Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Garden in Summer

This spring and the beginning of this summer in Seattle have been ridiculously warm and sunny. Almost too warm and sunny. Average rainfall in June is 1.55". We got .29" Average rainfall for July is .93". We're halfway through the month, with no rain in sight, and we've gotten, to date, .06". It's a good thing most of our plants are drought tolerant!
First up, the most exciting thing! Those tomatoes are turning a color other than green!


The pink monkeyflower (I believe this is Mimulus lewisii) that we brought from Montana has seeded itself into various other pots around the yard. So cool.

Two of my favorite things, Daisies and Rhubarb.

The Agapanthus is just starting to emerge. I don't think it appreciates quite so much dryness, there are fewer flowers than last year.

The East parking strip. The Agastache doesn't seem to mind the drought. And the bees LOVE it! Walking by, you can hear the buzzing.

See him there, all happy doing his bee thing?

Echinacea, Purple coneflower. This has seeded itself around, too. Although somehow we seem to have acquired three different kinds. Not quite sure what's going on there.

A bee's-eye view.

What's left of the Allium. They look great, even when they're done for the season. We've been leaving the seedheads out in the garden, and are being rewarded with lots of tiny seedlings. It'll be a few years before the bulbs mature enough to flower, though.

Evening Primrose - Oenethera 'lemon sunset'. The flowers each only last one night, although we managed to plant them in the right spot, where they are shaded most of the morning, so the flowers last a little longer.

Our newest addition (because you can't go to the Chris-Craft rendezvous without buying plants at the farmer's market). Coreopsis 'Red Shift'. As the flowers age, they go from pale yellow to burgundy.

What you've all been waiting for - the giant WALL OF DOOM! Oh wait, it's just sunflowers. Our neighbors love it. Especially the kids. I had a woman yesterday walk past with her daughter who told me, "My friend told us about your sunflowers, so we had to come and see them" We're an official Phinneywood tourist attraction! Plus, it camouflages the sad, unfinished porch quite nicely. You can see that the giant ones in the middle aren't even blooming yet - they're about eight feet tall.

Just one of about six varieties we planted.

Ceanothus americanus. It's pretty much done blooming, but there are still a few flowers to be seen. Lovely and delicate, and they smell wonderful.

Genetics at work - we planted five red sedums. They seeded around, and this year there were several mutants. Albinos?

Again with the genetics and volunteers. The hollyhock appeared two years ago. It was pale pink. This year we have two different shades of pink as well as a dark burgundy. Go figure. Also - that echinacea is a volunteer that appeared last year. Totally different variety than the two that are on the opposite corner of the yard.

Asclepias tuberosa. Butterfly weed. Sadly, of the three we planted two years ago, this is the only one left. Happily, it's doing great!

Verbena rigida. We planted this on a whim in the tiny triangle of dirt left at the very corner between the curb ramps. It's taken over, and it blooms like this for three months.

Even when it's not in bloom, the Choysia 'aztec pearl' is pretty.

Just the way we like it - so much vegetation you can hardly see the house!


  1. I LOVE your parking strip! What a wonderful swath of color.
    Your pictures are beautiful and very inspiring. The ceanothus looks lovely - I'm not familiar with americanus and happy to hear it's still blooming when all the blue varieties have long since quit. I'll have to look that one up!

  2. It's Ceanothus 'Marie Simon' We got it at Swanson's I think. It's been blooming for about 6 weeks now!


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