July 15, 2018

Bright Blooms of July

butterflyweed
Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

The fiery colors of summer and their complements on the opposite side of the color wheel take center stage in July. On this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, Butterflyweed is waning (though still vibrant), while other blooms in the sunny cutting garden/potager are peaking. Here are the highlights:

echinacea
Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) (so pretty in all it's forms)

rudbeckia
Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

lantana
Lantana (L. camara)

liatris
Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)

alliums and mistflower
Drumstick Allium (A. sphaerocephalon) layered with Blue Mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum) (which will be covered with blue flowers in late summer into fall, after the alliums have faded)

state fair zinnia
'State Fair Mix' Zinnia (Z. elegans)

zowie zinnia
'Zowie! Yellow Flame' Zinnia (Z. elegans)

salvia
'May Night' Salvia (Salvia x sylvestris)

tithonia
Torch Tithonia (T.  rotundifolia) (now blooming, but I really like the buds, too)

swamp milkweed
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

sensation mix cosmos
'Sensation Mix' Cosmos (C. bipinnatus) (again, the buds are as fun as the flowers)

blue vervain
Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata)

tomatoes
Tomatoes and flowers (thank you, pollinators)

The bees, spiders, butterflies, and other garden visitors are welcome here, and the flowers bring them in! What's blooming in your garden?

monarch on butterflyweed

I'm linking this post to Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens. Head on over to see what's blooming in gardens around the world.

60 comments:

  1. Beautiful!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

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    1. Thank you, Lea! Just getting back to respond as I was out of town for a few days.

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  2. Bright blooms indeed! Just gorgeous. The swamp milkweed caught my eye. I have tried to grow it here in my zone 9a garden but haven't been very successful. I think it just doesn't like my climate and soil.

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    1. Thanks, Dorothy! The Swamp MW is very happy here. I also have it in dappled shade--it blooms there, too, but the plant in shade isn't as strong and healthy and it blooms later. The ones in the afternoon sunny garden are so tall and full of flowers that the plants are flopping over--even though I have them staked. And they are covered in monarch eggs and caterpillars!

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  3. Plenty to interest pollinators and humans alike in your garden Beth. Our unaccustomed heat and sunshine seems to be bringing them in this year, I've never seen so many. Great to see them all making the most of it.

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    1. That is great to hear, although I know you need some rain. It sounds like you'll be getting some soon? Enjoy the bees and butterflies!

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  4. I love the bugs and all your blooms Beth but my favorite in this grouping is the Liatris. I think because I always have to admire it from afar. It doesn't grow in my garden very well. I think it is a sun issue. Crazy, I forgot it was GBBD. I did put up a post today.

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    1. Hi Lisa: I'm surprised the Liatris wouldn't like your garden. There are so many species of Liatris--I wonder if Prairie Blazing Star (L. pycnostachya) would work for you in sun, or Meadow Blazing Star (L. ligulistylis) for a slightly wetter, partial shade situation?

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  5. Those are some sizzling photos! We are having a dry spell that is making everything shorter and the flowers smaller. I love that yellow flame zinnia. Zinnias usually don't have time to bloom here. Composite flowers are a favorite!

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    1. Hi Becky: Yes, the colors are bright! :) I start my Zinnias from seed indoors in March and move them outdoors in late May. So, they have a nice head start. I love the State Fair Mix, too, but they tend to get top-heavy and sometimes have to be staked. Zinnias are favorites of butterflies and they are excellent cut flowers!

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  6. Beth - Your photographs are really beautiful. And so is that garden! Wow!

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    1. Thank you, Pat. The sunny garden is always so bright--it's a little less challenging than growing things in the shade, which is the condition in most of my garden. I love the shade, too, but it's a little more muted, and some of the plants are less robust in the shade (shade-lovers, of course, are happy there).

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  7. Of all your wonderful photos, my eye fixated on that swamp milkweed. But I suppose that a plant with "swamp" in its name probably wouldn't be happy in dry as dust SoCal. Happy Bloom Day, Beth!

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    1. Hi Kris: Swamp MW performs well in normal garden conditions if watered regularly. But it's not drought-tolerant and will struggle without moisture. It might work for you in or near a pond or in a small garden plot (potager/cutting garden) that you water regularly. I think I saw it at Balboa Park. But the more drought-tolerant milkweeds (Common, Butterflyweed, Narow Leaf) would probably be happier in SoCal.

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  8. All your blooms are beautiful Beth and I love the photographs of the Black Eyed Susan, Zinnias and pollinators in your garden. Happy Bloom Day!

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    1. Thanks, Lee! We are getting plenty of rain, so the plants are full and happy. In fact, some are getting too top-heavy and have to be staked more than usual. I need to do some trimming. ;-)

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  9. Hi Beth, i really love that A incarnata, not much that A tuberosa. I love my A curassavica, which i got the seeds only from the cool highlands just to try in our hot lowlands. It thrive also, hasn't been visited yet by our monarch for 2 years. It attracts a lot of aphids which put danger to my hoyas so i eradicated them near the hoyas. I am sure there will be volunteer seeds to be seen in nearby areas.

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    1. Hi Andrea: I like the A. curassavica, and I've grown that one, too--mainly to feed caterpillars that I captive-raise. There are so many fun species of milkweeds, so we have many choices--just as you do with your beautiful hoyas. :)

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  10. Oh Beth, your blooms and buds are so beautiful. No wonder you have so many garden visitors. The shot of the monarch butterfly is amazing. Happy GBBD!

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    1. Thank you, Peter! We've been blessed with butterfly visitors every day for the past few weeks. Gardens bring such joy, don't they? :)

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  11. Beautiful Beth . . .
    A full spectrum of color . . .

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    1. Thanks, Lynne! I love this time of year--plenty of color and blooms to brighten the days! :)

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  12. I’m enjoying finally seeing bees and butterflies here! Your photos are great — so many excellent plants.

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    1. The bees and butterflies are the highlight of the garden, aren't they? Thanks! Yes, the plants make me happy, too. :)

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  13. Great photos, Beth! I especially love the one of the cosmos bud. I think I like the foliage of these annuals as much as I do the blooms. My 'Zowies' are just starting to bloom!

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    1. Thank you, Rose. The Cosmos are blooming off and on, too, but when I was taking these photos, I could only find one in bud form. It's really fun to watch the butterflies on the Zinnias. :)

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  14. Thanks for sharing your zinnias. They are my favorite but are almost impossible for me to grow here. I enjoyed yours very much.
    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

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    1. You are welcome, Jeannie. I'm surprised they'd be hard to grow in Tennessee. Is it because of the soil type, or some other condition? Zinnias are so fun.

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  15. So beautiful! Love looking at the bees and butterflies. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, I love to spend time just watching the pollinators in the garden. You're welcome. :)

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  16. Aren't those Zowie zinnias well named?? I grew them last year I think and enjoyed them so much. I'm now doing some of the Lime ones. I was just thinking about how everyone should grow a zinnia or two or ten. They are forgiving, attract pollinators and make us happy. Happy Bloom Day my friend.~~Dee

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    1. Yes, I agree: definitely multiple zinnias! I like the lime ones, too. It's such a delight to watch pollinators enjoying them, as well. :)

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  17. I love the photos. I do think Blazing Star are such amazing flowers/plants. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Carla. The Liatris are blooming so beautifully now--I'd say they're at the peak bloom. Most of the flowers in this little garden are great cut flowers. And all of them were chosen because pollinators like them. :)

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  18. Lovely blooms...we have one bloom in common right now Lantana,That Yellow flame zinnia is eye candy.

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    1. Love the Lantanas! They delight me even more than the pollinators, I think! ;-) The Zinnias are so popular with the butterflies.

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  19. The Butterflyweed here is also fading. I'm jealous of your Verbena hastata. For some reason it just won't grow for me.

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    1. Hi Jason: I had some trouble getting V. hastata going, too. I started it from seed, and it seemed to flounder last year. But this year, it came on strong. The only problem with it is that it appears to be susceptible to leafminers. But I just pick off the affected leaves, and it grows new ones! I love the color of the flowers and the candelabra shape of the blooms.

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  20. Great plants but stunning photos and compositions. You've said more about these plants than is always possible in a picture.

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    1. Thanks, Linda! The pollinator garden brings such joy. I wish I could have these blooms (and the bees and butterflies) in my life year-round.

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  21. Great pics as usual!

    You've especially captured the beauty of swamp milkweed here.

    Feeling a little jealous about your Tithonia. I tried it a couple of times and couldn't ever get it to grow here...

    Happy gardening :)

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    1. Thanks, Aaron. Oh gosh, I love Asclepias incarnata and the butterflies and bees do, too! I had trouble growing Tithonia last year, but this year it's doing quite well--even in shadier parts of my garden. I honestly don't know what the difference is. Both years, I started the plants from seeds.

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  22. I'm taken by the various shapes of the flowers as well as the vibrant colours.

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    1. I agree: the shapes are as interesting as the colors! I think it's so much easier to grow flowers in the sun, so this little side garden always performs well. :)

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  23. So many lovely blooms in hot, hot colours, Beth! Anything not planted in a raised bed is suffering this year with all the heat and lack of rain - my tithonia is not even budding yet and I'm wondering if the dahlias will flower at all, given how slowly they are growing.

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    1. Sounds like we have opposite precipitation problems, Margaret. We've had too much rain for most of the summer. The plants are happy, but they're top-heavy. Some are doing really well, though. I'm growing Dahlias for the first time and the plants are huge, but they're taking forever to bloom. I guess I just don't have enough sun for them. I can't grow everything in my little sunny garden! ;-)

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  24. And how not to love years. There are wonderful flowers and butterflies. Rudbeckia hirta is probably ashamed, because she covers herself with petals :). Regards.

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    1. Yes, Giga. ;-) The Rudbeckias are actually blooming now, but I love the buds, too!

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  25. Each time I admire milkweed, I remind myself - must get some here!

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    1. There are so many beautiful species in the genus! I think a lot of people aren't aware of the diversity.

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  26. Glorious vivid colours to go with high summer!
    That butterfly weed is a new one to me, but very pretty.
    The vervain is beautiful, too - so much bigger and bluer than the Verbena bonariensis I see in gardens here in the UK.
    Thank you for brightening my day :)

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    1. Thank you! And you are welcome. Butterflyweed is awesome. I keep adding more in little spots of sun in my garden. The Blue Vervain is very tall, but each flower is quite small--the photo is a bit deceptive because the Verbena is in the foreground. But it's an incredible and incredibly beautiful plant. I love V. bonariensis, too, and so do the pollinators!

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  27. Beth, your garden is filled with wonders and your photos are gorgeous as always. I love the last photo of the monarch and the one of Blue Vervain with bits of orange. Hope you're doing well.

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    1. Thank you, Susie. :) Yes, I'm doing well. Gardening keeps me happy...as do butterflies and pollinators. I hope your growing season is going well, too!

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  28. What a beautiful selection. I am looking out for new Zinnia varieties to grow for next year, as I now have the bug! I love the two that you have photographed.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, 'State Fair Mix' has been a favorite for many years. I was introduced to 'Zowie!' by Rose of "Prairie Rose's Garden" several years ago, and it's been a reliable bloomer every year since (from seeds, of course). Zinnias are awesome for so many reasons, aren't they?!

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  29. I didn't grow Zowie this year and now I regret it. Your photographs always look so professional,Beth. I especially love your bee and butterfly pictures. P. x

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    1. Thank you, Pam! I skipped Zinnias one year, and it just wasn't right. I must plant them now every year. ;-) For the bees and the butterflies!

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  30. So great to see Monarchs in your garden, too! I love your zinnias! I love cosmos buds too. They are like little wrapped up packages of petals.

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    1. There have been Monarchs in the garden every day since mid-June, at least. There's a male that patrols the pollinator garden like it's his own domain. And then he mates with the females that come along. It's fun to watch them dance! :)

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