Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – September 2008

– Posted in: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

'Black Knight' pincushion flower (Scabiosa atropurpurea) with 'Gartenmeister Bonstedt' fuchsia and Mellow Yellow spirea (Spiraea thunbergii 'Ogon')

I’d thought to start this post with some grumblings about the weather, but compared to what many parts of the U.S. have been facing, we’ve been getting off fairly easily here in southeastern Pennsylvania. So without further chatter, here are some Bloom Day highlights from my own garden, as well as from the plantings I help to care for at Linden Hill Gardens in Ottsville, PA. For links to more Bloom Day posts from all over the globe, be sure to check out the main Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post at May Dreams Gardens.

Phygelius 'Croftway Purple Prince' with Carex 'Toffee Twist'

'Croftway Purple Prince' cape fuchsia (Phygelius) with 'Toffee Twist' sedge (Carex)

Summer Sorbet blue mist shrub (Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Dyraisey')

New England aster (Aster novae-angliae) seedlings with variegated pokeweed (Phytolacca americana 'Silberstein')

New England aster (Aster novae-angliae) seedlings with variegated pokeweed (Phytolacca americana 'Silberstein')

Shrimp plant (Justicia brandegeana) with 'Caramel' heuchera (Heuchera villosa)

Shrimp plant (Justicia brandegeana) with 'Caramel' heuchera (Heuchera villosa)

Gentiana triflora var. japonica with 'Silvery Sunproof' lilyturf (Liriope muscari)

'Sunny Smile' dwarf sunflower (Helianthus annuus) with 'Aztec Orange' zinnia (Zinnia elegans) and 'Lemon Queen' perennial sunflower (Helianthus)

Joe-Pye weed (Eupatorium hybrid) with orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida var. fulgida) and ironweeds (Vernonia hybrids)

Red orach (Atriplex hortensis var. rubra) seedheads, golden elderberry (Sambucus nigra 'Aurea'), purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum'), 'Profusion Orange' zinnia, chrysanthemum, and 'Taurus' mountain fleeceflower (Persicaria amplexicaulis)

Salvia koyame with Coleus 'Dark Star' and Cotinus coggygria 'Ancot' (Golden Spirit)

Japanese yellow sage (Salvia koyamae) with 'Dark Star' coleus and Golden Spirit smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria)

Nancy J. Ondra
Nan gardens on 4 acres in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In the firm belief that every garden ought to have a pretentious-sounding (or at least pretentious-looking) name, she refers to her home grounds as "Hayefield." There, she experiments with a wide variety of plants and planting styles, from cottage gardens and color-based borders to managed meadows, naturalistic plantings, and veggies--all under the watchful eyes of her two pet alpacas, Daniel and Duncan.
Nancy J. Ondra

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14 Comments… add one

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joco September 15, 2008, 5:32 am

Hiya Nancy,

Nice to meet you.

Who needs flowers, when you have so many wonderful leaves to make a bouquet.

Lovely combination planting in your garden. I am envious.

Welcome to Gardening Gone Wild, Joco. Thanks for your comment!

gina September 15, 2008, 6:57 am

Nan – I love that purple fuchsia! My favorite picture is the last one because of your amazing ability to combine foliage.

It’s my favorite too, Gina. That’s now the combination I admire while I eat my lunch on work days.

Our friend Ben September 15, 2008, 7:18 am

Wow, Nan! What phenomenal shots! I’m going to have to try harder with my fuchsias (and Cape fuchsias) next year. I’ve grown the ‘Gartenmeister’ before, but that ‘Croftway Purple Prince’ phygelius is just amazing. Drool…

Drool indeed! I’d given up on phygelius for many years, but I saw this one at Black Creek this spring and figured I’d give it a try – lucky me!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens September 15, 2008, 7:22 am

My “must have” list always gets a little bit longer after looking at some of your wonderful combinations of plantings. Thanks for sharing your beautiful gardens with us for bloom day.

Many thanks, Carol – and Happy Bloom Day to you!

Cameron (Defining Your Home Garden) September 15, 2008, 9:08 am

Oh my! What wonderfully dramatic colors and combinations! 🙂 Cameron

I appreciate the comment, Cameron. Bloom Day is a super excuse to trot out some of our favorite shots.

Frances September 15, 2008, 12:30 pm

Hi Nan, your posts always help me if figuring out how to combine these plants. I just bought C. Summer Sorbet and am loving it, hoping it is a little more upright than worcester gold. I love the toffe twist carex, but it tends to get lost here in the jumble. I have purple salvia greggiis that would look similar to your purple phygelius. But the best idea by far is the shrimp plant with the caramel heuchera, echoing the gold and red tones. Brilliant.

Frances at Fairegarden
new url

Thanks, Frances! I too love that shrimp plant/heuchera combination. My photo doesn’t even do it justice; the color match is awesome (if I do say so myself…).

Commonweeder September 15, 2008, 12:51 pm

The plant combinations are fabulous. This is my own failing. I keep learning about more plants and that is a help, but having such a sensitivity to color is your skill that I envy. MY GBBD posting is up at showing off all the color I haven’t enjoyed since the roses bloomed in June.

Thanks for stopping by, Pat. I enjoyed seeing your post, too; lovely dahlias!

ICQB September 15, 2008, 1:26 pm

The color pairings in your garden are marvelous!

I’m so happy to see your pokeweed – it’s one of my favorites. I usually see it only in the wild even though it’s so striking and the colors in it are so beautiful.

Thank you so much for sharing!

The pokeweed certainly does inspire mixed reactions. Usually, people who have tried to get rid of the regular green kind are the ones not too impressed by the variegated form. I think it’s neat, though.

Lisa at Greenbow September 15, 2008, 4:55 pm

You have great blooms Nan but I am always drawn to the color combinations of the foliage in your garden. All are beeutiful.

Thanks, Lisa! I didn’t much notice the foliage in this set of images, because I was so focused in trying to find great-looking flowers in honor of Bloom Day. But sure enough, it’s there!

Gail September 15, 2008, 7:51 pm

You are brilliant at combining plants and making each one shine. The Joe Pye Weed/coneflower and iron weed combo is dramatically spectacular. Who knew that there is a variegated pokeweed! Some of my favorite natives! This has been a wonderful visit for me thanks, Gail

Hey, yeah – how about those natives? I hadn’t picked up on that angle. I adore the asters, eupatoriums, and ironweeds for their rich colors this time of year. They seed around a lot, which makes ID-ing them a challenge; that’s why I generally just call them hybrids. Anymore, though, I don’t care so much what they’re called as how they look.

Dave September 16, 2008, 9:18 am

They all look great Nan! Looking at your selections is a great way to plan a garden. The Joe Pye Weed combo with the rudbeckia is great. I still like that caryopteris with the variegated foliage. I think I’ll have to add some yellow salvia to the purples we have!

Thanks, Dave! That Summer Sorbet caryopteris is pretty nice. It’s been challenging to find good companions for it, however. I’m not crazy about the flowers of the Knock Out rose with it, but the rose’s dark green foliage makes a good backdrop, at least.

patientgardener September 16, 2008, 12:09 pm

What lovely plant combinations you have not just the colours of the flowers but also the texture of the leaves. I like the Joe-Pye plant – not one I know and the Cape Fuschia is so vibrant – it must be hard to make it work with other colours.

I’m not sure how the Joe-Pyes perform in the U.K.; they seem to like our long, warm summers. Usually they are much taller than the one in the image here, but I cut this clump back by half in late May and again in late June to early July to get the height somewhere between the rudbeckia and the ironweed, and to delay the bloom a bit. Those that I didn’t prune have been past for a few weeks already.

Layanee September 16, 2008, 11:01 pm

You really know how to mix ’em! All great combos!

Thanks, Layanee. It helps to have lots of options to choose from. You don’t get to see all of the combos that didn’t turn out so well.

Blackswampgirl Kim September 21, 2008, 1:19 pm

What great combos, as always… I really like the golden elder and the variegated pokeweed, but it’s the gentian/lilyturf combination that I’m really enjoying best for some reason. It’s very elegantly sweet!

Thanks, Kim. That gentian has been amazing, blooming continuously since early July.

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