Saturday, August 14, 2021

Bloom Day - August 2021

To my eyes, the pickings look slim this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.  However, after looking back at last year's mid-August post, I found that, with a few exceptions, most of what was blooming then is also blooming now, albeit in smaller quantities in many cases.  Both last year and this year, the dahlias and zinnias I rely on for color during the hot, dry summer were late in getting their bloom on.  This year, I made a point of planting my dahlia tubers earlier, using temporary pots, but even so they've been slower still to bloom this year.  I even purchased three dahlias as plants this summer without much impact on net flower production.

Dahlia 'Akita' is the first of the plants I grew from tubers to bloom this year.  The flowers, photographed late yesterday afternoon, still weren't fully open.

Dahlia 'Cafe au Lait Royal' is lagging just behind 'Akita'

I bought a Dahlia 'Dark Side of the Sun' plant by mail order in June but it's only produced a few flowers thus far, usually one at a time.  The same has been true of Dahlia 'Mystic Illusion', purchased at a local garden center in July.

I've organized the rest of my Bloom Day photos by color, presenting just one or two stars in each category, while lumping the rest of my photos into color-coordinated collages in the interest of brevity.  The white flowers are up first.

Yucca 'Bright Star' surprised me with a bloom stalk this month

Top row: Abelia grandiflora 'Edward Goucher', A. 'Kaleidoscope', and Amaryllis belladonna 'Alba'
Middle row: Angelonia 'Archangel White', Centranthus ruber 'Albus', and Cosmos bipinnatus
Bottom row: Crassula pubescens, Eustoma grandiflora (aka Lisianthus), and Gaura lindheimeri

Top row: Magnolia grandiflora and Myrtus communis 'Compacta'
Middle row: Osteospermum '4D Silver', Pandorea jasminoides, and Penstemon 'Opal & Pearls'
Bottom row: noID Phalaenopsis, Phyla nodiflora, and Tanacetum parthenium 'Aureum'

There's an ample variety of blue flowers, although the quantity of each species isn't large in most cases.

The flowers of native California aster, Symphyotrichum chilense, are plentiful but a lot of the flower stems turn brown and crispy before blooming due to inadequate water.  I'm trying to keep my water use as low as possible in response to calls to conserve water during California's severe drought.  The rain water I collected earlier is long gone and realistically we can't expect rain again until late October or November.

Clockwise from the upper left: Duranta 'Sapphire Showers', blue and lavender Eustoma grandiflorum, the last of the Limonium perezii for the year, Salvia 'Mystic Spires', Rotheca myricoides, noID Scaevola, and Trichostemma 'Midnight Magic'

Top row: Calibrachoa 'Calitastic Ice Blue', Convolvulus sabatius, and Lycianthes rantonnetii 'Variegata'
Middle row: Nierembergia, Ocimum 'African Blue Basil', and Osteospermum 'Violet Ice'
Bottom row: Pelargonium peltatum, Scabiosa columbaria 'Flutter Deep Blue', and Verbena bonariensis 'Lollipop'

The pinks are up next.

Callistemon 'Cane's Hybrid' produced a massive flush of peachy-pink blooms virtually overnight earlier this month.  A stretch of temperatures in the low to mid-90sF turned the flowers a pale tan color in less than a week.

The leaf-less bloom stalks of Amaryllis belladonna (aka naked lady lilies) have popped up throughout the backyard border, although there seem to be fewer blooms than last year

Top row: Cistus skanbergii, C. 'Sunset', and Cuphea 'Starfire Pink'
Middle row: Eustoma grandiflorum, Hoya carnosa, and Lycoris squamigera
Bottom row: noID miniature Phalaenopsis, Rosa 'Pink Meidiland', and Scabiosa columbaria 'Flutter Rose Pink'

There were a couple surprises in the red category.

Hemerocallis 'Spanish Harlem' finished up its bloom cycle in early June - or so I thought.  One plant produced a new bloom spike this month and has been offering me new blooms every other day or so.  This is a reblooming variety but I don't usually see the second round until late fall.

Stapelia grandiflora (aka starfish cactus and carrion plant) blooms on an irregular schedule and usually catches me by surprise.  The flower's odor attracts flies.  There are at least two more buds.

Top row: Crassula perfoliata falcata, Gaillardia 'Amazon Sun', and Penstemon mexicali 'Mini-bells Red'
Middle row: Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy', Zinnia 'Profusion Red', and Z. elegans 'Queen Red Lime'
Bottom row: Cosmos bipinnatus, Daucus carota 'Dara', and Pelargonium sidiodes

The orange category contains a few new favorites as well as some old standbys.

Intergeneric hybrid Echibeckia 'Summerina Orange' is new to me.  Regrettably, it's requiring a surprising amount of water.

Top row: Agastache 'Sunrise Orange', Cotyledon orbiculata, and noID Gazania
Middle row: Grevillea 'Superb', Hesperaloe parviflora, and Leonotis leonurus
Bottom row: Xerochrysum bracteatum and 2 incarnations of Zinnia elegans 'Queen Lime Orange'

Last up are the yellow flowers, headlined by one of my favorite year-round bloomers.

In addition to blooming year-round, Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream' is beloved by bees and hummingbirds

Clockwise from the upper left: Alstroemeria 'Inca Vienna', Coreopsis 'Big Bang Redshift', noID miniature Phalaenopsis, Zinnia 'Profusion Yellow', Phlomis fruticosa, and Lantana mix

That's it for my August Bloom Day wrap up.  Hopefully, I'll have more dahlias - and zinnias - to share in September.  My post is one day ahead of schedule this month but you can visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens for more GBBD posts on August 15th.  Best wishes for a pleasant weekend!


All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party



28 comments:

  1. Happy bloom day, Kris! I'm glad the dahlias are coming in for you -- 'Akita' looks brick red, a real stunner.

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    1. I'm very happy with 'Akita', although it's not yet showing some of the yellow/orange highlights it's reputed to have.

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  2. It is always a treat to see your bloom day round up Kris. What an amazing array of August blooms you have, all fabulous. Your grevilleas always make me green with envy.

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    1. Grevilleas do love it here, even under the very dry conditions we've had this year.

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  3. Not bad for a drought-plagued garden, Kris! That Callistemon 'Cane's Hybrid' put on a great show and Grevillea 'Peaches and Cream' is always a favorite. Disappointing about the Echibeckia's thirsty needs. Rats, eh?

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    1. I don't recall that Echinacea or Rudbeckia required quite as much water as the Echibeckia has but then this was a full-size specimen and, when I've tried the parent plants in this garden, I've always started with much smaller specimens so perhaps the pot-grown plant didn't have the deep root system it needs to handle the dry conditions here.

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  4. So much to look at! I love the grevellia and the callistemon is awesome. I miss the naked ladies. I had them in my former garden. I need to find some but I don't seem to see them often around here.

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    1. Maybe the naked ladies don't like your colder winters, Phillip ;)

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  5. So many beautiful blooms but the one that really caught my eye is the Stapelia. They look so cool. It's interesting to see who is thriving in the hot dry weather. You just have to look at your many flowering plants to know who is tough. I have daylilies that have never flowered and are blooming their heads off while shrubs that have been in the ground 15 years and never watered are drooping. We are supposed to get rain Monday and Tuesday. Fingers crossed.

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    1. I hope you get that rain, Elaine! Although we had one other year with rainfall as low as this one, the impact to my garden strikes me as worse this year, perhaps because I've been trying to irrigate even less this time around. In any case, I'm taking a hard look at my back garden in particular, where a large area has been fried, focusing on changes I need to make to adapt to what may be our "new normal."

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  6. The Stapelia bloom (and it's perfect pot), steals the show for me every time! I know the stench is emits, but I can't stop admiring it. Where do you grow your Hoya carnosa? A friend rooted a NOID Hoya for me, and I'm hopeful it stays alive. Don't dare to dream of blooms yet. Yucca 'Bright Star' is so regal, such a gorgeous shot.

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    1. The Stapelia's odor isn't all that bad ;) I have to get in close to sniff it but then my nose isn't great with any kind of scent. My Hoyas are in my lath (shade) house but on the top shelf nearest the roof that doesn't have its summer shade screen on this year. I'd never fertilized them until about 2 months ago and I think that doing so is what gave me a good flush of blooms this summer. I used a fertilizer designed for succulents.

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  7. Wow! So much is blooming still! I need to go back and really take it all in. I am a huge fan of Yucca 'Bright Star' and wish I could grow it here. That stalk is gorgeous!

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    1. The Yuccas bloom is pure drama, Angie! I'm waiting to see if the other 2 plants will bloom this year.

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  8. So many beauties! I was holding off seeding my Daucus carota since the packet says it likes cooler weather, but that looks like it's not the case if you have it blooming now. Pretty daylily. My American Revolution is almost the same color, but narrower petals.

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    1. That Daucus carota has been blooming for months now, Lisa! I sowed my seeds in late November/early December last year. When the plants showed up I didn't even recognize them and thought I might have poison hemlock growing in my back garden until I read that wild carrot and hemlock have similar foliage and the penny dropped. Warning: the plants appear to self-seed with some abandon. The flower is wonderful but I recommend pulling any seedlings you don't want early on as they develop a vigorous taproot.

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  9. What a lot of lovely blooms you have. And so many colors! It's hard to pick a favorite but those dahlias are just glorious.

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    1. I was very happy that the dahlias - or at least some of them - are offering me blooms after what felt like a very long wait, Dorothy!

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  10. I have a mostly shady garden, and I really don't have lots blooming at any one time. I think your garden is an amazing wonder for the eyes with so many different varieties and colors. I especially love the Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream' and its different look. The flowers are gorgeous.

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    1. I use a lot of plants from countries that have Mediterranean climates similar to that of coastal Southern California, like South Africa and parts of Australia. Leucadendrons and Grevilleas, among others, have become cornerstones of my garden.

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  11. Ah your dahlias! Mine are doing nothing this summer.
    -Ray

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    1. I've heard many gardeners remark that their dahlias are late this year, which is also true of mine, most of which have yet to even develop buds. It's as if the members of the genus have gone on strike! If so, I'd like to hear their demands ;)

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  12. Saving the best for last with those beautiful buttery yellows.

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    1. I do love yellow but there's a lot less of that color at this time of year in my garden.

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  13. Much beauty there. I like the look of that native aster, though I recall your saying it is rambunctious.

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    1. The aster is utterly out of control, Jason. Having dominated one bed, it has designs on another on the other side of the flagstone path. It also doesn't look its best when it doesn't get enough water and unfortunately I don't think our drought is a passing thing.

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  14. Oh! That Stapelia grandiflora is just perfect in that pot, excellent pairing!

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    1. I'm still waiting for the second, now VERY large, bud on that Stapelia to open, Loree.

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