August 15, 2016

Made in the Shade on This August Bloom Day

pond to back garden
A tilted, angled view--up and over the pond and patio and into the back garden.

It's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day--a meme hosted monthly by Carol over at May Dreams Gardens.

It's been a warm, humid summer here in Southern Wisconsin, but I won't complain! I like the heat; the cold weather will have its time. Plus, a shady backyard has its merits during a hot summer.

First, a few updates from the sunny garden I favored in July:

may night

The purple Salvia (S. nemerosa 'May Night') is on its fourth or fifth round of blooms, after repeated deadheading. Each trim encourages new blooms for the pollinators.

lantana flame

After comparing several cultivars of Lantana (L. camara), it appears 'Lucky Flame' is the best choice for my little patch of sunny garden, because of its height and repeat blooms. Other gardeners will have different conditions and preferences, but you can't go wrong having a few Lantanas in a pollinator garden.

angelonia

These photos were taken following a soaking rain, so the Angelonias (A. augustifolia 'Angelface Blue') were a little floppy. After a bit of sun, they perked back up. This is another fabulous repeat bloomer--from planting to first frost.

butterfly weed

The Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) continues to produce new buds and flowers. I don't remember them blooming this long during past seasons, and they're putting out a bumper crop of seed pods, too. I will need to share.

swamp milkweed

Meanwhile, the Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) in partial shade is winding down its blooming. This is a fun plant to watch at the peak of bloom, as it's a pollinator magnet--drawing in bumbles, honey bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds ... often at the same time.

I added several more patches of both Swamp and Butterfly Milkweeds this year--to benefit the Monarch butterflies and their caterpillars, and because they're delightful garden plants.

equinox hosta

Some plants seem to be blooming a little earlier this year, whether it's because of our warmer summer or a message of some kind (early frost?). I've always perceived this Hosta, planted by the previous owners, to be Hosta of the Equinox (H. aequinoctiiantha), since it's smaller than the Longpipes Hosta and it usually blooms in September.

lycoris buds

Each year, it seems the Resurrection Lilies (Lycoris squamigera) bloom a little earlier. I caught this one in bud phase, just after it popped up overnight out of the Hostas that surround it. Now it's blooming.

lycoris flowers

Also nicknamed "Surprise Lilies" and "Magic Lilies," they're fresh and fragrant, and have a long vase life as cut flowers.

jewelweed

The Spotted Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis), a native annual, is blooming and putting out seed for next year.

foxglove

The 'Camelot Lavendar' Foxglove (Digitalis) is performing a late-summer show.

fuchsia

I've had the best luck with the hybrid Fuchsia 'Marinka.' These beauties like the dappled shade of the back garden, even during warm weather. I overwintered two hanging baskets, and they rewarded me with new growth and blooms this season.

cathedral sky blue

'Cathedral Sky Blue' Salvia (S. farinacea) prefers full sun, but it's working for me in partial sun, facing south. It's a pleasant companion with Coleus 'Wizard Pineapple.'

echinacea

The Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) I planted in partial shade a couple of years ago were rabbit food last summer. They're back, and hopefully they'll fill in more next year. I have more planted behind fencing in the sunny garden.

mistflower

Finally, Blue Mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum), another butterfly magnet, is preparing to bloom.

That's a sampling of what's blooming for me this warm August. What's blooming in your garden? To see what's happening in gardens around the world visit May Dreams Gardens.

50 comments:

  1. What a treat to see that first view and all the plants growing....I also noticed Resurrection Lilies growing in my garden again....they do pop up from time to time as a surprise!

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    1. Thanks, Donna. I need to work on the angle and placement of the plants, but the patio is a great place to watch the birds, hummingbirds, pollinators, and other wildlife. The Resurrection Lilies were here when we moved in, but they certainly surprised me the first time I saw them. :) It's wild how the foliage emerges in the spring, dies back, and then the flowers pop up--fast--out of nowhere!

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  2. Your plants look stunning! Mine are turning into Crispy Critters, it's so dry here yet. I love the view of your garden and all your lovely plants.

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    1. Once again, it's weird how the conditions can be so different when we really don't live that far apart. Sorry, Karen. I see on radar tonight that there's a system headed toward Green Bay, so I hope that brings you much-needed rain!

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  3. Echinacea are rabbit food? Oh no! I just got one growing..

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    1. Yes, apparently. I had to put caging around this one to get it going.

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  4. I used to grow fuchsia every summer. I haven't for years. I really should give one a go again...maybe next year. I have several salvias this year. They get partial sun and still bloom up a storm. I just love them. Yours is a pretty blue. I have Mystic Blue Spires, Victoria Blue and Black and Blue Salvia. I guess you could say I have the blues this summer. Happy GBBD.

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    1. All those blues sound gorgeous! Yes, I was surprised the light blue Salvia was OK with the partial shade. The blooms aren't as large, but it's such a beautiful shade of blue. I can't imagine my garden without the Fuchsias--the hummingbirds love them!

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  5. Beth your plants are so organized. Despite your warmth, ours of course are still hot, only the red salvia grows here, not the blue and violet-typical cold colors.

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    1. Oh, you are too kind about the organization. It was fun to add more potted plants around the pond this summer. Yes, we do have some relief from the heat--at night and some days--which allows us to grow things that would struggle in constant heat.

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  6. What gorgeous August blooms you have Beth. I love the Lycoris. I keep seeing these lovely Angelonias on blogs, but I never come across them here.So pretty.

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    1. Thanks, Chloris. I enjoy the Lycoris, too. I used to think of it as an "end of summer" bloomer, but it seems like it's blooming two weeks earlier than it used to. Ah yes, the Angelonias. Definitely a favorite potted annual plant for me now. It adds height and hummingbird interest to the garden.

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  7. I cannot believe it is August already! Love all your blooms. Glorious!

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    1. Thanks, Layanee. I agree--this summer sped by way too fast! They always do, but this one was a little too busy. But it was an exciting, beautiful summer. :)

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  8. That Lantana 'Lucky Flame' looks like just the compact orange pollinator magnet I've been looking for! i love Bloom Day -- I get introduced to all kinds of different possibilities... Thanks!

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    1. You are welcome! Lantanas are fabulous. I enjoy their appearance, and they do help attract the pollinators. 'Lucky Flame' (in my garden, anyway) grows to about 12" to 16" tall. I agree: Bloom Day is a great chance to get new ideas and to learn about other gardens.

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  9. Thank heaves for shade during this hot and humid weather. My swamp milkweed has not bloomed. Your post just made me realize maybe I should go check on it!

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    1. Yes, the shade does help. More mosquitoes, but it's cooler in the shade. My new Swamp Milkweed plants didn't bloom, either. The patch in the partial shade takes a long time to grow to the height where it reaches the sun, but then it's a huge patch with lots of Milkweed for the Monarchs. :) I did find eggs on the new plants, even though they didn't bloom this year.

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  10. Glorious . . .
    Love seeing your colorful flowers . . .
    Reminds me . . .
    Neighbor South if me a bit had a bunch of trees and scrubby trees trimmed a few days ago. They had this wonderful patch of milkweed . . . and cut it all down. I'm wondering if they gave me permission to dig up some of the plants, planted them here. If they would grow?? Probably worth a try!

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    1. Thanks, Lynne. Oh yes, it's definitely worth a try! I only have one Common Milkweed plant, but now sizeable patches of Swamp, Butterfly, and Whorled Milkweed. They're all (I think) beautiful plants and food for Monarch caterpillars. :)

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  11. Beautiful August blooms, Beth. Your C. coelestinum is ahead of mine, I guess that's a product of light requirements. And the color of the S. nemorosa--whew!

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    1. Thanks, Tina. Interesting about the Mistflower--I noticed when I was in Minnesota (and earlier in Kansas) this summer, that some plants were earlier and some later than us...in both places. I suppose the day length in the middle of summer in the north makes a difference. The timing of plant emergence and blooming on the continent is fascinating to study. That Salvia is vibrant, and it's covered with pollinators, from May through September.

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  12. Beautiful...yes, Wisconsin has enjoyed hot and humid weather. It is so good for the plants.
    I have been very happy with the season. A lot of fun and have enjoyed so many blooms.
    Carla

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    1. Oh good: I'm glad you're having a great summer, too. This part of the country is unparalleled for pleasantness (IMHO) in the summertime. The winter...not so much. ;-)

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  13. shady patio and pond looks an enchanting place to wile away a summer afternoon

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    1. Yes, it's fun to sit out there and watch the wildlife. The only thing that's been holding me back lately is the wicked mosquitoes. But when they're not so bad it's very pleasant. :)

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  14. Fascinating that your blue mistflower has buds before mine! Mine just keeps getting bigger and taller. I wonder if it will even bloom this year (1st year in the garden)...

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    1. Yes, Tina in Texas mentioned the Mistflower buds, too. Perhaps our longer days here in the north get them going a little faster? I think mine bloomed the first year--that is, the ones the rabbits didn't eat.

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  15. Love the view of your back garden! You've included two of my favorite annuals--Lantana and Angelonia, both such great all-season performers. I've been enjoying my shade garden the last few weeks more than the rest of the garden with all the heat, but it's finally cooled off, and best of all, we have had more than 3 inches of rain the past two days!

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    1. Thanks, Rose. Oh yes, I love the Lantanas and Angelonias! Come to think of it, they'd be great potted together! I'm glad you got some needed rain. We cooled a little, now we'll be hot for a few days, and then we're expecting the 70s on the weekend! That will almost feel cold after the months of 80s and 90s. (I'm almost sad to see the heat go--I love it.)

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  16. Stunning photos, Beth. I especially love your 'blues' -- a favorite color of mine in the garden. I just lost a silver maple tree in my shade garden with devastating effects. I'm busy trying to 'make lemons into lemonade.' P. x

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    1. Thank you, Pam. I like blues in the garden, too--especially the periwinkle/lavender/sky blue shades. Sorry to hear about your Silver Maple. That will open up some sunlight for you, I suppose?

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  17. What a beautiful yard! Looks like a wonderful refuge for hot summer days.

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    1. Thanks, Hollis. It's a nice little comfy space. The only difficulty some days is the mosquitoes. With a little breeze, they aren't as much of a problem.

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  18. Your photos turn even the commonest beauties into works of art.

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    1. Thanks, Ricki! You are too kind. Mother Nature provides a colorful palette and fascinating subjects. :)

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  19. Lots of new plants for me. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. You're welcome, Endah. I always enjoy learning about new plants when visiting your blog, too.

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  20. So many wonderful things blooming in your garden, Beth...and lots of plant that are on my list to include in my borders. The photo of your garden overlooking the pond is just lovely - it made me smile :)

    I quite enjoy working out in the garden if I happen to be in the shade - you should consider yourself lucky to have ample opportunity to do that. Unfortunately, all of the areas we are working on are in full, scorching sun, so it's not been very enjoyable for the most part this summer.

    And how incredibly fortuitous that you should post a photo of jewelweed - I'm mentioning that plant in my first fling post (finally!), but I couldn't find a photo of it for some reason.

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    1. Sometimes I feel frustrated that I have so much shade. Other times, it feels very comforting and comfortable. Gardening is so different in sun vs. shade. I'm glad to have at least a few patches of sun and partial sun. Re: the Jewelweed: It has found a home in my garden for sure. These plants were produced from seed I collected at the cottage and scattered here and there. I'm sure it will pop up in unexpected places next summer, but I can always move them. The hummingbirds really like the orange trumpet-shaped flowers. :)

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    1. Thanks, Heather. It has been a fabulous gardening season, hasn't it?

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  22. I don't think I've ever seen a picture of your pond - it's beautiful! I've never had much blooming from the perennial Salvias into August - what's your secret? Say = any chance we can get a peek at your garden on 9/2?

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    1. Hi Jason: The most popular post on this blog is about how the fishman created the pond. It's evolved since then, but the fish have survived four Wisconsin winters, including the super cold one a few years ago! He has a thermal top he puts on it and a minor heater to keep the water from freezing. I deadhead the Salvias throughout the summer and they keep on blooming--not as gloriously as the beginning of the summer, but with a few blooms here and there. I'll send you a FB message about the 9/2 blogger event. :)

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  23. The pollinators must love your beautiful flowers!I am amazed that you and I share a few plants, despite our climate difference.Lantana and angelonia are two that bloom well for me, even through our heat and humidity. A also grow blue mistflower, but it won't really bloom till September. after the worse heat has lifted.

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    1. Hi Deb: The pollinators do visit in large numbers--more some years than others. It is such a joy to see them in the garden, isn't it? Yes, the Lantana and Angelonia are very happy here as annuals. Of course, they can't survive our winters, but people are often surprised how warm and humid the summers are here in the Midwest. Tropical plants work very well as annuals here. We get the extremes--hot (or warm) summers and cold winters. The Blue Mistflower is really filling in this year and blooming like crazy now! Love it!

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  24. Great to see all your wonderful blooms. Interesting you're seeing Asclepias tuberosa bloom more than usual. Mine had a second one also, very unusual for here.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, the Butterfly Weed keeps blooming away. It's really been such a joy this summer! :)

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  25. Planting flowers and plants in garden can be a very enjoyable hobby. I love to plant during my leisure time and also keep on improving my little garden with garden decor that I like.

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  26. I've seen the design for those types of fish ponds but never seen a picture with fish before. Very nice. Love love love all the gentle flower photos.

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