August 14, 2015

Color Swatches and Late Summer Blooms

happiness

It's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, and the vibrant, summer colors rule in my USDA zone 5 garden. Even the white Cosmos with their touches of pink and their yellow centers brighten their spaces, attracting pollinators with accessible nectar and pollen.

milkweed collage

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), is the star of the "part shade" back garden, attracting butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

obelisk

Hyacinth Bean vine (Lablab purpureus), is filling its obelisk.

obelisk top

Its blooms are strong and colorful at the top--where the hummingbirds like to hang out.

hummer snacks

Hummers also flutter around the two hanging baskets of Fuchsia 'Marinka' lined up next to a feeder.

Moving on to the tiny sun garden ...

caged sunflower

Embarrassingly, I can't recall the cultivar of this Sunflower (Helianthus spp.), but it's a nice size and very pretty. It started from seed planted directly in the soil in May; it's now about four feet tall.

party

Definitely a popular hangout for pollinator shenanigans (shown here: Goldenrod Soldier Beetles).

rudbeckia

The Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) attract them, too.

pentas

The jury's still out for me with Pentas (P. lanceolata 'Graffiti Red Lace'). I think it might be the color--just a little too red, so it clashes with other flowers in this garden (I love red flowers, but not in this location). I'll probably opt for purple or pink next summer.

potted

I love the Marigold/Angelonia combination. And both keep blooming all season long, even as the Alyssum is dormant during the heat of the summer.

butterfly seeds

I'm so pleased that the Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) plants are finally producing seeds.

butterfly buds

And a second round of buds and blooms.

yum

No longer just a bloom, this 'Better Boy' tomato is now harvested and soon will be consumed.

salvia collage

Some Salvia blooms are fading, though after deadheading, new fresh buds are forming.

echinacea collage

The Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea), too, still offer new buds and blooms.

lantana collage

Lantanas ('Blaze' and "Bandana Red') are taller and more productive than they've ever been in my garden before.

zinnia collage

'Cut and Come Again' Zinnias are true to their name.

cosmos collage

The bumbles agree with me that 'Versailles Mix' Cosmos are irresistible.

sun garden colors

The colors this season have been pleasing to my eye. I recently played around with some color swatches to try to capture the rainbow before it fades.

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

56 comments:

  1. Love that Pentas, the red is gorgeous!

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    1. I like Pentas, but this particular shade of red doesn't quite fit with the color scheme of this little sunny garden. I'm sure it would look great in a different garden. I'll try Pentas again, though, in a different color. ;-)

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  2. What a beautiful rainbow of colors you've created in your garden, Beth!

    I tried growing Pentas for the first time this year, but they did not seem to care for our heat. (Then the rabbits devoured them and ended the experiment early.)

    I had zillions of soldier beetles in previous years on a perennial sunflower (Helianthus 'Lemon Queen') but have not seen any this year on the annual sunflowers...

    Love your hyacinth bean vine! Got to try growing one of those someday. If only I had an obelisk... They always seem so pricey in gardening catalogs...

    Oh and thanks for nothing that Asclepias incarnata can grow well in partial shade. I had thought it needed full sun, so I've been torturing it in an area that bakes all day long. Next year, perhaps I'll try planting some where they receive afternoon shade!

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    1. Hi Aaron: Thanks! Ah, good to know that the rabbits like to eat the Pentas. Sorry about that. Mine are behind triple fencing. Otherwise, I think the rabbits would eat many of these plants, along with the lettuce which I didn't show in this post. In my memory, the gs beetles showed up earlier in previous years. This year, the bumbles, the beetles, and the butterflies seemed a bit delayed--probably because of cooler June weather. Yes, the Swamp Milkweed gets dappled sun/shade all day, really. Its most direct sun occurs in mid-afternoon. Honestly, I had no idea it would do so well in this spot when I planted it there several years ago. I figured most of my garden was too shady for any Milkweeds except maybe A. purpurascens. But A. incarnata loves its home, and has been the "talk of the garden" for pollinators in that part shade spot for several years now, during the time that it's blooming. ;-)

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  3. You have a lot of beautiful blooms in your garden Beth and lots of excellent insects. I am so envious of your fuchsia. I only have a few plants barely hanging on in a pot and the hummers are completely ignoring them right now for other blooms.

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    1. Thanks, Karin. I'm amazed at how many blooms are on the Fuchsias this year. I'm not sure why, except perhaps because our June weather was quite cool. Now that we've been in the 90s for several days, I'm watering the pots just about every day. So far, the Fuchsias are hanging in there.

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  4. Beautiful pictures of beautiful flowers, especially the seedpod of the Asclepias is wonderful but what to think of the beetles on the sunflower, just gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you. I do enjoy the Butterfly Weed seedpods! They're almost as pretty as the flowers. Ha! The beetles are having parties on the Sunflowers and the Rudbeckias currently. :)

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  5. Fabulous colorful blooms and collages Beth. isn't it wonderful that this late we still have such a riot of color! I really adore the picture of the zinnia as it is just starting to bloom.

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    1. Thanks, Donna. I must admit I'm not as impressed with 'Cut and Come Again' as I have been with 'State Fair Mix.' But the Zinnias were picked over by the time I got to the garden center. I doubt I'll plant CCA again. The SFM Zinnias are huge and are excellent for flower arrangements at church. But, it is wonderful to have any Zinnias in the garden!

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  6. Lovely!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!
    Lea

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    1. Thank you, Lea! I hope all is well with you and that you enjoyed GBBD, too!

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  7. I really love how you show the different stages/colours of flowers in each picture box - what a great idea!

    I have milkweed coming up in a few spots in the garden and have always ripped it out in the past - dumb me! Only recently did I realize how beneficial this plant was to butterflies and it's actually quite lovely as well, so this year, I've let them be & am sure glad I did. I really should stop pulling things just because of their weedy name.

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    1. Thanks, Margaret. Believe it or not, I never had Milkweed growing in this garden before I planted it on purpose! When we moved here, the perennial beds were pretty packed with plants and the rest of the lot was lawn. No Milkweeds seem to grow in the deep woods. But, the Swamp Milkweed patch has been happy in its spot ever since I planted it, and the Butterfly Weed is now established and thriving, too. It's such a joy to see many Monarchs visiting here during the summer.

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  8. Pentas is a favorite of mine, though as you know they come in a variety of colors. Love the Hyacinth Bean Vine, may try that next year. Ditto the Angelonia. Lots of great color in your garden this August!

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    1. I think I just picked the wrong color of Pentas for that spot. I remember seeing it during a trip to Florida, and it was lovely (can't remember what color). So, I'll try it again next year in a different color. Yes, Hyacinth Bean Vine is now an annual staple. I harvest the seeds and plant them in late spring. I'm very pleased with the Angelonia. I actually think I'll add more of it next year.

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  9. You have a lot happening. My garden is pretty quiet at the moment. So quiet that I forgot it was GBBD!

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    1. Well, Linda, you've been very busy this summer, indeed! Most of the activity during high summer here in my garden is in a tiny patch of sun. Although the Hyacinth Bean vine and Swamp Milkweed grow tall to catch the sun ... and the pollinators' attention. :)

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  10. Beautiful post with lovely bright flowers, very nice to see.
    Amanda xx

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    1. Thanks, Amanda. Annuals help to keep the color going from May to frost (October) here. And of course, mid-summer and late-blooming perennials in their times.

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  11. Lovely flowers, the Hyacinth vine is doing well, runner beans with red flowers occupy that niche in my garden. I know you hate to hear this but the red Pentas would look fabulous here.;-) I've tried with milkweeds, now I have the annual one blooming because I brought it in the house last winter. My tiny butterfly weed I got last year was eaten to the ground by rabbits and this year is still tiny, I think I can't keep it watered enough where it is. Maybe I should move it. I'm envious of your marvelous seed pods. But there are no Monarch butterflies here. Your other flowers look bright and colorful!

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    1. Hi Hannah: Yes, I've enjoyed the red Runner Bean flowers/vines when I've seen them in other gardens. Ha--I should have sent you the Pentas. ;) Gosh, I didn't realize rabbits would eat Butterfly Weed! Mine is my potager garden, which is protected by several layers of fencing. That's about the only way I can keep rabbits away from plants they're determined to eat. Ugh. Actually, the Butterfly Weed seems to prefer a drier, sunnier spot, I think. But it takes several years to really get going.

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  12. Very pretty pics throughout your garden. I cringe when the butterflyweed makes seed though. I cut them immediately or the garden would be swamped in them.

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    1. Thanks, Donna. I've never had seedpods on my Butterfly Weed before. I'll probably harvest them when they start to split, like I do with the Swamp Milkweed. I've given away some seeds, and planted others here and there.

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  13. Your Hyacinth Bean vine is just as pretty as I remember it from last year Beth, and your zinnias as beautiful – next year I MUST have some zinnias now that I have a much sunnier garden :-)
    I loved the red pentas too, would fit very well in with my hot coloured plants, I have never grown it before. Nice to see Marinka is doing well for you, it is a fuchsia that isn’t very fuzzy in my experience and I grow it both in almost full sun and complete shade.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, you would love Zinnias, Helene, and I'm sure they would thrive with your care. I remember seeing butterflies on Pentas in other gardens, but in mine they seem to prefer the Echinacea, Zinnias, and Milkweed. I LOVE 'Marinka' and I'm trying to get a decent photo of the hummingbirds nectaring from it. One of these days.

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  14. Your colorful garden is amazing. Love the variety of blooms and bright hues.

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    1. Thank you. The side "sunny" garden has been very colorful and healthy this year. I'll have to remember the layout and selections for next year. :)

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  15. It truly has been a hearty, blossoming beauty filled season as evidenced by the varieties throughout your garden . . .
    Wonderful visuals and views Beth . . .

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    1. Thank you, Lynne! Hasn't it been a beautiful summer here in the Upper Midwest?! These past few days have been very hot and dry, but otherwise we've been blessed with plentiful rain and pleasant temperatures.

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  16. Your collages are lovely! I have just discovered Angelonia and plan to plant some next year. Cosmos is another flower that thrives in my part of the world. I love the colors in your mix. And the zinnias - an all time favorite of butterflies and bees here.

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    1. Thank you, Deb. Oh yes, Angelonia is a winner! I can't figure out why it took me so long to discover it. I will use it again next summer--probably in multiple locations and colors! Zinnias and Cosmos are long-time favorites for me, too (and the pollinators).

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  17. It truly is a rainbow of blooms Beth. Your late summer garden is bursting with so many lovely plants. I am in awe of the Monarch and Hummingbird shot. Well captured.

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    1. Thanks, Angie! The Swamp Milkweed really is a magnet for all types of pollinators. It's fascinating to watch as it begins to bloom--suddenly there's a tremendous rush of activity in that part of the garden. Plus, it's beautiful, and a preferred larval host for Monarchs!

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  18. Dear Beth, I loved the peek into your summer garden! It is very colorful indeed and lively with critters, just as a garden in summer should be. The flowers that are most appealing to me are the cosmos. I can't help but being smitten by the beauty of their simple and delicate blooms.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the tour, Christina. Oh gosh, yes, I'm smitten with Cosmos, too. One of my favorite floral arrangements is a simple mason jar filled to overflowing with Cosmos!

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  19. Beautiful photos, Beth! Your Monarch and hummingbird photos are stunning! I must try again to get Swamp milkweed established here. Your garden looks so colorful for August, and you have some of my favorites, like the zinnias and cosmos. Angelonia is another favorite annual, both in containers and in the ground--it stands up to the heat of summer and keeps on going till fall. Your garden is lovely!

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    1. Thanks, Rose! I highly recommend Swamp Milkweed. It truly is a pollinator magnet. I had never seen a Giant Swallowtail until I planted Swamp Milkweed. Plus, the Monarchs seem to prefer it for laying their eggs. Regarding Angelonia, I can't figure out why I didn't discover it until now. I remember hearing about it and seeing it on other blogs, but I can't figure out why I didn't try it. Definitely a winner annual in this climate!

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  20. I have been so intent on planting for wildlife that I am only now thinking more of what I would enjoy to see more of together if that makes sense... Michelle

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    1. Yes, that definitely makes sense, Michelle. We evolve as gardeners, don't we? I find that I need/prefer a mix of planned, organized design and planting for wildlife. When we can achieve both, and we like the results (even simple wins), it's pure bliss. :)

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  21. Oh my! Your garden is so pretty. Mine feels washed out in comparison. Love all the colors. About the red pentas, they definitely stand out in the landscape. I love them, but I also adore the purple ones. They have the depth of color without saying "Look at me!" Happy Bloom Day!~~Dee

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    1. Thank you, Dee! During the past week, we've had a bit of dry, hot weather, so some of the plants (ferns, hostas, etc.) are struggling a bit. But I keep the little sunny garden watered every few days, so it's doing OK. Yes, I think I'll try the purple Pentas next year. :)

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  22. Beautiful.
    How are you planning to eat that yummy tomato? :-)

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    1. Thanks, Carla. Why, in a BLT, of course! (BLTs with fresh--must be fresh--tomatoes are my favorite foods!)

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  23. Beeyoutiful!!! I hope your orange milkweed reseeds for you. :o)

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    1. Thanks, Tammy. I'll probably harvest the Butterfly Weed seeds--for more plants and to build up the existing patch. :)

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  24. You do have a whole lot blooming in your garden now Beth. Love seeing all this. I forgot to make a bloom day post. I have a pink Penta that did very well this year. I like your red one despite the clash. Sometimes a little clashing is nice to get your attention. Happy GBBD.

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    1. Good point, Lisa! I kind of figured the red would go with the "zowie" colors in that garden, but it's just not quite the right shade of red--more of an orange-red would work better. So, next year I'll look for purple or pink Pentas to complement the other colors. Thanks!

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  25. Really liked your selections in the container.
    Ray

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    1. Thanks, Ray. The Angelonias have really filled in since this post. They're just full of blooms now, and the hummingbirds are enjoying them. I will definitely plant them again next year.

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  26. Lovely! I esp. Like the butterfly and swamp milkweed and the bottom purple coneflowers.

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    1. Thank you, Heather! I love those two Milkweeds, too, Heather, and find it sad that they have only recently become appreciated as garden staples. The Coneflowers are key anchors in my garden. All are pollinator favorites. :)

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  27. Hello Beth,
    I am from Austria and Ihave found your lovelv blog. So many flowers are in your garden and the butterfly on the flower is so pretty!
    I want to follow your blog - maybe you want to visit my blog?
    Have a vice day,
    Christine

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    1. Hello Christine: Thank you for your visit and your kind words. Yes, I will visit your blog, too. Butterflies are always wonderful creatures to have in a garden, aren't they?

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  28. What a beautiful post Beth. I love all your August blooms and your photographs are wonderful. I would so love to stroll around your lovely summer garden, it is alive with birds and butterflies and such a kalaidoscope of colours.

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    1. Thank you, Chloris. Sadly, the garden is starting to fade now, and I'm looking more forward to next year's garden than this one because of some pretty major rabbit damage. :( But the sunny garden (fenced in by triple layers of wire) is faring much better than any other part of the garden. I can't fence in everything, so some major adjustments are in store to keep the rabbits out!

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