The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

What’s Blooming: Rose Petals and Cotton Candy

6 Comments

Well, here we are at the height of Summer for those of us in the Northeastern United States … J-UUU-L-III! This is the month of big bangs of blooms. Picture picnics and sizzling grills (of veggies), beautiful bouquets, carnivals and cotton candy. Reality: I took photos this morning in the rain, in my squeaky, squishy flip flops. No sunny skies here today but that’s okay, I have blooms – lots of big bang blooms!

I am still far behind in my gardening chores – chores that I have listed in my head such as you really, really need to cut back the Black Lace out front. You really, really need to weed that new area by the rose trellis. You really, really need to tie up your cherry tomatoes … on and on. So, you may see a weed, or a dozen, but the blooms are what to focus upon, please.

The Potager is in the worst shape. It needs a cut back, tie up, pull up, fall plant, and a really good day – or two – of weeding. The paths are barely passable, but there are blooms (and buzzes) everywhere – Calendula, Morning Glory, Tomatillos, Purple Perilla and Cutleaf Coneflower have reseeded themselves silly. Trumpet flowers are just beginning to open. The dill and borage are growing tree size!

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Dill Tree

The Bird & Butterfly Garden is becoming choked by Joe and Susan’s love affair. There will be a messy divorce come Fall, I predict. Still, on and on there are blooms – currently, Daisies and Bee Balm – through a veil of Joe Pye just budding.

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Another large growing patch of Bee Balm in the Nice Driveway – safe from Susan. Summer Nights Heliopsis decided to move itself to the Nice Driveway, too. I have also been spreading my Cone Flowers around for fear they will be permanently choked out by Susan. I’ve replanted or deadheaded some in the Nice Driveway, some more out front by yet another patch of Bee Balm, only pink, mixed in with Verbascum which also easily reseeds.

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‘Summer Nights’

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Liatris is finally taking off in the Nice Driveway. Things either thrive or perish in the Nice Driveway. It is full sun and somewhat dry. The soil is not as rich as it is in the back gardens.

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Sea Holly has flared up out front and is normally glittering with pollinators but not today in the rain.

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I can never pick out Butterfly Weed until it’s in bloom, then bang, there it is!

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Good news! I thought my New Jersey Tea didn’t survive but then, bang, there are some small blooms!

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I had a large whiskey barrel container at the end of our driveway. I finally moved it up to the garage in the dead sea of paved driveway to break it up. It was really just a pee spot for all the passing dogs where it used to be, anyway. And when the crabapples were planted, it didn’t really fit out there anymore. It detracted from the trees. I devised a trellis with bamboo and grapevines to grow Cardinal Climber for the hummingbirds.

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I also planted Pineapple Sage and some of the seedlings I started this year into it: Castor Bean, Lime Zinnias, Lime Nicotiana, Love in a Mist, and Shrimp Plant. I love it in its new spot – birds even perch on the trellis – a Cedar Waxwing the other day! But sadly, it is full of black ants and they are eating the bases of the stems! You can see the Castor Bean is wilting. I tried chalk around the barrel, sprinkling cinnamon around the base of stems and transplanting some Calendula to deter them – they seem to be dwindling. All remedies I looked up online. (I also have an ant problem in one of my raised beds – where are the Flickers?) Next year I will be sure the ants are gone before I plant. There’s always next year says the gardener.

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Shrimp Plant blossoms

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Lime Zinnia bud

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Castor Bean flowers

I think the Woodland Edge is my favorite part of the garden. There is always something going on. It is also the most wild and difficult to maintain. My stone paths I attempted are almost completely grown over (another item to add to the list). Right now this border it is all frothy and pink.

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The beautiful cotton candy blooms of Queen of the Prairie are just beginning to froth.

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Queen of the Prairie (in pink) and Tall Meadow Rue

Persicaria Firetail just beginning to flare, will shoot off until frost.

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“The Rocket” lights up.

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The Hydrangea in the drive droops in the rain. This Hydrangea’s cuttings have taken root in new Hosta Row.

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Hydrangea from cuttings now growing in Hosta Row. Golden Shadows and Red Twig Dogwood in foreground.

A new Hydrangea ‘Quickfire’ (replaced Oakleaf which surely would not have survived last Winter here) just beginning to bubble behind Heucheras Pinot Blanco and Caramel. I love this combination.

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Well, if you’ve hung in here this long you deserve a grand finale! These photos were take a few days ago in the sun. The Prairie Rose, which unfortunately I cannot see, or smell, from our back porch as intended because we have yet to install our windows, has never been so big and full! I would say this rose definitely disguises that chainlink fence now. My neighbor can appreciate it anyway, and the bees – of whom I can hear their buzzing through the wall – and the syrphid flies and more. Rose petals flutter down from the sky throughout the garden.

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And so yet another Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens gives proof through the night that we can have flowers nearly every month of the year.

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Author: Kathy Sturr

Author of the Violet Fern blog, gardening addict and aspiring artist.

6 thoughts on “What’s Blooming: Rose Petals and Cotton Candy

  1. Kathy we seem to have the same plants outperforming like the borage and dill…and boy do I love that rose…I have a native swamp rose that looks similar, Rosa palustris. And wow your hydrangea is stunning…none of mine are really growing.

    • Hi Donna, I should send you a cutting of the Hydrangea. It is so hardy and blooms non fail every year. I think I saved your address. I’ll send one! I also have Rosa palustris but it just finished blooming – also bigger than ever. It is along the Potager edge but keeps creeping into my beds. I have to stop by and see your blooms!

  2. oh my Kathy, so lovely…pretty, pretty, pretty!!!!!:-) We have many similiar plants. I was thinking as I read through your lovely post and photos that we would be “great” neighbors, just think of all the food we would provide for ourselves and nature on our city lots if they were next to each other…some times I feel all alone on my street, but so glad I am doing it….you said it perfectly about how it is all over the place…mine is the same, the paths are overflowing and I LOVE IT, but boy the work is a calling! The advantage of cosmos,zinna, cleome, calendula, balm, ruedbeckia,red shiso, and others is that they grow taller than the weeds-lol…the beauty of wainting long enough-tee hee

  3. I am in zone 5b and although our blooming is a bit off (my Heucheras and astilbes are long gone) we have a lot of the same plants. Enjoyed your pictures….and your to-do list

  4. Well hello to another passionate gardener,

    What a beautiful bevy of blossoms you’re sharing via May Dreams Garden. Love the unusual treatment of the morning glory through the fence and the whorl of the lime green zinnia. That has to be the healthiest foliage I’ve seen on Monarda in a very long time. So where is the habitual mildew?

    I’d be honored if you visited my blog to see my first GBBD post, only five years in the making, with a truly unique backstory,

    Best,

    Patrick

    • Well hello Patrick – thanks so much for visiting my virtual garden. The morning glory through the fence is design by neglect ha ha! And the secret to the mildew free bee balm is … WIND. We most always have some sort of breeze coming off the St. Lawrence River so we have great air circulation but I just learned a trick from another Master Gardener if you do not have a somewhat constant wind (it works for her anyway and is worth a try). She sprinkles sulfur on the soil before the bee balm (or phlox) comes up in the Spring and I can attest that all her beautiful phlox is mildew free!

Thank you for joining me in the making of my garden!

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