Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: July 15, 2014

Cool temps and plenty of rain.  That’s the kind of summer we have been having so far as we enter the middle of July.   That means the gardens are green and full of blooms.  Here is what is blooming today on Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: July, 2014.

Day lilies, white clematis, Jean Davis lavender greeting everyone at the entrance to the Secret Garden.
Day lilies, white clematis, Jean Davis lavender greeting everyone at the entrance to the Secret Garden.
Looking east in the Secret Garden. Great Expectations is blooming.
Looking east in the Secret Garden. Great Expectations is blooming.
White Dome hydrangea, Rosie Returns day lily, Cool Cat catmint, various cone flowers.
White Dome hydrangea, Rosie Returns day lily, Cool Cat catmint, various cone flowers.
Rosie Returns day lily on the left, First Knight is the yellow lily across the path, crocosmia near the garden lady.
Rosie Returns day lily on the left, First Knight is the yellow lily across the path, crocosmia near the garden lady.
A visitor in the Secret Garden.  She is welcome anytime.
A visitor in the Secret Garden. She is welcome anytime.
First Knight
First Knight
The hosta bed in the front garden under the magnolia tree.
The hosta bed in the front garden under the magnolia tree.
My favorite un-named day lily.
My favorite un-named day lily.
Plum Pudding catching an extra petal (and a katydid nymph)
Plum Pudding catching an extra petal (and a katydid nymph)
Rosie Returns also wants to go the extra mile and add an extra petal and sepal.
Rosie Returns also wants to go the extra mile and add an extra petal and sepal.
The hydrangeas are doing far better than I expected since the park removed a maple tree that gave them so much shade.
The hydrangeas are doing far better than I expected since the park removed a maple tree that gave them so much shade.
In the Lower Garden, the Zagreb Coreopsis is blooming.  I cut back the geranium but it still has some lovely blue flowers on it. That's Strawberry Candy under the Rose of Sharon.
In the Lower Garden, the Zagreb Coreopsis is blooming. I cut back the geranium but it still has some lovely blue flowers on it. That’s Strawberry Candy under the Rose of Sharon.
Prince of Midnight day lily.
Prince of Midnight day lily.
Crocosmia in the Secret Garden
Crocosmia in the Secret Garden

Surveying the Hostas

I’m procrastinating.  Or maybe I’m percolating.  At any rate, I’ve decided to survey the hostas.

Dream Weaver, June, Krossa Royal, Francee, Great Expectations
In the Secret Garden:  Far right is Dream Weaver.  In front of it is June, then Stained Glass, Krossa Royal (next to the garage),  then Francee, and Great Expectations sits to the back of this photo.  There are, of course, astilbe and heuchera mixed in, not to mention hydrangeas and a big old bleeding heart.
The large hosta in the rear is a division of Elegans.  In front of it to the left is Francis Williams.  Left of Francis is another Elegans (I keep dividing this monster!).  The left front hosta is Orange Marmalade.  Center front is Lakeside Beach Captain. On the far right is Wheaton Blue.
The large hosta in the rear is a division of Elegans. In front of it to the left is Francis Williams. Left of Francis is another Elegans (I keep dividing this monster!). The left front hosta is Orange Marmalade. Center front is Lakeside Beach Captain. On the far right is Wheaton Blue.
Another shot of Elegans.  To the right of it is Stained Glass.  And on the far right is Abiqua Drinking Gourd.  Peeking out behind Stained Glass is another Dream Weaver.
Lower Garden: Another shot of Elegans. To the right of it is Stained Glass. And on the far right is Abiqua Drinking Gourd. Peeking out behind Stained Glass is another Dream Weaver.
On the far right, just in view, is Elegans.  To the left is Hanky Panky.  The bright green hosta next to it is a mystery to me.
Lower Garden: On the far right, just in view, is Elegans. To the left is Hanky Panky. The bright green hosta next to it is a mystery to me, but might be Maui Buttercup. (sorry for the blurriness!)
Strip Tease and a mystery hosta that a friend gave me.
Lower Garden: Strip Tease and a mystery hosta that a friend gave me. That’s a Francis Williams to the left of the mystery hosta.  I think the hosta behind Strip Tease is Ryan’s Big One.
Moorheim
Secret Garden: Moerheim
Deep Blue Sea, Orange Crush
Secret Garden: Deep Blue Sea, Orange Crush
Halcyon in foreground,
Lower Garden: Halcyon in foreground, Elegans on the right under the cherry tree, Hanky Panky (though it’s hard to see in this shot), and Regal Splendor to the left of the cherry tree.
On the left is Francis Williams.  Next to it is Lakeside Beach Captain.  On its right is Elegans.  And tucked away next to Elegans is Pineapple Upsidedown Cake.
Front Garden: On the left is Francis Williams. Next to it is Lakeside Beach Captain. On its right is Elegans. And tucked away next to Elegans is Pineapple Upsidedown Cake.
Allegan Fog, Silver Threads and Golden Needles, Stitich in Time, Ghost Spirit
Secret Garden: Allegan Fog, Silver Threads and Golden Needles, Stitich in Time, Ghost Spirit.  Behind these is Dream Weaver.
Lucy Vitols
Lower Garden: Lucy Vitols in the center.  That’s Rhino Hide in the pot to the left.  I’ve almost lost it twice, but it comes coming back from the brink.  There is a Kaleidechrome almost hidden by the pot of argula.  There’s a bit of Thai basil peeking out of the pot on the right.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, July 15, 2013

Crocosmia adds such a wonderful pizazz to the day lily bed.  I love the way it drapes over the Garden Lady.
Crocosmia adds such a wonderful pizazz to the day lily bed. I love the way it drapes over the Garden Lady.

The temps rose yesterday to 90 degrees, but the heat isn’t unexpected.  And, we are not experiencing a drought like last year.  July blooms are on schedule and it seems like the whole garden is making up for last year.  The cherry tree is still full of gorgeous red tart cherries.  In fact, I picked 4 cups last night and made a cherry crisp.  Last year I didn’t even bother with picking.  The early warmth and subsequent freeze killed last years crop.

Blooming in the garden right now:

First Knight day lily, one of my favorites.
First Knight day lily, one of my favorites.
Zagreb Coreopsis and rose campion that a neighbor gave me years ago.
Zagreb Coreopsis and rose campion that a neighbor gave me years ago.
A few white clematis keep blooming.  I didn't get much of a show this year, but will take whatever I can get from this lovely vine.
A few white clematis keep blooming. I didn’t get much of a show this year, but will take whatever I can get from this lovely vine.
The Garden Lady is framed in day lilies and crocosmia.  The is the view from the entrance of the Secret Garden.
The Garden Lady is framed in day lilies and crocosmia. The is the view from the entrance of the Secret Garden.
Annabelle Hydrangea putting on a great show.  Last year Annabelle did not do much because of the heat.
Annabelle Hydrangea putting on a great show. Last year Annabelle did not do much because of the heat.
White Dome hydrangeas and Zagreb coreopsis in the lower garden.
White Dome hydrangeas and Zagreb coreopsis in the lower garden.
This is about as blue as this variegated lace cape hydrangea gets. Each year I ammend the soil with acid and it never seems to be enough.
This is about as blue as this variegated lace cape hydrangea gets. Each year I ammend the soil with acid and it never seems to be enough.
The Francis Williams hostas in the front garden are starting to bud.  Behind them are the White Dome hydrangeas that are in full lacy bloom.
The Francis Williams hostas in the front garden are starting to bud. Behind them are the White Dome hydrangeas that are in full lacy bloom.
I removed a lot of the Strawberry Candy day lilies in the front when I took out the Pana Rhododendrons.  This is one of the only clumps left.
I removed a lot of the Strawberry Candy day lilies in the front when I took out the Pana Rhododendrons. This is one of the only clumps left.
Newly planted just a month ago, the Walker's Low catmint is doing very well in the entrance garden.
Newly planted just a month ago, the Walker’s Low catmint is doing very well in the entrance garden.
Red Knockout rose in the rose medallion seems to not only avoid disease, but Japanese beetles. Yes, they've arrived for their yearly feast.
Red Knockout rose in the rose medallion seems to not only avoid disease, but Japanese beetles. Yes, they’ve arrived for their yearly feast.
Limelight Hydrangea is just starting to bloom.
Limelight Hydrangea is just starting to bloom.
Nameless dark lily doesn't seem to be quite so dark this year.
Nameless dark lily doesn’t seem to be quite so dark this year.
Looking west from the eastern part of the Secret Garden.  The Japanese Maple and various hostas seem happy.
Looking west from the eastern part of the Secret Garden. The Japanese Maple and various hostas seem happy.
Stitch in Time Hosta is starting to bloom.
Stitch in Time Hosta is starting to bloom.
Francee, Stained Glass, June, Great Expectations, and various heuchera.
Francee, Stained Glass, June, Great Expectations, and various heuchera.
Barbara Mitchell day lily in the Secret Garden.
Barbara Mitchell day lily in the Secret Garden.
Day lilies and crocosmia in a riot of bloom.
Day lilies and crocosmia in a riot of bloom.
My Sweet Rose day lily.
My Sweet Rose day lily.
Lavender Doll day lily, Cool Cat Nepetha, Jean Davis Lavender, purple cone flower from a friend, White Dome hydrangea.
Lavender Doll day lily, Cool Cat Nepetha, Jean Davis Lavender, purple cone flower from a friend, White Dome hydrangea.
Purple cone flower just starting to bloom.
Purple cone flower just starting to bloom.
Fragrant Angel echanacea with a friendly bumblebee.
Fragrant Angel echanacea with a friendly bumblebee.
Zagreb coreopsis and a purple coneflower that isn't sure what she is supposed to look like. But she's blooming in her own unique way.
Zagreb coreopsis and a purple coneflower that isn’t sure what she is supposed to look like. But she’s blooming in her own unique way.
Purple coneflower from a friend and Fragrant Angel echinacea.
Purple coneflower from a friend and Fragrant Angel echinacea.
Marigolds and purple petunias great me at the back door.
Marigolds and purple petunias greet me at the back door.

Happy 4th of July

July means day lilies (hemerocallis), and today the fireworks are just beginning to explode into bloom.  These are my favorite flowers.  As much as I love hydrangeas and my hansa roses, it is the day lilies that charm me the most.  The name “hemerocallis” means “bloom for a day” and that’s pretty much what day lilies do.  And, they do not actually belong to the lily family.

The Garden Lady stands sentinel in the day lily bed.
The Garden Lady stands sentinel in the day lily bed. That is Sea Urchin blooming to the left.  Red Rum is in the background.

It was colonists who brought day lilies to the New World, but it wasn’t until the 1930’s that hybridization really began. For centuries gardeners grew what are often referred to as “ditch lilies.”  These are the common orange flowers that we see growing wild along country roads, in old homestead sites, and in sunny meadows.  But those bright orange or sometimes yellow flowers are not native to North America.  They probably came to Europeans from China and other Asian countries where various parts of the plant were valued for their medicinal qualities.  Settlers carried day lily plants on horseback and in covered wagons across the North American continent.

Blooming today in the Secret Garden are Cystal Pinot, First Night, Sea Urchin, a nameless deep plum plant, and Red Rum.

But it’s not just day lilies that are gracing the garden.  Scroll down to see other shots.

The little miniature hostas that I bought a year ago are nestled near the back door.
The little miniature hostas that I bought a year ago are nestled near the back door.
Great Expectations, Francee, Stained Glass, and June are draping over the Secret Garden path, an indication that I really must thin these.
Great Expectations, Francee, Stained Glass, and June are draping over the Secret Garden path, an indication that I really must thin these.
This sunny path shows the Jean Davis lavender and Zagreb coreopsis.
This sunny path shows the Jean Davis lavender and Zagreb coreopsis.  In the foreground is First Knight about to bloom.
The red carpet rose provides a nice pop of color in the seating area of the Secret Garden.
The red carpet rose provides a nice pop of color in the seating area of the Secret Garden. That is Red Rum in the foreground to the right and Zagreb coreopsis in the left center.
The Crazy Daisy hasn't done well for the past couple of years, but it looked like it might be returning to health this year.  Until it flopped over.  Ergggg.
The Crazy Daisy hasn’t done well for the past couple of years, but it looked like it might be returning to health this year. Until it flopped over. Ergggg.
This Annabelle Hydrangea seems to be very happy this summer.  This is such a pleasant change.  Last summer's heat and drought didn't make for happy mop heads of bloom.
This Annabelle Hydrangea seems to be very happy this summer. This is such a pleasant change. Last summer’s heat and drought didn’t make for happy mop heads of bloom.
First Knight
First Knight
Nameless plum day lily that I bought a couple years ago that the Fulton Street Market.
Nameless plum day lily that I bought a couple years ago that the Fulton Street Market.
Crystal Pinot
Crystal Pinot
Red Rum
Red Rum

Hostas, Baby

It’s been quite the spring and summer for my hostas.

Hostas in the Lower Garden

Lucy Vitols sits right next to my back steps. I love the deeply textured leaves.
Though hard to see, there are three Halcyon hostas at the top of this picture.  This H. tardiana cultivar maintains its rich blue color all summer. It’s leaves are quite sturdy. It sits outside my kitchen door near the Lucy Vitols. In front of it is a Francee that seems very happy in this location that receives a nice mixture of sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon.
The champ of the season, hosta seboldiana Elegans, is threatening to take over the universe. It’s been in this spot for five years and was even thinned last year.
The large hosta to the right is Abiqua Drinking Gourd. It’s large blue leaves form a cup that can actually hold water. In the middle are some pots that I take to the farmers market. But behind those pots is one of my favorites, Stained Glass. It is a sport of Guacamole and has shiny leaves and fragrant lavender flowers.  The hosta in the upper left is Singing in the Rain.
The large hosta on the right is Regal Splendor. It has this lovely vase shape is a nice contrast to the hostas around it that grow in a more circular shape. Next to it is Christmas Tree.
On the right is Striptease. I was looking for a hosta that had a bold white stripe down the center and though the stripes haven’t quite shown themselves in the three years that this hosta has been in place, I love the name. I bought it at the same time I bought Hanky Panky. Every garden should have a few lewd plants. The bright green hosta on the left is a mystery.
This blurry image features Krossa Regal and June Fever. I love June Fever’s glossy foliage
This little guy had to have been planted last summer, but the tag isn’t in my book and so it is just another mystery hosta until I find the tag.
Here is another Striptease. It sits next to a division that a friend gave me, but its name is another mystery. It might be Sum and Substance, though the leaves don’t seem quite oval enough. Behind on the right is another mystery that is probably Ryan’s Big One.
In the back behind the Francis Williams and the Endless Summer hydrangea is Sum and Substance, a division I got from a friend.

Front Garden

I like mixing huechera with hostas and the front bed under the magnolia tree is a good example of how these work together. On the right are Francis Williams. These are a sport of Seboldiana Elegans and they were the first hostas I planted. To the left is Guacamole. Tucked behind Guacamole is Golden Tiara. The blue hosta to the left of the huechera is another mystery. I want to say it is Wheaton Blue, but it seems a bit small.
The hosta with the narrow white stripe down the center is Lakeside Beach Captain. Next to it is a recent addition, but, again, I’ve put the tag somewhere and now can’t remember the name. On the far left is an Elegans division from the monster under the cherry tree in the lower garden.
The large hosta on the left is another Francis Williams. In the center is another Lakeside Beach Captain and to the right is another division of Elegans. To the far right is Pineapple Upsidedown Cake. I love its brightness against the blue of the Elegans.

Secret Garden

I think the Secret Garden hosta beds are my favorites, perhaps because I didn’t not initially think I would plant hostas there.  But the spot behind the garage is shady and it became the home for hostas that weren’t thriving in other beds like the Great Expectations and the Francees.  I gradually began adding more varieties, and sprinkled in huecheras for contrast. I decided to put more hostas under the Kousa Dogwood, just to carry the eye across the garden path.

In the foreground are the Great Expectations. I initially planted these in the front garden in full sun. That was a mistake. They much prefer the dabbled light at the far eastern edge of the Secret Garden. I’ve heard that Great Expectations can be tricky to grow, but obviously these are doing well. I don’t give them any extra attention. Next to the Great Expectations are the Francees. They, too, could not take the sun in the Lower Garden. I always think of the word “tailored” when I see these hostas. They are elegant and tidy.
Just west of the Francees is one of my favorites, Stained Glass. This hosta has a fragrant flower and lovely shiny leaves that add a nice contrast to the Krossa Regal behind it.
Meet June, the “parent” of June Fever which lives under the cherry tree in the Lower Garden.  It is a tissue sport of Halcyon.
Looking east in the Secret Garden. The hosta with the light stripe in center June. Behind it is Dream Weaver, a sport of Great Expectations.
Under the Kousa Dogwood is Ghost Spirit. I think I just liked the name. Next to it is Dream Weaver.
On the left is one of my favorites–Stitch in Time. It’s got these wonderful puckery leaves and a bold dark stripe down the center of bright green leaves. Next to it is Allegan Fog. Behind is one of several Dream Weavers. I think I went Dream Weaver crazy at the end of a season a couple years ago.  As I recall they were only $1.  How could I not get them??
These three hostas sit under the eastern edge of the old dogwood.  The two in front are Moerheims. I don’t know what the one behind is. I think I may have thought I was buying three Moerheims. It may be that the one in back doesn’t turn white around the edges because it gets less light.  But it might be Hanky Panky.  I bought it and Striptease together and I don’t see anything in the garden that resembles Hanky Panky.  I really do need to keep track of these things better.
Under the old dogwood on the west is another Dream Weaver and several Patriots that were not thriving in the full sun in the bed under the sun room and dining room. They seem to like the shade under the dogwood far better.

New Additions

K Gardens in Byron Center had an open house yesterday and I stopped by.  I picked up four new hostas and have planted them in the Secret Garden.

Silver Threads and Golden Stitches just seemed like a logical choice to put next to Stitch in Time. They aren’t related, and Silver Threads may be much smaller, but…
I planted, from top, Orange Crush, My Friend Nancy (how could I resist!), and Deep Blue Sea under the lilacs on the north side of the Secret Garden.
This might be a pipevine swallowtail caterpillar. It’s the second one I’ve seen in 24 hours. I know that a female swallowtail seemed to love the dutchman’s pipe this year. I wonder if this is one of her babies.

Shredded bark makes the garden pop!

Yesterday was mulch day and the garden looks wonderful with its fresh new covering.  And, four more arborvitae went in yesterday, too, with a little help from the guys who brought the mulch.  They also moved the broken fountain into the secret garden.  A friend tonight suggested I try aquarium glue on it.  It won’t be able to function as a fountain anymore, but the glue might make it water tight enough to serve as a bird bath.  It looks nice in its new location.

Broken fountain at the end of the secret garden

The nikko blue hydrangeas in front of it may overwhelm it in a couple of years, but I’ll deal with that when the time comes.    Those are various heucheras in the foreground, with hostas, of course.  The orange leafed heurchera in the bottom left is Southern Comfort.  That is a Great Expectation hosta in the upper right.  There are actually three of those plus some others.  But the Great Expectations are looking particularly good this spring.  That’s the dreaded Virginia Creeper behind the fountain.  It makes a nice green wall.  The trick, of course, is to help it mind its manners.  It does like to sneak up on things.

I bought a Rhapsody in Blue floribunda rose at a family owned garden center a couple days ago and I am loving it’s beautiful plum blooms and its sweet fragrance. It has lovely white veins at the heart of the blossom.

Rapsody in Blue floribunda rose

I am struggling, though, with the side garden, the “false” garden.  I don’t like the way I have used the remaining flag stone.  It’s hard to walk on and just looks messy.  I need to rethink.  I also haven’t figured out the lines of the garden yet. But the new arborvitae look good.

False garden

I thought I would include a picture here of the back of the garden lady sculpture.  I love the braid.

Garden lady sculpture

That is a tardiva hydrangea in the center.

I’m looking forward to seeing all the day lilies in bloom in July.