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Welcome to the monthly blog party in which garden bloggers from all over the world share what’s blooming for them in the middle of each month.  Our gracious host is Carol from May Dreams Gardens.  Stopping by her site on the fifteenth of each month and perusing the long list of gardeners linking in is a great way to discover new blogs and make new, like-minded friends!

In August, the Rudbeckia take over the far corner of my rock garden.  I’m not sure of the cultivar; it was here when we moved to this house eleven years ago.  034I suspect it’s ‘Goldstrum.’  Here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Zone 5b, it usually begins blooming the last week of July and continues through early September.  I leave the dried flower heads in place through the winter for the birds to enjoy.  Our resident woodchucks nibbles the plants a bit in the spring sometimes, but the damage is minimal.  It does nicely in this space where it receives five to six hours of direct sun each day, and though it may sulk a bit when there’s been no rain for two weeks, it bounces back from dry periods quite well.048The rest of the rock garden is filled with Cleome, mostly self-seeded from last year, Balloon Flower, both short and tall, and Coreopsis, both thread-leafed and broad-leafed.  It’s a nice combination of yellows, blues, purples, and pinks, and includes a nice variety of heights, I think:043Across from the rock garden, along the edge of our side porch, is my yellow and violet-blue themed bed.  With so much of my effort going toward the new terrace garden, this one has received a dearth of attention this summer, I’m sorry to say, though I did very recently weed and edge it:003Blooming now are marigolds (those orange ones are not supposed to be there!), Salvia ‘Victoria Blue’, Vinca ‘Sunstorm Blue’, a blue Veronica whose label I’ve misplaced, tall Balloon Flower, and Coreopsis ‘Creme Brulee’.  It’s a work in progress.

Up on the porch, the container gardens are still pumping out the blooms, and the morning glories, self-seeded descendants of a plant my daughter brought home from school for Mother’s Day eight years ago, have started to bloom. Does anyone have a clue what cultivar these magenta beauties are?  032

017There are more morning glory volunteers winding their way through the rhododendron bush at the corner of the porch, giving it a second season of bloom:013There’s a nice full bed of wax begonias and alyssum under the bush.  The begonias aren’t my favorite flower by any means, but I have come to appreciate them in the right space.  010Coming around to the front of the house, the Cosmos at the corner have finally started to open.  These are all self-seeded.  I thinned them out a bit early in the summer, but should have done more!  Cosmos ‘Pink Sensation’ are five to six feet tall; ‘Pink Popsock’ are about two feet:074057At the other end of the sidewalk, near the front steps, I have finally come upon a combination I really like!  Ageratum and Dusty Miller edge the bed, with Zinnia ‘Zahara Fire’ as the centerpiece.  There is a yellow African Daisy next to the zinnia, along with a pink zonal geranium; their blooms are sparse, though, and I won’t bother with them here again next year.  The jury is still out whether I’ll put begonias along the back edge again:040I like ‘Zahara’ here because it is both tall enough and bright enough to be seen from the street.  It is thirty inches tall, and has long-lasting, profuse flowers that average two inches in width.  It does well here with morning and early afternoon sun, in relatively dry soil.  The Japanese beetles damaged its foliage a bit in July, but I easily took care of them with a bit of insecticidal powder.  041Down the hill, in the terrace garden, the annuals of Dogwood Corner are mostly doing well.  Marigold ‘Hero Yellow’ must have sensed that I wrote disparagingly about it two weeks ago, for it has suddenly woken up and begun to fill out quite nicely.  The Cleome (unlabeled nursery stock here this year) continues to branch out and bloom, and the annual blue Salvias, ‘Victoria Blue’ and ‘Evolution Violet’ are slowly starting to bloom.  072The view is nicer from the top of the wall.  Look at all of those lovely big Cleome heads!  I suspect this is the only year I will have to put nursery stock Cleome in here:026We’ll go back up the hill and around back to the vegetable garden now, to see some hearty volunteer Cleome among the beans.  I pulled countless Cleome seedlings out of this garden in the late, but left a couple of the strongest ones in place and transplanted a few others around the edge:055Here is a volunteer sunflower.  Before I thought to stake it, the poor thing bent right over during a wind/rain storm.  I didn’t cut off the damaged section because it seemed like there was still enough connective tissue to sustain all of the buds that had topped it, and I was right.  Maybe you can spot some open flowers very near the ground!060I’ll remember to stake up next year’s volunteers earlier in the summer!059Here is a nice row of Marigold ‘Jaguar’ from seed I direct sowed into the garden around July 1.  It’s a pleasant surprise to them blooming this soon!063Just outside the garden fence, a patch of oregano is blooming:064Joe Pye Weed ‘Little Joe’ is not so “little”, towering six feet above the oregano!066Lastly, we’ll continue up the hill to the lasagna garden to see Heuchera ‘Paris’ blooming well for the second time this summer, next to Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ in its first bloom cycle.  These plants get sun just for a couple of hours in the early morning and are in deep to dappled shade the rest of the day.   I am so pleased with ‘Paris’ that I’ve ordered a second one to fill in an empty spot in this bed:020The Lamium ‘Beacon Silver’ is sporting a large number of little purple flowers now.  I need to warn my lawn-mowing son they are there!024I hope you’ve enjoyed this virtual garden tour!  Happy Bloom Day to all of my garden-blogging friends!020 (2)