Over the Moon for Moonflowers

In my previous post I mentioned that my moonflowers (datura) were cascading over the crushed limestone pathway.  We’ve had lots of rain here in West Michigan, and the moonflowers keep growing.  I love this rambunctious shrubby plant.  First, it almost completely disappears when the frost hits. The leaves shrivel and die, leaving thick twisted and woody stalks that look more like branches from a fallen tree than the stalks of a flowering plant.  Each spring I have a momentary lapse of faith in my moonflowers, thinking they did not survive the winter.  In fact, this spring I bought a plant.  But each year I finally see a tiny green wrinkled leaf emerge.  It grows from the roots.  And before long, the plant is three feet tall and sending out huge folded buds that unfurl into beautiful white trumpets the size of large saucers.

Moonflower (Datura)

Oddly, the plant I bought this spring is still small.  The tiny wrinkled leaf that emerged after I plunked that other plant into its space is at least twice the size.  This means the crushed limestone path is in double trouble.  The moonflowers are planted in a large island with a limestone path on each side.  I suppose I could trim the things back.  A prim and proper gardener would tame that plant.  Sigh.

And moonflowers are fragrant.  So, between the phlox, the purple petunias, the Fragrant Angel Coneflowers and the moonflowers, my garden bears its sweetest scents after the sun goes down.

The Unruly Moonflower

I really noticed the petunias this evening.  They suddenly filled in.  I wish the red petunias that I planted in front of the boxwood in the front yard would fill in like that.  This is the last year I will plant them.  I love the red, but they just don’t look the way I want them to.  I’m going back to marigolds.

I do love the purple petunias for their scent and for that wonderful velvety texture.

This picture makes them look bluer than they really are.  This clump sits in front of two Blue Knight Caryopteris.  You’d think I’d learn not to go overboard with the caryopteris.  They love my gravely soil and will crowd out the Annabelle Hydrangea.  I will need to remedy that situation next spring.


Sadly, the day lilies are fading.  I have lots of stalks to cut.  Strawberry Candy has completely finished.  The deep red day lily has a few buds left, but a number of stalks are finished.  First Knight is still going strong, as is Storm of the Century.  I’ve decided to transplant Lavender Doll.  The flowers are too small.  I need something that can hold its own with the Tardiva Hydrangea–something as strong as the deep red lily below.

Deep Red Day Lily with Tardiva

Bloom Day, July 15, 2010

Moonbeam Coreopsis and Petunia

Canna and an Gladiola That Survives Every Winter

Petunias in Front of Caryopteris in Front of Annabelle Hydrangea

A Few Geranium Blooms in Front of Variegated Caryopteris

Ruby Stella Daylily in Front of Caryopteris

Rosey Returns Daylily in Front of Limelight Hydrangea

Old Rose of Sharon

Red Carpet Rose

Julia Child Rose

Kim's Knee High Echinacae with Catmint and Guara


Rhapsody in Blue Rose

Veronica Spicata Sunny Border Blue

(far left) Crystal Pinot, (left) Dark Red Daylily, (center) Lemon Daylily Left by Previous Owner, (bottom) Lavender Stardust, (far right) First Knight

Tardiva Hydrangea

Various Coreopsis, with Kim's Knee High and Fragrant Angel Coneflower, and Phlox Paniculata David in Back


Rose Campion, Zagreb Coreopsis, Salvia in Front of Liatris Spicata Floristan White

Barbara Mitchell Daylily

Prairie Blue Eyes Daylily

Mac and Cheese Coneflower

White Mandeville

Cannas and Hidcote Lavender

Abraham Darby David Austin Rose

Bumblebee and Honeybee on Fragrant Angel Coneflower

Callie the Calico

August Abundance

I postponed decisions about what to do at the corner of the garage after I had an old lilac removed.  I put in some annuals and two caryopteris.  If the other caryopteris in my garden are any indication, the two new ones will be huge next year.  P1010267 The alyssum certainly took off!

The dark blue is an annual salvia that I put in a number of places.  I like it, but I won’t use so much of it again.  It competes with the other blues and from a distance looks like lavender. And caryopteris is so wonderful.  See my two very larger caryteris plants below.

Bluebeard Caryopteris, August 09

Bluebeard Caryopteris, August 09

In fact, I may move one of them next spring.  I can’t see the white dome hydrangeas behind the second plant.

Speaking of hydrangeas, the tardiva is doing beautifully.   It was one of the first things I planted in the secret garden.  I didn’t really pay attention at the time to how big tardivas can get.  My day lilies could be in danger!

Tardiva, August 09

Tardiva, August 09

Lily season is just about over, but Storm of the Century is still giving out blooms.  This may be one of my favorites, though it may be too soon to tell. Some of the newer lilies won’t bloom until next year.  Below, tardiva and storm of the century nestle next to each other.

Tardiva and Storm of the Century, August 09

Tardiva and Storm of the Century, August 09