What a goofy summer! Things that should be done blooming are just starting, and things that should be in full bloom are finished. It's garden mayhem! I guess that's what happens when summer starts in August.
And it does finally seem to be summer and, I can't believe I'm saying this, we need some rain. I found myself watering my Japanese painted fern and astilbe for the first time in ages. Regardless, things are looking pretty in the sunshine!
Here is that tall coreopsis (C. tripteris) I mentioned in an earlier post when my camera was malfunctioning. It's blooming about a month later than it has in the past two or three years. See how the flowers have brown centers, rather Susan-like? Despite the existence of a Coreopsis lanceolata (which is actually sitting near this guy to the upper right), I think this species truly has the lance-shaped leaves, which resemble bamboo on lanky stems with deep green color. But that's just my opinion.
(Here's a closer look at the flowers)
The unusual bloom time may actually turn out to be a good thing. This coreopsis is right next to my smooth blue asters (Symphyotrichum laevis), and I've always been disappointed with how their flowering times miss each other.
(OK, not actually blooming but a preview for next month's Bloom Day.)
Usually the coreopsis is long finished blooming when the light blue flowers of the asters get going. I just might catch a nice color combo this year, thanks to the weird weather. That is, if the asters don't die. The photo above is of the control aster from my milk/oil experiment, and it's developing some foliar spots now. Also, these plants are about 2 feet shorter than usual. I think last year's mildew, the unidentified foliage problems from this year, and the lack of sun have caused some serious issues for these plants. (Side note: the plant sprayed with the milk solution is looking better than the one sprayed with oil and soap. But that's another post...)
In other aster news the big-leaved species (Eurybia macrophylla) still has one plant in bloom...
(Sorry for the blurriness.)
...and my Joe-Pye weed (Eupatorium maculatum) is the toast of the town as far as the local bumblebees are concerned.
(Click to enlarge and get a better look at the bees.)
There are about 5 or 6 bumblebees that have taken up permanent residence on this plant. I find them crashed out on the flowers at night and in the early morning, and all day long they go about their pollen harvesting, only leaving to enjoy the nearby great blue lobelia and goldenrod as side dishes.
(Here's a fuller view of the Joe-Pye. I don't show many full-length shots of this plant because it's right by my front door, and I'm weirded out about showing a close photo of the entrance to my house on the internet. But I assure you, this plant is 5' tall and gorgeous.)
Speaking of those plants, my goldenrod (Solidago lost-the-plant-tag) is also blooming earlier than usual, but it's creating that blue-yellow color combo with the great blue lobelia (L. siphilitica).
I'm a big fan of yellow and blue contrasting near each other, can't you tell? Other random blooms right now include my coleus, whose purplish panicles looked much better last week...
...and this one dianthus flower, which is the only part of the plant that is reblooming.
(A shy reblooming dianthus.)
Also blooming but not pictured: Salvia nemorosa 'Plumosa', which is really on its last legs and turning brown and faded.
I hope everyone has a lovely Bloom Day and weekend! For more Bloom Day excitement, see Carol at May Dreams Garden to check out what's blooming across the country!