Tag Archives: phlox paniculata

Summer And Summer Phlox

Phlox paniculata 'Robert Poore' (Summer Phlox)

Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ (Summer Phlox)

Sunday, June 21, 2015 at 12:39 pm—Summer Solstice ( June Solstice) is today.  The temperature currently is 89 °F (31.7 °C) at 11:00 am, quickly heading toward a high of 99 °F (37 °C).

June 2015 (source: weather underground.com)

June 2015 (source: weatherunderground.com)

The weather continues to be quite a distraction and hindrance to gardening, yet somehow certain plants persevere even when the gardener falls behind. Summer phlox began blooming this week in the western border.

Phlox paniculata 'Robert Poore' (Summer Phlox)

Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ (Summer Phlox)

Phlox paniculata 'Robert Poore' (Summer Phlox)

Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ (Summer Phlox)

Happy Summer!

In A Vase On Monday—Garden Phlox

In A Vase On Monday-Garden Phlox

In A Vase On Monday-Garden Phlox

Another week begins. Time to join Cathy’s challenge In A Vase On Monday. The goal is to fill a vase using materials gathered in one’s own garden.

I have been concerned it would be difficult to put together an arrangement today, but after several dry months we finally received some nice rains and them some more rains, and again more. Weeds are laughing, the grass is green and tall again and yes, some color and vigor have returned to the garden.

Several stands of Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox) are brightening up the western border. I believe this phlox is ‘Robert Poore’ and it practically begged to be used indoors today. I prefer blue or white phlox to this pinkish one, but as often happens, this color is the one that returns year after year without demanding any attention. Other garden phlox are very short-lived in my garden, even the often recommended white one, ‘David.’

In A Vase On Monday-Garden Phlox

In A Vase On Monday-Garden Phlox

These flowers had beautiful long stems but in the end I cut them down to fit a ceramic pot purchased at a local street fair years ago. I used a florist frog to hold each stem in place for this loose, casual design.

I selected silvery foliage to use as filler. A finely-textured, perennial Dusty Miller, almost in bloom, drapes in and out among the cloud-shaped panicles of phlox.

Silver-colored Dusty Miller adds texture.

Silver-colored Dusty Miller adds texture.

Phlox paniculata flowers and leaves of Dusty Miller

Phlox paniculata flowers and leaves of Dusty Miller

Keeping to a limited palette, a few spires of Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) repeat the silver tone and introduce a slight touch of blue.

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) adds a hint of blue

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) adds a hint of blue.

Materials
Dusty Miller
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)
Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox) ‘Robert Poore’ possibly
3-inch Florist Frog

This was a fun arrangement to create. I kept thinking of 1960s bouffant hairdos while I was working on it, so perhaps it is just this side of garish, but I like the bouncy effect. In the end it seemed to find balance.

In A Vase On Monday-Garden Phlox

In A Vase On Monday-Garden Phlox

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

Early July 2014

I have tried to grow Bachelor’s Buttons every few years without success, but this year things improved. A single plant surviving from an entire package of seeds shows yes, one can get results. If I were to water and tend them properly perhaps two next year? The sumptuous blue color is what I find appealing.

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

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

Unlike my experience with seeds, some perennials are terribly assertive and settle in without invitation, crowding out anything in the vicinity. On the left of the back staircase leading to the garden is a large section of Shasta Daisies that spread seemingly overnight from a small container purchased years ago. Some years I am simply delighted with anything that manages to limp along through our dry, hot and humid summers, but this year I find myself thinking these have to go someday.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

When the garden was just getting started I ordered a blue tall garden phlox, but a pink one is what was shipped.

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

In the years before the fence was installed, deer would eat the flowers of this Phlox paniculata just as soon as they opened. It was maddening. Actually the fence is not tall enough to keep deer out if they decide they want a taste, so it still makes me nervous to have these phlox blooming; however, this is another plant that dug in its heels years ago and would not leave even when I tried pulling it all up.

It has made a comeback in several spots and so far the deer are dining elsewhere.  I have planned numerous other garden phlox such as ‘David’ but they are very short-lived, so it is a mystery why this one is so attached to the garden.  I am not positive of its name but think it is ‘Robert Poore’ perhaps, a mildew-resistant and heat tolerant phlox.

Looking toward the northern border - Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Looking toward the northern border – Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Behind the phlox is poorly sited butterfly bush that I pruned back hard in late winter. It turns out this is a dwarf so it does not get a chance to make much impact at the back of the border. It has not bloomed well in several years, but has more room this year to reach the sun after a couple of neighboring spartan junipers had to be removed. Its name is Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis Blue Butterfly Bush).

Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)

Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)

One plant that has done well without taking over is Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes.’ It is right on schedule to brighten the southern corner of the house during July with its golden yellow flowers with green centers. Pollinators love this plant.

Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

This time of year the garden has lost its cohesiveness, but a few things keep determinedly plugging along. The garden very much needs rain.

Early September Observations

On the first day of September a serendipitous sun shower in late afternoon was followed by a quite stormy evening. That night the garden received a refreshing inch of rain. Now a mere week has passed without rain, but the effect on the garden was immediate. All of the borders are browning, shriveling and retreating as plants lose their vigor.

Though the days are still warm, the nights are noticeably cooler and the amount of daylight is decreasing. Responding to these signals, the changes in length of day, temperature and moisture, the garden appears to be receding.

Rarely do I water the garden, but I would like to prolong this year’s flowers a few more weeks. With no rain in the forecast for another five days, I walked out soon after dawn to apply some selective relief. At that early time of day the neighborhood was luxuriously quiet, interrupted only by pleasant birdsong and rich tones from wind chimes catching a gentle breeze.

Cardinals and hummingbirds went on with business as I carried around the hose. As bees have been mostly absent this summer I was surprised to see a large number of bumblebees. Two American Goldfinches, brilliant yellow, each stood atop Purple Coneflower seedpods surveying the bounty.

With the watering done I walked the meditation circle, then used the camera to make notes of the morning.

There still are some flowers to enjoy. The garden has two Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ and one is completely spent, yet the other at the bottom of the southern side path continues to bloom profusely.

Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to Phlox Paniuclata, which thrived with all the rain this summer. No deer bothered jumping the fence to get to it either, a first in many summers.

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)   'Robert Poore'  possibly

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox) ‘Robert Poore’ possibly

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)   'Robert Poore'  possibly

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox) ‘Robert Poore’ possibly

Orange Coneflower is one of the plants that began sagging so much this week without water. One would expect this native plant to be more drought-tolerant than a week.

Rudbeckia fulgida (Orange Coneflower)

Rudbeckia fulgida (Orange Coneflower)

Cleome bloomed well all summer. Though many have dried up and formed numerous seedpods, a few are just beginning to bloom.

Self-portrait with Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Self-portrait with Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Zinnias look bright and colorful against the back fence and draw butterflies to that corner of the garden.

Zinnia

Zinnia

Though many stalks and leaves are now brown, some foliage remains in good shape. Columbine, which had all been cut back after flowering, now has formed gentle mounds in (too) many places. Some of the leaves are taking on a slight reddish tinge.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Baptisia and Artemisia team up nicely along the southern side path. The rains this summer really brought the Baptisia along this year.

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke' and Artemisia 'Powis Castle' (Wormwood)

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ and Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

Autumn Joy Sedum began blooming abundantly this week, making its little section of the garden seem quite happy.

View of Mediation Circle with Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude) (Stonecrop)

View of Mediation Circle with Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude) (Stonecrop)

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude) (Stonecrop)

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude) (Stonecrop)

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude) (Stonecrop)

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude) (Stonecrop)

Sensing A Shift

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)


In unguarded moments and despite the heat, a portent of autumn occasionally drifts through the air and into my consciousness. For now the garden remains green and lush, but the light is changing and days are shortening. I sense a seasonal shift.

For the last few weeks the garden has carried on without much tending, but I am beginning to feel its tug. A few hours of trimming and weeding this week will revive its most sagging aspects.

This has been a happy year for gardening. Phlox paniculata has brought color to the western border for seven weeks, confirming memories from my previous garden that given the absence of deer and drought, Garden Phlox is invaluable for the summer garden.

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ has towered over the garden’s southern entrance most cheerfully since the end of June, though sadly few pollinators have been around this year to benefit.

Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

For several weeks now Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ has added its specific light green color and texture to the northern border. It seems primed to put on a good show of fall color.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude) (Stonecrop)

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude) (Stonecrop)

In the late summer of years when rains have been adequate, Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily) begins a display of beauty and lemony fragrance. It is exciting then to note the first orchid-like flower has emerged. Raindrops coat the shiny leaves after a fleeting shower this afternoon.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Late June — Ahead Of The Heat Wave

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox) used to be a garden highlight at this time of year in my previous garden, but foraging deer like it way too much here in this garden. So a couple of years ago I finally just removed all the Garden Phlox, except that a piece here and there still shows up occasionally. As soon as the errant phlox starts to bloom it is snapped up by deer with an eerily keen sense of knowing. This happened just last week, but this morning held a nice surprise. I spotted several phlox that managed to bloom and not be eaten.

Despite a very late planting ten Allium ‘Drumstick’  bulbs are beginning to form flowers on rather thin 24-inch stalks. These are very small, one-inch flowers and look very charming. The bulbs were a gift and were purchased at Biltmore House in Asheville, NC.  The package states these have been in cultivation since 1766 and are deer-resistant.

Allium ‘Drumstick’

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ is nearly 5 feet tall now and seems so, so close to blooming, just as the weather forecast is for a few days of excessively high temperatures and high humidity. Today’s 87° F. will give way and move toward extremes, reaching 105° F. on Saturday and Sunday.

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Meditation Circle

The entrance to the labyrinth in the meditation circle was still in shadow during this morning’s garden stroll. In the foreground spent spires of Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ jut in every direction.  Last year I did not cut them back after blooming, but this summer I plan to try deadheading it (soon). This penstemon is still blooming and should continue throughout the summer, but certainly not as prolifically as a month ago.

The low-growing Thymus x citriodorus (Silver Edge Thyme) has yet to bloom, but it was in flower last year on May 5.  The last few weeks a little bunny has been nibbling at it a bit. I am considering planting more thyme to fill the central area surrounding the gazing ball. This Silver Edge Thyme did not impress during the winter but it now looks very healthy.

In the circle’s center well-behaved mounds of Iberis sempervirens ‘Purity’ (Candytuft) are green and lush, with the newest ones added this spring almost catching up in size with those planted last year.  Around part of  the outer edge the annual, Angelonia ‘Blue,’ adds intense summer color next to a few specimens of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red.’

Meditation Circle

Late Winter Garden Notes

Several clusters of cheery daffodils enliven the garden. Adding more spring bulbs, (especially daffodils which the deer resist) would be an easy improvement to make. Usually when it is time to order and plant bulbs I tend to be focused elsewhere. This is a reminder to myself to really do it this fall—plant more Spring bulbs.

By this time last year I had been very active in the garden, planning the garden renovation, pruning, tidying around the perennials, installing a hedge. I have logged many fewer hours this year. Although the need is strong, discipline is lacking. Garden tasks abound. There are weeds to pull, pruning and trimming chores and general cleanup to perform, as well as some paths to redesign, more screening plants to choose and a replacement to locate for the Arizona Cypress that died last year. Note to self: get busy on these projects.

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Actually two items can be checked off my task list this week. I planted six or seven Rose campions a thoughtful neighbor potted up and saved for me after I lamented that my magenta ones died out several years ago. The garden has many white ones thriving that were planted from seed, but I had missed the red. These three were placed near a lavender, spiderwort and irises.

Penstemon 'Huskers Red'

Another chore completed recently was to finally plant several perennials purchased a couple of weeks ago.  Five Phlox subulata (Creeping Phlox) were added to a front section of the western border.  Many things there had died out over the years, leaving behind mostly a sad area of mulch, so the phlox will add color in Spring and will be mostly evergreen.

Three Penstemons ‘Huskers Red’  went into the meditation circle at turn-around points. The purpose is to provide some visual guidance (and a physical barrier) to clarify where to step next along the labyrinth.

Camellia x `Coral Delight` (C. japonica x C. saluenensis)

The label that came with this Camellia ‘Coral Delight’ indicates flowers should appear December to February. Planted in 2006 on the north side of the house, it actually blooms around March 20th each year. So many plants are opening ahead of schedule this year, it will be interesting to see if that date will hold.

Perhaps a Trout Lily?

In late December I transplanted this mottled-leafed plant and its mossy accompaniment from its home under a beautiful tea camellia at my sister’s house.  Upon seeing it, the name Trout Lily came to mind, but so far I have not found a picture that matches these reddish leaves—trout lilies seem to have green leaves with a mottled pattern.  Time will tell if it will bloom so it can be identified.