We’re coming out of a lull in which the Front Garden was almost entirely green. Sure, I know green is a color but still – it’s not a color. You know what I’m saying. Now, as we shift into summer, the real colors are coming back.


Clematis ‘Betty Corning’ has been blooming all through the color lull, and it’s still going strong as other plants start to pick up the slack.


It is now full of blossoms from top to bottom. Bless its long season of bloom.


A new flower in the garden for this year – Bush’s Poppy Mallow (Callirhoe bushii). I was briefly obsessed with this native perennial last year and planted half a dozen. This is a more upright cousin of the sprawling Purple Poppy Mallow (Callirhoe involucrata).


Too late I discovered that Judy is not thrilled with the color. I’m not normally a big magenta guy either but something about this plant is compelling. Maybe because it is a host plant for the Gray Hairstreak butterfly.

The earliest of our Monardas to bloom, ‘Raspberry Wine’ Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) is now full of flowers reminiscent of red pompoms.


We have some growing by the back porch windows so we can watch the hummingbirds up close as they arrive for drinks of nectar.


Not as much Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) blooming this year as there was last, which I plan to write about in an upcoming post. Still, there’s still one good patch at the edge of the Crabapple Bed.


Clematis ‘Multi-Blue’ is having a second flush of blooms even better than the one in May.


Its leaves have also turned a golden hue, something I never noticed in prior years.


I’m guessing the name comes from the different shades of blue that the flowers show as they age.


And Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ is still displaying substantial flower power.

I wanted to mention that next week I am starting an online garden design course. It’s supposed to be fairly intensive, so my posts on this blog will likely be shorter and/or less frequent.

What colors are you seeing in your garden these days?

42 Comments on “Color Returns to the Front Garden”

  1. Do you have obelisks or some sort of frame to support the two clematis in your front garden?
    When I’m not fighting bindweed, I do have sightings of blue geranium “Brookside”, purplish “Roxanne”, verbena bonariensis, and now tithonia, just beginning to bloom.

  2. I have red, blue, white and some of that purplish pink, dark pink, greenish white and zinnnia colors. Variations of red and yellow. Lots of green though. I cut my Blue on Blue clematis to about a foot tall. I had so much dead looking stuff in it I just cut it down. I hope I didn’t kill it. I don’t know what happened other than we are in an “unusually dry” time. The weather man is quick to say that it isn’t a drought. Sure could have fooled me by the looks of my garden. ugh…
    I really like the magenta blooming plant. If it is good enough for Hairstreaks it is great for me. 🙂 I hope Judy learns to like it.

  3. I have touches of pink, white & raspberry with bits of purple here and there. But, my gardens are mostly green with dry patches starting to show up from the unrelenting heat and no rain. I miss the rain too & am starting to feel parched myself from the nonstop heat and sunshine.

  4. I’m seeing too much pink in my garden but happy anything is surviving our hot dry summer. The opportunity to see Gray Hairstreak butterfly would be a good reason to enjoy the host plants. I’ve only learned of this butterfly last year and would like to meet one.

  5. It is the dead of winter here, so the colour in your garden inspires me for spring planting. Your clematis is just stunning, we are thinking of trying one in a shady part of our garden in spring.
    Good luck with your online garden design course, what a great idea.

  6. Your clematis are all lovely. The sturdy growth habit of Betty Corning is interesting. I am also intrigued by the Poppy Mallow. I have never seen this before and love that vivid colour. I looked it up and it is hard to find here but apparently likes dry prairie conditions so I will try and source one to try out! Have fun with your course Jason.

  7. Good luck with the online course – sounds like fun. My Butterfly Weed is blooming, the Pink and Purple Coneflowers are going strong, the Common Milkweed has been attracting a Monarch here and there and the Tall Bellflower has returned. There are a few others… in general, though, a lot of buds waiting to open. Your Clematis is dramatic!

  8. I kept looking and looking at your ‘poppy mallow,’ and finally realized that they’re the same as what we call winecups. We have the Callirhoe involucrata, and a much taller native that grows on the Edwards plateau: the standing winecup, or C. pedata. My impression is that we’re coming into the ‘summer slump.’ There’s not a lot of color on the prairies now; the spring flowers have faded, and many of our fall bloomers will wait until after mid-summer’s heat to begin showing off.

  9. Thankfully, we’re now getting color from Liatris and Rudbeckia, along with Verbena bonariensis (a self-sower in the front garden). I just planted Verbena Homestead Purple to replace a patch that was lost a couple of winters ago, severely editing back the Solidago Fireworks that had taken over that corner.

    Glad that you’re seeing color again, too.

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