Yes, I finished reading Book 7. No, I'm not going to comment on it here, other than to say it was excellent and satisfying. There are plenty of people prepared to dissect it, critique it, and if they can, spoil it for others. Bet they peek at their Christmas presents before they're wrapped, too.
So on to other things. It's not Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, but I thought I'd fling a few rainwashed blossoms (and other delights) around. After an inspired rain yesterday and some fog too, today was hot and sunny and wonderful.
Hummingbird Mint (Agastache mexicana 'Acapulco Orange') is one of my favourite container annuals. It will overwinter indoors (and apparently, with a little winter protection, outside around here too--I'm going to try that this year.) And yes, the hummingbirds do adore it.
A friend of mine gave me this verbascum which I really like--and so do the bees. This was one of those perfect quiet mornings when everything worked: fragrances hung on the air like silk, the rain had washed everything brilliantly clean, there was no wind and all that we could hear was the sound of nature--birds, bees, other insects, humming and singing and buzzing and zooming and doing their thing. And it was wonderful.
Blue false indigo is a lupine relative. It took this plant four years to finally get around to flower (and this was another of those "Bloom or you're outa here" plants!). It's lovely though and was worth the wait.
Viburnum plicatum mariesii or doublefile viburnum--mine is small yet but flowering this year--the flowers will whiten as they get a bit older.
This is a woody perennial mimulus (well, it would be perennial in warmer climates--I'm taking this indoors come fall to be a houseplant. The flowers are less flamboyant than the garden annuals, but a lovely melon colour,, and with glossy, deep green foliage.
Not to be outshone by its perennial sibling...the traditional monkey flower is a delight and great in shaded gardens.
Take time to savour the simple things--raindrops on sunkissed pine needles (this is eastern white pine, Pinus strobus).
A new-to-our-garden peony, Primavera. I'm really delighted with the yellow centre, which as the flower matures becomes larger and more showy.
Widows tears (Tradescantia andersoniana 'Osprey'), one of a half dozen different cultivars we have. This is my favourite tradescantia; a clump former rather than a spreader.
Do not adjust your screens. This poppy really IS deep wine--almost black. Interestingly, some of them seem to cross pollinate with the huge double red ones we also have, and that results in some interesting new colour tints every summer.
An annual sage, Salvia 'Blue and Black'--definitely cold-sensitive but I've learned to keep it well protected and warm unti the weather stays consistently above 50 degrees--or else it pouts. It's so beautiful it's worth mollycoddling, though. I'm partial to blue-flowered plants, as I've discussed before, and so I don't mind nurturing a few fussbudgets.
What tender prima donna plants do you nurture every summer?