August Bloom Day

Three days late for my next-to-last bloom day of 2020!

We’re still in a moderate drought and I can’t remember the last time it really rained. There’s nothing in the forecast now until a week from today, a 50% chance of rain. On the other hand, it’s gotten cooler, so plants aren’t quite as stressed as they have been. But I’m still watering newly planted seeds — more peas, a lettuce mix, another go-round of arugula — and most of the plants (cukes, squash, tomatoes, basil, parsley) in the vegetable garden. Highs for the next week are forecast to be in the mid-to-low 70s, with a dip into the high 40s one night. (Glad we got that cord of wood delivered and stacked last week!) As I type at 5 p.m., it’s 69F and cloudy, and I have switched to pants and a light flannel shirt.

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Shade Garden

Inula helenium (Horseheal, elecampane) and hostas are the only things flowering in the shade garden lately. I don’t know the variety of either hosta —

gianthostafloweringpatiochairsshadegarden23July2020smallhostapurpleflowersshadegarden24July2020

An elecampane or two were given to me by a friend when she was moving, and they have self-seeded all over the place, which I kind of like (they’re easily removed). They’re so tall! And profilic bloomers. And now they’ve fallen over, where I can see their blooms better.

yellowflowerinulaelecampaneshadegarden4Aug2020yellowinulahorsehealelecampaneflowers11Aug2020

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Front Yard

Crocosmia and milkweed (which had to be held up after some heavy winds):

milkweedcrocosmiasupportafterstormfrontyard5Aug2020

Echinacea (‘Purple Emperor’ and others):

pinkechinaceafrontyardsunlight26July2020

echinaceasedumweepingsprucegaragedoors11Aug2020

Bee Balm (Monarda) with ‘Hab Grey’ sedum:

redbeebalmHabgreysedummashupfrontyard11Aug2020

Bee Balm (Monarda) with unknown geranium and ‘Halcyon’ hosta:

redbeebalmHalcyonhostapurpegeraniumfrontyard11Aug2020

Bee balm (Monarda) with baptisia and rhododendron behind:

redbeebalmfrontyard3Aug2020

The start of the centaurea (perennial bachelor button) rebloom:

bluecentaureaflower11Aug2020

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Side Yard, including vegetable garden (among which are sunflower, crocosmia, balsam, cosmos, feverfew, milkweed, and other flowering plants)

Unbidden sunflower (probably from winter birdseed), first in full bloom with lots of attachments … (and crocosmia behind)

dozensunflowersoneplantveggarden31July2020

An evening shot …

multipleblossomssunflowerveggarden24July2020

Beloved by bees and wasps …

threebumblebeessunflower25July2020

Now with the red squirrel eating all the flowers to little nubs (thank you, squirrel):

redsquirrelposingeatingsunflower7Aug2020

Hummingbird in the crocosmia:

hummingbirdcrocosmiaclose25July2020

Crocosmia and purple and pink vervain:

purplevervaincrocosmiasideyard31July2020

One of the perovskia (Russian sage) blooms:

stemperovskiaRussiansagepurple4Aug2020

Some self-seeded anise hyssop:

floweringanisehyssopsideyard5Aug2020

… with monarch … one of the few I’ve seen this year:

monarchbutterflyanisehyssopwingsopenblurb12Aug2020

The ‘Ellen’s Blue’ buddleia (butterfly bush), planted in 2014 and still alive! in this microclimate spot, attracts everyone:

EllensBluebutterflybushblossomingclose10Aug2020

fritillarybutterflybuddleia11Aug2020
fritillary
cabbagemothbuddleia11Aug2020
mustard white butterfly
snowberryclearwingmothbuddleia11Aug2020
snowberry clearwing moth
butterflybushbuddleiamonarchfritillary12Aug2020
fritillary and monarch butterflies
largesilverspottedskipperbutterflybushclosebest6Aug2020
silver-spotted skipper butterfly
redfemuredgrasshopperbutterflybushflower6Aug2020
red-legged grasshopper
monarachbutterflybuddleiaverticalswing17Aug2020
monarch 
whiteadmiralbutterflywingsopenbuddleia18Aug2020
white admiral butterfly

Along the vegetable garden fence and outside it are these lovelies:  

scarletrunnerbeanflowersred6Aug2020
scarlet runner bean flowers
anotherfirstbeanflowerpinkishwhiteveggarden16Aug2020
dried bean flower
bluewhitemorninggloryflowerveggarden16Aug2020
morning glory variation
purpleredmorninggloryflower16Aug2020
the purple-red morning glory
veggardenvinesmorninggloriesscarletrunnerbeansflowers16Aug2020
bean and morning glory vines covering vegetable garden fence
yellowcalendulaflowersideyard16Aug2020
calendula (in Bring Home the Butterflies mix), white cosmos in background
Mexicansunflowerbud16Aug2020
Mexican sunflower bud (Bring Home the Butterflies mix)
Mexicansunflowerstem16Aug2020
Mexican sunflower bloom (Bring Home the Butterflies mix)
pinkcosmosflowersmessysideyard16Aug2020
cosmos collection (Bring Home the Butterflies mix)
redbeebalmsideyard16Aug2020
red bee balm (Monarda) in the side yard

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Fruit Guild

Still waiting for the peaches to be ready to pick. Alllllllllmost time! The last two years, when we’ve had so many peaches (like this year), we harvested the first batches on the 19th (in 2019) and the 20th (in 2018) of August, and looks like we’re on track for about the same this year. I can see some large blushing fruits at the tops of the trees today.

blushingpeach10Aug2020
peach, 10 August

The fennel (which comes back year after year, and spreads) is blooming, attracting many wasps.

waspfennelflowersfruitguild11Aug2020

And black swallowtail caterpillars!

blackswallowtailbutterflycaterpillarfennelfruitguild18Aug2020

And the echinacea’s blooming there like everywhere else …

echinaceafruitguild15July2020

echinaceaflowersensitivefernfruitguild11Aug2020fritillarybutterflyechinaceaflowersunglowreflectionfruitguild19July2020

Plus a new woodland sunflower I bought this spring:

woodlandsunflowerfruitguild18Aug2020

Tansy has come back, though I thought I had gotten all of it out (nice contrast with sand cherry foliage). 

tansyflowerssandcherryfruitguild3Aug2020

And swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata, is blooming now, too. So far, no oleander aphids, but I know they’ll be along.

flowerasclepiasincarnatafruitguild

I was pleased to welcome the swamp milkweed beetle, shown here on a nearby sensitive fern.

swampmilkweedbeetleincarnatafruitguild10Aug2020

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Rock Wall

The two summersweet (Clethra alnifolia ‘Ruby Spice’) planted a few years ago have really taken off and widened their sphere of influence.

pinkclethrabloomsrockwall16Aug2020

pinkclethrabloomingrockwall11Aug2020

Some pink phlox and a double daylily teamed up for a neon display among the raspberry bushes. 

orangedaylilypurplephloxrockwall10Aug2020

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Back Yard

This is where most of the action is now. 

Near the patio are a turk’s cap lily, one of three I planted around the yard in the spring …

turkscaplilyflowersideways3Aug2020

… some ‘Paprika’ yarrow …

redpaprikayarrow1Aug2020

Echinops ‘Blue Globe’, which has spread over the years …

echinopsblueglobethistlecloseflower11Aug2020

…. and a Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum) that planted itself in a microclimate near the house a few years ago, shown with monarch; this plant, in this spot, blooms 7-10 days earlier than the others of its kind in the yard.

monarchbutterflyJoePyeweed12Aug2020

In the back border, the Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination; (culver’s root) is about finished now, but it threw quite a banquet for the insects.

greatgoldendiggerwaspveronicastrumclose5Aug2020
great golden digger wasp
yellowstripedblacbeeveronicastrumbest5Aug2020
I’m not sure who this is
whitespottednarrowwaistblackwaspveronicastrum5Aug2020
thread-waisted wasp
yellowbumblebeeveronicastrum11Aug2020
yellow bumblebee
greatblackwaspveronicastrum5Aug2020
great black wasp
backborderJoePyeweedveronicastrumechinaeaPGhydrangea4Aug2020
back border with PG hydrangea, veronicastrum, echinacea, miscanthus grass, milkweed, and Joe Pye weed

The Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum) is starting to bloom now.

JoePyeweedbloominggrass11Aug2020

Some of the rest:

bonesetflowersflybeetleinsects29July2020
boneset (Eupatrium perfoliatum), a relative of Joe Pye weed, grows in two places in the back yard, though I never planted it
swallowtailbutterflybumblebeeechinacea26July2020
swallowtail butterfly and bumblebee on echinacea
monarchbutterflyechinaceabbackborder3Aug2020
monarch on echinacea
whiteswanechinaceabackborder11Aug2020
‘White Swan’ echinacea
purpleheatherflowersmilkweedbackborder5Aug2020
purple heather flowering
floweringwhitePGhydrangeabackborder11Aug2020
PeeGee hydrangea blooming
hummingbirdmothabstractblurwhitephlox3Aug2020
white phlox being visited by a blur of a clearwing moth
viewbackyardpatiofurnitureappletree12Aug2020
view of some of the back border from the shade garden

And then there’s this monster squash vine growing from the compost.

scarysquashplantfromcompostpatiocrawling18Aug2020giantvolunteersquashfruit18Aug2020

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The Joe Pye weed and swamp milkweed (incarnata) are nearing their peak bloom, and soon we’ll see the chelone (turtlehead) and the willow gentian blooming … and the peaches beginning to ripen! That’ll keep us busy for a while.

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Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

2 comments

  1. Hi Molly, Just skimming through this and notice you mention a “bachelor button rebloom.” How do you manage that? Mine seem to bloom well early and then just peter out — I try to dead-head the dried blooms but wonder if they need a more severe cutting back. Any advice welcome! Susan

    On Tue, Aug 18, 2020 at 5:11 PM A Moveable Garden wrote:

    > mmwm posted: “Three days late for my next-to-last bloom day of 2020! We’re > still in a moderate drought and I can’t remember the last time it really > rained. There’s nothing in the forecast now until a week from today, a 50% > chance of rain. On the other hand, it’s gotten” >

  2. Susan, I don’t deadhead at all. They just seem to come back in Aug/Sept each year. I’m not sure why. Another garden mystery.

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