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Summer Flowers: GBBD, July 2013

July 16, 2013

goatsbeard & astilbeIn my Maine garden, summer of 2013 has brought alternating periods of rain and unusual heat. (We have already surpassed the average number of days per year with temperatures of 90F or higher, and it is only mid-July.) We  are currently experiencing another period of heat; it feels like summer, and summer flowers are blooming.

In the Deck Border (see above), flowers of Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus) and Astilbe are on display, accompanied by soft pink blooms of Geranium x oxonianum and by dense white inflorescences on varieties of Hosta tokudama (as in ‘Love Pat’, shown here).

pink g. oxonianum love pat & geranium

In the unusual heat, some plants that would normally bloom all summer long in the cool Maine climate seem to be going dormant. I am particularly aware that Tradescantia (spiderwort) are not blooming as profusely as they normally would, although a few are still flowering each day. Here we can see ‘Osprey’ blooming with Astilbe in the Deck Border and ‘Danielle’ blooming in the Circular Bed.

astilbe & osprey circular bed blooms

Daylilies are not at all affected by the heat, and this is the month when they are in their glory.

daylily front strip

A row of orange, yellow and red flowers greets those who venture this far up my dirt road.

Front daylilies 2013

The daylily display has not yet reached its peak. As of today, 15 of the more than 40 varieties in my garden are currently in bloom, including these three in the Circular Bed:

Circular Bed daylilies

The old-fashioned orange daylilies (Hemerocallis fulva) that I planted along the driveway at the edge of the woods a number of years ago are beginning to naturalize and are making a very nice display this year.

driveway daylilies

daylilies & delphinium In the Blue and Yellow Border, yellow daylilies are blooming with delphiniums.

Blue & Yellow Daylilies 2013

Blue Delphiniums

The Fence Border is in a bit of a holding pattern at this time of year. The big display of Geranium x cantabrigiense is over, while the daylilies, veronica and tall rudbeckia have not yet begun to bloom. The show-stealer here is Clematis ‘Comtesse de Bouchaud’ who is beginning to cover the fence with her lovely mauve flowers. clematis on fence

As intended, the Serenity Garden provides a cool green oasis of foliage amid the riot of color in the July garden.

serenity july 2013

The foliage is accompanied by the quiet blooms of Astrantia major and by a pop of color provided by flowers of Geranium x ‘Patricia’ among the ferns.

serenity astrantia patricia & ferns

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see what’s in bloom this month in gardens around the world.

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37 Comments leave one →
  1. July 16, 2013 7:01 am

    We’re having the same weather, and it has been a challenge all around. Love your gardens. Our daylilies are in full bloom also. Hopefully next week we get a little break in the weather. 🙂

    • July 18, 2013 9:09 pm

      Judy, Daylilies are such stalwarts — perkily blooming even when we are wilting! We had a little break in the weather today when a strong sea breeze kicked in, even making it 25 miles inland where I am. At 3:00 p.m., the temperature was 90. A little after 4:00, I happened to glance at the thermometer and it was 78!! I immediately opened all the windows and took my book and iced tea out to the deck to enjoy the cool. They’re promising gorgeous weather on Sunday and Monday. I think this is the longest stretch of hot, humid weather I remember from all my years living in Maine.

      • garden337 permalink
        July 20, 2013 1:26 pm

        Our 90 degree weather broke last night and today it is in the low 80’s. And, the humidity has dropped. You know how I love daylilies. And today I noticed some empty scapes which means some of the early bloomers are starting to wind down. I wish I liked Stella D’Oros better. They have such a wonderfully long season. That, of course, is why they are so popular and why I see them at McDonalds, banks, strip malls, etc. And, it’s why I have not planted any in my gardens.

        • July 20, 2013 1:52 pm

          Nancy, That weather is supposed to get here tonight. I can barely wait!! A heat wave that lasts a full week is very unusual here, and I have several garden projects that I need to get back on track after that one-week delay.

          Is ‘Happy Returns’ available in your area? It is similar in size and habit to ‘Stella D’Oro’ but has a softer lemon yellow flower that is slightly ruffled and not recurved. I have it growing in both my Maine and Gettysburg gardens, and I sometimes refer to it as the “energizer bunny” of daylilies — it just keeps going and going until frost.

  2. July 16, 2013 7:54 am

    90 degrees in Maine! You might as well be in North Carolina – like you, we’ve had nothing but rain followed by heat. Having said that, everything looks lovely in your garden. I love the Astrantia and wish I could grow it here. But I think it’s too hot.

    • July 18, 2013 9:15 pm

      Sarah, We usually get some 90+ days each summer (typically 3-4), but not this many and not this many in a row! Even so, it’s still cooler in Maine than it is on the rest of the eastern seaboard. The big challenge here is that, because hot weather is relatively rare, many people (including me) don’t have air conditioning. I’ve been using the old-fashioned system of opening every window in the house wide at night and then closing them all up in the morning when the outside temp = the inside temp and not opening them again until evening when the outside temp once again gets down to the inside temp. This works really well for 2-3 days, but the house starts out a little warmer each morning and gets a little warmer each afternoon than the day before. Only 2 more days of this and then we’re supposed to get overnight lows in the 50s — “good sleeping weather” as they say here.

  3. July 16, 2013 1:08 pm

    There was a record heat wave when I was in SF, so this seems to be a summer for heat waves in unusual places. Love your astilbe/Aruncus combo!

    • July 18, 2013 9:17 pm

      Jason, It does seem to be a summer for widespread heat waves. I hope the one here will be over soon. I love the astilbe/Aruncus combo, too. The goatsbeard has gone by now, but that ‘Ostrich Plume’ astilbe is still going strong.

  4. July 16, 2013 2:29 pm

    Jean, your garden looks just lavish! I like all of the images, but my favorite is the one of the fence with mauve clematis climbing, Here in Mallorca temperatures are rising but normal this year compared to last one and we are starting the peak of summer.

    • July 18, 2013 9:31 pm

      Lula, Since our heat has alternated with lots of rain, everything is growing like crazy (except the plants that aren’t heat-tolerant, which are going dormant); so, yes, things look lush and green. This is the first year that the Clematis on the fence has put on such a good display of flowers, so I’m thrilled (and looking forward to even more flowers next year!).

  5. July 16, 2013 7:55 pm

    I’m sorry to hear that the northeast has been plagued by a prolonged period of high temps this year. I hope the rain takes some of the edge off without drowning your summer plants. Despite the heat, your garden looks wonderful! The daylilies are clearly happy. And I envy your delphiniums – at best we can grow them as annuals and they generally do poorly even when so treated.

    • July 18, 2013 9:36 pm

      Kris, I consider myself lucky to live in a climate where plants like delphinium and peonies grow happily. My delphiniums did not do well at all last year, so I was happy to see most come back strong this year. The only frustration is that they go by so much more quickly in the heat. We had thunderstorms with some heavy rain last night, and when I went out this morning, I found several delphinium spires whose stems had bent over under the weight, leaving the flowers pointing at the ground — a good excuse to cut them and bring them into the house, where it is cooler and they will last a bit longer.

  6. Nell Jean permalink
    July 16, 2013 10:03 pm

    In hot and humid here, Delphiniums would already have fainted and fallen over, if we were brave enough to plant them. Yours look great.

    Your yellow daylilies are so pretty. I have only one yellow that blooms for any length of time. I spread it around like marmalade.

    • July 18, 2013 9:38 pm

      Nell Jean, Yellow is my favorite color, and I have more than a dozen different varieties of yellow daylilies. I try to plant them in groups with different bloom times to make them last longer.

  7. July 16, 2013 11:29 pm

    Jean, your delphiniums are lovely. I don’t have any luck growing them in my gardens. So glad that you’ve shared yours.

    • July 18, 2013 9:39 pm

      Joene, I never know for sure how the delphiniums will do, but this was a good year for most of them. They make me very happy, and sometimes I get a second flush of blooms in September.

  8. July 17, 2013 9:06 pm

    Your serenity garden is really starting to fill in! great job. We are having the strangest weather, super hot and then cold then back to hot. Dry though which isn’t great.

    • July 18, 2013 9:41 pm

      Marguerite, We’ve been having the same super hot weather (or super hot by Maine and maritime standards), but here it has alternated with rain — actually good conditions for many plants, just not so good for the gardener! 😦

  9. July 18, 2013 5:42 am

    What a stunning serenity garden – the variety of colours in the daylillys is beautiful and the delphiniums look great. I can’t wait to see the pictures once everything has bloomed.

  10. July 18, 2013 10:22 am

    Hi Jean, it is hot, hot, hot here! Not the time to be in the garden doing any sort of project, but certainly sitting somewhere in the shade enjoying the blooms. Your delphiniums are beautiful! I have always been afraid to try growing delphiniums – why? I don’t really know. I love your combination of goat’s beard and astilbe. Although I have the same combo my goat’s beard blooms earlier and is followed by the astilbe. The Osprey you gave me is in high bloom. I enjoy it so much!

    • July 18, 2013 9:45 pm

      Kathy, Osprey seems to be holding up better in the heat than my other Tradescantia. It’s hard not to love this plant: it’s beautiful, self-sows readily, forms big clumps quickly, and is not at all fussy about its growing conditions. When I see your big clump blooming in your photos, it makes me smile.

  11. July 18, 2013 3:34 pm

    This weather is oppressive. My stepmother and I went to Camden for the Camden house and garden tour. It was amazing. Required an overnight stay.

    • July 18, 2013 9:48 pm

      Carolyn, You know it’s bad when it’s oppressive on the islands! Did you get the cooling sea breeze this afternoon? About 4:00 p.m. here, the temperature dropped from 90 into the 70s. It’s supposed to get hot again tomorrow, but they’re promising real relief on Sunday. I can’t wait. Meanwhile, I’m grateful to have a one-story house, where the bedroom doesn’t get unbearably hot.

  12. July 19, 2013 6:18 pm

    I love how the Astilbe and Aruncus in the first pic have such similar form, but different color…brilliant pairing!

  13. July 21, 2013 6:40 pm

    I love your Clematis ‘Comtesse de Bouchaud’, and one has to love those day lilies that can take whatever heat summer brings! Your serenity garden is looking good. The geranium is the perfect pop of color there.

    • July 22, 2013 9:17 pm

      Deb, I have one red daylily that bleeds in the rain and ends up looking like a beige dishrag. Most daylilies, though, can take rain or sun or cool or heat and still look perky.

  14. July 21, 2013 8:11 pm

    I love this time of year in your garden with the blues and yellows and oranges..especially your daylilies.

    • July 22, 2013 9:18 pm

      Donna, You know I’m nuts for the daylilies. While the delphinium are just about done for this year (they didn’t last long in last week’s heat), the blue balloon flowers are just beginning to open.

  15. July 22, 2013 8:47 am

    Jean, everything looks so pretty! (despite the heat)
    I just started a blog about my garden and posted some day lilies, too. Yours are gorgeous! I’m going to enjoy following your blog, for sure 😉 I like the set up of your page. I need to figure how how to do that. Happy gardening!

    • July 22, 2013 9:20 pm

      Ginny, I remember finding the WordPress templates a bit intimidating when I first started blogging. I use a template with one sidebar (which I think you can also do with your template). You can then use widgets to place things in the sidebar.

  16. July 22, 2013 4:58 pm

    Jean – I’ve never liked day lilies (flowers are pretty enough, not sure why I’ve disliked them!). But when I read what you’ve written, I’m changing my mind. They seem both beautiful and tough – what’s not to like! Thanks for your garden …

    • July 22, 2013 9:23 pm

      Cathy, One of my friends dislikes daylilies because she says they’re “too fussy.” What she means by this is that they can look messy if they’re not deadheaded every day. I don’t consider the deadheading a chore. I like to walk around my garden every morning with my first mug of tea of the day; deadheading as I go is just a way to get me to slow down and look at everything closely, and I find it a very pleasurable activity.

  17. July 23, 2013 3:39 pm

    Hi Jean, I’m enjoying your daylily pictures and your delphinium flowers look gorgeous too, such a rich deep colour. I see you’ve got a nod to the Astrantia there too (mine’s now beginning to go to seed). A question has just popped into my head, and that is, how do you propagate daylilies? Do they go to seed and do they have a rhizome that can be split (like iris?).

    • July 23, 2013 4:08 pm

      Sunil, Daylilies are usually propagated by division (except by breeders who are trying to create new cultivars from seed), and they are very easy to divide. The roots look a lot like clumps of carrots, and they are quite easy to pull apart. I’ve also found that they’re not particularly fussy about when they are divided. I have bought plants that were dug up and divided while they were in bloom and that went on blooming without missing a beat after the division was planted in a new location.

  18. July 24, 2013 10:55 am

    Between all the rain and heat, I’ve never seen a summer like this one. As you mentioned, the day lilies are thriving…I’ve never seen so many blooms.

    • July 24, 2013 9:15 pm

      Karen, I’m hoping that this summer’s weather is not our “new normal.” It’s very reassuring to see the daylilies, at least, thriving.

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