Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The long, hot summer


"Dirty hands, iced tea, garden fragrances thick in the air and a blanket of color before me, who could ask for more?" ~ Bev Adams



We had a very dry month sandwiched between a wet spring and a flood in late July. The heat began in March and has continued to grow worse with no end in sight. It's very surprising that the garden is not suffering a lot more than it seems to be.

The phlox are all dead headed and getting ready for another bloom cycle. The coneflowers are looking shabby so the swallowtail butterflies are finally noticing the pentas in the butterfly pots. This is a black female Eastern tiger swallowtail. Thanks to the folks on GardenWeb's Butterfly garden forum, I learned to easily tell the difference between her and her Eastern black swallowtail cousins. My July 19 post shows an Eastern Black Swallowtail male.



In the photo below Mardi Gras, a hot colored and long blooming plant that thrives in hot weather--as long as it gets plenty of moisture. In my garden it's surrounded by Rozanne which helps cool down its hot colors. So far none of the butterflies in this area have been at all interested in Mardi Gras.




This was a good year for lilies both Asiatics and Orientals. The last Oriental to bloom is always Stargazer. This year Stargazer is over six feet tall, a little unusual since they usually top out at about four feet in my garden.



This is the first bloom of Siloam Peony Display which was planted last fall. Lots of ruffled petals packed tightly into this golden daylily.


The more austere Joan Sr's first blooms create the illusion of cool. Rozanne geranium makes a good backdrop for the white flowers. Judging by the number of buds on Joan in her first year here, she will be a prolific bloomer. There aren't many blooms left on the daylilies. I always hate to see them go, the absence of their bright colors will leave holes in the late summer garden.



White Waves aren't bothered by heat or dry conditions. Petunias make the most of their brief time in the garden, never complaining they always give a hundred percent. This is my first year using Wave Petunias. They are tireless flowering machines but the colors are uninspired. Hopefully in a few more years the hybridizers will introduce some pretty shading, veining and variety.


The swamp milkweed beetle below has somehow gotten several miles from the nearest swamp:) His coloration is called 'milkweed mimicry" and it is shared by butterflies (monarchs and viceroys) and other insects that eat milkweed. Predators such as birds learn early in life that this color combination is poisonous and will make them sick if eaten.


OOPS, just realized I published this a day ahead of my usual Thursday posting day. Oh well:)

Hope you are having better gardening weather than we are here in northern Illinois. Have a great weekend.

32 comments:

Cheryl said...

Marnie, despite the weather, the blooms in your garden are beautiful.
It never ceases to amaze me how plants survive, regardless of heat, lack of water etc.

Your photography always give such a clear vision of the plants you grow. I really love to see them, tku.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Isn't it strange how the weather patterns are this year? My mother in the Quad Cities is getting rain fairly frequently--and my brother and SIL in Iowa have been flooded out this year! After being flooded out twice the year before last, and again this year, I think I would be calling it quits with their cabin, but they keep cleaning it all up and going back!

Your blooms are just gorgeous in spite of the lack of rain. I do hope the weather breaks for you soon so you can get some moisture.

Balisha said...

Hi Marnie...Just came in from cleaning up a bed in front. I pulled out stragglers and tucked in some potted things. Your pictures are great. Wasn't that some rain that we had? 9 inches here.
Balisha

BeadedTail said...

Despite the weather not cooperating fully, your garden is gorgeous! We've had pretty mild weather with just a few days higher than 90 but no rain. Dry combined with my non-green thumb is proving to be a bad combo but I'm doing my best!

sunnycalgirl said...

Beautiful photos! Someday I hope to live somewhere where I can grow a Peony..They are lovely..

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Marnie, I have to have that daylily. I looked at it and thought, a peony blooming now! I had to look it up to know it was a daylily.

Eileen

tina said...

A day early is just fine with me. How do you tell the difference between the black swallowtails and Eastern swallowtails? Do tell please. I remember your post on how to identify the viceroys versus the monarchs and still use that. I hear pentas are so great for butterflies. They are really pretty!

Dawn said...

What a beautiful daylily!
The weather sure has been very strange, what will be next? Snow in September? Let's hope not! Have a great Wednesday.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Our weather has been similar --except we have had a DRY summer period... We may have had one inch of rain in a month or more... We are now watering the necessary things --but most everything is suffering these days.

Even our big Rhododendron is losing its leaves... I watered it really good yesterday. This has never happened before --so I don't know what is wrong. I love that bush. Maybe it's just getting too big.

Beautiful pictures of your garden... Our lilies are gone---but we had a Stargazer just like yours.

Have a good day, Marnie.
Hugs,
Betsy

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Despite the weather, you seem to have many amazing flowers! Beautiful!!

garden girl said...

The heat has definitely been a bit much this year Marnie, but your garden is looking wonderful in spite of it.

Wow, the Siloam daylily is amazing! What a wonderful find.

Louise said...

Your photos are gorgeous, as always. You have just the right artistic ability to make everything come together.

I planted Siloam Peony Display this Spring. There were no blooms on it this year but I'm hoping even more now that it becomes established enough so that I do have blooms next year.

Rosey said...

The peony is a nice shade. I usually see them in pink but this peachy color is so delicate.

Keep cool,
Rosey

Meadowview Thymes said...

I can't believe it is so hot everywhere! I thought the heat was saved for Texas! :)
I love the Mardi Gras. What type of flower is it? I love flowers that color!

Linda

Kathleen said...

I had to check the calendar when I saw your post! I thought maybe I'd missed a day. ;-)
You have had a torrid summer Marnie. Much more so than we have ~ and our spring was cooler too. I guess heat is not always a good thing (even tho I look forward to it each year). I hope you and your garden get some relief soon.
I think a lot of plants are truly heat lovers tho ~ I know my garden didn't do nearly as well last summer when it was so cool. As long as they get enough moisture, it doesn't seem to phase them ~ just like your photos show.
Oh, I'm STILL trying to get a Swallowtail photo with no luck so you know I'm envious of yours! It's a good one.

Skeeter said...

The humidity has been awful this year in GA. We noramaly get little breaks throughout the day but not this year. I know your neck of the woods has been dealing with some strange stuff as well. I do wonder what will be next? I love your lead-in words by Bev Adams!

joey said...

With this beautiful post, one would never guess you had such a challenging summer. Oppressive heat or no heat ... your garden is stunning, Marnie! White Waves is a beauty, one I must think of including next year. I don't have any white daylilies :( Love your butterfly garden guests ... great photos.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

It's been very wet or very dry here, too. Love the swallowtail! Also of course the Helenium that we share. :)

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I enjoyed seeing all your pretty blooms. The Stargazer makes me anxious to see mine bloom, which should be soon. I wonder if yours liked the weather you've had and that's why it grew so tall. What a cool Daylily, I've never seen one like it before.

Racquel said...

We had a wet spring, dry summer and no flooding at all. It's been a lousy year for gardening in Virginia. :( Your garden looks like it doing well despite the weather.

Diana (Di) said...

We continue with our heat, 90's, and currently 80's, but no rain nor will there likely be until Sept. Our summers are dry.

Gorgeous butterfly and photos and flowers. Have a wonderful weekend Marnie.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It is amazing that you still have daylilies. Ours are finished except for a few reblooms of Song Sparrow. This evening is the first evening I have been able to sit out due to the heat. UGH. It has been awful here. Luckily there has been almost enough rain to keep things looking alright. I have had to do some supplemental watering but not much. Wow a 6' stargazer. That is really tall for them I think. They must like what ever is happening in your garden.

Kathleen said...

Hey Marnie.
I just realized I never answered your question (from several posts ago) about fertilizing containers. I know what you mean about being afraid of burning your plants ~ I did that one summer. But I figured out later I was using too much. Now I mix a weak solution and try to feed every time I water (or at least every other time). Hope that helps.

Sherri said...

Marnie, your flowers are just gorgeous!! You stargazer is just beautiful!

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

I wondered what that bug was on the milkweed. Thank you so much. He's a cute little fella, but I think he's a bad one too. :)

Sorry it's been so hot and dry. We're there too.~~Dee

Tammy said...

It's about the same here. Hot, muggy and miserable. Thankfully we have had rains to keep things going, except for a brief three week dry patch. When it rains, it's usually violent and over an inch or more at a time. Hasn't been a very pleasant summer. Your flowers are really looking nice though. Most things have fizzled here. Even the butterfly bushes are only half as tall as they usually get.
Tammy

marmee said...

we are also experiencing a hot dry summer after a wet winter and spring. i am not actually at home but i have been there off and on and our garden is suffering too.
you have many things that look so great. i am missing blogging but am making lots of wonderful memories with my new grandbaby.
happy summer.

Vetsy said...

Hello Marnie... The butterflies have all but disappeared in my neck of the woods.. so nice that you still have some to share with us...

I like the color of that Peony too" it's so different..

The weather her in Michigan has been very wired as well..Way Hotter than I'm used to for a Northern climate ..

Lovely photos Have a fantastic weekend"

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Marnie, that peony is a masterpiece! I am not a fan of yellow, but ... what a beautiful bloom! Your phlox is already finished its first blooming? Wow! Mine is in buds yet.

troutbirder said...

As I try to simplify my gardens and the related chores, then see your beautiful collections....mmmm, maybe I shouldn't. Must be geting old.

Randy and Jamie said...

Marnie,
Your garden doesn't look the least bit stressed by the heat. Beautiful blooms!--Randy

Q said...

Wonderful blooms!
The female Tiger Swallowtail in her black dress is gorgeous....
My favorite of all the butterflies...
Sherry