Friday, September 15, 2023

A dry September Bloom Day

It's been a dry month here in my central Ohio zone 6b garden and it shows. The perennials are pretty much done for the season since I haven't been watering them. That makes me even more grateful for the annuals and dahlias that continue to bloom their heads off. 

Otto's Thrill has become my favorite dahlia in my garden and has been blooming since mid-July. It doesn't have the longest vase life but it's coloring is exquisite. The fact that it has performed so much better during its second year makes me consider giving some new tubers I planted this year that haven't bloomed one more year, if they make it over winter. 

Sweet Love dahlia is also in its second year in my garden and continues to be a reliable and prolific bloomer. And it lasts for a week or more in a vase.

I also grew several dahlias from seed, these are two of my favorites. While I love the fancier dahlias like those above, these are pretty too and the pollinators love them especially now when pollen is getting more scarce.

Top row: Senorita Zinnia, Bottom row: assorted Cut and Come zinnias

Zinnias are a longtime favorite of mine and I'll always grow them. I hope to squeeze even more in next year.

Cosmos seashells mix

This is the first year in a long time that I've grow cosmos and I'm really enjoying them. Unfortunately the deer also enjoy dining on them but have finally left them alone long enough so I can get some blooms.

This container of lantana and calibrachoa is still going strong and are so cheerful I will definitely repeat this combo again.

That's most of what's blooming in my garden this month. Visit May Dreams Gardens' Garden Blogger's Bloom Day post to see what's blooming in participating gardens around the world. 

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Garden explosion for Bloom Day!

July is one of the busiest months in my central Ohio zone 6B garden as far as blooms go and this year is no exception. Coneflowers are blooming everywhere and are joined by Shasta Daisy 'Alaska' that I grew from seed last year.

I really enjoy this combination of tall larkspur (Delphinium exaltum), coneflowers and Sweet Love dahlias.

I have two types of coneflower, purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and White Swan.

Seeing Otto's Thrill dahlia bloom is a great thrill, first because I didn't bother digging it up last year following it's unimpressive performance. But surprisingly, it came back despite the fact that I'm in zone 6B. And it's already blooming whereas last year the first full bloom wasn't until October 1! We had the large Silver Maple in that area trimmed last winter, so it may be getting some more sun.

My Sweet Love dahlia is also blooming. I did dig up and store this one over winter.

I'm loving the combination in this pot of two Superbenas (Stormburst and ?) and Catalina Midnight Blue.
Zinnias are still one of my favorite flowers and I'm enjoying Queen Lime zinnia (left) and Senorita.

I loved the combination of bright pink calibrachoa and lantana (Bana Pink) from two years ago so much that I repeated it this year.

I haven't grown cosmos in several years and am really enjoying these Sea shells mix.

Tall bellflower (Campanula americana) that I planted last year and the only one the deer didn't chomp to death. I planted more this year in hopes of a better display in the future.

I'm loving these Butterfly Blend dwarf delphiniums, which are blooming for the first time since I wintersowed them last year. I hope to grow some more for next season.

That's most of what's blooming in my garden right now. Visit May Dreams Gardens' Garden Blogger's Bloom Day post to see what's blooming in participating gardens around the world. 

Saturday, June 17, 2023

June Bloom Day

Apricot Drift rose, cottage pinks and lavender (possibly Munstead)

It's been quite a week so this post is a few days late. But since I resolved to post for every Bloom Day  from April until our first frost this year, better late than never.

This has already been a challenging season in my 6b central Ohio garden. Things started off well. We had a wet, chilly early spring, followed by almost no rain (0.05" to be exact) from May 20-June 11 and a hot spell. Plus wildfire smoke from the Canadian fires. I have planted a lot of seedlings, an completely new bed's worth in fact, and was sick of watering by June 1. Much earlier than usual.

Things have been better over the last week and we got around 2" of rain total and the temperature has been cool enough that I turned the A/C off. The recent rain has been a big help, though we're still in a moderate drought. I know many have it worse and others often face drought. It's certainly a challenge. But let's see what's blooming, shall we?

I've long wanted a hydrangea and when I saw this Hydrangea macrophylla 'Linsey Ann (L.A. Dreamin' hydrangea) on sale at a local garden center I decided it had to come home with me. The joy it's brought me has already been more than worth it. I just love the color! 

Also pictured is a mixed container (left), pansies and seed dahlias.

I grew these Alaska shasta daisies from seed last year so this is my first year seeing them bloom. They're pretty, but along with the rain issues this year we've also had a lot of pest pressure and aphids have been all over them.   That's been a bummer and I prefer not to use spray pest control.

I also grew these Rainbow Loveliness cottage pinks from seed last year and they have been blooming their heads off. Their scent is amazing, perfume-y, with a bit of spice to it. And it really carries. I just love it and it intertwined with the apricot Drift rose.

I planted these foxglove beardtongue, Penstemon digitalis, last summer so this is my first time ever seeing them bloom. The bees also loved them, but unfortunately so did the deer and they ate all of the blooms a few days ago. Along with everything else, the deer seem especially hungry this year.

Continuing the theme, I also grew these Rocky Mountain Blue Penstemon from seed last year so this is it's first season blooming and I absolutely love them. The color is so vibrant.

These no ID bellflower are also in bloom. Probably my best internet plant purchase ever (there haven't been many). I've had them for years, but last year I moved some of the volunteers so that they form a nice clump and I'm really happy with the result. 

Some of the mixed Sweet William that are dotted around the garden. They're in a variety of colors, but this combination is my favorite.

And I'll close things with one of the porch pots, filled with pentas and Supertunia Vista Silverberry, and Donnie, my neighbor gardening buddy.

Visit May Dreams Gardens to see what is blooming in other gardens around the globe.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day - May 2023


After the daffodils and tulips fade in my zone 6b central Ohio garden, there is the purple period, thanks in large part to all the gorgeous alliums blooming everywhere. A neighbor once said they look like fireworks popping out all over and I love that description. There are several varieties, though they're from a mixed bag from the big box store so I'm not entirely what's what. My two Miss Kim dwarf lilacs are also blooming.

The blue false indigo (baptisia australis) is almost at full bloom. It's a fun plant to watch grow as it pops out of the ground looking like purple asparagus before it starts to unfurl. It's native here and has been a favorite since I first started planning my garden over a decade ago. At the time it was hard to find blue false indigo at a local nursery, but they're much more popular now.

I grew these cottage pinks from seed last year and they're blooming like crazy. I think our cooler, wet spring has helped.

The purple columbine are starting to bloom too, though their downturned little faces are challenging to photograph. I'm slowly but steadily spreading their seeds around the garden, though I haven't been able to get them to grow in clumps yet.

And it feels a bit like cheating since I bought these a few weeks ago, but I'm loving these cheerful pansies and have been enjoying them for several weeks.

That's it for this month in my garden, but you can visit May Dreams Gardens to see what is blooming in other gardens.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

April blooms: the garden awakens

The 2023 gardening season is well underway and I'm excited for what's in store. I'm working on a brand new bed in the back yard and anxious to see some new blooms from things planted last year. But more on that to come. Let's see what's in bloom now.

There is a bit of a lull in mid-April in my zone 6b, central Ohio garden. The early spring bulbs like crocus, chinodoxia, camassia and snow drops are gone and the daffodils are on their way out. The tulips that the deer haven't feasted on are close, but most aren't blooming yet. 

The real party starts in May, but the garden is starting to wake up and send more and more green shoots up nearly daily.

To me the star right now is this crabapple tree. It's gorgeous when in bloom and smells like early spring to me. Last year's bloom was lackluster, but this year it's outstanding. This beauty was here when I moved in and I just love it.

The blooms don't last long, unfortunately, so I treasure it while it lasts.

Seeing this clumps of daffodils bloom is like seeing an old friend. One I had forgotten about if I'm honest. To me rediscovering existing plants is almost as fun as seeing new ones bloom. 

Here's a sampling of the other daffodils in bloom. I'm not sure of the exact varieties as these came from a mixed bag.

I really love tulips, but unfortunately so do the deer. This was the only one of this clump I managed to spray with deer repellent before it was chomped. Even though I live in the middle of the city the deer are plentiful here and visit my yard almost daily in season. A few other survivors haven't bloomed yet.
There are also numerous clumps of grape hyacinths in different areas and at this point my yard is at least 30% wild violets since I don't use pesticides, or fertilizer for that matter on the lawn.

That's it for this month in my garden, but you can visit May Dreams Gardens to see what is blooming in other gardens.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

October blooms

The gardening season is definitely winding down in my central Ohio zone 6a garden, and the plants are looking tired. But there are a few blooms left. Take a look at what is blooming for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day.

As with last month, the dahlias are the stars of my garden right now. This is my first year growing dahlias and though I only planted two varieties I'm officially addicted.

Otto's Thrill dinnerplate dahlia

I've only had four blooms of Otto's Thrill, a dinnerplate dahlia variety, but they're absolutely gorgeous. I've read they're late bloomers, so perhaps it's just that or perhaps they need more sun than they're getting in this spot but I'm glad I got to see them. They also don't last long in a vase, but did I mention how pretty they are? They seem to be really getting into gear now and there are lots of blooms ready to burst but unfortunately I don't think they'll have time for more than perhaps one more blossom to fully open.

Sweet Love dahlia

Sweet Love dahlia on the other hand has been blooming its head off since late July. I just love it and it has earned another year in my garden thanks to being such a prolific bloomer. Plus the blooms also have a great vase life.

pink and fuschia zinnia blooms
Queen lime zinnia (left) with Cut and Come Again Zinnias (right)

The zinnias are still blooming although they are definitely looking tired and at least half of them have powdery mildew. I'm not as in love with the zinnias I planted this year as I was last year so I'm going to change things up next season. There are so many zinnia varieties to try though so changing things up isn't a bad thing.

White conflowers

The White Swan coneflowers I grew from seed this year bloomed late in the season and should put on an even better show next year.

And I couldn't resist including the rare Donnie flower. He's a neighbor kitty who loves to visit and hang out with us whenever we're outside and has become my gardening buddy.

We're expecting frost and a freeze this week which will finally mark the end of this year's season, but this feels like bonus time anyway since I thought last weekend's frost be the end.

My end of season "frost is coming" bouquets
are always some of the prettiest.

Visit May Dreams Gardens to see what is blooming in other gardens around the globe.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

My August garden

While there are still plenty of blooms, it's been pretty dry here for the last several weeks and my August garden is started to look a little tired. But let's see what's blooming for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, shall we?

The most exciting development since July is the first dahlias I have ever grown have started blooming. These are Sweet Love. I was disappointed with the first few blooms, which were completely white instead of pink with a white center as advertised, but the color has started to change and I was delighted to see this blushing pink bloom. 

I love the unique coloring on this bloom. I enjoy color variations, provided there is some color. It will be interesting to see what happens when the other two Sweet Love plants finally start blooming. I planted a second variety in another spot in the garden, but it doesn't even have buds yet unfortunately. 

I also have one Alaska Shasta Daisy bloom from several plants I winter sowed this year. Kinda funny that there is only one bloom from a handful of plants, but I'll still take it!

I also really like this blue sage (salvia farinacea) I also grew from seed this year. It has been a great performer.

I love the pop of purple it bring to the sea of coneflowers and plan to add more next year.

Though I wouldn't repeat this combination, these sun patients have been blooming their heads off all summer.

Two kinds of agastache.

I also have lots of zinnias, which are my favorite flower. They're just so easy to grow and such prolific bloomers. This one is Queen Lime Red.

Another Queen Lime Red. I enjoy the color variation.

Self-seeded snapdragons. Must plant more of these next year.

And of course I still have my signature sea of coneflowers, though as mentioned they're looking a little ragged at this point.

What are your favorite late summer blooms? Favorite dahlias to grow?

Visit May Dreams Gardens' Garden Blogger's Bloom Day to see what's blooming in participating gardens around the world. 


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