11 August 2009

Sheer exuberance: The garden in high summer

In my last post I remarked about the crankiness of the weather this summer, and how it sort of compensated by creating humungous and gorgeous hydrangeas. There have been other plants that have reacted rather marvelously too.

For one reason or another, getting good photos has been a challenge some days. It's either been grey/foggy/dreary, or else I've been busy and haven't been able to get outside until the light is all wrong--too high in the sky, too low in the sky, or some other problem. I'm not a good enough photographer to compensate for those things, but tonight, the weather, the light and my macro lens and tripod united to help me get some pretty cool photos.

Large flowered clematis grow really well for us here, probably because the damp keeps their roots cool. But I happen to love this small-flowered tangutica clematis for its profusion of bloom and its fireworks as the flowers give way to seedheads.

Sunflowers are an instant smile to me, no matter what colour or size they are. I never get tired of them, although I neglected to plant any this year so we're reduced to a few freerange plants in the greenhouse. I was never good at math, but I love the geometric patterns of a sunflower's heart, and the subtle changes in colour as we head out to the rays.

I cut off all the spent flowerheads on my geums a week or two back, and 'Cooky' has rewarded me by putting up a few new flowers. The plant has gotten huge, too, so I'm hoping it plans to hang around for a few years.

Our coneflowers are coming on nicely now, but I'll have more to say about them when I get some more photos in just the right light. The sun was behind the house and was causing some neat effects just because of the way I had the camera positioned for this photo, but I want to get the subtle shadings of some of the coneflowers in just the right light. So expect yet another post on cones from me soon.

Talk about floral fireworks! The nice tidy geometry of the flowers and bracts of flat sea holly (E. planum)is especially cool when juxtaposed with the utter joyful lunacy of Allium 'Hair'. I planted half a dozen bulbs of 'Hair' six or seven years ago, and they continue to multiply nicely. They aren't huge or showy, but they're a lot of fun.

The Asiatic lilies are finished and the highlight of the Lilium season has begun: the Orientals and Orienpets are beginning to bloom. Their fragrance is intoxicatingly wonderful; I can be walking in some part of the garden and stopped in my tracks by the awesome fragrance.
My only problem is that I am not sure which are which. I bought quite a few bulbs a couple of years ago, but as so often happens, I've forgotten where I planted them. This could be 'Cobra'. Or 'Dorgogne'. Not everything is in bloom yet so I can't do a compare and contrast routine.

This is Orienpet 'Purple Prince', which was given to me by a grower from Truro/Bible Hill. I'm besotted. It opened up a few days ago and is just getting better and better. Only one problem; it's quite heavy, and one small stem with only one flower on it fell over before I could get it staked. The slugs devoured it right down to stamens and carpal. They haven't gone after the rest of the flowers yet, but i'm considering breaking out the diatomaceous earth tomorrow just to be safe.

And this is either 'Zagora' or 'Caravan'; I know I bought both and planted them somewhere...what I know for sure is this, coupled with the nearby bee balm, sea hollies and globe thistles, makes the bees and hummingbirds totally giddy. And makes me giddy too. And I'm all right with that.


  1. Lovely images, Jodi. Your garden looks so happy with all that rain and fog! I'm drinking up your images.

  2. Jody, I've been thinking of you lately as I work in my garden, knowing you're probably spending every spare minute getting yours in shape, as I am, during our short growing season.
    The damp, cool summer has actually made planting and moving things pretty easy for August. Too bad about the slugs though. They're having a heyday :(
    Those orienpets are glorious!
    And the "Cookie" is a cutie :) I had geum years ago. I think it only lasted 2 years.
    Happy August gardening!

  3. What beautiful flowers you have in your garden. All that lillis fantastic colours.

    Have a nice day


  4. It's looking beautiful, Jodi. That creamy lily is a wonderful combination of colours. Is that monarda behind it in the top picture? I love the cream against the deep red.

  5. We have had this same wonderful growing weather this summer. Not too hot either (so far). Your lilies are so lovely. I want to get some more of them into the garden. I like seeing those furry seed heads of the big clematis too.

  6. Hi Jodi, oh how luscious everything looks. We never suffer from too much rain in the last stretches of summer, minus the stray tropical storm that makes its way inland. Your lilies make me swoon. The images are breathtaking, especially the last one, whatever the lovely's name might be. :-)

  7. Good morning Jodi, your blooms are looking wonderful. Hope you are enjoying some summertime weather now. It is a hot and humid week here in Ontario and those that complain that summer wasn't here in July are now complaining it is too hot. You never can please those folks. I'm loving the variety of weather we have had this season.

  8. The pictures are great Jodi! I wish our coneflowers were still producing new flowers but I suspect it's time for them to go to seed. The weather has been really wacky this year. Not so great for the veggies but good for the ornamentals.

  9. Great photos and inspiration, Jodi! I'm not familiar with 'Hair' allium but will be looking out for it from now on. What a classic!

  10. You have such a lovely collection of coneflowers you’ve inspired Jamie and me to start a collection too. I can’t wait to see more pictures. --Randy

  11. I think alliums in general are fun plants, but 'Hair' is just too cute:) I am going to have to get that one.

  12. Your photos are splendid~~really lovely! I can imagine the sweet intoxicating scent of the oriental lilies~ delicious! I wasn't attracted to the Hair allium until today! Your photo of them with the Sea Holly shows how fun they can be...I wonder when they would be in bloom in zone 7. gail

  13. That sunflower made me smile too, but first my jaw hit the floor and I went "ohhhh!!!" :)
    Those lillies are really gorgeous.What a pity they wont grow for me though. I wish someone would remind them that Mumbai is part of Asia too!

  14. I'm glad that the weather has given you some beauties, even if it isn't the best. Love your lilies, I really need to plant more. I passed up a Cooky geum on clearance, perhaps I shouldn't have done that?

  15. Radar Love? My favorite clematis. The flowers really aren't much to write home about but it puts the wild clematis - Virgin's Bower to shame when it comes to producing Old Man's Beards.

    I can see why you're besotted by the Purple Prince. The form and color are wonderful.

  16. Fantastic photo's, I've really enjoyed my visit.

    I'm in love with the 'Purple Prince' lily.

  17. I am experiencing extreme plant lust. I've been enticed by 'Caravan' before, but after seeing it (or 'Zagora'?) planted in your agrden with all of the rich reds around it... well, I'm entranced. It's not nearly as pink as I had feared it would be... and I'm dreaming about the scent it must have, too...

  18. Lovely shots of your flowers Jodi, I enjoyed the way you have photographed the back-lit coneflowers.

  19. Those lilies are particularly wow-y. Have you found the Orienpets to be generally superior?

  20. Lord please let me grow sea hollies like jodi! I love them and can't get them grow for nothing. I hold out hope though.

    Darn slugs! You can either spread that diatomaceous earth or brush their teeth cause toothpaste has the ground up earth in it too. If you decide to brush slug teeth--post bout it would you?

    The sunflower is called Fibonacci circle or some such algorithm nonsense.

    You captured the light perfectly and all the bloomers in your garden are growing grandly.

    Big hugs

  21. I haven't commented here for ages: my apologies. Garden looks so much better without snow!
    Allium Hair is a great plant: although a bit weird for some clients who think it is misshapen and diseased. Children like it though.


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