Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Middle of August

I guess it's time for another post. Sheesh. It's been almost a week. The time just flies by anymore, doesn't it? We've continued to have superb summer weather here in western Oregon. I think it's hit 90 degrees twice all summer, here in my neck of the woods; even cooler up north in Portland and in Washington. You got to love that.

I took a few photos yesterday and this morning that I thought I'd boast about for a minute, if you'll indulge me.

 My Clemmy 'Polish Spirit' is more purple than is depicted in this rather blue rendition. Funny, two years ago, I dug this plant up and moved it to the other side of the garden but apparently there was just enough root left behind and now this one is just as big as the moved one. Anyway, it has tangling itself around my deck railing and into containers and a nearby rosebush and Rose of Sharon and... you get the idea.

Happy Hollyhocks.

Now I've seen some of your butterfly photographs so I know my photo is far from being award-worthy but I thought I'd post it anyway. You see it's a miracle I got it at all, considering my impatience coupled with the fact that there are so few butterflies in my neck of the woods to begin with. Well, when I saw this guy and just happened to have my camera, I homed in on it and voila. It's a miracle especially since the little guy kept flapping his wings like he was on a serious sap-gathering mission, which I'm sure he was and wasn't at all interested in modeling or becoming famous.

It's time for one of my favorite plants to strut his stuff. Say hello to Joe...Pye that is.

I'm laughing because this is supposed to be the cultivar, 'LITTLE Joe' but, somebody forgot to tell him.

This is Verbena hastata a less-popular cousin of the famed Verbena bonariensis or "Verbena-on-a-stick."

Mid-August is also time for the Sedums to start blushing.  I've got bunches of them but I don't know all of their names because I mix them up and move them and forget who I put where.

My Phlox paniculata are happy. This one is 'Starfire.' I like it juxtaposed with the spiky Persicaria 'Firetail' and foliage from Thalictrum delaveyi.

And speaking of which, this is my Thalictrum d. in flower. Such a sweet little thang... 

And speaking of sweet little thangs, here is my youngest daughter's kitten who came to visit us last weekend. Don't you just love kittens?

By the way, if you're interested you can see a short, YouTube promo video for the book, The Moment I Knew, of which I am proud to say I'm a part of, due out on August 26th. (See sidebar for more information.)


  1. Bragging rights well-earned and granted. The thalictrum is going on my wish list.
    When I clicked on your link for the UTube trailer, I got a "not found" message. You will let us know when and where we can order the book?

  2. Thank you for the sweet hollyhock pic: I love all those old garden annuals. You are right to "brag" about your delightful August garden. It's looking wonderful! And the kitten is perfect last word (purr?)

  3. Oh, I do love kittens! Your daughter's is adorable.

    I have Little Joe too, and like yours, it doesn't know it is supposed to be little. It is taller than me, which isn't saying much, since I'm only 5'2". But still, it's not supposed to get even that tall.

    Kudos on getting a butterfly picture. I have a hard time with them too. I have loads of hummers, but very few butterflies here.

  4. How fortunate for you that you left behind a piece of the Clematis root! Tangled mess is beautiful. What not rust on your Hollyhocks? Great color. Love all Phlox, don't know Joe have seen him around though. Interesting Verbena, my sedums are showing a little color..I think I need to move them and what a great photo of the Thalicturm d. don't know it either. Photographing butterflies is challenging you capture a good one...love your grandkitty!

    Watched the YouTube Video, this book sounds very powerful.

  5. I happen to be redesigning a bed just this moment with most of these flowers and it's nice to see how they can look together. I wouldn't have considered putting the Joe Pye and Prairie Mallow together, but it's a good combination. Also, my dark sedums look great with my Strawberry Candy dayliles, if you haven't tried that.

  6. Yes, your Little Joe did not get the memo.LOL! It is a beautiful plant this time of the year. Your sedums are sooo pretty. I adore Starfire phlox.Such a sweet deep pink. Great shot of the Butterfly Grace. That is how I got the Hummingbird moth. I just happened to walk upon it while I had the camera. LOL!

  7. That is a very sweet looking kitten!
    We planted Polish Spirit last year, what a great clematis. That thalictrum is gorgeous. Phlox are so nice this time of year, I've been planting more of them. Love that red one of yours.

  8. What a sweet little kitten! My mother-in-law recently got a new kitten as well...she's a firecracker! Your garden is just gorgeous! I love all those sedums...I have such sporadic luck with them...some do great, others just don't...even the same version planted near each other...1 will thrive and the others just flop. I have 'Little Joe' as well and it still gets pretty tall...but nowhere near as big as the others...then again, I think the site makes a big difference...don't you adore the red stems!

  9. Some more plants to add to my list of must haves. I love to see them in the garden, because it gives me a better idea of their growth habits.

    What a adorable kitten, I am leaning towards a grey cat next, but if fate has anything to do with it, we will take what decides to come and live with us.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  10. Grace these photos are beautiful, the first one was love at first sight. The hollyhock is a true stunner with that amazing color.
    Nice capture of the butterfly, I've noticed one flying around but it never settles in the yard.

  11. Grace girl .. I am such a "Joe" fan I have just two types for now but what a hoot that your Little Joe is not so darn LITTLE !
    You are way ahead of me when it comes to butterfly shots .. I have none now for almost two years or more .. I don't know what it is but they SCRAM if I come out in the garden .. maybe I am too annoying ?
    All of your plants look gorgeous .. I think they appreciate the cooler weather like we do !
    Joy : )
    PS .. I am writing an e-mail !

  12. Grace.

    Your pinks and purples are wonderful. I had to pull out Polish Spirit a couple of years ago, too spirited for my small garden. Those sedums are beautiful, mine have not started to turn colir yet.


  13. Grace, I think this year is special for Joe Pye Weed. Mine is SO tall, I need to look at the sky to see its flowers!
    P.S I thought my niece'll go to OSU and one day while visiting her I'll come see you. She chose UO! So, Eugene will be my place to visit.

  14. You must have the bluest garden of all the ones I visit on the web! Even your sedum Matrona seems to have a purple/blue cast.
    It all seems so lush and green and healthy---in the MIDDLE of AUGUST!! Yours looks so incredibly different than any garden in the midwest. I surely must visit the NorthWest someday.
    The kitten matches the couch!
    **did you get my mail, yet??**

  15. Your polish spirit clematis looks a lot like mine. I need to pay closer attention to the names of things :)

    The kittie looks a little psycho :)

    He must be looking at a bug

  16. I just love that combination in the first picture! Pure magic.
    Your Thalictrum is gorgeous.
    As is that sweet little kitten!

  17. Looking gorgeous there Grace! It's sooo nice to have Summer weather finally, eh?

  18. Great garden shots. I love Joe-Pye Weed, really need to remember him next spring! I have the room for big Joe, but will be happy with little Joe.

  19. That first photo is such a nice vignette of plants and colors, even if it's too blue as you say! We've been enjoying the weather lately, too, with highs in the mid-80's and night temps falling 30 degrees each night. Very refreshing, yet warm enough in the afternoon for the kids to enjoy our little blow-up pool. I don't envy those in the South this time of year!

  20. Oh Grace...lovely garden shots, especially love the colors in the first photo! Looks like your garden has had a lovely summer.
    Adorable kitty!
    I have learned in order to get good photos of butterflies and Dragonflies, it makes a big difference if you approach from straight behind them so they don't see you.
    I was able to get the Dragon fly shot in my post "A few of my favorite things" (August) by coming in straight from behind him.
    It took me quite a few tries til I figured this out! lol


  21. After our hot, dry summer, I'm just drooling over your beautiful flowers!

    The kitten is precious; such a pretty color.

  22. Yeah I'm putting the Thalictrum on my wish list too! Your garden is full of gorgeous bloomers. :)

  23. Love all the pinks and purples in your garden! You are right about "Polish Spirit" - it's much deeper purple in real life. Must get me some Joe Pye for my back border.

  24. As usual Grace your flowers are absolutely gorgeous. I love your Joe Pye weed, the verbena and the sedums. WOW!

    Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

  25. Hello Grace,
    It is truly lovely to visit your garden! You have marvelous color this year! We've experienced record highs and drought - the few blooms I have had these past couple of months I am truly grateful for! Blogging has helped me keep track of what blooms when and remind me of when things were full of blooms! Love the kitty - my daughter and neighbor have adopted 3 - they live outdoors and are great garden companions! I hope you have a great day, -your newest follower!

  26. Dear Grace,
    Your garden is gorgeous.....
    I do love your Tiger Swallowtail. Gardening for the bugs is why I do what I do.
    For me a bloom without a bug is a lonely bloom.
    My daughter lives in Portland, Or.
    Amazing weather year round.....
    Kitten is charming....
    I do love kittens too.
    Looking forward to "The Moment I Knew You".

  27. What a great multiplying clematis-- Like getting a surprise present! It looks so happy just wandering. And I love that you get the names of the sedums mixed up: Here's to Confusion! (A way of life for some of us.) I like the butterfly but it's the kitty portrait to frame...In conclusion: YAY BOOK!

  28. I love seeing pictures of your garden. It's looking gorgeous and looks like is thriving in this weather! We planted a couple of Joe Pye 'Phantom' this summer and my husband and youngest daughter think that Joe Pye is the funniest name for a plant. When we're outside they always ask about Joe Pye :)

  29. pretty pretty colors!

    Not a pet lover, but yeah, that little kitty would break me down.


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