July 24, 2015

Midsummer Lilies and Etc.

Midsummer is lily and daylily season, and above you see giant 'Big Brother' Oriental lilies blooming in my backyard.  They have that wonderful spicy fragrance you get from 'Stargazer' and other Oriental lilies.

I love daylililes, like these double 'Frances Joiner' plants in my front yard.  But the flowers only last one day and then need to be deadheaded to look tidy.  That gets overwhelming, so recently I've been giving away more plants to nearby gardeners.  I'm planning to replace a couple of daylilies in the front yard with nonflowering 'Helen von Stein' Stachys byzantia, whose fuzzy silver leaves will provide interesting texture without any deadheading required.

'Little Lime' (above) and 'Limelight' panicle hydrangeas are blooming profusely, and their long lasting flower clusters will become shaded with pink and then maroon as we progress toward fall.  My 'Annabelle' and pink 'Invincibelle Spirit' hydrangeas have finished an impressive flush of blooms, and 'Tiny Tuff Stuff' is giving a moderate showing.  But the mopheads (Let's Dance 'Big Easy) have just one flower cluster between the six of them.  Even reblooming-type mopheads are a disappointment around here.

Petite 'Kahome' Filipendula is covered with airy sprays of pink flowers right now.  It makes a nice edging plant because it stays smaller than other types of meadow rue.

Even though there aren't many flowers in the northeast corner, I feel pleased with how the design is working.  The arrangement of plants looks balanced.  The forms, textures and shades of green are working well together.

The northwest corner, in contrast, is kind of a mess right now.  So I'm only showing a close up view.  These 'Miss Molly' butterfly bushes (Buddleia) and Russian Sage (Peroskvia) are doing well and attracting cute hummingbirds and butterflies, but other parts of this corner are failing.  The delphiniums aren't getting enough love to keep them healthy and happy, so I'm going to replace them with sturdy Baptisia.  Other plants need to be transplanted, divided, or removed.  I suspect it will take a few more seasons of trial and error before this area comes together.  

The 'Red Dragon' contorted filbert (Corylus avellana) above is my plan for a new focal point plant in the northwest corner.  Right now it's sitting in its pot by the faucet, and I'm trying to remember to water it daily until I can transplant the roses in fall and get this plant into the ground.  Its corkscrew branches will be lovely all winter, and the maroon leaves (which turn greener in summer) will be pretty for much longer than the few weeks that the roses are in bloom.  At least, that's the plan.  We'll see how it turns out after a few years.


  1. Beautiful pictures and plants! :) `Kahome` is very interesting.

  2. Wow...love, love the pic of the butterfly bush and russian sage. Menards has the butterfly bushes on sale now. I'm always thinking about buying it, but never actually do as the small bushes always look so spindly at the store. But I think I'm going to pick some up.

    Where did you get your contorted filbert? That is one cool looking bush. I've never seen that before.

    1. Margaret, yes, get a butterfly bush! Mine looked a lot fuller the year after planting. They really do attract the butterflies and hummingbirds like nothing else. I bought the filbert at my local nursery, Gibsons. It is a fairly new variety that will hopefully be more widely available as time goes by. Isn't it cool?!

  3. I love the buddleia and russian sage combo. They really do show each other off don't they?
    The north east corner has really filled out and does look balanced, as you say. You reminded me that I had a Filipendula once, I wonder what happened to it!


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