July 29, 2023

Six on Saturday: Plant Performers


I'm joining in with Garden Ruminations' Six on Saturday meme: highlighting six things of note in the garden. With this post, I'm highlighting plants that are great performers, for various reasons.

1. The 'Summer Beauty' Alliums (A. tanguticum) in the first photo. I planted these last summer and they're taking over their spot around the mailbox. It's OK: They bloom nonstop midsummer, they're drought-tolerant, and they're lovely. Plus, the rabbits don't eat them.


2. Potted Coleus (C. scutellarioides) mixed cultivars. Coleus have been essential annuals for me for many, many years. They're so colorful and lush, and they thrive in shade.


3. Bugbane (Actaea racemosa) is a reliable native perennial that supplies plentiful pollen for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. It's also a regal focal point in the shady garden.


4. Gladiolus (G. grandiflora) blooms. What can I say? They're beautiful, elegant, and great for cut flower arrangements.

hyacinth bean

5. Hyacinth Bean Vine (Lablab purpureus) is another must-plant annual for me. It really seems to like this dappled shade spot, and I rarely need to buy more seeds. I clip these, dry them, and plant them the following year.


6. Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) are fabulous native perennials. I've recently planted them in new places throughout the garden, in full sun and partial shade. They're performing well in all locations, and like so many other plants in this post, they're great cut flowers and they serve the pollinators.

The garden is happy with recent rains! Thanks to Garden Ruminations for hosting!

July 15, 2023

Happy Garden, Happy Gardener on July Bloom Day

potted combo

All the plants are happy after recent plentiful rains! And this gardener is thankful that our drought is lessened. We may be at one of our peaks for seasonal blooming in the garden. It was hard to pick flowers to share on this Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, so I just snapped the ones that caught my eye.

spigelia marilandica

Starting in the shade (in addition to the potted Impatiens combined with other plants in the first photo), the Woodland Pinkroot (Spigelia marilandica) blooms are waning but still lovely. I think I'll plant more of these; they bring so much bright color to the shady areas.


In partial shade, the Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.) are thriving after the recent precipitation.

lilium asiatica

The Asiatic Lilies (Lilium spp.) are full and regal.

zinnia state fair mix

zinnia zowie

The sunny garden is brightened with the happy faces of Zinnias (Z. elegans; top, 'State Fair Mix'; just above, 'Zowie Yellow Flame').

Rudbeckia hirta

Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) are just about to add even more sunlight to the potager garden.

liatris spicata

The Blazing Star Liatris plants (L. spicata) seem to have taken longer to bud and bloom this year. Maybe it was the lack of natural precipitation. Now they're popping with color.

lantana sunrise rose 2

lantana sunrise rose 1

Lucky 'Sunrise Rose' Lantanas (L. camara), in all their color variations, look extra pretty adorned with raindrops.

heliopsis helianthoides

This Ox-Eye Sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides) is a volunteer. While I did plant it in this spot in previous years, it disappeared last year. The seeds must have skipped a year to regerminate.

allium sphaerocephalon

Drumstick Alliums (A. sphaerocephalon) are adding their unique fireworks.

asclepias incarnata

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) brings the lovely scent of vanilla, along with its beauty, monarch butterflies, and their eggs (can you see them in the photo?). 

asclepias tuberosa

Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) is blooming at the same time, sharing its bright orange flowers with bumblebees, butterflies, and other pollinators.

echinacea purpurea

Of course, Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is a pollinator (and gardener) favorite, for so many reasons.

clinopodium nepeta

Lesser calamint (Clinopodium nepeta; aka Calamintha nepeta) fills in its area nicely, and the blooms are beginning to explode with their tiny brightness.

alcea rosea

Finally, the Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) are gigantic and gorgeous this summer.

alcea rosea height

I stood next to this spike, and estimate it's taller than seven feet!

Head on over to May Dreams Gardens for more blooms in many other gardens! Happy Bloom Day!