For the past few weeks, there’s been a fairly sedate, conservative gathering in the rock garden, with guests sipping glasses of wine and engaging in polite small talk while a pianist in the corner plays soft cocktail music.  It’s been a rich, sumptuous affair, but not particularly exciting.

This week, though, a few flamboyant guests have crashed the party, and things are starting to get wild.  Vodka and rum cocktails are being served, and the pianist has been replaced by a rock and roll band!DSC_8813

The wild Ox-eyed Daisies love to bend and sway to the beat!  They’ll be bounced right out of the joint as soon as their flowers fade!  DSC_8806

Rose Campion has arrived in bright finery.  A newcomer to this club, invited in from a friend’s garden, she’s settling in happily, and the regulars have made her feel welcome!  DSC_8788DSC_8768

How low can you go?  The creeping Stonecrop sedum is opening up near the ground, ready to limbo!DSC_8769

DSC_8803Rosa ‘Alba Meidiland’ dressed quite extravagantly and is the belle of the ball this week!  Nothing shy and retiring about her–she’s letting it all hang out!DSC_8815

Next to ‘Alba Meidland’, a few threadleaf Coreopsis (I think ‘Zagreb’) have made it through the door.  Perhaps they’re on a scouting mission to let their friends know how the party’s going.  They’re mingling with a wayward Salvia.  DSC_8809

It’s all proving too much for the staid, upright Penstemon. It’s dropping blossoms and bidding the hosts farewell.DSC_8779DSC_8781

The diehard Dianthus are sticking around for more fun!dsc_8824.jpg

The Foxgloves are packing it in for the night, though.  The tallest one was mowed down and broken by some gate-crashing critter, probably a woodchuck, perhaps our cat.  At least it had only two or three flowers left at the very top!  DSC_8801Another unwelcome guest made it past the bouncer.  At first I suspected that the woodchucks had nibbled on some newly planted marigolds and Cleome–things they usually don’t touch, but there’s been nothing usual about those pests this year!  Looking again, though, I’ve changed my mind and now suspect that slugs are guilty of foul play with some of the guests!DSC_8785I’ve served them up some nice Sluggo™ hors d’oeuvres in hopes of saving the remaining marigolds and Cleome!

Finally, when I was out and about the other day, I met a couple so colorful and exciting I just had to invite them to the party!  This is annual Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’, and I’ve introduced it to the crowd at the north end of the garden:DSC_8819Hopefully it will get along and play well with the annual Dianthus, purple salvia, marigolds (if they recover!), Cleome (also if it recovers!), and Cannas (just starting to grow) who are all partying together at that end of the bed!

Many thanks to Cathy at Words and Herbs for hosting this meme looking at one particular garden bed each week to track how it changes and progresses as time goes by! Party on! dsc_8832.jpg