Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bloom Day - July 2014

It's a transitional period in my garden: most of the blooms of early summer have left the stage while the heat-loving plants of the later summer period are still standing in the wings.  I've already cut back the majority of the Agapanthus that dominated my garden in May and June.  There are still a few of the unidentified red-orange daylilies that grabbed attention last month but they're days away from concluding their tour and, although a few of the reblooming varieties have produced new flower spikes, they've yet to make an appearance in stage dress.  By default, the starring role in my garden at present goes to Albizia julibrissin, a diva with a bad habit of littering.

Albizia julibrissin (aka mimosa tree) is the grand dame of my backyard

Her close-up

In the front yard, another arboreal diva, Magnolia grandiflora, commands attention.  She also has a serious littering habit but cleaning up after her is easier and she doesn't try to force the entire garden to accept her progeny as Albizia does.

Magnolia grandiflora dominates the front lawn

The bees are big fans

Supporting players struggle to keep the audience's attention, although some of them are tiring out trying to carry the show by themselves.

Abelia x grandiflora is hanging out on the sidelines

Achillea 'Moonshine' has kept going with a little deadheading but Eustoma grandiflorum is poised in the wings to push her off the stage

Anagallis 'Wildcat Mandarin' continues to pump out her small orange flowers but she's showing signs of waning

Borago officinalis has been looking peaked but the bees demanded that she remain in the troupe for now

Cotula lineariloba 'Big Yellow Moon' has the stamina to keep on going

This stage wouldn't be the same without the presence of Cuphea x ignea 'Starfire Pink'

Grevillea 'Superb,' still relatively new on the scene, is a diva in training

Leucanthemum x superbum is always a crowd-pleaser

Osteospermum ecklonis '3D Silver' believe they're carrying the show in the side garden without much help from the Ageratum houstonianum 'Blue Horizon,' which have thus far failed to live up to their potential

Pentas 'Kaleidoscope Appleblossum,' currently performing in a bed near the garbage cans, deserves a better stage

Salvia 'Mystic Spires' performs best as part of a group

Sollya heterophylla would get more acclaim if he took better publicity photos

Tanacetum parthenium 'Aureum' is a valuable bit player

Thymus serpyllum 'Minus' knits together a variety of cast members

Wahlenbergia 'Blue Cloud' is another solid performer that takes bad photos

A few plants, recently cut back, are making encore appearances.

Argyranthemum frutescens 'Comet White Improved' lost one of her sisters but is carrying on

Provided that he gets periodic haircuts, Brachyscome 'Brasco Violet' continues to look good

Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame' is preparing to step back on the stage

Digitalis x mertonensis 'Polka Dot Pippa' is back but still looks tired

Helianthus annuus 'Valentine' looks better than her cohorts after having her head chopped off a few weeks ago

Lavandula multifida performs best in this particular setting

'Ebb Tide' rose lacks the stature to make major impact in her current company

Summer performers just beginning to make their presence known include:

Amaranthus cruentus 'Hopi Red Dye' is a real drama queen

Angelonia augustifolia may remain a bit player but she is attractive

Cerinthe major is a good collaborator

Coreopsis 'Big Bang Redshift' is preparing to take over the summer production in the backyard

Echeveria pulvinata 'Ruby' is new on the scene and a little fuzzy about her role

Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' is already commanding attention in the backyard border, whether dressed in red...

or yellow

Eustoma grandiflorum 'Echo Blue' and her sisters demand attention despite their small size

Eustoma grandiflorum 'Echo White' isn't as flashy as her sister but she's still very pretty

Crassula exilis ssp. cooperi is a small player in a new venue

Zinnia 'Profusion Apricot' is heading the charge for her family

That's the cast for this month's Garden Blogger's Bloom Day production in my garden.  Our impresario, Carol of May Dreams Gardens, can connect you with her garden stage and other stages all over the world.


  1. Mimosa trees were the stuff of my childhood.

    Pentas are just getting going here after a hard winter for which I did not prepare with cuttings. Many of last year's Pentas came back from roots and Butterflies are coming out to greet them. I've not seen Appleblossom, only palest pink and pure white and darker shades.

    I meant to have Cuphea this year, never followed through.

    1. I remember all the pretty Pentas in your garden last year, Jean. The 'Kaleidoscope Appleblossom' (overkill on the name, don't you think?) does particularly well here - it soared through last summer's heat and drought conditions while other Pentas withered.

  2. Wow...your cast put on quite a show for July! You have a beautiful garden, and you have made wise plant choices for weathering the drought. I garden in the San Joaquin Valley and summers are always challenging!

    1. The water issues in California are reaching frightening proportions aren't they, Dorothy? My most recent garden purchase was 3 Dudleya - succulents and drought tolerant plants are steadily displacing the thirstier ones.

  3. It looks like you have lots of flowering left!
    What I am envious of your Magnolia grandiflora!!!!

    1. You might not want to clean up after her, Mariana!

  4. Wow, I love your mimosa tree! She's a beauty, for sure.

    1. Beautiful, yes, but also very, very messy and intent on world domination through prolific self-seeding. Thanks for visiting, Jennifer!

  5. That's a lot of blooms! I especially like the Echeveria. My garden is decidedly lacking in summer blooms this year, what with the lilies being decimated by their poor transplanting and the Crocosmia 'Lucifer' being greatly reduced. I'm

    1. I picked up the Echeveria at a local succulent and cactus show, Evan - her fuzzy, ruby-colored foliage couldn't be ignored.

  6. Oh, you still have lots going on, all so pretty! I love golden feverfew, even though it reseeds like crazy. The babies are easy to pull out. I got three Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' from seeds sown this past winter, I'm wondering how much variety there will be in the flowers.

    1. I bought a couple of 'Cheyenne Spirit' last year and they both bloomed in orange-yellow shades but this year's purchases appear to be showing up in a full range of warm colors. I hope yours bloom in the colors that most please you, Alison.

  7. Cuphea ignea shrub???? !!!! Be still my heart. Gorgeous. Love the Albezia, sadly I can't grow them here. So many lovelies, isn't July grand?

    1. Cuphea do exceptionally well here, Deanne, and 'Starfire Pink' is one of the mainstays of my garden - it blooms until it chop it back hard, only to rebound quickly. My Albizia is intent on taking over the world - I'm constantly pulling up seedlings - so we have a love/hate relationship.

  8. You have a lot blooming right now! wow! I wish we could grow lavender here in Houston. But our humidity is just a tad too high and the things just sulk. That's a beautiful set of sunflowers and your whole 'cast' of characters are just as nice. Clever post!
    Happy GBBD! David/:0)

    1. I didn't realize that lavender are sensitive to humidity, David - that's too bad. Still, sunflowers clearly love it there!

  9. If this is a quiet period I can't really imagine how there could be more happening! This looks more like a crowd scene with the stars mixed in! The caste certainly deserve our applause!

    1. The flower color will diminish further as summer goes on, Christina, although it's been cooler than normal thus far - and I did plant Zinnias this year.

  10. Thank you for the lovely tour of your garden. I would so love to walk round it in real time, you have so many gorgeous plants and places where I would like to linger for a better look.
    I used to have an Alibizzia and I loved it until a hard winter finished it off. It never has babies in our climate. Do you ever pick your lovely Magnolia? What a lovely thing to have in a vase, the fragrance is so heady.
    I love everything. The Thyme looks gorgeous growing amongst the stones.
    The idea of being able to grow Grevillea and Pentas! . Lucky you.

    1. Thus far, I've avoided cutting flowers from anything that would involve use of a ladder or otherwise invoke risk to life and limb, Chloris, so the Magnolia and the Yucca flowers are both out of contention for inclusion in a vase. The Albizia here cannot be controlled - her seedlings appear everywhere! My nightmare would be waking up to discover myself in the middle of an Albizia forest.

  11. Well hello to another passionate gardener,

    What a beautiful bevy of blossoms you're sharing via May Dreams Garden. I believe your alibizia is what we calm mimosa in this area. I've originally from Australia so always enjoy seeing grevillia in all its majesty. And it's been many years since I've tried pentas, so thanks for bringing back to my attention.

    I'd be honored if you visited my blog to see my first GBBD post, only five years in the making, with a truly unique backstory,



  12. What are the other plants in the container with your Escheveria pulvinata Ruby? I love the combination! Your blog is very inspiring...makes me wish for more empty spaces to plant.

    1. I'm not positive, Nancy, but I think it's Aeschyanthus longicaulis, a species of what's commonly called a lipstick plant.


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