Saturday, August 15, 2015

Bloom Day - August 2015

We're in the midst of a heatwave and that, combined with our water restrictions, is making it hard to find blooms fit to photograph or exclaim about.  In prior years, I complained that my September Bloom Days felt like scavenger hunts.  This year, that's how August feels.  There are some bright spots of course.

Gaillardia grandiflora 'Arizona Sun' and look-alike 'Goblin', shown here with Grevillea 'Superb' in the background, continue to pump out new flowers with regular deadheading

The flowers of Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold' and Cuphea x ignea 'Starfire Pink' may be small but they're plentiful and unstoppable

Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum' is grabbing attention at stations throughout the garden


While most of the Eustoma grandiflorum (aka Lisianthus) that has graced my garden beds have hunkered down in response to the heat, there are signs that the pink form is poised to make a come-back.

Eustoma grandiflorum 'Echo Pink' has already begun producing new blooms

And, if the heatwave doesn't shrivel the buds, there should be plenty of flowers to follow


Most of the yellow sunflowers have fallen prey to the heat and water limitations but the red sunflowers I planted from seed continue to provide a bright spot in the vegetable garden.

All the Helianthus annuus seeds from a mix labeled "Drop Dead Red" have produced flowers in the same dark red color


Meanwhile, some plants, like the Fuchsia thymifolia I was foolish enough to add to my garden in early spring, have turned to toast.  Even the stalwart California native Solanum xanti, which has bloomed non-stop since November, is taking a rest.  Otherwise, there's a little of this and a little of that scattered about the garden.  I've organized my photos into color collages again this month.

Top row, left to right: Abelia 'Confetti', Abelia 'Kaleidoscope' and Echinacea 'Pow Wow White'
Middle row: Gaura lindheimeri, Gazania 'White Flame' and Hibiscus trionum
Bottom row: Pandorea jasminoides 'Alba',  Pentas 'Kaleidoscope Appleblossom' and Plumeria (no ID)

Top row: Achillea 'Moonshine', Coreopsis 'Redshift' and Gaillardia aristata 'Gallo Peach'
Middle row: Gazania 'New Day Yellow', Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream' and Grevillea 'Superb'
Bottom row: Tropaeolum majus, Salvia lanceolata and Zinnia

Top row: Abelia x grandiflora 'Edward Goucher', Bauhinia x blakeana and Bougainvillea (no ID)
Middle row: Cistus x pulverulentus 'Sunset', Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy' and Pelargonium peltatum 'Dark Burgundy'
Bottom row: Pentas 'Nova', Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy' and Scutellaria suffrutescens

Top row: Campanula primifolia, vareigated Caryopteris (no ID) and Duranta (no ID)
Middle row: Hemerocallis 'Indian Giver' (back for a brief return engagement), Limonium perezii and Polygala fruticosa
Bottom row: Salvia 'Amistad', Thymus serphyllum and Tibouchina urvilleana

And finally, a scattering of succulent flowers (clockwise from left): Portulaca 'Carrot', Aloe 'Johnson's Hybrid', Echeveria flower (no ID), Echeveria pulvinata 'Ruby' and Hoya carnosa (no ID)


For more floral fanfare, visit Carol, the host of Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, at May Dreams Gardens.


All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

34 comments:

  1. yeah, but it's a fun scavenger hunt, isn't it? So much to discover in your garden even in August.

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    1. I wonder if anyone actually plays that game anymore? And I wonder if I could get neighbors to give me plant cuttings by claiming I was on a botanical scavenger hunt? My foliage-hating neighbor would probably call the sheriff's department to report suspicious activity.

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  2. I love all your flowers grouped together. It's a beautiful display.

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  3. I LOVE your color collages! What a great idea! I like the black and white of that Hibiscus trionum a lot - is it a full size Hibiscus, or is it smaller? It is truly lovely. Happy GBBD, Kris!

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    1. This is the second year for the Hibiscus and I'be noticed that the flowers aren't as large or plentiful as they were last year but that may be yet another side effect of reduced watering. Even at its peak performance last year, however, the flowers weren't as large as those of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, however. H. trionum is regarded as a weed in some areas but hasn't proved to be troublesome here.

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  4. Your flowers are beautiful! I especially like seeing the gaillardia. I have no luck with that plant in my Virginia garden, on the east side of my house. I have tried it several years in a row; it always dies. I like the pennisetum Rubrum too. That one I have yet to try.

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    1. Thanks Jeanette! Gaillardia self-seeds here so I'm lucky there. I've heard that the Pennisetum can be grown as an annual in Virginia but it probably can't tolerate your winter.

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  5. With all the extremes you have so many beautiful blooms Kris....you even have more gaillardia blooming than I do here....

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    1. Gaillardia seems to do particularly well here, Donna - those blooms remain plentiful. I'm hopeful that the Coreopsis will put on a good show when they get going too, although their performance was somewhat disappointing last year.

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  6. So many wonderful flowers, there is plenty to scavenge. Stay cool in this heat. Hopefully it begins to improve on Monday.

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    1. My husband said the heat went above 100F here today but I was lucky enough to spend time with a friend in Santa Monica, where it was considerably cooler. I'm hoping that the forecasters are right about a drop in temperature on Monday - I hate spending all day inside with the AC running.

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  7. I love how you group your photos by colour (it must take ages). You have so many beautiful blooms despite the dry heat. With El Nino, we are drying out rapidly here - it's really noticeable now, so perhaps that will mean a bit of rain for SoCal in the coming months.

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    1. The collages are very easy and quick to create - the hardest thing is usually deciding what won't make the cut when I have more plants to show than will fit into template offered by the photo editor. Our local journalists, often prone to exaggeration, are now predicting a "Godzilla El Nino" here. Temperatures in the eastern Pacific are higher than they were in 1997-98 when the last intense El Nino hit SoCal. Preparations for mudslides and floods are already under discussion.

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  8. We are having our heat wave comeuppance at last-and mixed with smoke to boot ! You still have lots of nice blooms going on there Kris ..

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    1. The fires are downright scary, Kathy, even though we've had less exposure to those than you have in NorCal. There's a perpetual haze between us and Long Beach now.

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  9. Another lovely roundup as I've come to expect. The heat here has crisped nearly everything past the point of admiration. A few August stalwarts are plugging away but you can practically hear local gardeners counting down the days to September when we typically get cooler wetter weather again. Calling El Nino a "Godzilla" type event is pretty dramatic stuff. I'm hoping for a bit less than monstrous results from the warmer water in the Pacific this winter. For ALL of us.

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    1. The forecasters are comparing the developing El Nino to the one that hit southern California hard in 1997-98, costing more than a dozen lives and some $500M in damage from floods and mudslides here. I hope we can prepare and prevent any such recurrence, although the discussions concerning flood channels clogged up by debris from earlier fires didn't leave me feeling confident of that.

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  10. I'd say more of a treasure than scavenger hunt Kris. I hadn't expected quite so many blooms after reading your opening paragraph.
    I love the red sunflowers and the Pennisetum, it's a wonderful looking plant. It stands out from the crowds.

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    1. I admit to being surprised at all the photos I collected on my "scavenger hunt," Angie. I think the fact that there are few masses of flowers is what leads to my perception that there's little out there.

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  11. I laughed at your scavenger hunt comment! Up until a few days ago we were having 100 degree weather,too, so I identify! Here, it is especially hard to find perennial blooms, and a lot of annuals can't make it either. Plants that can take the heat often can't take the humidity. Most people don't even try, and the Deep South in the summertime is overwhelmingly green. From your photos it seems you have a wealth of flowers. I like how you grouped the plants into color collages. Amongst all your blooms in the collages, the one that stood out to me was Pelargonium peltatum 'Dark Burgundy.' It has such rich color and pretty, fresh green leaves.I also love the Gaillardia in your top photo. It seems to be thriving. Best wishes for El Nino!

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    1. Here, the dryness of the soil contributes to the hasty decline of any flower brave enough to bloom in this heat, Deb. That Pelargonium is a relatively recent acquisition - I picked up 3 in 4-inch pots back in late June or early July and wish now I'd bought more. Ivy geraniums do very well here once they get established. My challenge is to keep them properly hydrated until the rainy season returns.

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  12. Yes, I had a bit of a scavenger hunt too, in my front garden. I love your Gazania and the Gaillardia too. I might try both of those next year in my garden. I know for me the Gazania will be an annual, but it might be able to cope with our dry summer.

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    1. Plant breeders seem to be going crazy developing new Gazanias and Gaillardias, Alison, so I'm sure you can find some you like. Here, the Gaillardias, especially 'Arizona Sun' and 'Goblin' self-seed freely so they might come back for you that way. The Sunset garden guide says you can take cuttings of Gazanias but I haven't tried that yet myself.

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  13. You have so many beautiful blooms Kris. I love your collages, such a lovely way to display all your goodies. Your Eustoma is good value, it always seems to be in bloom. I love the red sunflower. Gaillardias are so pretty, I don' t know why I haven' t got any.

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    1. I've fallen in love with those Eustoma. I grew the single-flowered forms of what I knew as "Lisianthus" in my former, shady garden but I was never particularly impressed with them. The double forms changed my viewpoint. They flower more heavily, which may be due to changes in their breeding, the sun they receive in my current garden, or both. I've also been surprised to find them more drought tolerant than advertised.

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  14. Your garden looks nice and green despite the hot and dry weather, and what a lovely collection of flowers you have right now. Loved your sunflower, I used to grow deep red sunflowers but haven’t got any this years because I moved house. And your collection of succulent flowers caught my eye too, I would like to grow some but haven’t much experience apart from some rather sad Sempervivums I try to keep alive.
    Have a good week!

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    1. Many of the succulents I grow would probably require protection in your environment, Helene, but you could do that with the greenhouse that's in your future!

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  15. I enjoy seeing all the S. Cal. flowers I miss, such a treat! Your collages really show them off well. I love the Grevilleas and Duranta, so intriguing, some people in warmer areas grow them up here. I miss the Bauhinia trees, too. I'm enjoying growing Gaillardia up here for the first time, though I want some that stay shorter like yours, mine get tall and leggy.

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    1. The Gailardia grandiflora 'Goblin' and the G. aristata 'Gallo Peach' stay short here, Hannah. I tried the 'Tokajer' you're growing a couple of years ago but it never took off, although that may be the fault of where I placed it.

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  16. I know the feeling of bloom days being like a scavenger hunt, but you have so many plants in flower! I don't get that impression at all. They look great presented in blocks of colour.

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    1. One here, three there - I'll be looking under rocks for flowers soon, Amy.

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  17. You have a much greater variety of blooms than my garden, Kris. It looks wonderful!

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    1. I have variety but perhaps not the volume, Evan. There are very few masses of bloom right now. I was hoping the Tagetes lemonnii would take off this month but that hasn't happened yet (and I'm beginning to wonder if it will).

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