I don't know about everyone else, but my yard was a disaster this summer due to the heat.
It was quite disheartening to see so many plants succumb to the prolonged heat.
But as usual, there's always an end to the crisis, so we're now enjoying beautiful weather.
So I was out this weekend checking on the survivors.
It's especially nice to have plants which bloom this time of year,
since my primarily wooded yard is heavy on early spring wildflowers.
Here are a few blooming now:
#1. A really cute dutchman's pipe. It's foliage is also beautiful.
Sailed through our heat without complaint. It overwintered fine during our last mild winter.
But it didn't survive the prior winter, so I suspect it's not really hardy here.
#2. Gentian septemfida. An alpine gentian (!) which was a total experiment, first year this summer.
Full sun, sharply draining soil, survived our remarkable 10 days of 100+ temps fine (an alpine, no less)...
#3. Leucojum autumnale. Also first year.
My spring leucojum are huge - I was surprised to see how diminutive these are.
They need to be somewhere up close, or you'd never see that they're blooming.
Thanks for sharing your flower pictures. It's nice to see some plants that bloom at this time of year.
I watered my plants/shrubs all summer, or I think they would have died. The weeds survive however. They just stay nice and green. I thought last summer was bad--lots of high temps, but I think this summer was worse. We did get more tomatoes this year than last year, but not as many as we usually get. The temps stayed too high in the evenings last summer. Although we had hot, hot days, the wind would cool things down in the evenings this summer. We have more than 50% deficit in rainfall.
Everything has happened early and quickly this year.
Weerobin, Love your pics! You are so right about the weather this year. It's amazing I have anything still blooming as we've been on water restrictions and one rainbarrel doesn't go very far (but does help). Most of what I do still have isn't as hardy or vibrant as usual and some just fizzled away early.
We've finally had some cooler weather and some rain for about a week or two, although we're back up to 90's for a few days.
Hope you also get some more rain, birder17.
June_Ontario, I also see that wierd link where it should say "Browse". This has been an on-and-off thing for the last week or so. I'm going to try and post some pics and see what happens.
I'm leaving seedheads now on pretty much everything. Even with all my birdfeeders, the Goldfinches have been enjoying all the flower seeds.
1) Rudbeckia and Echinacea (plus a Goldfinch eating the seeds)
2) Gaillardia Goblin (not nearly as vibrant this year.)
3) Monarda Grand Marshall (I'm amazed these are still blooming, but they are winding down)
4) Lamium Purple Dragon still throwing out a bloom here and there.
5) Spiraea Neon Flash (a dwarf variety that's only about two years old.)
Although it looks like these will load, it was very slow and I had to cancel out some that wouldn't load at all. Maybe I'll try again later or tomorrow.
They actually do most of their blooming early in the season...a mass bloom all at once that is very pretty. Once the blooms on each stalk die, I cut the stalk back to a stalk that still has blooms. When the entire stalk is done, I cut it down to the base of the plant.
If you can stay on top of doing this, they eventually start to rebloom here and there and will continue doing that all season as long as you keep deadheading, but never as much as the first bloom. Last year it was one of my last blooming plants for the Hummers.
These are about 3 years old. The first year they were small, but by the 2nd year they really spread a lot. It's possible they might be reseeding rather than spreading underground, but I'm not sure since I haven't tried removing any.
I originally bought the Eveline on a whim. I had never heard of them but they looked pretty and I'm always looking for new Hummer plants. I had been checking Bluestone's website weekly for their 1/2-price sales and adding ones I picked to my order each week. That way I'd only have to pay one shipping price. Mid-late May they put their entire stock on sale/clearance, but this is an easy way to look at a variety of plants and not be overwhelmed by the entire website.
I have both Salvia and Veronica. Mine were planted last year and are just getting started,the salvia bloomed early and one died in July
The other one isnt looking great.This might be a salvia variety that isnt happy here.
It's been a very hot, Spring & Summer for us. We've just recently had more normal temps and some rain. Many of my plants have suffered.
I planted some Agastache the year before last...a beautiful, fragrant, smaller variety called Purple Pygmy...an award winner with tons of deep purple blooms. The hummers loved it so much I could hardly wait to see how much it spread this year...but...it never came back! It just disappeared! Don't know what caused it or if there are any seeds in the ground that may grow next year, but what a disappointment that was!
Your Salvias may have been great in your area, but weather and all sorts of things can wreak havoc, even underground insects. I tried twice to plant Lobelia Cardinalis (the red blooms in above post). The first time they got really tall, then just before blooming they wilted and died. The ones growing now (I have two plants) barely grew the first year and didn't bloom, but this year they took off.
There are varieties of agastaches that are not hardy in my zone. I have the best luck with Apache sunset its tall and winters over.I lost 2 of 3 Tutti Fruitti and hope the remaining one comes back \next year.
I also have Apricot Sprite,it reseeds and the hummers love it.I have it outside my livingroom window so the hummers come up close.
The Apricot Sprite is very pretty and I love that it's a Hummer magnet. I'll have to look around for that one. The Apache Sunset also sounds nice. Maybe the Tutty Frutty is barely in your planting zone?
The Purple Pygmy is actually perfect for my zone and even more so because the bed I had it in seems to be a higher zone than other parts of the yard. It backs up to the house, has full sun and the soil heats up faster than other areas. Everything in that bed starts blooming a little earlier.
Edited to say: I just found out my planting zone may be too cold for Apricot Sprite...boooo (but I might try it anyway in that warmer bed).
I think I will. After I wrote the last post I checked on it some more. Depending on where you read about it, some places say down to Zone 5 is okay and some say it needs Zone 7 (Huh??) PlantFiles also has some great photos and comments. I may just try some seeds.
Love, love, love Apricot Sprite and Sunset. I had an Apricot Sprite a couple of years ago, but it didn't return. I think it rotted over the wnter. One of these days, I am going to get another one. Is Agastache difficult to start from seed?
I have a couple of Agastache by the road by my mailbox. They have bloomed all summer in this dry heat, but they sure don't look as big and lush as yours, ge, JoAnn isn't it?
I tried Loblelia 'Cardinalis', but it died.
Nuts: I have been looking at the Salvia 'Eveline' for a couple of years and have wondered how it performed. Yours looks really great. I have wondered if it was a pink? or an orchid? color. The Monarda is really purpley! Does is re-seed a lot?
My Nepeta has been looking really nice and happy.
We still haven't had any rain--we're over 50% deficit. We've had some cooler days, but no rain. We have had to water every day. I am going to plant my perennials I started from seed this week.
Birder, the Salvia 'Eveline' is a light, bright Pink...very soft-looking and they're very hardy. They'll be small the first year, but give them room as they will spread (and maybe they also reseed). They put out a huge flush of blooms early on, then if you deadhead the stalks, they'll bloom in spurts. It may take a while to get a rebloom after you cut down all the stalks from the first bloom.
My first try at Lobelia 'Cardinalis' didn't work out too well. The plants grew like crazy, but wilted and died before ever blooming. This is my second try. These plants didn't bloom the first year, but now are beautiful and nearly 4' tall! I've read that you should let them reseed to continue getting more plants as they are short-lived.
The Monarda in the picture is called 'Grand Parade'. The color is actually a deep "Fuchsia", but these blooms were at the end of their lives and starting to fade. I'll try to locate a pic from last year to post. This is a dwarf variety that supposedly only grows to 16" tall, but mine has grown to about 24-30 inches each of it's 3 years. Though these have expanded in size some, they don't seem to have spread like some varieties would. Possibly because they're bred to be smaller. I haven't found them to be overly agressive, but I had been deadheading them until this year. The Goldfinches have decided they love the seeds so I've left the seed heads. In fact this late in the season I'm leaving pretty much all my seed heads for the birds.
Pix2 annual Rudbekia
Pix3 is my Gentian
Pix4 Penstemon palmerii, the only penstemon that is fragrant, 1rst year blooming, here it's about 4Foot
Pix5 JJs, ans Dianthus x Loveliness (smelllllll soooo good)
Love that Tutti Fruity above, Ge...Pretty, I'll have to reconsider that one, bloom actually looks full.
Weer, just love your Gentian above, it's purrrdier than mine...
Nuts...love that Salvia, what's the zone? Almost has the same color of pink as S turkistanica which is a B.
The Tutti Fruitti is over my head if it was straight up. I seriously doubt it will return next year but if so,great.
Agastaches do well here because the soil is clay.They seem to grow where weeds like it.
Last fall we covered all the gardens with compost.That has made the difference in sizes for the agastaches plus being against the house.
Kathy, gorgeous blooms! I particularly love that fragrant Penstemon and the Dianthus...think I may just have to try and get some of those!
I'm in Zone 5a, although with the "new" zone map this year, I may now be 5b. The area where the Salvia is growing...up against my house facing south...is probably a little warmer, but Salvia 'Eveline' is rated for Zones 4 thru 9.
Ge, we also have clay. Most of my beds, even with constant ammending still get hard. My best bed is a long narrow raised bed that my husband built along our neighbor's fence. He dug out most of the "native" clay soil, (along with huge rocks and old construction trash buried years ago by the builders) and replaced it with topsoil, leaves, peat moss and compost. After several years it's still wonderful, easy to dig and the plants love it. If I ever get ambitious, I'd love to dig out and replace the soil in all my beds.
Birder, forgot you had asked about Agastaches from seed. It seems to me I've read that they're easy to grow from seed. I may try that with some of my next ones.
You know, I just went back to some of my info about Salvias and it said you can cut the plant all the way back to the basil growth after blooming is finished. I don't know if they really mean at the end of the season or just after the main 1st bloom, but I've had pretty good luck just deadheading individual stalks down to the basil growth. I guess you could try either.
With my Nepetas, I do cut them back pretty heavily about mid-season because I've seen assorted info that agreed they should then rebloom. I've found that to be very true. Mine are in the midst of reblooming right now plus I also have lots of new buds. Maybe one year I'll try cutting back one or two of my Salvias to see what happens.
Nuts...I've grown that one and was only disappointed by the fact that it was not a perennial as stated,(or I would have collected seed), gotten at the Denver Botanic Garden Sale in the spring. Seems to me it was more like 12-18" tho.
pix Physostgia virginiana (Obedient Plant), normally 36-48", this year approaching 24".
pix2 Ammi visagna, normally I believe is around 30-36", this year only about 4-6"
pix3 Campanula (I believe this is rotundifolia)
pix4 Dracocephalum moldavicum, annual 18"
pix5 Coreopsis rosea, has anyone had any sucess collecting seed from this type?
I had several similar "Heaven's Gate" which I think are quite similar to 'rosea' but they were not very vigorous and they always flopped. A plant has to have lots of redeeming features for me to overlook its floppiness.
Very pretty blooms, Kathy and thanks for the info!
Have you found very many of your plants shorter this year. With our hot, hot Summer, I've found some, but not all, of my plants never reached their full heights and a few normally hardy ones barely grew. The rest looked pretty normal, but needed extra water, which was not always easy with our water restrictions this year.
yup, I'm thinking it's Heavens Gate and did return for me this year, was planted last fall, and just started blooming a week or so ago.
Yup, many are shorter here, only 51/2" of precip. since January, half of normal. And many I planted late last season won't even bloom this year...they are there but no blooms...
more late bloomer
pix 1 Salvia
pix 2 wild Liatris
pix 3 Salvia azurea ssp pitcherii 'Nekan' just beginning it's bloom at 4 foot
pix 4 is Dracocephalum imberbe, perennial, 12-16" and usually blooms late spring, totally out of the norm
pix 5 Dracocephalum modavicum, reseeding annual at 16-18".
Slavia nemerosa Rose Queen comes to mind, 24", and blooms all season if deadheaded. I was alittle late to get around to cutting back, so am just now getting a second bloom time...it does reseed a bit in the garden which is ok but...when they are dug to be moved I will get more plants from the same spot...so any root left will give me newbies...lol. I also have it in purple and I'm thinking I use to have a white plant somewhere...
plumbago is just starting it's late season bloom...Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, it's got beautiful fall color, leaves will start turning brilliant red as the days become shorter, gorgeous with the blue flowers...groundcover at 3-4".
The Plumbago is just lovely with those blue flowers! I'm always interested in plants that change colors in Autumn...my favorite season...and that one sounds beautiful! Another plant I have to add to my ever-growing list.
Kathy, I've grown plumbago for years and really like it also as a low maintenance ground cover.
But I am trying a new variety for the first time this year.
This is ceratostigma willmottiae 'My Love'.
I don't know much about it, as I just planted it this past spring.
It has pretty bright yellow foliage which has retained it's color all summer.
Foliage has held up in our heat. This pix is from last week.
Unfortunately, it hasn't bloomed yet, but is supposed to have the same bright blue flowers.
I'm looking forward to it blooming next year with blue flowers offset by the gold foliage... can't wait.
I hope I'm not disappointed...
And you know I'll have some other weird plants to share.
#1 is a beautiful late blooming plant with oddly beautiful blooms called atractylodes.
It comes in a pink (ovata) and white (japonica) versions, but the pink one got cut in half by deer.
I was able to get them protected (better late than never) and the white one eked out some blooms.
#2 is a picture of the bright seed pods on my wittman peony (a woodland peony species).
I think they're striking - my wife thinks they're gross.
#3 is the same plant earlier this spring (late March) when it was in full bloom.
It's nice for those of us who don't have much full sun to still be able to enjoy peonies!
Edited to say we cross posted, GE. Very pretty flowers. My sedums didn't do well this year.
Not sure why. But yours are beautiful!
Very pretty blooms, ge!
I think I'll have to try a Sedum one of these days, but like Weerobin I don't have a lot of areas to plant full-sun plants. That may be changing, though. One of my neighbors trees broke off a huge branch and added more sun to one of my beds. Now they're thinking about removing the tree entirely one of these days.
We also have an Ash tree that's over 70-ft tall that may eventually need to be removed. It lost a branch several years ago and may be in decline, plus our city is encouraging removal of Ash trees because this area is having problems with Emerald Ash Borer. It's going to be hard, though...we love that tree and so do the birds.
Weerobin, I love that Wittman Peony! It's not often that you find plants with multi-season interest, particularly for shade. We're do you find all of these unusual varieties? Have you been planting them from seed or small plants?
Nuts, I think we all have periodic problems with abrupt changes in sun exposure. We lost a couple trees a couple years ago and I still have hostas which used to be under their shade now baking in full sun. Frankly, they look great in the spring, but cooked by July. I haven't bothered moving them, since I've pretty much given up on hostas, since they're just mowed down by the deer.
As for my woodland peonies, I get them on-line from a number of sources, usually listed as species peonies. They're often expensive, so I stick with small plants. I've had really good luck with them, not finicky at all, but they can't be in deep shade. I have 4-5 different species. They all bloom in really early spring, not summer bloomers. Here is p. mairei (#1), p. obovata (#2), p. rockii (#3) and my favorite p. japonica (#4).
Robin, Your pics are gorgeous!
I know so little about Peonies, that I never realized there were so many different types. Thanks for the tip about "species" varieties. It never occurred to me there were some that do well in part shade.
Ge, I love your Cyclamen. I've considered Fall Cyclamen in the past, but they always seemed expensive to get enough to spread. Is this your first time planting them?
I always look forward to my "Lemon Queen" coming into its own...always seems to be during the first week of September, regardless of the summer that preceeded. Here is a single LQ today (4.5 feet by 4.5 feet).
Nuts...meant to tell ya that penstemon is available from High Country Garden .com and the Dianthus seed can be gotten at Walmart in the spring or Parks Seed.com. It's 18", spring to fall if deadheaded and VERY FRAGRANT,they definately need to be started indoors in winter (shop lights are fine)... They are not long lived, 4 yrs ish, don't expect much of a show first year but the rest it will get busy, especially if deadheaded to about 12-18">.
Will have to get another pix of the Salvia azurea, started open real nice and is pretty deep cobalt blue flowers at 48", just put in last summer from 21/2" pot, and now is about 30-36">.
Weer...Wow. what beautiful peonies, are they fragrant?
Ge...just love those fall cyclamen, are you starting to get a nice patch yet, and if I remember they are fragrant? They have at the botanic gardens and just love them...
rougue ...I love that plant, mine get to about 5-51/2ft. I planted them at my daughter's home but am ready to bring them back home...I love the lemon coloring not as harsh as many of the fall bloomers are.
Pix One of my reseeding Rudbeckias
Pix is a new aquisition, first bloom this season a tree peony, these get to be big bushes up to 4-5ft, round.
Some varmint managed to dig up one of my cyclamens.
I don't know if you can see from the first picture, but the entire plant is just sitting on top of the ground.
It's about the size of a grapefruit. I stuck it back in the ground last weekend and it hasn't missed a beat.
2nd picture shows it blooming today.
3rd picture is my new golden plumbago; new this year.
It surprised me with nice fall blue flowers which set off nicely against the golden foliage.
Finally, I was even more surprised to find my resurrected alstroemeria ('Sweet Laura').
I had completely given up on it, as it was totally fried during our heat wave.
But it managed to push up a flowering stem after all. Remarkable.
Nutsaboutnature, love your Monarda Grand Parade. Bee Balms are one of my favorites.
Warriorwisdomkathy, I had a coreopsis rosea once but it seemed alot more red. unfortunately did not come back the following year.
I have observed that the coreopsis that are pinks and reds are not as longlived as the ones that are yellows.Maybe its just me but it seems that way.I had one that was white with deepwine throat but it only lasted one year.
Despite lows in the 30's the last couple nights, I still have some hardy souls blooming.
#1. Salvia Indigo Spires.
#2. Turtle head.
#3. A volunteer begonia.
#4. Gentiana septemfida var lagodechiana.
#5. Plectranthus kameba. A perennial type of coleus. It sprawls & reseeds - bordering on the annoying,
but I haven't yanked him yet.
Just returned from 2wk vacation, so I did a quick yard survey yesterday.
Still some stalwarts putting out blooms.
#1 is aconitum napellus. Reliable fall color. Reseeds a little, but not annoying.
#2 is aconitum napellus 'Bicolor'. It's new for me.
I missed the freshness of the bloom, hopefully will be nice next year.
#3 is salvia indigo spires. Still loaded with blooms.
#4 is my all time favorite salvia leucantha.
Not hardy here, but a single plant in spring reliably puts on a show in fall.
It's hard to get a decent photo, since the flowering stems zig & zag all directions.
#5 is a close up of the leucantha bloom.
Soft and fuzzy, dotted with bright white ??
I don't know enough botany to know what the white things are, but they're cute.