African Garden + water

Defiant Beauty: July '12 Bloom Day
Phlox paniculata 'Goldmine' and Coreopsis 'Star Cluster' bloom with a crispy-brown lawn in the background.

Despite the severe (or is it now "extreme"?) drought, a surprising number of plants soldier bravely on, defying the heat and dryness to brighten the garden with blooms. These plants have endured temperatures in the 100s, although they and I got a bit of a reprieve last week with temperatures back down in the 80s where they belong. A mere.2" has fallen only in the last couple of days. Watering continues, but the Phlox and Coreopsis pictured above have not been included on the watering schedule.

The drought has set the garden back to nearly the point where it should be. It's only slightly ahead of normal, which means coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea),

shown here along with Campanula 'Sarastro' and Heuchera 'Raspberry Ice'. The coneflowers herald the main season of interest in the Nanoprairie along with Liatris spicata

and the Joe-Pye weed, Eupatorium 'Phantom'.

It just started blooming today.

July also means daylilies,

although this mystery large yellow will be done tomorrow. Hemerocallis 'Apollodorus' has a few more buds in waiting.

July usually means lilies too, but most of the lilies have already passed.

Lilium 'Cobra' started blooming last week, and 'Black Beauty' is in full, glorious bloom.

They've topped out at over 5 feet tall.

This morning, I spied a hummingbird visiting the only Fuchsia that's blooming.

This is the oldest and simplest Fuchsia I have. This summer it is in a container by the front steps.

I don't know if the hummer has been visiting the honeysuckle (Lonicera 'Winchester').

It's in the way back corner and hard to see. I'm hoping it will someday grow tall enough to block a view.

The Pelargoniums have proved themselves through the heat and the drought.

I must find the tag for this one. It has out bloomed the others despite its foliage beginning to brown.

What has really surprised me are the Clematis. 'Betty Corning', 'Evisix' (Petite Faucon™) and 'Madame Julia Correvon' have yet to stop blooming, and in spite of everything, 'Rhapsody' is beginning to rebloom.

There's just nothing else in the garden right now quite this color.

Next to it, poor Hydrangea macrophylla 'Claudie' is reduced to only two bloom clusters because of the extreme warmth of March and then the freeze in April.

Throw in a drought, and it's lucky to have even that.

Just beyond the hydrangea, in the raised bed, the balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus) is in full bloom. I don't know what cultivar this is, with its occasional double and semi-double flowers.

Who knew they were drought tolerant?

So much of the Woodland Garden is struggling in the dry shade, but amazingly, the spikenard (Aralia racemosa) looks no worse for the wear.

I'm hoping for a good crop of berries, although a welcome storm could drop tree branches on it, but so far, so good.

At the front of the Woodland Garden, Lobelia 'Monet Moment' has just started its show.

Joining in are Geranium 'Gerwat' (Rozanne™), Hosta 'Winfield Gold', and at the top, Phlox paniculata 'Laura' growing through the variegated dogwood Golden Shadows™(Cornus alternifolia 'Stackman'). The dogwood's blooms are long gone, but it still sports some darkest purple berries.

I wish there was room for a picture of each plant that has persevered in the face of adverse conditions as they deserve the tribute, but I'm happy there are so many of them. I'll leave you with my favorite little charmer, Geranium 'Bob's Blunder'.

Visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens for all the Bloom Day posts from near and far.

Also in bloom:
Angelonia angustifolia
Antirrhinum (a self-sown seedling)
Callibrachoa
Callirhoe involucrata
Calycanthus floridus 'Athens'
Campanula persicifolia 'Alba', 'Blue Eyed Blond', 'Telham Blue'
Campanula 'Samantha'
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides making an early appearance
Clematis 'Henryi'
Consolida ambigua (larkspur)
Crocosmia 'Lucifier'
Dianthus 'Cranberry Ice'
Eryngium 'Jade Frost'
Geranium 'Blogold' (Blue Sunrise™), 'Jolly Bee'
Geranium hybrid
Geranium nodosum 'Svelte Lilac'
Hemerocallis 'Evening Seas', 'Grape Velvet', 'Little Grapette', 'Pink Lavender Appeal', 'Super Purple, 'Woodside Amethyst'
Heuchera 'Citronelle', 'Frosted Violet'
Hibiscus syriacus 'Red Heart'
Hosta 'Cherry Berry', 'Gold Standard', 'June', 'Maui Buttercups', 'Rainforest Sunrise'
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Bailmer' (Endless Summer™), 'Penny Mac'
Hydrangea quercifolia ''Little Honey'
Knautia macedonia and K. 'Thunder and Lightning'
Lavandula 'Hidcote'
Lobularia maritima (sweet alyssum)
Malva sylvestris 'Zebrina'
Oxalis regnellii 'Triangularis'
Pansy (I know, weird!)
Phlox maculata
Phlox paniculata 'Blue Paradise', 'David', 'Grenadine Dream', 'Nicky', 'Red Riding Hood', 'Super Red'
Rosa Carefree Beauty (not worth showing because of the Japanese beetles)
Ruellia humilis
Talinum paniculatum 'Limon'

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Defiant Beauty: July '12 Bloom Day + water