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Tangled Branches: Cultivated

happenings in and around my zone 6b gardens in northern Virginia and in central Virginia

Friday, August 15, 2008

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

There are lots of flowers in bloom, but with the recent dry weather many of them are looking weary and parched. However. It's hummingbird season here at Tangled Branches! Let's focus on hummingbird favorites for August's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Maybe this will be the year I get a good photo of a hummingbird.

I've never seen a hummingbird ignore a Cuphea so I just keep adding more Cupheas. They seem to prefer Cuphea llavea 'Tiny Mice'.
Cuphea llavea 'Tiny Mice'

But they visit all the Cupheas.
Cuphea ignea

Cuphea 'Totally Tempted'

Cuphea 'David Verrity'

Cuphea 'Summer Medley'
this is just one of several colors in the mix

Cuphea laevis

Last year I learned that hummingbirds like Coleus flowers, and Blackswamp Girl mentioned that she thinks Coleus flowers look better on dark-colored Coleus. I think she's right.
The dark-leaved Coleus is 'Palisandra'
and the chartreuse-leaved one is 'Pineapple Wizard'

I was hoping the hummers would like this Celosia and as of today, I know they do. 'Cramer's Amazon' is indeed an amazon. I planted these in several places to find out where they grow best and the tallest ones are about 6 feet tall. Those get a bit of afternoon shade, but where they're in full sun, they're not quite that tall. The small (for a Celosia) magenta-pink flowers are the hummingbird draw, but the burgundy and green leaves look good while you're waiting for the flowers and the birds.
These are the tops of the tallest 'Cramer's Amazon' Celosias,
along with 'Red Shield' Hibiscus.
I liked the combination until the Celosia bloomed.

Burgundy and green foliage of 'Cramer's Amazon' Celosia

Other hummingbird plants in bloom at Tangled Branches South are:
Verbena bonariensis
Monarda citriodora
Lantana 'Dallas Red'
Lonicera sempervirens 'Leo' (Coral Honeysuckle)

The rest of the Bloom Day list for Tangled Branches South:
Thai Red Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
Mexican Mint Marigold (Tagetes lucida)
Salvia patens
Lavender 'Ellagance Sky Blue' and 'Munstead'
Rudbeckia 'Prairie Sun'
Rue (rebloom)
Bronze Fennel (just a few flowers left)
Salvia farinacea 'Evolution' and 'Strata'
Achillea 'Summer Berries' (rebloom)
Garlic Chives
Variegated Lemon Thyme
English Broadleaf Thyme
various Basils
Origanum vulgare
Sweet Marjoram
Chrysanthemum carinatum
Celosia 'Sylphid'
Dill 'Vierling' (just a few flowers left)
Rosemary (I didn't think this was its blooming season)
Petunia 'Balcony' and 'Dolce Flambe'
Calamintha nepeta
Agastache foeniculum 'Golden Jubilee' (and the plain green-leaved species too)
Verbena hastata 'Pink Spires' (just a few flowers left)
Dianthus 'Rainbow Loveliness' (reblooming after being cut back hard)
Nepeta transcaucasica 'Blue Infinity' (I don't think much of this, but no critters eat it, ever)
Origanum heracleoticum
Eupatorium purpureum
and a few straggly Violas

It was pouring down rain (yay!) when I left Tangled Branches North. That list will have to wait until next week.

I wish it would rain here at Tangled Branches South, so I'd have more time to look at all the lovely flowers blooming elsewhere on this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

Labels: ,

posted by Entangled at 4:15 PM ::: Permalink


Blogger Nancy wrote...

I'm with you on wanting more rain! Even with some of the scattered shower's we've gotten, my garden is wilting.

Lovely collection of cupheas!!

4:43 PM, August 15, 2008  
Blogger Annie in Austin wrote...

Hello Entangled,

Each person probably has their eyes halt at different place on your list and stops were to admire that dark coleus, be envious that your 'fluffy' cupheas still live to bloom, and wonder if the blooming garlic chives and Mexican Mint marigold are early this year.

It's good to know someone's getting rain on their garden- even if it's not me <[:-(

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

6:46 PM, August 15, 2008  
Anonymous Anna wrote...

This is so exciting to see that your blog came up in a research I was doing to support my theory that Autumn has started. I first arrived on your August 7th post and found you had the exact same references as I. So I'm going to link to you soon as I get the post finished. And then here I see you have some beautiful blooms to look at too. We are finally seeing some cooler temps and my flowers just love it. So good to have been in your garden today!

8:31 PM, August 15, 2008  
Blogger Entangled wrote...

Nancy: Thanks for stopping by! This watering business is getting tiresome, I agree.

Annie: It took me two years to find out when the garlic chives would bloom at Tangled Branches South. They were supposed to be a similar, but less rampant, species that blooms in June. The Mexican mint marigold blooms most of the summer for me here, though.

I keep hoping for a nice benign tropical storm - just enough to give the garden a good soaking.

Anna: Thank you for mentioning me on your blog! I'm a big fan of calendars/almanacs/books-of-days etc. I picked up a book a few years ago - Japanese Crafts and Customs: A Seasonal Approach - and I think that's where I first learned that some traditions consider the beginning of August to be the beginning of autumn. The Japanese have developed the observation of seasons into such an art form.

7:59 AM, August 16, 2008  
Blogger Mr. McGregor's Daughter wrote...

I had no idea there were that many different kinds of Cuphea, nor that they came in purple! They are really neat looking flowers.

3:16 PM, August 16, 2008  
Blogger Cosmo wrote...

I love Bloom Day. I've never tried cupheas, but I will now. And I love to see you listing blossoms on your herbs--they're some of my favorite flowers, and they add so much fragrance to bouquets (some of my vegetable gardening friends nip herb blooms to keep the plants in fuller leaf--I'd rather just get more plants!)We ended up with 5 inches of rain in about 90 minutes last night--we needed the soaking, and I hope we get another one soon.

3:19 PM, August 16, 2008  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl wrote...

Oooh... I love the purple and green foliage on the celosia! And that particular lavender color of the "Summer Medley" cuphea is really nice, too.

Speaking of cuphea, I (along with Annie, based on her comment on my Bloom Day post) have completely lost my 'Totally Tempted' cuphea. It's the one thing in that urn planting that croaked on me... do you think that one is less tolerant of drought than some of the others, or is it hard to tell given how much rain you've gotten this year?

Oh, and I stand by my theory: The flowers DO look nicer on the dark purple coleus. But the light purple flowers on the dark purple and acid yellow one isn't so bad, either. :)

11:01 PM, August 16, 2008  
Blogger Entangled wrote...

MMD: The 'Summer Medley' Cuphea mix from Thompson and Morgan has a wide range of pinks, purples and reds - including some colors that really don't work together. The hummingbirds seem to like them all.

Cosmo: We got about 5 drops of rain on Thursday night and maybe 10 drops on Friday night. Things are looking pretty droopy here.

It seems that so many of the herb flowers attract bees and butterflies, and I'm growing more herbs than I can really use, so I just let them bloom. Origanum vulgare surprised me by having fluffy pink flowers that really draw in the butterflies.

Blackswamp Girl: I planted almost all of the Cupheas in the ground this year instead of containers, and I notice that they're growing much better than they ever did in containers. 'Totally Tempted' gets some afternoon shade, and I've maybe watered that area more than some others, but the soil there is very heavy sticky clay.

I probably would never have noticed that the coleus flowers look better on the dark leaves until you pointed it out - Thanks!

9:02 AM, August 17, 2008  
Blogger gintoino wrote...

I didn't know there were so many species of cuphea. Your's look gorgeous. You are so lucky to be able to grow coleus in your garden. They are wonderful plants, and remind me of my grandmother. She had lots of them and my first plant was actually a coleus that she offered me.

11:49 AM, August 17, 2008  
Blogger Carol wrote...

I've only heard of Cupheas since I started reading blogs. I don't know if any are hardy in zone 5, but if they were, you've convinced me I should have some.

A real "hummer" of a post. Thanks for joining in again!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

10:50 PM, August 17, 2008  
Blogger Entangled wrote...

Gintonio: What a coincidence! One of my earliest plant memories is a trip to the local greenhouse with my grandmother to buy her spring annuals. I remember being fascinated by the coleus plants, and I think she even bought some for me. I was about 4 or 5 years old then.

Carol: I don't think any of the Cupheas are hardy, although I've been keeping some semi-dormant over the winter in an unheated garage. 'Summer Medley' and Cuphea ignea are easy annuals to start from seed.

7:32 AM, August 18, 2008  
Blogger Weed Whackin' Wenches wrote...

Loved your purple cuphea. Your dark coleus looks great against the chartreuse foliage. My dark coleus bit the dust early on this year. I hadn't heard about the hummers liking the coleus flowers. Thanks for passing that on.

2:38 PM, August 19, 2008  
Blogger Entangled wrote...

Curmudgeon: I know someone else in the blogsphere last year reported seeing hummers at Coleus - can't remember who though. Anyhow, it doesn't seem to be a local phenomenon.

6:59 AM, August 20, 2008  

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