Monday, August 18, 2014

No Shortage of Blossoms!

This morning I got a really nice surprise. As I stepped outside, I was overcome with one of my favorite floral fragrances--Gardenia! My 'Frost Proof' Gardenia had, not one, not two, not three, but four blossoms! How cool is that? I picked one to bring inside; such a heavenly fragrance. This is its second year in my garden and I can't say enough good things about it. So, I'll just go with a clever, "Gardenia. It's not just for the tropics anymore." 

Here is the first blossom getting ready to bloom. 
The Four O'Clocks (Mirabilis jalapa) I started from seed in April are blooming like crazy now. Here is a late-afternoon photo showing how the blossoms unfurl from their center. Little works of art, aren't they? 

Here they are, fully opened. 

Here, they're mingling with Garlic chives (Allium tuberosum
 Another fun plant I grew from seed is what I call "The Pink Dandelion." It's actually Crepis rubrum.

It's an annual and the plants are already looking tired but
I like the flowers. 

One of my new Dahlias. I can't recall the name. 
Sedum 'Touchdown Teak' is blooming. The flowers are not all that impressive... to humans. The bees, on the other hand, find it irresistible.

Sedum 'Touchdown Teak,' before the bees were awake. 

Many of my Phlox are finishing up but this one, 'Norah Leigh' with variegated foliage,
is going strong. 

'Becky Towe' is another variegated Phlox.
It's just finishing up. 

I keep taking photos of Hydrangea serrata 'Omacha Nishiki'
because at every stage since leafing out in early spring,
 it has been a knockout. 

See how the bracts turn downward and take on that deep burgundy color?
Love it. 
More than once, I've made the mistake of planting Nepeta nervosa 'Pink Cat' in dry soil under full sun. Wrong! This little guy likes moisture and semi-shade, at least in my garden. Finally, I'm learning. 

Nepeta nervosa 'Pink Cat' (Not exactly pink, but close.) 
I had to get a close up shot of these tiny flowers. 
These, admittedly girly-girl Fuchsias are one of my many purchases from Fry Road--the GO TO nursery for hardy Fuchsias.
'Walz Jubelteen' the quintessential girly-girl Fuchsia. And I love it. 

Right next to the hardy Fuchsia is this urn of Sempervivums. Look closely at the Interloper.

Johnny Jump-Ups pop up in the strangest places.
Note the tiny crab spider. 

Lonicera x heckrottii  'Gold Flame'  has finally outwitted the aphids. 

Ditto for L. x h. 'Pink Lemonade' 

Anemone japonica 'Pamina' is blooming early this year. 

The Sedums are also starting to bloom. 

Lovely, lovely!

I've been watering my Monarda didyma 'Raspberry Wine' and lookie that!
Despite being knocked over by some strange midnight visitor, intruder, it still looks nice. 

I bought a replacement Abutilon 'Nabob' (From Fry Road) after losing my previous five year old one
over the winter.
This was just a wee plug when I got it in April and now it's going on four feet tall.  

Another plant I keep showing you all is my Rudbeckia hirta 'Cherry Brandy.'
They're sooooo pretty! 

And finally,
I should have put a penny on this Castor Plant leaf so you could get an idea of how huge it is. 

I hope you all are enjoying your gardens as much as I am. 


  1. Oh, Grace - I couldn't pick a favorite from your your many, many blossoms. Since I stick with some basic perennials, I miss the wonderful variety that you get to look at EVERY day! I think it's been a good summer season for flowers, don't you?

  2. Oh my gosh! Every time you show pics of your gardens it's like visiting a new garden. You have so many absolutely beautiful blooms. I really loved that 4 o'clock, never have seen that color before.

    Thank you, thank you for showing all the beauty that surrounds you there.


  3. Yes, I do enjoy your garden! I'm also seeing things I'd like to try in my flower beds.

  4. Gosh Grace, everything looks splendiforous! And WOW, that Fuschia and the Hydrangea are stunning. Wish I could grow Gardenias; I always seem to kill them. Yours is beautiful and so healthy.

  5. I love the determined little interloper among the Sempervivum! Thanks for the reference to Nepeta 'Pink Cat's' preferred growing conditions - I felt like a failure when I planted it here in full sun (per the label), only to have it die almost immediately.

  6. That gardenia. I think I need one.

    Seems like you have quite a lot of PINK-- all pretty Gracie!

  7. Gosh, I had forgotten all about four o'clocks. Thanks for the reminder, and for all the pretty pictures.

  8. Grace, I needed a refreshing break from writing on my memoir today, and this post was it! Such lovelies you have. I especially enjoyed seeing the Four O'clocks. My parents used to grow them decades ago, and I haven't seen any in ages. Nice trip to the past. Thanks for a lovely garden tour. It's always a delight!

  9. I think I need to go back to Oregon so I can tour your garden. FABUUUULOUS! I love that fuschia next to the variegated geranium leaves. And that viola in the hens and chicks? Intrepid little thing! Love it!

  10. That Gardenia …pretty wonderful ! I'll be looking out for that one !

  11. Wow, so much beauty there, Grace! I don't know where to start. The Gardenia is so pretty and I can only imagine the scent. The Sempervivum in the pot is pretty spectacular, too. I'm starting to think what everyone says about Portland is true--that you can grow anything there, and that everything grows well and perfectly lush!

  12. Our neighbors, and friends, bought three of those hardy gardenias this spring for their front yard and the last time I was over there one of them was blooming. She said all three bloomed this summer. The smell was amazing. I guess I need one, now don't I?

    I used to grow Four O'clocks all the time, but haven't in years. How come? That reddish one is beautiful!!!

    The only large sedum I have is 'Autumn Joy.' I've decided this year that I need a dark leafed one. And I see that variegated leaf peeking out in the photo. I ALMOST bought one that looked nearly identical to 'Autumn Joy', but with the variegated leaves, on our nursery outing. Why didn't I?!?!

    That first fuchsia is TO DIE for!
    As is the anemone. I have several, but only my white ones get enough sun to do anything. I'm movin' the pinks and lavenders out into the land of blooming this fall. I just love them.

    My poor bee balm took it in the shorts during July's rain storm. My peegee completely took it out and it hasn't recovered. :(

    I haven't decided what I think about Abutilon. I've never grown it, so I'm undecided. I need to see one in a yard. That Rudbeckia, on the other hand, is gorgeous and I need it. :)

    My mom asked me to come over this week and take photos of her yard with my "fancy" camera. I just unloaded over 300 of them onto my computer. That's gonna take a minute to go through them. Ha!

    Enjoy the weekend - I haven't been in the yard all week, and can't wait to get out and do some deadheading. OH - I have a couple annuals that are makin' seeds like crazy right now. I'll email you later to see if you want any.

  13. Your garden is looking great Grace! Nora Leigh has always been my favorite phlox. Our garden is sad, dry, and worn out. Nothing to look at this time of year I'm afraid.


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