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Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day August 2010

Sunshine Daydream sunflower. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Sunshine Daydream sunflower. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

I’m tired and hot from another 90+ degree-day in the garden center. Oh, wait. I wrote that last month!

No change in the weather, only intensified heat. Three days of excessive heat warnings in a row…the hottest here in 22 years.

Despite the constant incredible heat and humidity, there are bright spots in the garden. First up is the charming Sunshine Daydream sunflower (Helianthus multiflorus) from Plants Nouveau, which has reached 5 feet tall its first summer.

Also tall is the volunteer flowering tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris), which is intensely fragrant. I really like most flowering tobacco because of their fragrance, because they self-sow and because they are a terrific attractant for hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.

Sunshine Charm tradescantia. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Sunshine Charm tradescantia. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

A sweet surprise is a brand new spiderwort called ‘Sunshine Charm’ (Tradescantia), which I picked up last month as a plug from the Terra Nova Nurseries booth at OFA, the country’s largest horticulture show held annually in Columbus, Ohio. It and about a dozen other plugs of various sorts have been in 4-inch pots since the show, yet this one is blooming and living up to its name.

Garden Writers Association members from Region III (Indiana, Michigan and Ohio) have been invited the last several years to attend this event at no charge. For the second year, I went for the day with Irvin Etienne, a horticulturist and blogger at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, another GWA member and total plant geek.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised with Ready to Wear Paris, a tri-colored Calibrachoa sent to me from Hort Couture. I’m not particularly crazy about ‘million bells,’ in general, because I don’t think they take the heat very well and they get really scraggly.

Ready to Wear Paris calibrachoa from Hort Couture. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Ready to Wear Paris calibrachoa from Hort Couture. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

But this new introduction for 2011 has done very well with my usual benign neglect as a companion with another favorite annual, jewels of Opar (Talilnum). I can’t really give more information about this calibrachoa because I can’t find anything about this plant on the Hort Couture Web site, so I don’t know if there’s a Ready to Wear Rome…New York…or?

Lady Elsie May rose pairs nicely with a pink Japanese anemone. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Lady Elsie May rose pairs nicely with a pink Japanese anemone. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

The shrub roses (Rosa rugosa) are blooming again after a brief rest, and I continue to be amazed by ‘Lady Elsie May,’ which is just a lovely plant and stunning color. It’s close to Japanese anemone (A. x hybrida), which also has started to bloom. This pink perennial also is a favorite in winter for its cotton-ball seed heads.

Japanese painted fern has gone dormant because of the heat in central Indiana. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Japanese painted fern has gone dormant because of the heat in central Indiana. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Lastly, my poor Japanese painted ferns (Athyrium niponicum) have melted in the heat. I’ve not watered anything except the pots and the stuff in containers. I’ve only watered the vegetable garden once and that was two days ago.

This coming week is expected to be cooler…in the 80s. It’s hard to imagine the 80s as cooler. A little rain would be nice.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day was started by May Dreams Gardens. Garden bloggers from throughout the world write about what’s happening in their gardens on the 15th of the month.

2 comments to Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day August 2010

  • Thanks for the reminder! I think I have that same Calibrachoa and it is blooming nicely in a container. I wondered where it came from because I don’t usually by it, either. According to the Hort Couture brochure, the other ‘Ready to Wear’ varieties are Milan and Tokyo.

    I haven’t watered anything but container and the vegetable garden, either, and you can sure tell it. My lawn is a lovely tan color now.

  • This is the time of the year to observe what is doing well in the garden and plant more of them for next as they are the real foundation for a successful garden. I have some million bells in a container that are doing quite well but we are not having your kind of heat. Thanks for sharing today.