The Violet Fern

Creating Art & Gardens

What’s Blooming: Hey Joe and Here Comes the Sun


Yet another Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, celebrated the 15th of each month and hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. My garden is looking “tired” – a reflection of me? I am tired. Tired and struggling with allergies. The garden is beating me down. I have managed to cut a few things back, tidy up a bit, add a few small paths but that’s about all. Not much harvesting going on either – fresh salad, herbs and cucumbers.

Joe Pye is everywhere! But I love, love its big floppy, purple heads – all loaded with sleepy bees. I am going to move some of the volunteers to a new corner of the garden.

Joe in the Potager

Joe Pye in the Potager

The Susans are also prolific even in spite of the severe rabbit pruning they received earlier this summer. They are taking over the Bird & Butterfly Garden (along with Joe). I will need to thin them this fall so the bee balm and coneflowers have more room to grow. My asters are buried and so is Husker’s Red – more moving around.

Susans in the Bird & Butterfly Garden

Joe Pye and Susans in the Bird & Butterfly Garden

Nodding onions are the star of the garden now. Great blue lobelia is just revealing itself.

Woodland Edge August

Great Blue Lobelia and Nodding Onions along the Woodland Edge

Nodding Onions

Nodding Onions up close

Iron Weed has just come into bloom – flop. Lots of flopping going on. Don’t you just hate that?

Iron Weed

Well, I wanted more flowers in the Potager and I have them!

Flowers in the Potager

Calendula and marigolds blanket the paths. Trumpet vine gone wild. These marigolds are 3-4′ tall!

3' Marigolds in the Potager

Sunflowers are also beginning to bloom. I didn’t think any of them would make it given the rabbits’ taste for sunflower sprouts!

2013-08-15 19.03.53

2013-08-15 19.03.30

Mexican Sunflower

This Amaranth is taller than the sunflowers – almost 7′!

7' tall Amaranth

I find most of the action – blooms and birds, bees, etc. – in the Potager and Woodland Edge, but there is more going on in the new Hosta Row. Clematis Virginiana is blooming for the first time! Too bad the wind wreaked havoc on its trellis. That’s just the way it goes in gardening it seems. The snowball hydrangea bloom on and on and on (along with the Dogwood shrubs this year), in Hosta Row and along the Nice Driveway where the wall of grape and hydrangea has filled in completely.

Native Clematis Virginiana

Native Clematis Virginiana

Snowball hydrangeas in Hosta Row

Dogwood and Snowball hydrangeas in Hosta Row

Wall of grapes and hydrangea

Wall of grapes and hydrangea

New Hydrangea ‘Quickfire’ is blooming alongside Heuchera ‘Pinot Bianco.’

Hydrangea 'Quickfire' and Heuchera 'Pinot Bianco'

White Phlox that belonged to my grandmother also bloom along the Nice Driveway. Fresh against the fading Bee Balm.

Phlox in Nice Driveway

Pink phlox blooms out front through a veil of Karl Foerester Feather Reed grass.

Pink Phlox through Karl Forester

Mints are coming into bloom throughout the garden. Catmint blooms non-fail all summer in the Riverfront.

Catmint Walkers Low

Soon to be outdone by the Russian Sage.

Russian Sage

I don’t look out front too often but I’ll have to keep an eye on it as things are coming into bloom like this young NJ Tea and butterfly weed. This sheered off Mt. Bluet Centaurea is reblooming, too.

Mt Bluet Centaurea

Mt Bluet Centaurea reblooms

New Jersey Tea Buds

New Jersey Tea Buds

Butterfly Weed Buds

Butterfuly Weed Buds

Of course, the honeysuckle blooms all summer until frost and even into December!

Honeysuckle in August

Coral Honeysuckle

This is the home stretch. Not much more blooms from hereon out but beautiful Fall color to look forward to. Nights have been cool and some of the trees are already going dormant. Early fall this year? Obedient Plant is just starting to bloom – have to love a late bloomer like Obedient Plant even if it is a thug.

Obedient first blooms

Be sure to join in Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day by visiting Carol at May Dreams Gardens.


Author: Kathy Sturr

Artist, master gardener, plant-based chef. Florida's Nature Coast / Indian River Lakes, NY

6 thoughts on “What’s Blooming: Hey Joe and Here Comes the Sun

  1. Enjoyed the tour! I do love Joe Pye and how the swallow tail butterflies just love it,too. You are right about obedient plant being a thug, but a nice thug if it behaves. Sorry to hear about your allergies, that always makes being in the garden a difficult task. Robbie:-)

    • Sadly, I have not seen barely any butterflies this year. Last year I had so many Swallowtails, Monarchs, Admirals. Strange. Still have many, many bees, though. I find it pretty easy to rip out the Obedient Plant if it begins to crowd something else. It’s what I resort to now that I have little room for more plantings. I even brought some to our community garden which is in a preserve, since it is native I won’t worry about it escaping to the preserve. My allergies come and go but they’ve been with me now for more than a few weeks. It is draining and I have less and less energy. I believe mine are mold related and not so pollen oriented. But spread a little compost and achoo! I may try acupuncture again!

      • There was an article a few weeks ago about how the “weather” was contributing to the decline in butterflies in our area. I have noticed the past few year, fewer butterflies. I have terrible allergies in the spring, i feel like a walking zombie for weeks. It is horrible. I do sympathise with you. I sure hope the cool weather has you feeling a bit better. Acupuncture may work!

      • I am going to try accupuncture again! I will let you know what works for me. I do take an herbal product called D-Hist that usually works for me. I buy it on Amazon. It may help you in the spring if you begin taking it early. I like it because it is an herbal and doesn’t mask the symptoms like Zyrtec but helps support the immune system instead. I’ve read bromelaids help with allergies, too. Thankfully I have never had allergies until the past couple of years. Mountain Rose has a nice tea, too, they have named Seasons of Discontent.

  2. Acupuncture has worked for me Kathy…worth the try again…love Joe and so many of the same flowers…we both have the same issue…crowded beds and lots of volunteers and no time to garden….few butterflies here sadly.

  3. Donna if the butterflies aren’t visiting YOUR garden that that is truly sad indeed. I did spy a hummingbird moth the other day, though. It is just so strange to see the Joe Pye in bloom without swarms of butterflies.

Thank you for joining me in the making of my garden!

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