Six on Saturday- 18/07/2020 – tall flowers, short flowers

The garden is a lot happier than it was a week ago – it’s amazing how a bit of rain will make things all perky again! Still hot and humid though! I think the word to describe the garden this week is ‘lush’ – rain, heat and humidity make foliage grow bigger and appear greener, flowers are brighter, bugs are buggier! As it’s Saturday, it’s time to join the Propagator‘s crowd and post pictures of six things now happening in the garden.

Last week I showed four different daylilies (Hemerocallis) that were in bloom. Here are three more. I’m particularly pleased, although not that impressed, with the first one. It’s a hybrid I developed myself, crossing H. Catherine Woodbury with a large deep, unnamed red one. It’s taken a few years to get the seedling large enough to bloom.

The tall Silphiums are blooming. First is Silphium perfoliatum – Cup plant. The main clump is about seven feet tall right now. I say ‘main clump’ because I tend to let the flowers go to seed, which are favoured by several small birds here, including finches. This plant self seeds like crazy though, and I have dozens and dozens of individual plants all over the large island bed they’re in. In the spring I try to pull or dig them out, but…

It’s called Cup Plant because of the little container formed by the two opposite leaves joining around the stem. A perfect little watering cup for small birds and insects.

The second is Silphium laciniatum – Compass plant. Native to Ontario and a wide swath of central United States, the flower stalk can be much taller than me, and the huge leaves will align, some say, north to south to escape the hot mid day sun. Hmmm. Anyway, it’s very statuesque and certainly grabs your attention.

Pollinators love all Silphium flowers.

Clematis are having a great summer. Slower than usual to start blooming, perhaps because I traumatized the poor thing while transplanting it in the early spring, this purple C. Vitticella, Etoile Violette, looks kinda neat growing up the same tutoir as the red C. texensis Gravetye Beauty.

I had to harvest the garlic last Saturday. The foliage was half dead already, a few weeks early, and I wanted to get it out of the raised bed (most of my veggies are in some sort of raised bed because the soil is So Rocky) before the rain. Here’s what I got – many of the bulbs are smaller than usual (too dry) but I’m sure the taste will be as garlicy as ever!

Finally – I purchased last year a pot of lovely Sempervivum – Hens and chicks. The fleshy leaves are larger and redder than the more common, all green ones I have lots and lots of. It has sent up four flower stalks this summer (as well as sending out many ‘chicks’).

That’s it for me this Saturday. There are plans today to visit our local farmer’s market (now open, with physical distancing and masks, of course), do a bit of mowing (need to keep those weeds down) and attempt some tomato suckering. Generally taking it easy though, as humidex temperatures will reach 40 (104 f). Stay safe, everyone.


      1. Not particularly, because it’s a day and we don’t celebrate especially. In past years, and when the weather is nice, there‘s parties with friends and/or fireworks but with the Covid this year, everything was canceled. Is it something you celebrate ?

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  1. Chris, it is hotter there than South Florida today. How wonderful you can go to the Farmer’s Market! Ours is order online and drive through. Love the Hens and Chicks image. I have not seen Compass Plants before, cool! And I am so jealous of the garlic. I tried it once…one miniature clove.

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  2. Glad you finally got some rain. The garden leaps to life after a good rain, so heartening.
    Cup plant is interesting, but I’d be afraid it would take over if I planted it. Your garlic harvest still looks good!

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  3. Nature never ceases to amaze me! The natural ‘cup’ made by the leaves of Silphium is unusual. I too have not heard of Silphiums before. your daylily selection is lovely, and I especially like the third one. We are just planting out garlic bulbs (possibly a little late) and you are harvesting yours. That is a good crop there. I do like your combination of Clematis. Both lovely.

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  4. Nice clematis! Their season is so brief here, but some people grow them anyway. We even have a few in our landscapes. They are nice in bloom, but then look tired for the rest of summer.

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    1. I agree, many Clematis are like that here as well. These two varieties, especially the Texensis, will continue to produce a decent number of flowers right until frost though. Plus, the green obelisk of foliage is quite striking in the garden

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    1. Thank you! I’ve had Etoile Violette for so many years, and moved it three times now – hoping it gains strength in its current spot during the coming years to produce what I remember as a massive cloud of purple in late June.

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    1. What I call removing the suckers from the plants. Suckers being side shoots that appear where a leaf joins the main stem. They create a very bushy plant, cutting of air and light from the interior of the plant and some say, rob nutrition from growing tomatoes to feed the foliage. These heritage varieties are suckering at a HUGE rate – every day it seems I’m snipping off tons. With tomatoes, if I had the room and time and patience, I could likely plant them and produce more tomato plants!


      1. Ah yes. I do it without knowing the term for it. Or rather, my OH takes on the task. She’s not a gardener but likes knowing that she’s more diligent doing this than I am!

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