Monday, August 15, 2016

Bloom Day and a Bouquet - August 2016

After a rough start to the summer with June's horrific heatwave, we've had comparatively mild weather.  The morning marine layer has kept temperatures below 85F most days, although the heat was back on this past weekend.  There's been no rain of course, but the local water district has reduced the restrictions on water use and, as I already had a significant credit in my water budget, I've been watering the garden more.  Although it's made a visible difference, floral color is still limited.

The daylilies are done and the few remaining Agapanthus blooms are looking worn.  Many of the other plants I featured in July's Bloom Day post are still flowering, albeit less effusively.  But there are a few new entrants to the line up.

Front and center here are 3 Gomphrena 'Pinball Snow-tip Lavender', one of my latest acquisitions

Polygala myrtifolia 'Mariposa' has finally got its bloom on

Stachys 'Lilac Falls', a Stachys-Lamium hybrid, has been blooming for a while but it's finally spread enough to make an impression (shown here surrounding a flower-less Erigeron 'Wayne Roderick')

Impressed by the success Amy of A Small, Sunny Garden has had growing Catharanthus roseus in desert conditions, I gave the humble vinca another look.  This is a new-to-me hybrid form, Catharanthus 'Soiree Ka*wa*i*i'.

Coreopsis 'Desert Jewel' and C. 'Redshift' have just begun their annual bloom cycle

All the ornamental grasses seem to be in bloom but I'm letting Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum', the biggest of the bunch, stand up for all of them


The blooms of Eustoma grandiflorum (Lisianthus) that featured prominently in last month's post have faded; however, the plugs I planted in spring are finally producing buds so it appears I'll get another round of blooms on a smaller scale.

Blue, ivory and pink forms of Eustoma grandiflorum


I'm giving the uptick in irrigation credit for producing another small flush of blooms from various plants, including several of my roses.

From left to right are a noID rose (possibly 'Angel Face'), 'Buttercream', 'California Dreamin', and 'Ebb Tide'.  'Pink Meidiland' and 'Joseph's Coat' have also produced sporadic blooms.

Other surprise blooms have come from, top row: Angelonia angustifolia, Bauhinia x blakeana, and Bulbine frutescens
Middle row: Centranthus ruber, Cistus x skanbergii, and Lobelia valida
Bottom row: Osteospermum 'Berry White', Pentas 'Kaleidoscope Appleblossom', and Pentas 'Nova'

The best surprise was finding a large number of blossoms on the lemon tree at the bottom of the slope.  This tree had borne fruit continuously since we moved in 5 years ago, only to drop the majority of the spring crop almost overnight in response to the June heatwave.  The fruit that didn't drop rotted in place until we removed it.  I've been hand-watering the tree regularly ever since  but was surprised to see it already setting new fruit.


My most dependable shrubs, perennials and ground covers have kept plugging away.

The Grevilleas keep on giving.  Clockwise from the left, are blooms of Grevillea 'Pink Midget', G. alpina x rosmarinifolia, G. 'Ned Kelly', G. 'Peaches & Cream', and G. 'Superb'.

Other shrubs and perennials with extended bloom seasons include, clockwise from the left: Abelia x grandiflora, Abelia 'Kaleidoscope', Achillea 'Moonshine', Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold', Cuphea ignea 'Starfire Pink', Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy', and Pelargonium peltatum.  The last has turned itself into a climber.

Lantana 'Samantha' and Gaillardia aristata 'Gallo Peach' are very slowly providing ground cover along the back patio

Gazanias continue to be my go-to ground cover for hot, dry areas

Other notable flowering ground covers include: Convolvulus sabatius 'Moroccan Beauty' and Brachyscome 'Enduring Blue' (top), Phyla nodiflora (aka Lippia, bottom left), and Thymus serpyllum 'Minus' (bottom, right)


And here are a few more that deserve honorable mentions for sticking out the heat of summer:

Clockwise from upper left: Duranta erecta 'Sapphire Showers', Alstroemeria 'Claire', Callistemon 'Cane's Hybrid' (which had a spectacular show of blooms just 2 weeks ago), Nierembergia caerulea, Salvia 'Mystic Spires' and Russelia equisetiformis 'Flamingo Park'


That's it for my Bloom Day selections.  It's an impressive show for August, at least from my perspective.  Visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens, our Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day host, for more delicious Bloom Day posts.

As it's Monday, a time some of us also celebrate "In a Vase on Monday," the meme hosted by Cathy of Rambling in the Garden, I also have a floral bouquet to share.  Visit Cathy to see more.

Anticipating that the current heatwave will quickly put an end to my rose blooms, I cut several 'Buttercream' roses, some Coreopsis 'Redshift', 'Achillea 'Moonshine', and Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy', combining these with foliage of Leucadendron salignum 'Chief' and Leptospermum 'Copper Glow'.  The photo on the left shows the arrangement from above and the photo on the right shows it in place on our dining room table.



All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

40 comments:

  1. With all those blooms I wondered what would be in your vase and soemhow didn't expect those pretty yellow roses. They are set off beautifully by the other blooms and the foliage. Thnaks for sharing

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    1. We're in the middle of another heatwave, Cathy - not as bad as the one that started the summer off but bad enough - and roses don't do well when the heat shoots up past 95F (35C) so cutting them seemed the best course. After seeing the 'California Dreamin' rose singed beyond recognition this afternoon, I wish I'd cut it too!

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  2. Gee .. I hope my lemon tree reblooms, too! It's almost out which would be a pity because I use them daily. I do so love my lemon tree.

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    1. We've felt rather at a loss since the lemon tree dropped all its fruit, Jane. We've literally never had to buy lemons until now - in fact, I generally give them away by the bagful to friends and neighbors. We've had plenty of heatwaves since moving in 5 years ago, without anything close to the impact June's heatwave had. I was afraid we might actually lose the tree. I think low rainfall, reduced irrigation and that rapid temperature shift created the perfect storm but I'm very happy to see the tree recovering. I should probably go check how it's handling the current heatwave now, though, shouldn't I?!

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  3. I hope you get some lemons, Kris. You have so many flowers as usual, the Duranta always thrills me the most. I may actually get tempted enough by your Lisianthus to try to grow some. The yellow roses and Achillea look great with the burgundy foliage and Itsy Bitsy.

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    1. It'll be a while yet before we see edible fruit on that lemon tree, Hannah, but the flowers are giving way to tiny little fruits now (assuming the current heatwave doesn't start the cycle all over again).

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  4. Hi Kris, you have an amazing variety of plants blooming in your garden right now!
    Needless to say that I love your bouquet. I think the beauty of roses is very hard to beat in a flower arrangement and combining the yellow rose 'Buttercream' with the dark burgundy tones of the foliage and the Gomphrena 'Itsy bitsy' is a really great idea that works fabulously!
    Here it has been very hot yesterday and today it is supposed to be the same so I cut some roses for indoors as well, since the heat will do them in anyways. They are still sitting on my kitchen counter, but now I am off to arranging my little bouquet!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. I'm glad you rescued some of your beautiful roses to enjoy them inside, Christina! The Coreopsis 'Redshift' was the inspiration for the mix in my vase, although my photos didn't show the flower off particularly well. 'Redshift' blooms yellow but develops a burgundy red center that spreads along the petals under the right weather conditions.

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  5. Tons of rain in the Ohio the last couple of days and flooding in the South: sending rain wishes your way. Lots of flowers for not a lot of flowers! Intergeneric hybrid between a Stachys and a Lamium? I would never have thought they were closely related enough. Very interesting. Love the Duranta flowers. I have a containerized one that has thrived for years, but has only flowered once. Cheers.

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    1. Rain in summer here is an anomaly, Tim, although 2 tropical storms blew through the area last summer as I recall. There's a very slight chance of rain later in the week but I'm not laying odds on it even if the weather forecasters seem compelled to raise our hopes.

      My Duranta 'Sapphire Showers' is also in a pot. I use gray water on it weekly and it seems to like it!

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  6. Wine dark and butter cream makes a delicious pair.

    Wish my inherited Alstroemeria had been Claire, instead of the vigourously speckled flesh-eating pink ish.

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    1. Alstroemeria 'Claire' was a great find, Diana. It's a very low grower (its only fault so far) but it appears to be evergreen here, which is major plus. My plant, purchased this past spring, is still relatively small but I too like it better than the bubble-gum pink forms I inherited with the garden.

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  7. You have so many lovely blooms in your garden, Kris!Hope you get well over the heatwave.And those yellow roses look so well in your Monday vase!

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    1. Tomorrow is supposed to be cooler and Wednesday cooler yet. I'm hoping this is the last heatwave of the summer season, although that may be unrealistic on my part.

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  8. Replies
    1. As summers go, this one started out with a bang but got much better! I don't usually have nearly as much in bloom in August.

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  9. How can you write that your 'floral color is still limited,' Kris? So many gorgeous things are growing in your garden! Wow, for it being a drought, I am mightily impressed with what you've created. I'm glad your lemon tree is back in business. Citrus is one of my favorite fragrances.
    Your yellow roses and yarrow make such a nice pairing. Cool and refreshing!

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    1. Pre-drought, or more pointedly, pre-water restrictions, the garden had more summer color, even in mid-August, which is close to the lowest point of our gardening year. Yes, I suppose you could call the expectations of some Southern Californians (this one anyway!) unrealistic - when you can garden all year, there's a tendency to expect the garden to respond with continuous blasts of color.

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  10. Always such bountiful blooms in the Kris garden ! I can't even tell you how many times I've tried to grow Brachyscome to no avail. Some things are not meant to be.

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    1. I've had problems with Bracyscome in other areas of my garden, Kathy, but for some reason the 3 plants snuggling with the Convolvulous seem happy.

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  11. So many fabulous flowers it makes my head spin, so I'll just skip straight to the bouquet at the end. Absolutely love the soft yellows with the dark foliage of the Leucadendron. Glad to hear they have lifted the watering restrictions a little, and I'm glad you are enjoying the result of the extra water. I've been lusting over one of those Durantas for a while - you just might have pushed me over the edge.

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    1. That Duranta is surprisingly happy in a large pot. It's been there more than 5 years now and currently gets little more than a dousing with gray water from the kitchen once a week. And it still blooms!

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  12. Hi Kris, I'm so glad the hot weather has abated and you're able to enjoy the garden. Your blossoms are so gorgeous! I grew that Stachys 'Lilac Falls' last year in a container. I was hoping it would winter over but it didn't. I love that pink Vinca and I love the two Coreopsis that you're growing. Love it all.

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    1. I didn't know what to expect from that Stachys when I picked it up. On-line sources say it needs regular water (that's the Lamium in it I suppose) but it's done fine on a more moderate watering regime. I like how it spreads among surrounding plants but I have no doubt it'd be impressive in a hanging pot or other container.

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  13. Lots to love here Kris, your photo collages are such a nice way to see it all! I also really like the color combo in your vase this week.

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    1. The photo collages make my posts almost reasonable in length, Loree ;)

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  14. What an amazing August garden you have Chris. So many lovely blooms that it is difficult to pick out stars. I love the butter yellow roses you chose for your vase. They look perfect with the purple Leucadendron foliage.

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    1. Those roses have been living on borrowed time. I'd just about decided to remove them when, with just a little extra water, I suddenly got a whole flush of blooms. Still, they have some difficulties holding their heads up (weak stems) and the flowers are shriveling quickly even in the house (although the humidity level is very low). I do like the color, though - and they have almost no thorns. I remain torn.

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  15. Convolvulus sabatius 'Moroccan Beauty' and Brachyscome 'Enduring Blue' both look good; I wonder if they would be hardy here. When I look at your garden I am aware that most of the plants that flower for you in summer wouldn't be winter hardy here - there's always something isn't there? It is amazing to see roses in such condition in your bouquet; it's lovely!

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    1. You're right, Christina - there's always something! I don't have to worry about winter temperatures but the combination of low rainfall, high summer temperatures and reduced irrigation does cramp my garden dreams.

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  16. Ooh, that new gomphrena looks interesting. You're really dialing in a fine selection of plants for your hilltop garden, Kris.

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    1. So far, so good with the new Gomphrena, Denise. It holds up well in a vase too - even better than the Lisianthus last week.

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  17. An impressive show of wonderful flowers, Kris! That climbing pelargonium has me especially tickled. I just can't imagine that. I'm glad it's cooled down a bit down there and hope the heatwaves have come to an end for this year. Unfortunately, there's a chance of triple digits at the end of the week in my area, certainly high 90's. I really should learn to make those photo collages to make my bloom day posts more reasonable in length!

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    1. That Pelargonium started climbing this year after 5 years in that spot - I hope I don't regret letting it do it's own thing there. The heatwave that started last Friday appears to be on the way out but the humidity's up so it's not exactly pleasant but the marine layer is expected to be more robust again tomorrow. Unfortunately, yet another fire has taken off this afternoon. It's in the San Bernadino Mountains (i.e. not close) but the smell of smoke is reaching us and there's a thick gray blanket over the horizon.

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  18. Kris-your gardens are gorgeous with such a variety of blooms for the month of August, and all so beautifully presented. Your vase of yellow roses is stunning!

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  19. Oh my, your yellow and burgundy arrangement is stunning! Yours is an impressive show for August! Thank goodness for those plants that keep blooming! Up here, we've only a little to look forward to now, just the continued blooms of such things that don't know the end is near and asters, colchicum, mums and then it's time to fill the pots with pansies, kale, heuchera and the like for winter interest. Summer flies by so quickly.

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    1. Summer hangs on a lot longer here, Peter, even if most of us are more than ready for fall's arrival by the end of August. Still, the added water boost after months of miserly rationing has really made a difference.

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  20. So much in flower Kris! Even with watering restrictions you have such a wonderful garden! I like the Achillea and yellow roses together. Very pretty.

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    1. Thanks Cathy! I'm afraid the roses won't last much longer but it's been nice to enjoy breakfast with them.

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