24 August 2008

The Week the Sun Came Back

Finally, the sun has remembered where we live. Even if there's a skein of fog along some of the rivers in the early morning,

It's gone within a couple of hours. We've had a baskingly lovely week--not too hot, definitely not muggy, and refreshingly pleasant at night.

The garden has yawned and stretched, shaking off its malaise of wetness and those plants that have been waiting for their entry cue are starting to put on their late summer performances. I have several of the lower-growing helenium, which tend to bloom a little earlier than the 5 foot tall ones out in the back garden. I love the deep rich colour of this particular variety, which reproduces almost as dark as it is.

Despite the fact that we're moving into the season of many hot coloured flowers, yellows, and oranges and bronzes, I have a lot of blue and lavender-purple yet happening. One of my blue favourites are the gentians, with their rich cobalt blue to purple-blue flowers.

And while some of my echinops are more blue than others, they're all wonderful, scented, strikingly architectural, and just plain awesome plants. Bee magnets, too, which is 90 percent of the reason I let them come up wherever they want.

This dandy plant is a groundcover, blue leadwort or plumbago, Ceratostigma plumbaginoides. The flowers are glorious, as you can see, but this plant will really come into its own come fall, when the foliage turns all kinds of splendid shades. I think I have it located in a good spot for it to overwinter, but we'll see come next spring.

I mentioned hot-colour plants earlier, and these are among my favourite of brilliant-hued flowers. The annual ice plants make me very, very happy, although some of them suffered greatly from the excess moisture we were enduring until earlier in the week. Only those in containers or with excellent drainage managed to fight off the dangers of rot from all the wet, and those that did are doing splendidly.

I buy these as annual transplants and my summer garden would not be complete with out them, in containers, in areas with good drainage, where their brilliant colours make me smile until a hard frost--last year it was late October or early November!

The osteospermums, relatives of the ice plants, didn't like the wet we were having either. But those that survived have shrugged it off and rewarded me for not giving up on them by blooming in incredible colours.

One of the most amazingly floriferous and wellbehaved verbenas I've ever encountered, this hasn't paused in its blooming since I planted it out in mid May.

I go gaga over lantana, despite the unpleasant smell of the foliage (it reminds me of tomato foliage somewhat) because the flowers just rock my world with their complex colour combinations. Butterflies love this plant too, and the varieties I've planted out in containers have done well despite the wet sogginess we were having.

Pincushion flower is another of my favourites; this is Scabiosa, not the Knautia that is also referred to as pincushion flower.

I've been explaining to a friend of mine about the vagaries of the tide here on the upper Bay of Fundy, and how when it goes out, it goes WAYYYYYYY out. I gotta get down to this wharf in Delhaven at high water to show you the full effect, but here the boats sit at low water, resting their keels on the mud.

And look, a real, genuine sunset--not a fog-set. We've even seen the moon a few nights in a row now. Here's hoping that we're past our season of excess fog and into some decent weather, for what's left of the season.


  1. What a lovely sunset. I'm glad the sun returned to your garden again, Jodi.

    It's kind of nice to hear someone rave about lantana. It's so common here that I often forget to appreciate it. But you are right---those blooms will knock your socks off and attract lots of butterflies too. I will look at mine with renewed appreciation.

  2. Hey Jodi! Long time no comment! I'm finally getting back to my regular blog reads after a pretty hectic couple of months. Looks like your is looking as beautiful as ever.

    I love Lantana, too. It's in the group of plants that I didnt appreciate when I lived in their zone and now covet them.

  3. Sunset is lovely :)
    But your dark hellenium is soooooo unusual - beautiful!

  4. Jodi, once again you have posted some wonderful looking plants that I have not heard of. The helenium is beautiful-that dark red is stunning. I need to find a sourse for this one. The gentians and echinops in all their blue glory are more unknowns to me, but are now on my wish list for next year. I assume if they do well for you, they will grow in my 5b zone. Lantana is a great plant that seems to bloom forever, but I am allergic to it. Glad the sun came back and you can see your lovely views again.

  5. Oh, Jodi, what a beautiful sunset. And as usual your flower pictures are gorgeous. Your camera seems to capture saturated color really well.
    I'm glad you've had some heat.

  6. Gorgeous photos, jodi. Wish we'd get some of that 'wet'. It's so horribly dry here, almost like last year. :-(

    My faves of what you posted are the Delosperma. I planted seeds, but they died shortly after reaching seedling size. :-( Love those colors!!

  7. That's the most vibrantly colored lantana I've ever seen! Do you know what variety it is? I like it because it is so hardy in our Texas heat during the summer droughts, but the smell is pretty bad, isn't it?

  8. Love visiting if only to hear all comments 'rant' regarding seasons. You have a way of opening hearts, Jodi, to let all 'hang out'. Big hugs for the 'remains of summer'.

  9. When the sun shines not only the flowers stretch and grin I can almost hear the smile on your face as you write.

    Those boats being mired in the mud is dramatic. They are huge and just sitting there patiently waiting for the tide to return.

  10. It really was great while it lasted. :) But, more super weather ahead! Those ice flowers are stunningly bright and pretty!


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