The Violet Fern

Creating Art & Gardens

What’s Blooming: Summer Nights


A little late to the game but it’s July and peak bloom season for most everyone in the Northeast, but I would say my garden peaks in Autumn with Joe (Pye) and Susan (Black-eyed) getting it on. They are showing signs of love, but here’s what’s blooming right now in the Violet Fern Garden during Garden Blogger’s Bloom Days hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

A rare look from above on the Bird & Butterfly and Woodland Gardens. As you can see, I have a jungle on my hands.

Stepping a little over to the right and you can see the swell of grass path where I plan to put in a small pond. You can also catch a glimpse of the Potager just beyond the garage/workshop.

Every now and then I try to stand back from the flower close-ups so you get a better feel for the jungle, ah hem, I mean garden. Summer Nights have seeded themselves prolifically in the Bird & Butterfly and Nice Driveway gardens. I under appreciate this plant. It is beautiful with dark burgundy stems and that yellow that sometimes flushes orange from the center “cones” that go through various stages of forms from tightly woven dark burgundy to puffy orange polka dots. The bees seem to love it in every stage. That is the yellow you see in the above shots (taken from the roof of my back porch). The White is Shasta Daisy, the red Bee Balm.

 A Rudbeckia Maxima, Giant Cone snuck in here!

Summer Nights along the Nice Driveway along with Arborvitae, Ninebark, and Cranberry Viburnum and just a glimpse of Bee Balm.

Bee Balm is also in its glory. I have a red in the Bird & Butterfly Garden and also along the Nice Driveway. Untitled Untitled

I have a pink variety of Bee Balm out front mixed with Purple Cones and Verbascum right now.  Much is happening out front but I don’t go there often, preferring the privacy in our back garden. I love Sea Holly now blooming and think I will try to incorporate a larger variety in the Bird & Butterfly garden.

Butterfly Weed is about to burst into bloom.

Russian Sage blooms shrub size. As you can see behind that Black Lace has recovered, once again, from our harsh winter with a vengeance. It even bloomed this year.


Black Lace flower

The Honeysuckle is in full swing along the left side of our front porch which we are finally beginning to scrape and paint. I am excited to have the front porch shaped up a bit. It is a beautiful porch and it’s a shame we don’t sit on it more often. We are going to use deck repair paint in Hedgerow green. I can’t wait to get rid of the cold, battleship grey – not that there’s much of it left. The Grapevines that climb along the right side of our porch believe it or not, were pruned early on. With the shrubs and trees now filling in and offering a bit more privacy along with the vines and a new paint job, I believe I will sit out here more often.

Looking out the front door to the crabapples out front. Grapevines cover the trellis work to the right.

Front porch with tongue and groove scraped and ready to be repainted. I think the new green color will be a nice lead way to the garden beyond. Crabapple, and honeysuckle to the left.

I had an Autumn Clematis mixed in here with the honeysuckle and I thought it had died last year but whoops, there it is making a comeback.

 Also exciting, my hardy kiwi vine is finally reaching the trellis on the left back side of the front porch which will be replaced with welded wire very soon. (You can see that we need to paint very badly and the trellis panel is shot.)  Last year I also thought New Jersey Tea had died but I think it has finally settled in next to the honeysuckle. It has the most blooms it’s ever had this year. UntitledOn the back porch Passion Flower Betty Miles Young is growing nicely. She blooms continuously. This year we should also have our back porch sided with real siding! We are choosing a plastic cedar shake shingle style – maintenance free so there’s more time to garden – in a warm color that harmonizes with the stucco.


Yes, I see and enjoy the Passion flower blooms from a seat inside the window.

  On the copper tripod (fancy bird perch) set in a whiskey/wine barrel, Grandpa Ott’s Morning Glory and, so excited, Gloriosa Lilies bloom. The Corkscrew Vine is growing nicely here as well, but no blooms yet. Lime Nicotiana and Love in a Mist reseeded themselves here, too.

Morning Glory, Grandpa Ott’s

Gloriosa Lily bloom

Lime Nicotiana

Love in a Mist, Persian Violet Nigella

In the fiberglass pot made to look like faux bark where the water catches from my rain chain, a water lily blooms. Untitled

The Woodland Edge is alive with blooms, too, some of my favorites like Queen of the Prairie. It is also being devoured by bindweed which I will attack tomorrow on my one day (not enough) in my garden.

Ligularia ‘The Rocket’

Culver’s Root with bamboo stakes to keep from flopping (ha!) and Meadow Rue, Thalictrum, in the background.


Queen of the Prairie, Filipendula rubra

More Queen of the Prairie with Persicaria Firetail

Trumpet Vine blooms on the arbor to the Potager. Calendula and Borage continue to take over the Potager. Moonlight Nasturtium and Chamomile also bloom. I think I have more flowers than vegetables in the Potager now. Untitled



Finally we come round to Hosta Row where Heuchera and Hydrangea Quickfire are in bloom. An unknown flower blooms here, too – perhaps a wild phlox? Anyone? And lastly, Snowball Hydrangea heavy with blooms. That’s hops growing up to the left. I can barely pass through here anymore.

Did I say I think my garden peaks in Autumn?


Author: Kathy Sturr

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

16 thoughts on “What’s Blooming: Summer Nights

  1. Beautiful garden, beautiful porch!


  2. Pingback: What’s in Bloom Here Now – July 2015 | A Moveable Garden

  3. You will have to check the leaves, but your unknown plant looks like soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) to me.

  4. Oh, Kathy, your garden is just stunning! I love the image of the borage. Your front porch is awesome and I like your little pond with the water lilies. Very, very pretty!

  5. Queen of the Prairie – beautiful name, beautiful flower!

  6. Don’t you love having a garden at this time of year? I’m especially admiring all those water-loving plants (like Hydrangea ‘Quickfire’, which I covet) that I can’t grow because my sandy soil doesn’t retain enough moisture for them. Everything in your garden is looking beautiful.

  7. Oh Kathy your garden is fabulous. I loved the view from above and all the close ups and combos….amazing what a little rain and warmth will do!

  8. Hi Kathy! How did I miss this post:-) It is so beautiful:-)
    I am up early and reading blog posts. Yours was the first I read today! You snuck one in on me-darn, I missed this lovely inspiring post. We have many of the same flowers and our gardens could be mirrors of each other. I wish you were my neighbor we could have a large natural habitat on our street-inspire others!
    I love red bee balm and black-eyed susans. Those two together just make me smile. Your porch is so inviting and you could have a get together on that front porch- it is huge! I have a small one off the kitchen garden but boy I would love your front porch. Did you get grapes on your vines?
    I love how you mix your flowers and the flow is just perfect. It invites one to stroll and enjoy and oh how the bees must love you now!

    • Oh Robbie you are an angel. Just when I think my garden is dismal, I receive your wonderful comment! I am actually taking this afternoon off to work in my neglected garden – hopefully it won’t be too hot. We painted our porch and it looks so much better. Now we have to paint the little wall. Oh, we do get grapes but they are wild and not good tasting but the birds love them. When they flower the whole porch smells like grape juice! It is a wonderful porch and we have had quite a few gatherings there – what’s nice about it is if we sit out there we are bound to attract a neighbor and yes, I wish that neighbor was you! So it becomes impromptu and we see our neighbors which we don’t often see because of all my weeds, er I mean, plantings ha ha, which is what I was going for. The Joe Pye has spread with abandon and it is beginning to bloom like magic puffs of dragon’s breath. I startled the frog in the Potager last evening picking chard. So glad she is still around – what a jumper! Hope she enjoys some of the snails that plague my kale and chard now. And the bunny was back. I love it all. Thank you for your kind words today (:

      • We all feel overwhelmed this time of year with our gardens. We see the weeds but others see the beauty:-)
        I am inside today for yesterday I was weeding and got into some stuff that gave me a rash. The pollen count is high today and I was dripping in sweat yesterday getting all the weeds out! Felt like a sauna out there and I changed my clothes twice! I am so grateful for the cooler weather today:-) Heat wave coming your way-be prepared:-)

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

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