Hot hot hot edition. It’s been a hellish summer in more ways than one. Richmond, not far away from Tangled Branches South, has had the hottest July ever. Before that it was the hottest June ever. Before that, it was the hottest March through May ever. And rain has been scarce, although we seem to get a little shower every time it looks like the garden won’t survive another day. (One of those happened late this morning.) So it’s somewhat surprising that I came up with a reasonably long list of plants in bloom on this Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. As usual here at Tangled Branches South, it’s mostly annuals. One of these days I really am going to start an ornamental garden here, but for now most of the flowers are planted in the edible garden, with the exception of a couple of flower beds next to the front porch and back deck.
In this hot weather bold colors seem very appropriate, and some of the most-thriving plants are some of the boldest. I knew I wasn’t going to get a photo of everything in bloom today so I picked a few things to decorate the dinner table. In the photo (roughly top-to-bottom) are Pepper ‘Bellingrath Purple’, Celosia’ Sylphid’, Zinnia ‘Carousel Mix’, Coleus ‘Pineapple Wizard’, Cosmos ‘Memories of Mona’, Salpiglossis ‘Kew Blue’ and Coleus ‘Palisandra’.
Here’s a more-or-less complete list of plants blooming today at Tangled Branches South, in the order in which I happened to think of them:
- Cuphea llavea (Bat-faced cuphea)
- Cuphea ignea
- Cuphea miniata ‘Summer Medley’ (self-sown)
- undetermined Cuphea (self-sown)
- Cosmos ‘Memories of Mona’
- Millet ‘Jester’
- Zinnia ‘Carousel Mix’
- Zinnia ‘Crystal White’?
- Coleus ‘Pineapple Wizard’
- Coleus ‘Palisandra’ and others (self-sown)
- Salvia ‘Vista Purple’
- Lantana ‘Dallas Red’
- Verbena bonariensis
- Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle)
- Celosia ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ (self-sown)
- Celosia ‘Sylphid’ (self-sown)
- Bronze amaranth (self-sown)
- Salpiglossis ‘Kew Blue’
- Petunia ‘Old Fashioned Vining’
- Portulaca, mixed single-flowers
- Dianthus ‘Fragrant Garden Pinks’
- Lavender ‘Munstead’ (rebloom)
- Hosta ‘Royal Standard’?
I’d like to call special attention to a couple of plants. First, the zinnias. Why it took me so long to learn to love zinnias, I have no idea. They’re absolute butterfly magnets and almost totally drought-proof. Plus they’re cheap and easy from seed and available in many colors and sizes. I seem to remember them from years ago as being mildew-ridden, but these haven’t shown any signs of mildew at all. Second, salpiglossis. I’ve been looking at salpiglossis photos in seed catalogs ever since I started to look at seed catalogs. And I resisted buying the seed because “they don’t like heat and won’t grow in the South”. All the reference books and even the catalogs say so. Eventually desire got the better of all the contrary advice. And now they’re blooming in August in the hottest part of the garden in the hottest summer on record? I’ll admit that I started with three plants and now there’s only one. I did cut it back some after the first flush of bloom, but I did that with the other 2 as well. Still, I wonder how they’d do in a “normal” year and I plan to buy more seed next year.
That’s it for another Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. If you haven’t been there already, head over to Carol’s place and see what else is blooming on the internet today.