The miraculous change from bodacious bloom to bountiful fruit! I would be happy to grow a creeping pumpkin vine just for the glamorous golden blossoms, but am grateful to also get my sweet pie pumpkins. See more pumpkins by clicking here.
Cosmos are a regular annual in my garden - I don’t go a year without them! Their bright, clear blooms are a dependable and cheerful addition. I pop in seeds once risk of frost has passed, or pick up cell packs of starter plants to get a jump start on blooms (or you can start inside 4-6 wks ahead of last frost). Blooms can be single or double, and are traditionally pink, white or red, but there are now varieties with orange or yellow. I somehow did not plant any white cosmos this year, and am missing their pure pearly show.
Technical stuff – Cosmos, herbaceous annual, height of 18”-60”+ (dwarf and tall varieties), full sun, blooms summer into fall, wonderful cut flower and attracts bees and butterflies.
I have often had visitors comment – you have such exotic blooms! But I really only grow easy plants – morning glories are a perfect example of exotic blooms for little work. Both these beauties are blooming now. And this is definitely one of the easiest ways to get pure blue in the garden! Read more about morning glories by clicking here and clicking here.
I plant my nasturtium seeds direct into the garden a week or two before the last expected spring frost. Therefore, they bloom later than those purchased as plants or started early indoors. So their bright, boisterous blooms are now lighting up the late summer garden with shots of ruby red, brilliant orange, softest yellow or richest golden. Read more about nasturtiums by clicking here.
Beets are one of the jewels of the veggie garden. Juicy red-purple stems carry ruffles of wine veined leaves that can be a feast of their own. Plump and potent roots swell into globes of earthy sweetness waiting for harvest. And ‘oh the glow!’ of pickled beets nestled amongst vinegar, sugar and cloves in a mason jar.
Every year renews my love for hardy geraniums! This cultivar, ‘Rozanne’, is a true performer with profuse perky blooms from late spring to late fall. The happy blossoms are exquisite stand alone, or en masse create a sparkling sea of blue. The finely cut foliage in mottled bright greens is also a treat! Read more about hardy geraniums by clicking here or here.
The garden is golden – old and established favourites are capturing summer’s sun and spreading it wide through the lush garden green. Faithful rudbeckia looks even ‘butter-ier’ with chocolate brown centers. Tansy offers the breeze its wondrous honey scent. Coreopsis has been blooming all summer, and carries on in dedicated form. Read more about rudbeckia by clicking here. Read more about coreopsis by clicking here.
Celebrating foliage that can be every bit as satisfying as blooms: heart shaped brunnera in lacy sterling, ajuga’s brocade of bronze-green, lamium from lime to silver, jagged hellebore in deep glossy green, coral bells and nasturtium in creamy swirls, chameleon plant with vivacious pink accent, painted fern's feathery mauve, dramatic elephant ears…more than can fit in one post!
There is a bit of a lull in the garden as summer bloomers soften, and September thrillers are just budding out. Sparkling annuals fill this lull: the iridescent sheen of osteospermum, the fiery crimson and gold of amaranthus, the merriest orange and bronze of simple marigolds, the buttery yellow or tender orange of lantana. The sun backlights a ruby petunia so it glows like a jewel. A begonia is edged in the ripest ruffled pink. Compare the mood of a blush double snapdragon to that of a zinnia in brightest coral. Always there is fascination and beauty to be found in the garden.
Bee balm is blooming and the bees are buzzing! It is worth taking a moment to study a bee making its industrious circular path around a bee balm bloom, stopping at each tubular petal. Read more about bee balm by clicking here!
Veggie gardens are in full swing now! Fat, fragrant garlic bulbs have been pulled. Frilly, bushy kale is lush for the picking. Cabbage heads have rounded out. Beets have plumped. Green beans hang waiting. Snow peas jiggle in the breeze. Lettuce is still lush. Fennel and dill wave their feathery leaves and waft their savoury scents. Zucchini and cukes are profuse – pickling has begun! Peppers are dangling. Precious tomatoes are ripening. The bounty, the glory, the harvest!
A single bloom of coneflower can hold me entranced. The spiky dome center, the steadfast petals – a truly strong bloom. And such a range of colours, from swan white to candy pink to sunniest orange to festive red and of course the traditional purple, plus more to collect. Yet another parade of glorious summer colour! Read more about coneflowers (Echinacea) by clicking here.
The iconic sunflower is blooming now. As the name implies, sunflowers love sun, wanting full sun all or most of the day, and loving long hot summers. This drought tolerant annual is basking in our current heat wave, with rich, golden petals blazing. There are many varieties of sunflowers, ranging in height and colour. These beauties self-seeded from the bird feeder, popping up in my garden at their own discretion!
Technical stuff – Sunflower/Helianthus, annual flower usually planted from seed after danger of frost, height of 2’ to 10’ or even up to 15’ depending on variety, full sun, blooms in summer.