Some 2018 Garden Highlights: Summer Breeze

Today is New Year’s Day. While a patchy blanket of snow lies on the ground outside, it seems a good moment to look through some favorite photos of our garden in summer.


June seems like a month of blue flowers, especially Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis).


And Ohio Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohioensis). Now and then I try to remove the roots of this plant, but it always comes back, so I may as well focus on its good points.


The ‘Betty Corning’ Clematis in the Driveway Border really came into its own this year. It contrasts nicely with the orange Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa), my favorite Milkweed.


We found more Monarch Caterpillars on our Butterflyweed this year than ever before, which was highly gratifying.


I thought we had lost the Hoary Vervain (Verbena hastata), but if grew in this year and flowered nicely. It’s nestled between the Butterflyweed and the ‘Eye-yi-yi’ Daylilies.


Purple-Flowering Raspberry (Rubus odoratus) in the Back Garden did well last summer. I look forward to a bigger patch next year.


The books and catalogs say Indian Pink shouldn’t be happy in the Back Garden’s Island Bed – too dry. And yet, it seems perfectly content there, though it spreads slowly.


The blooming of the Clematis ‘jackmanii’ on our west-facing wall has become an annual neighborhood event.


In summer, the Sidewalk Border is dominated by red Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), punctuated by Orienpet and Oriental Lilies.


Here’s a view of our house from the sidewalk. Bee Balm is front and center, with some of my favorite tall plants to either side. From left to right: Sweet Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum), Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum), Cutleaf Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata), and Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia).


Here’s another view of the Cup Plant, with Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) in front.


Goldfinches come calling when the Cup Plant seeds start to ripen.


In recent years the Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) have been plagued by Four-Lined Plant Bugs, but this year wasn’t quite so bad. The Anise Hyssop combines nicely with Yellow Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata).


Alliums are not just for spring. These ‘Summer Beauty’ Alliums (A. lusitanicum) are very popular with pollinators.


These Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia syphilitica) were labeled L. cardinalis when I bought them. Good thing I love blue flowers.


We hosted several House Wren families in the birdhouses in the Back Garden.


As many of you know, my favorite annual is Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia). Every summer it is by best plant for attracting butterflies, and this year was no different. Here’s a Black Swallowtail.


And a Monarch.


In the last days of August, a golden haze seemed to settle over the garden.

Best wishes to all of you for a happy and flowery New Year. When the days are dark and frigid, keep in mind the summer flowers to come.

45 Comments on “Some 2018 Garden Highlights: Summer Breeze”

  1. I’m nearly overcome by how beautiful this is. It makes me want to garden! But, lacking the ability to do that, I’ll at least make an effort to visit a few gardens this year. I was pleased to see how many flowers I recognized, but there were several that were brand new. And congrats again on those monarch caterpillars. I can only imagine how happy they are to have such great digs (no pun intended).

  2. Lovely photos, and your garden is an inspiration, in all seasons.. I love the yellow blossoms framing the house, I hope the garden is appreciated by your neighbours. Congratulation on providing a home for the House Wren families, and of course, the Monarch butterflies, what a success.

  3. Your front garden is absolutely amazing! It’s what I envision having eventually somewhere in my yard. I don’t have very nice soil, so it’s taking a while to amend and build it up, where I can, Most of my yard is un-plantable (in ground) because of large cedar trees and their roots.
    Your bee balm is something else! Mine blooms, but its leaves are chewed every year. Only the bee balm leaves, for which I’m grateful, but it makes the bed ugly!
    Do you collect the milkweed seeds?

  4. I love the contrast of blue with orange…I’ll hopefully have the orange if the butterfly weed I grew from seed last year makes it through the winter but will have to work on the blue. A Very Happy New Year, Jason – May the coming year bring you many more blooms and few critters that eat them 😉

  5. Thanks for the look back at your summer garden. It is a bright spot in a very dreary winter day here! I love that last image of the golden August blooms, as well as the photo with the Hoary Vervain, Butterflyweed and the ‘Eye-yi-yi’ Daylilies. Happy gardening in 2019!

  6. I am in awe of your yard!!! Such a diversity! And with that diversity, I bet you see many varieties move around year to year. I love ‘surprise plants’.
    I wish I had a good place for an Indian Pink…. Killed a few already. I do love my cup plants, tho. I mean, the wildlife it attracts is crazy!!
    I’ve been into growing fruit & veggies for our pie-holes lately. I’m doing a lot of experimenting with mixing in edibles into ornamental gardens. Cherry tomatoes & Black Eyed Susans look great together, IMO. Have you tried mixing in some veggies?

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