A Garden Review of 2014: Summer

Cathy at Words and Herbs began a project last week to review her 2014 garden in three segments: Spring, Summer, and Late Summer/Autumn—one each week running up to Christmas—and she encouraged others to join in. This is part two of my 2014 review, a look back at Summer.

June

In Early June the sight of a gardenia flower opening was especially appreciated. There were very few blooms this year as the bushes had been severely damaged by last winter’s cold.

A Passalong Gardenia jasminoides

A Passalong Gardenia jasminoides- June 5, 2014

Several small evergreen trees in the mixed border hedge had to be removed, leaving some broad gaps in the overall structure (that still need to be filled), but many parts of the garden were doing well. The iris flowers were being replaced by those of nepeta, echinacea and monarda.

Facing West, Overlooking the Northern Border and Meditation Circle

Facing West, Overlooking the Northern Border and Meditation Circle

Nepeta 'Walker's Low' (Catmint)

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

There were several refreshing rains. For the next few days there were a lot of flowers opening. Monitoring them made early morning garden walks delightful. On June 11 Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ added its beautiful salmon hue to the Northern Border.

Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower) in northern border

Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower) in northern border

On June 12, I noticed the first daylily had opened in the Southern Border—a full week earlier than last year. By this time of the summer American Goldfinches could be seen gathering around stalks of Verbena bonariensis, while bees were feasting on lavender and on Monarda didyma and Tradescantia, both native plants. I was happy to see the rich color of Drumstick allium return to the landscape.

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Allium sphaerocephalon (Dumstick allium) [ I had misidentified as Allium Atropurpureum]

Allium sphaerocephalon (Dumstick allium) [ I had misidentified as Allium Atropurpureum]

Feeling very ambitious, I suppose, on June 19 I took a complete inventory of the plantings in my narrow side garden along the Southern Path.

Southern Side Path

Southern Side Path

July

By this month I was pretty much done gardening for the summer and wrote a long excuse about it the third week in July. But thank goodness during this time I continued to photograph the garden, to search out flowers for Monday vases and to write occasional posts. I can see this is where having a better structural foundation for the garden would help carry it through the summer. As it was, long views were not always pleasing during July, but up close there definitely were a few hotspots of color.

In early July, I had some limited success with bachelor buttons grown from seed. I love that blue color. What I most enjoy is to have flowers that return reliably each year such as Shasta Daisy, tall garden phlox and Buddleja.

Centaurea cyanus ‘Blue Boy’  (Bachelor’s Button, Cornflower)

Centaurea cyanus ‘Blue Boy’ (Bachelor’s Button, Cornflower)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)

Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)

Also in the first days of the July I was happy to see a few gladioli flowers. I had planted a new collection of colors (purple, lime green and white), but none of them bloomed well at all. This rich blue one was planted when the garden was first created, and is one of the last remaining gladioli bulbs from that time.

Gladiolus Among Echinacea

Gladiolus Among Echinacea July 2, 2014

Much later in July I welcomed the first Lantana flowers. This plant had died back hard during the cold winter and it took longer than usual to bloom. Once open it was covered in flowers until the first freeze. Similarly, Thyme covered the center of the meditation circle with blooms all summer.

Lantana camara (Common lantana) July 20, 2014

Lantana camara (Common lantana) July 20, 2014

Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz' (Pink chintz thyme)

Thymus serpyllum ‘Pink Chintz’ (Pink chintz thyme)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ did well in a patio container and Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ burst outwhenever the rains tempered the heat, such as on July 23. Several patches of zinnia made a colorful impact.

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' (Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Zinnia In Early Morning Sunshine

Zinnia In Early Morning Sunshine

August

Up to this point, while nearby areas were getting lots of precipitation this summer, we mostly just saw the clouds. More consistent and beneficial rains finally returned to this area in early August. Rudbeckia fulgida (Orange Coneflower) and Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage) responded immediately but neither put on much of a show.

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage) August 6, 2014

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage) August 6, 2014

Storms drenched the garden in midAugust, a welcome relief.

The garden after a storm August 12, 2014

The garden after a storm August 12, 2014

A quick mid-month bloom study showed how the plants appreciated the rain, including the White Swan Echinacea and a new dahlia. My passalong perennial sweet pea enjoyed a comeback that lasted until the first freeze.

Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' (Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

Dahlia

Dahlia

Perennial Everlasting Sweet Pea

Perennial Everlasting Sweet Pea

Later in August Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ began flowering. This is valuable plant for long-lasting effect.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude)

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude)

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude)

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude)

 

For August Garden Bloggers Foliage Day the new-to-the-garden-this-year Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ continued to prove its worth.

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not)

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not)

Thank you to Cathy for hosting this 2014 garden review. It was good to look back and remember overall the summer garden was greener and stronger this summer than usual.

May 31, 2014 marked my 13th year in this garden. I feel fortunate to be able to tend this small, peaceful space, but honestly I rarely spend much time working in the summer garden. Nevertheless, during these hot months the garden had some very nice moments and by summer’s end, I discovered I was rejuvenated and more eager to partner with it once again. Taking a break was worth it.

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16 thoughts on “A Garden Review of 2014: Summer

  1. Cathy

    Lovely to see all your summer treasures again Susie, and I really love that white and pink Zinnia, similar to one I had this summer. I get the feeling that your blog sub-title words “rejuvenation and joy” have taken back their meaning for you at the end of this year. I do hope so anyway. Thanks for joining me again Susie! I’m really enjoying this!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Cathy. I’m enjoying doing a review in conjunction with yours and you’re so right about those special words. I enjoy my garden but sometimes I feel guilty for not wanting to take care of it every day. Blogging helps me keep a hand in it throughout those times when I otherwise would just ignore it totally.

      Reply
  2. Julie

    This is lovely Susie, I haven’t taken enough photographs of my own garden to join in this year, but I am really enjoying seeing how your garden developed. Your garden is gorgeous, your first west facing shot is picture book perfect. I really like the colour of ‘Blue Boy’ and the ‘Adokeep’ Buddleja. I know that feeling too of taking a break and then feeling rejuvenated.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks so much Julie! Blue flowers are so nice, aren’t they? Hope you’re getting your camera ready for next year. Maybe we’ll both be rejuvenated and ready by then.

      Reply
  3. gardeninacity

    Beautiful review of summer. And I am very excited to see that you also have an Adonis Blue Buddleia! You may have already told me, but my memory isn’t what it was. How big does it grow for you, and how long have you had it? I bought it because 1) it was blue; and 2) it’s supposed to be compact. Mine just finished its second season and did pretty well, growing just about 3’x3′ and blooming well if not exuberantly. Next year I expect it to come into its own.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks very much. Good luck with your Adonis Blue. This butterfly bush is about 4-5 feet tall. It doesn’t flower well any more as it gets overtaken by the Swamp Sunflower each year.

      Reply
  4. Annette

    What a thorough review, Susie, and it certainly helps to see things so much clearer when you do it month by month. Your meditation circle is always a great feature and your images reminded me of some plants I’d like to get. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Annette, so glad you enjoyed the review. It proved to be a helpful exercise for gathering my thoughts for moving forward with the garden. Have a good weekend! Susie

      Reply
  5. Christina

    It is lovely to look back to assess the successes and joys of the past season. I am always drawn to your Salvia ‘Black and Blue’, I will certainly try to find one to buy. The photographs are all beautifully clear. Your choices really capture the essence of the space.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you Christina. I’m definitely more excited to look ahead to next year after reviewing the garden’s best moments from this year. Salvia ‘Black and Blue’ did less well this year and I can’t pinpoint why. I think I’m move it around in spring to several new locations for testing. Hope you can find it to try for yourself. The coloration is really good.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Donna. Seeing things from that bird’s eye view is a totally different experience than standing in front of the garden at ground level. I like the abstract look.

      Reply
  6. Pingback: A Garden Review of 2014: Late Summer/Autumn | Words and Herbs

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