Bloom Day a Bust-Almost

A constant struggle, a ceaseless battle to bring success from inhospitable surroundings, is the price of all great achievements.  ~ Orison Swett Marden


When I read this quote it seemed such a perfect description of my garden from the unpredictable spring into this unseasonable summer.  Constant struggle – yes!  Battling inhospitable surroundings – absolutely!  Great achievements – inevitably!

We had .8 inches of rain so far in August; .5 just Friday night.  It was one of those summer storms we are used to around here, but have not seen all summer.  I call it a ‘darn good window rattler’.  The wind whips up out of no where gusting to 60 mph.  Lightning splits the sky striking close by I fear.  I am like a child with my head under the covers.  Then the thunder starts.  So loud the windows tremble.   The whole house shakes as if it might fall apart and split right down the middle.  I jump at each rumble.  There will be no sleep.  Then the rain starts in loud hard drops that become sheets of water falling heavy and fast, so fast it runs down the driveway like a raging river.  They call it a severe thunderstorm, but I say it is a real ‘window rattler’.

But I know this crazy storm that came up quickly has passed just as quickly leaving debris and .5 inches of rain in its wake.  And I am happy because I know the hard and cracked soil, the brown and drooping plants (pictured here) are rejoicing in the wake of it.  By morning they will be rejuvenated.

But rain or watering of plants is only one way to bring success to my garden.  I have done little watering and still there are blooms and little loss.  There are plants that have decided not to bloom or only bloom a bit.  But the clay soil of my garden likes to reserve the water from snow and spring rains much like a sponge.  That helped the plants some.  But growing plants that are used to clay soil, hardy natives to the area, has also helped to bring success this garden season.  One good drink of water and browning drooping leaves are now firm and standing erect finally flowering.

So when I thought August would not have much blooming, I am finding a garden that is waking and blooming again.  Some plants are long past, others are just starting and many are still blooming weeks ahead.  I am grateful for each and every bloom like the late blooming lily pictured above.  And so I share them now with you for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day hosted by Carol@May Dreams Gardens, and Blogger Blüten hosted by Gesine@Seepferds Garten.


The native Susans (rudbeckias) have been faithfully blooming in so many areas of the garden and throughout the meadow.



One of the more unusual native rudbeckias is, Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers‘.  I love the straight petals and the chocolate-brown centers.



Joe Pye Weed (Eupatoriadelphus fistulosus) is a stalwart native that is loved by pollinators and butterflies.  It grows in moist areas in the garden, and loves to volunteer all around the garden.  This is a beautiful flower that I had trouble accepting because of its tendency to seed itself. But by moving it to more open and perfect areas like the rain garden, it has become a gorgeous addition to the later summer garden growing in sun and part shade.  An addition I could not live without now.



I have long thought hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus laevis) was too exotic to be a native.  It is one of the last plants to break dormancy in early summer finally flowering in high summer.  It blooms in wet areas and normal soil moisture as well.



A few sunflowers have braved the drought and flowered but mostly because they were volunteers from last year and growing around and through the new raised bed.  This sunflower is growing through 1 foot of soil in the new veggie bed, and 6 feet tall towering over the beans.    While the smaller volunteer below is a sunny beacon along the fence drawing lots of bees and ants.






This liatris aspera was a wonderful surprise.  I love liatris spicata, but  need to get more of this particular one.  It blooms much later and in more shade.  I love the messy puff ball flowers as they pop out each side of the stem.  The hummers, butterflies and other pollinators flock to this plant.



Sneezeweed or Helenium autumnale ‘Red Jewel’ is about 5 feet tall this year and blooming profusely.  I was so surprised to see it, and have it in several areas of the garden.

This summer has been incredible for my dwarf balloon flowers or Platycodon grandiflorus.  The deep blue-veined flowers have been non-stop blooming through this drought in the hottest, driest area in the front gardens.

Now here is some of the foliage still hanging in there through our dry summer.

I am linking in with Pam@Diggingfor her Foliage Follow Up on the 16th, and Christina@Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for her Garden Bloggers Foliage Day on the 22nd as I show some August green.

Heucheras are not fading much and their stunning foliage is a welcome sight.

Viburnums have wonderful thick leaves, but the berries have been stripped already by hungry birds getting ready to migrate soon.

Hostas that were fading are now reinvigorated.

Northern Sea Oats, a native grass is blooming along with many grasses.  I found this grass volunteering around the garden, and I will move some of them to the meadow and other areas of the back garden.  Love the look of the flowers/seed heads.

All of us could take a lesson from the weather.   It pays no attention to criticism.  ~Author Unknown

Please Note:  There have been several issues of late with reading and commenting on the blog.  I have recently changed the web host and the blog has stabilized a bit more although some of the widgets on the sidebar like the Blogroll are still creating problems.  I thank you for your patience and persistence in reading and commenting even though it has been a frustrating process.


Don’t forget that September 1st marks the next installment of Seasonal Celebrations/Garden Lessons Learned.  Click the link to learn more.  Beth@PlantPostings will be wrapping up this past season with lessons we have learned in our gardens, and I will be setting the stage for next season’s celebrations (fall up N and spring down S of the equator).  What do you love to do in the this upcoming season?  What holidays or rituals make it a wonderful season for you?  How does your garden grow and what favorite plants will be blooming?  I hope you will be joining us.  Just create a post and link in with both or one of us between September 1st and the 20th, and around the 21st we will reveal those lessons and celebrations.


Next up on the blog:  I am postponing my special tree post until the end of the month.  Monday I will be sharing a very special garden book about meadows.  And next Wednesday will be another Simply The Best post honoring a special native plant.

I will be linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Wednesday.

As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.

I hope you will join me for my posts, every other Tuesday, at Beautiful Wildlife Garden.

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