Lemon (Citrus x meyeri) seemed a little shocked when we moved it outside in May. A few Lemons remain and are getting larger. Meanwhile, it's adjusting well now and has quite a few new blooms.

Cosmos

I could fawn over this flower for hours, but I won't. Suffice it to say, I can't imagine a summer garden without Cosmos bipinnatus. It never fails, and it's one of the best cut flowers around--just plop some in a vase for several days of beauty.

Echinacea

The Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) are fading a bit but still attracting many pollinators, like this Goldenrod Soldier Beetle. It's fun to watch them landing on and traversing the cones.

Fuchsia

One of my top performers every summer is Fuchsias in hanging baskets. This year, I selected 'Marinka,' which has been blooming nonstop since mid-May. I might even try bringing a couple of the baskets indoors (in the sunroom) this winter to keep the Meyer Lemon company.

Impatiens

Last year, I took a break with Impatiens because of the downy mildew plaguing them across the country. But I missed them, so I planted 'Fiesta Pink Ruffle' amongst several other potted plants this year. It reminds me of a delicate Rose, and seems quite hearty.

Lablab

The Hyacinth Bean (Lablab purpureus) blooms are reaching for the sun at the top of my obelisk. They attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. These plants got a bit of a late start, but I hope they'll continue to bloom and produce their pretty purple beans into the fall until the frost.

Lantana

The Lantanas (L. camara 'Lucky Flame') are performing surprisingly well this summer, and are attracting butterflies and bees. I only discovered this annual plant a few years ago, but now it's one of my favorites.

Liatris

'Blazing Star' Liatris (L. spicata) is winding down, but still attracting pollinators. Soon I'll deadhead the faded blooming stalks, because I'm not crazy about how they look when they're brown and dry. Plus, the garden has plenty of "winter interest" blooms that will remain standing.

Lycoris

The Resurrection Lilies (Lycoris squamigera) seem to be blooming early this year. These flowers seemingly appear out of nowhere in late summer--from foliage that goes dormant after the spring. Also called "Naked Ladies" and "Magic Lilies," among other nicknames, they're lovely in dappled sunlight. They weren't even visible in my garden earlier this week.

Rudbeckia

Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) are another favorite of the Goldenrod Soldier Beetles. They're a cheery focal point in my garden during the late summer.

Solanum

This variegated Sweet Potato vine (Solanum jasminoides) is a great companion to the Fuchsias in my hanging baskets. The delicate white and yellow flowers come and go, while the foliage is visually appealing throughout the growing season.

Zinnia

And finally, the Zinnias (Z. elegans 'State Fair Mix')! I missed them last year, and I'm so glad I included them this year. It's been a challenging year for them with the fluctuating precipitation, but they're coming on strong now--just in time for some fabulous late-summer, early fall floral bouquets.

Thanks for visiting! Head on over to May Dreams Gardens to find out what's blooming in other gardens around the world. Thanks to Carol for hosting!

58 comments:

  1. Hi Beth, What a wonderful display. A couple of your blooms caught my eye in particular: the "Lucky Flame" Lantanas are the flower my friend planted for me in all the raised beds the summer I was going through chemo. Her comment was: "They'll attract lots of pollinators and you won't have to deadhead!" She wanted to make it easy.....and six years later I had forgotten those beauties. Also the Fiesta Pink Ruffle Impatiens is new to me and I appreciate knowing about that cultivar. I have a shady bed in the front of the house--house faces north--and so I rely on impatiens for mounds of color. LOVE the double ruffled pink!

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    1. Thank you, Susie! What a wonderful friend you have--I think those Lantanas would cheer up just about anyone. Love them! I will try to find the Fiesta Pink Impatiens again--they have such a beautiful Rose shape.

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  2. So many Alphabeth flowering plants in your garden and such a special ones, I never heard of Hyacinth beans, very interesting.

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    1. I fell in love with Hyacinth Bean vine a couple of years ago, and now I can't imagine a summer garden without it. It's easily started from seeds, and during a hot summer, especially, it grows like crazy. The color of the bloom is so unique.

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  3. You have some gorgeous things in bloom and stunning photos. I regret now that I didn' t grow any Zinnias this year, I love your red one. The Lycoris is fantastic too- so many lovely plants.

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    1. Thank you, Chloris. That's how I felt last year--like I was missing out by not having any Zinnias. They're just a special part of summer for me now. The Lycoris were present in the garden when we moved in--but they were a magical surprise that first growing season. The flowers sprout up so fast in late summer!

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  4. I wish I could grow fuschias. They just can't take the heat, humidity (with heat), drought, etc. here. Frankly, I can't either. LOL! Have a beautiful Saturday.~~Dee

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    1. It has been a great summer for Fuchsias here in Southern Wisconsin--especially in the shade. During a normal summer, they would pause a bit in July and early August, but we've had such perfect temperatures this year. Of course, I have to water them every other day in baskets, but it's worth it for the beauty and the sustenance for hummingbirds.

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  5. Beth, Good checking on what is happening in your garden to my south. Just trying to see if I am keeping pace with you and your blooms! HAHAHA JC

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    1. Looks like we're on nearly the same schedule now, John. Soon you'll be ahead of us with fall color. I'm not ready for that yet, though! Enjoy the lake!

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  6. Beth I loved your blooms. Especially the lemons. We have had lots of rain...5 inches in July and already 4 inches in August with 3.5 of those in one day. more chilly days than I cared for as the veg garden needs it hotter and a bit drier. But really no complaints as the flowers are very happy.

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    1. Gosh, the weather is strange. That is incredible how much rain you and others had in a short period of time! We're having a bit of a warm up now, which is helping the veggies to ripen nicely. We need more rain, though.

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  7. I too have Hyssop and Lantana which are bee and butterfly magnets this year. You might keep an eye on the hyssop though, it does like to spread, but maybe with less sun, yours will be better behaved. I love the cosmos too and hope they seed themselves all over the garden. I like your drone fly in the first photo. They are good little pollinators.

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    1. Yes, yes, the pollinators do like the Hyssop and the Lantana. It's so fun to watch them moving around in the flowers. Good to know about the Hyssop--I'll watch it, although I have a nice little area for it. Cosmos ... great plant/great flowers!

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  8. Great collection. I'm growiny hyacinth beans ony garden too, both of white and purple version. We call it Kara. We use to cook the young pods. The white version is growing so lush, but the purple one is not blooming yet.

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    1. Thank you, Endah! How fun that we're both growing Hyacinth Beans. Mine are in partial shade, so the yield isn't great. But I LOVE the flowers. So, I'm growing it as an ornamental. The beans are pretty, too.

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  9. Beth-your blooms and photography are amazing. You have lots of color going on in your August garden and I love your selection of butterfly friendly plants. Happy GBBD!

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    1. Thank you, Lee. We've had a lot of butterfly visitors this summer--many more than last summer. Enjoy your summer garden, too!

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  10. Had to look up an alphabetical list of flowering plant genera a couple of years back; A to Z it's Aa to Zygotritonia if I remember correctly. What letters are missing?

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    1. Good to know! Oh, so many letters are missing (if we're going by the initial letters, anyway). I just happened to notice that the blooming plants for this post followed from A to Z. Totally unintentional, but fun to think about.

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  11. Fantastic collection of flowers and colours for the summer!

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    1. Thanks, Lula. Late-summer blooms have a particular misty beauty. This time of year seems wistful to me.

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  12. I admire all your blooms! The variegated sweet potato vine especially caught my attention, as I did not know of the variegated form. I can imagine your garden filled with butterflies, bees, and all the other little pollinators who must see your garden as paradise!

    Also, thank you for your very kind comment on my last post!

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    1. Hi Deb: Thanks! Yes, I discovered this Sweet Potato vine variety a couple of years ago, and it's a great companion with Fuchsias. Bees are always pretty happy here--the bumbles seem to like the Hosta flowers. This year, I've been surprised at how many butterflies we've had because it's pretty shady. But I think they start out on the sunny side with the Zinnias, Coneflowers, and Lantana, and then head for the dappled sun where the Swamp Milkweed lives. Obviously your blog is one of my favorites. :)

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  13. Loved your "flower color pops" . . .
    I agree, the Zinnias are coming on strong now!
    Nice to enjoy the color at August end and into September . . .

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    1. Yes, the bright colors are so optimistic. It would be great to have Zinnias and Lantanas year-round, but then I suppose we might tire of them? Maybe not. ;-)

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  14. Don't know when we sat on the deck and enjoyed the garden so much. No rain so no bugs. You are so right about the weather, but I have been watering for a couple of weeks now. You have quite a spectacular display of flowers . Love that impatiens.

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    1. Thanks! I agree--the pros are no bugs; the cons are not enough water for the plants. Some of my plants are going dormant, but I'm resisting watering the entire garden--just select plants and mostly near the house. Sounds like we'll get more rain soon--yay! I think I'll try to plant double Impatiens next year, too. Just something so soft and graceful about them...

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  15. Beautiful! Does the hyacinth bean need full sun? How early does it start blooming?

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    1. Thanks, Jason. The Hyacinth Bean prefers sun, I believe, but I have it growing in dappled sun. As it's reached the top of the obelisk and more light, it's become fuller and is blooming more. The bloom time varies with when you get the seeds in the ground. Probably similar to Sweet Peas, beans and other legumes. Easy to grow from seed--especially in sun.

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  16. Great photos, Beth!

    I haven't tried Lantana here, but plan to plant some next year. I may try the Miss Huff variety, which some folks say could be perennial around here (zones 6-7)

    Enjoy all the marvelous flowers in your garden! It's looking great.

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    1. Thanks, Aaron. Year-round Lantans--now that would be wonderful! I've heard they're invasive in some areas, including New Orleans--which is where I really fell in love with them. Such an easy-care annual around here, and the butterflies are attracted to them, too!

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  17. Sorry I'm late to the garden party--I bought a new computer on Friday and am still trying to figure out how to navigate through the new Windows. We share many of the same blooms, Beth--cosmos is one of my favorites, too, as are zinnias and lantana. What I don't have yet is the swamp milkweed, as an unnamed family member here decide to spray some weed-killer around the sheds, including one where I had planted it:) But hopefully next year! Your hyacinth bean is looking good. I forgot to order seeds this year, but I have a volunteer, which really surprised me. Hasn't this been a great summer?

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    1. A new computer--fun! Those unnamed family members can challenge us almost as much as Mother Nature and the critters, eh? ;-) I think you will find that the Swamp Milkweed attracts even more butterflies to your garden than you already have. And hummingbirds ... and sphynx moths ... and many other beauties. Don't you just love the Hyacinth Bean vine?

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  18. Hi Beth, I so enjoyed reading your post! As much as I love my roses your post made it clear to me one more time that I NEED to plant more companion plants. My favorite from the ones that you are presenting here is the agastache foeniculum 'Golden Jubilee', but I also love the swamp milkweed and the delicate impatiens 'Fiesta Pink Ruffle'. Wishing you a good start into the week! Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Thanks, Christina! I'm new to Agastache, because I thought it would be too shady here. It's not growing as fast here as it would in the sun, but it's doing OK. The Swamp Milkweed is surprisingly happy in its spot--it was made for that spot! All the best to you, too, Christina!

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  19. I like seeing the use of annuals. They really do a fine job of filling in while we wait for the perennials and shrubs to do their thing. Lovely photos, as always.

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    1. Thanks, Ricki. I like a few annuals, too--especially for companion plantings and potted arrangements. I usually try to select annuals that are great cut flowers, as well. Enjoy your week!

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  20. glad to hear that you have visitng monarchs! I read other blogs where they've planted milweed, but still waiting for any butterflies, sadly.

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    1. Yes, I usually don't get many monarchs in my back garden because it's quite shady (the side garden is sunny, but I can't see it from my window). But this year, during the time that the Swamp Milkweed has been blooming, we've had at least one monarch per day, it seems. I even have a resident monarch caterpillar near the house that I'm feeding. I think he's about to form a chrysalis--I hope it will be in a spot where I can see it. :)

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  21. So many beautiful plants in flower, but the Lantanas are my favourites. Such wonderful blooms!

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    1. One of my personal favorites, too, Paula. And the butterflies like them, too. :)

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  22. I know it's a common annual...but my garden would never be the same without my Zinnias....love them.

    Jen

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    1. I missed them last year when I didn't plant them. Even though they're late to the game this year, I'm so glad to see them in the garden now. Summer doesn't seem right without big "State Fair Mix" Zinnias!

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  23. Not only an A-Z but an entire rainbow of colour. I remember falling for you Lantana last year and could not find it here. I must put more effort into that next year!
    Great bloom day post Beth.

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    1. Thank you, Angie. Yes, Lantanas are hard to resist if you like bright colors, enjoy butterflies, and want a plant that blooms from planting until frost (it's a perennial and sometimes invasive in warmer climates, but a great annual here). I hope you can find some next spring. :)

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  24. You must have one spectacular garden. I posted several pics of Sunflowers today from a recent walk to Dawley Conservancy Park/Dunn's Marsh. The sunflowers and mint families especially seem to have struggled this year, depending on prairie elevation and drainage.

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    1. It is a beautiful garden, Heather, although most of it was planted when we moved in. I do wish I had more room for Sunflowers, but I have such a small and barely accessible sunny garden. I guess it makes sense that it wasn't the best summer for Sunflowers since it was rainy in June and cooler through most of the summer. I would think the current weather would be great for them, but maybe it's too late for this year. They are stunning, that's for sure!

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  25. Ciao, allora quel Agastache è stato una novità per tutti e due noi :) Complimenti per il giardino e per tutti i tuoi fiori particolari :)

    Un saluto!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, the Agastache is enjoying its new home in my garden, and I'm looking forward to it growing larger and claiming its spot as a focal point. Beautiful plant. :)

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  26. They are so beautiful, i love most the photo of the Lablab with that awesome bokeh. Some of them are tropicals but i haven't seen that Ipomoea yet here.

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    1. Thank you! I think the dappled sun/shade in this garden helps create some interesting bokeh effects, as long as I have enough light for the exposure to work. I guess technically the Solanum is a Potato vine rather than a Sweet Potato vine (Ipomoea). Not sure what the label says, but that would be the case. Anyway, yes, it's a lovely plant and would be beautiful on its own, but is a great companion to other potted plants. I think it would be great on a trellis or an arbor, too.

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  27. I really like all the flowers that you have in your garden, especially those are great, that long bloom. Regards.

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    1. I appreciate the long-blooming ones, too, Giga! And so do the bees and butterflies! Hope you're having a great summer!

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  28. Next year you can add B for blue mist flower. :o) That sweet potato vine is just beautiful. I'll have to keep an eye out for that next year. Love that little impatiens. I miss them, too. Such an sweet, easy plant.

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    1. Yay! The Blue Mistflowers I planted are starting to bloom! They're very short, though. In my "vision" they were much taller. ;-) Maybe they'll grow taller in their second year. That variegated Solanum is really pretty. And it grows well in shade--an added bonus!

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  29. Lovely blooms for bloom day!!! I'm jealous about your Meyer Lemon. They smell so heavenly when they're blooming. I wish I had somewhere to keep one. So many things you have blooming are in my garden too. I really like double Impatiens, your 'Fiesta Pink Ruffle' is a beauty. I try to add them, snaps, fuchsias, etc., every year too. This year I'm wondering why I didn't plant more Glads?? I have a few ruffled ones about to bloom & I think I'm going to get greedy and want more!! Glad you had a good bloom day. I can't believe how quickly the summer went by... :( I'm not ready for it to be over.

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