Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summertime And The Susans Are Blooming

It's summer time and The Susan's are beginning to bloom...

Just a few at a time, but soon the tiny prairie will be a sea of yellow
That spreads from the sunniest borders to the shadiest nooks throughout the garden (last summer).

It's a welcome color and much needed in a Middle South summer. Once July arrives with intense heat, humidity and weeks without rain~ the garden becomes a reflection of the nearby woodlands ~green with a hint and a promise of fall color.

But, don't despair for me or the garden. Amidst the greenery are enough (can there ever really be enough) colorful natives and native friendly exotics to make any gardener's heart smile. They may not be as big or as bold as their friends in the sunnier spots, but, they make a large and sometimes dramatic statement.

Phlox paniculata began blooming earlier this month. Like it's distant relative Phlox pilosa, it's been allowed to seed here and there and everywhere~I deadhead some with hope that it will re-bloom. It doesn't really~what I do get is generations of lovely sweet flowers that always attract butterflies and bees.This small stand is a descendant of the original phlox~That would make it the great x 25 grand plant or something like that~That's a lot of pollination going on~

You cannot go far with out seeing the pink and lilac flowers nodding a sweet scented hello.

And, now for a few of the supporting players of July~native and exotic:
Verbena bonariensis
Hosta "Guacamole"
Aster "Monch"

Zinnia "Zowie" Isn't it spectacular!
I love the pineapple look it gets just before it goes to seed!

Container planted Stargazer Lilies purchased from a big box store greet guests at the door.

Gaura, one of several cultivars whose name tags have long ago disintegrated.
A sweet hollyhock of the palest pink
Unnamed morning glory in the same container as the lilies.
Kopper King Hibiscus flower.

There's plenty more, but I'll save them for another day~

Thank you for joining me here at Clay and Limestone for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day where the Living Is Especially Easy after a wonderful trip to Buffalo. GBBD is an event that knows no geographical boundaries and is celebrated hither and yon in this great big wonderful world we inhabit on the fifteenth of each and every month. Please visit Carol, May Dreams Gardens for a link to all the gardenbloggers who are celebrating the day!


You can catch Janis singing this classic or you can search the net for Ella's version! Either way you win~


  1. Good morning Gail, Your garden looks like a magical place to visit in the summertime Susan season! We depend on them also in the Northeast for cheerful blooming right up to frost time. Hollyhock envy - they won't go for me here - love that you've planted a pink one...

  2. Cyndy, Good morning, The hollyhock is new to the garden~In the past they have refused to grow! It's a Queenie Series plant and should I be lucky enough to have it seed~it might be any color! But the pinkish is a sweet color. Gail

  3. What a spectacular show you have in your gardens right now. Love every photo, your morning glory looks like Grandpa Ott's to me.

  4. My Susans are blooming too Gail. It seems my garden is romping through summer. Love the hibiscus.
    Happy GBBD.

  5. The susans are marvelous Gail - and you also have some other treasure - The Zinnia "zowie" is amazing! Your Hibiscus flower is also very lovely.

  6. The Susans do make me smile! Such happy faces in the midsummer. I'd love to add more, but rudbeckia is on the rabbit menu. One rabbit can destroy more than 25 deer! The deer don't eat my rudbeckia or coneflowers. I'm going to try helenium next.

  7. Zowie is right! Love the pink and orange together. And it looks like the butterflies are loving your Susans.

    (Gail, let me know when you're coming to Toronto. I'm hoping it won't be when I'm in Iceland. You can reach me through the link to my business site at the very bottom right of our blog.)

  8. Gail, I bought zowie too when I was at the feed store one day. It just looked so cheerful. I think your morning glory is Grandpa Otts because it looks just like my purple one. I'm trying a black one too this year. We'll see.

    On the phlox, Wanda taught me a tip, when the flower heads start to fade a bit, just pinch the tops out. It causes them to keep blooming longer. It does work although I don't know why. Happy bloom day my friend.~~Dee

  9. Very nice shots Gail. I particularly like the last two, and yes Zowie is spectacular. I hope you have a good weekend.

  10. Awesome flowers Gail. It's looking mighty colorful and summery in your garden. Have a great weekend!

  11. I really like that zinnia! I don't know what we would do this time of year without the Susans though!

  12. Gail, do you remember that until a year ago I didn't have a single Susan in my garden? Inspired by your photos of all the happy Susans in your garden, I planted maybe 3 last spring. This year...well, my garden doesn't come close to yours, but the Susans are taking over the butterfly garden:) I love all their smiling faces.

    Love the 'Zowie' zinnia--what a perfect name for this plant!

    I just noticed you took the plunge and changed your layout--very nice!

  13. Good morning Gail. The glorious Susans!!! What an impact they have and at the perfect time when my daylilies are winding down and something bright and bold is needed.

    I found some of the wild variety growing along my lane. Somehow the county mowers have missed them and the farmers with their kill everything sprays. They were blooming in a patch of bouncing bets and chicory. What a pretty vignette.

  14. I enjoy all the black eyed susans tremendously, and verbena bonariensis is such a great 'see-through' plant... generally allow them wherever they want to grow! Larry

  15. Your garden looks great. Have a wonderful birthday tomorrow.

  16. Oh my goodness Gail girl !
    You have a new lay out and it looks so nice : ) fresh and cool for all of that heat and humidity .. we are going through it as well and I have delayed a lot of work in the garden which is going to thump me badly when I do get to it ? ;-)
    My Susans are just begining to peek out at the world too .. the cone flowers are raging on and I have dead heading to do .. I better write that down on the list ! haha
    Hope you take some time out just for you too ?
    Joy : )

  17. Hi Gail, I remember your susans from last year. I bought several plants last summer, and hoped they would start to spread this year. Sadly, now there is just one and that is not in bloom yet.

    Your garden looks lovely Gail, a riot of colour.......beautiful summer colour.

  18. It's beautiful there Gail with all those Susans in bloom ~ a virtual sea of yellow. At least you have them to carry you thru the summer. They have some terrific companions too. Glad you are doing well.

    ps Fort Collins is very close to me ~ I really, really, REALLY hope it works out to see you!!!! :-)

  19. I love the Susans clustered around the bench, it's such a beautiful shot. I'd like to sit on that bench and rest a while.

  20. That looks like my favorite Rudbeckia, 'Herbstsonne' growing tall in your garden, Gail. I love those lemony colored flowers with their bright green cones. BTW, Happy Birthday! -Jean

  21. That Zowie zinnia is gorgeous - love the pineapple photo! I have a special place in my heart for black eyed susans. We once had an English setter with a big black patch over one eye. She was officially named Black Eyed Susan, after the field flower since she was a field dog, though we shortened it to Susie. She was a fantastic animal and a part of our family for many years. I always remember her when my susans bloom!

  22. Hi Gail,

    You have the most wonderful garden, flowers and photos. Really lovely!

    I especially like the verbena shot with a bench in the background.

  23. I like the shot of the Guacamole flower, as I have that Hosta but it has not flowered yet. Maybe next year when it is bigger! What a lot of lovely blooming going on at Clay and Limestone.

  24. That all looks wonderful. Love the Susan's! Happy bloom day.

  25. From THIS Susan, a virtual hug and Great seeing you in BUfftown! If my blog ever gets settled in on its new host I'll actually post about that nice half-hour you and Frances and I spent behind the sprinkler at the AIDS service center garden.
    Hugs! S

  26. Gorgeous post, Gail. I love the Susans. A classic of high summer. :)

    By the way, your unnamed morning glory looks exactly like my heirloom Grandpa Ott's morning glory.

  27. Gail your blooms are lovely and you would never know they are sweltering in the heat and the dry.

  28. Everything looks beautiful, and I'm so jealous of your susans!

  29. Ahhh the purple chairs, I live for the shots of the purple chairs.

    Oh, and the Susan's.

    So pretty!


  30. The susans are spectacular!!!! The Kopper King Hibiscus is a show stopper.

  31. Hi Gail, As I scrolled through your photos I kept thinking, ooh, that's my favorite. Then the next one, ooh, my favorite... you get the idea.

    My PPPP is still blooming and has a lot of new growth. I hope maybe being diligent with the deadheading and a little fertilizer will keep it going a little longer. You can never have too much of a good thing. ;)

  32. Susans are always blooming - doesn't have to be summer :)

  33. In wonder how to do all so well, dear Gail. As you know, an admirer from afar. (It's Susan time here too!)

  34. Gail - I always LOVE your Susans. There is just something so special about them and their down-to-earth style. Mired in several messes, I missed bloom day this month but I so enjoyed getting to see your post.

  35. Gail, the Susans here are languishing a bit ... perhaps the weekend's rain will perk them up a bit. If not, I'll yank them and wait for the next crop to appear. That Zowie Zinnia is a Wowie!

  36. Send me some of your glorious sunshine Gail - we could do with it here. Such a beautiful prairie there soon will be at Clay and Limestone. It must be wonderful to eventually tiptoe over to that bench and sit there amongst the sea of golden daisies.

    Have a lovely week :) Rosie

  37. I love guara altho they don't always come back here. And that zinnia 'Zowie' really is! :)

  38. It's interesting how so many things bloom later here further north, but the Susans seem to be on the same bloom schedule.

    I can almost smell those stargazers from here . . . mmmm. . . .

    Happy Belated Birthday Gail - I'm glad it was a good one!


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson