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There are always so many flowers to show on summer Bloom Days! I took nearly 150 pictures in my gardens yesterday, and spent this morning culling the collection to a manageable size.

My containers of Vinca are all lined up on the benches on our back deck while my husband works on painting the railings:028  It’s been a good year for Vinca ‘Pacifica Cherry Halo’ and ‘Cora Strawberry.’  We’ve had rain, but not too much, and the weather between the rainstorms has been sunny and hot, so the soil has had a chance to dry.  Vinca are relatively care-free, preferring dry conditions and self-shedding their spent flowers.  They are available in white, as well as several shades of pink, red, violet, and purple.  I love their glossy leaves.023


Here is my Monarda (Bee Balm, Oswego Tea), against the back of the house, just under the kitchen window, where it receives hot afternoon sun.  This Bee Balm has survived at least four moves from one garden to another in the past eight years, and it always pops right back and spreads like wildfire!

139Frankly, I’m not overly fond of this Monarda.  Red is not my favorite color, and it grows too tall for my taste, but the hummingbirds LOVE it, and I love to see them visit while I’m doing the dishes, so it gets to stay.  Additionally, no “critter” has ever bothered it, not the deer, nor the woodchucks, nor insects.  I like it in this space better than any other I’ve tried, so this may well be its permanent home.  008The summer perennials in the rock garden are hitting their stride right now:143Broadleaf Coreopsis (maybe ‘Sunfire’):049Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus)–this is my shorter variety, averaging 18 inches:042A threadleaf Coreopsis, possibly ‘Zagreb’, with an unknown pink cluster rose intermingled:039Rosa ‘Alba Meidiland’:037Coreopsis ‘Moonbeam’, mixed with the fading perennial Salvia (‘May Night’?) and Veronica spicata ‘Blue Bouquet’ , as well as a flower spike from the Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum) that live between the stone pavers:031The Coreopsis provides a nice foil to disguise the awkward, thick spike supporting these lovely little flowers:  035The wild ox-eye daisies seemed less plentiful in my gardens this year, but here is a cheery bunch at the corner of our huge boulder:052And here are more, keeping the tomatoes company in the vegetable garden!  134Here’s a small bunch of ‘Moonbeam’ Coreopsis gracing another rock wall:125Up in the lasagna bed, the Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium boreale ‘Heavenly Habit’) appears to be ending its bloom cycle . . .057. . .while Astilbe chinensis ‘Vision in Red’ still stands bright and proud:058Back down by the hill, here are some of the containers on my side porch, brimming with Calibrachoa, Marguerite Daisies, Petunias, Scaveola, Lantana, Heliotrope, and Portulaca.  If you peek to the back, you can see some New Guinea Impatiens as well:071Around to the front of the house, my Asiatic lilies are bedecked in yellow, peach, and pink:  079I’m very happy the deer seem to have decided to leave these alone–they’ve not been nibbled in the past four years now!  (Fingers crossed, knock on wood, etc. . .)081Ever since removing the over-sized Rose of Sharon from the front corner garden, I have searched for the “right” combination of flowers to fill this space.  I may have found it this year, as it is filled with the colors of Astilbes, ‘Butterfly’ Marguerite Daisies, Ageratum, Wax Begonias, Dusty Miller, and Zinnia marylandica ‘Zahara Fire’: 118‘Zahara Fire’ has consistently maintained a huge number of long-lasting, bright flowers.  It is a well-branched plant, 18 inches tall and 15 inches wide.  The Japanese beetles found it and left some holes in the leaves, so I dusted it with an insecticidal powder in hopes of preventing further damage.  Aside from that, I am very pleased with Zinnia ‘Zahara Fire’, and will look for others from this series next summer.

Here is Dianthus chinensis ‘Diana Blueberry’, in her second year at the far corner of the front porch.  She shares a bed with several ‘Palace Purple’ Heucheras, some Dusty Miller, and the unfortunate transplanted Rose of Sharon.  This mound of Dianthus is 14″ x 8″.  122

Finally, here is the lower corner of my brand new terrace garden, the result of a retaining wall we had built late last fall:109I decided to devote this corner to annuals, such as Cleome:103There are many Marigolds here as well, such as French Marigold ‘Bonanza Orange’:098Because of all the newly planted shrubbery and the small dogwood tree, I have been giving this garden A LOT of water.  The Vincas I planted near the dogwood are unhappy about this:112I can’t end this post with such a sad picture!  Instead, here is a new rose I impulsively bought this spring, Floribunda Rosa ‘Chihuly’.  Is it not an absolute beauty?147As always, a big thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for giving us bloggers this forum to share our lovely gardens each month!  063