Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hoe Down on the Sunnyside

"I want to persuade an awful lot of plants to caper and cavort in an ever-whirling fandango for as much of the year as possible."

English landscape designer James Alexander-Sinclair

 The rain garden is the sunniest part of my garden.

My garden is a summer garden.

 It's packed with plants that attract pollinators.

There is a bit of dancing in the spring and fall but the best tunes are always played in summer. 


Occasionally a slow, seductive song is played and I'm greeted with babies in the spring but most of the tunes are booty shakers.  


Pink coneflowers attract more pollinators than any other plant in the garden, 
including this bumblebee .

Everyone has a partner. 


The dance steps are salsas and flamenco with a bit of "Dance like no one's watching" 
thrown in for good measure.

The red tube shaped flowers look like lipstick but are actually a tough southeastern native called silene regia 'Prairie Fire'. They attract hummingbirds. The red/yellow heliopsis showed up last summer as a volunteer.

Fix your hair and throw on a cute dress, honey, because there's a party over there!


Hips sway, hands clap, and it's a damn fine time. 


If I do say so myself.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly

Don't think you're going to rest those feet for too long, love.


A long cold night awaits at the end of this gig and I've got dancing to do!

Tiny pollinator on rudbeckia hirta 'Denver Daisies' grown from seed.

72 comments:

  1. I'm dancing! It looks like great fun. :)

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    1. It's such a bright, cheerful spot. I just love it. It feels like a party. :o)

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  2. That's awesome!! Your garden is a riot of colour and beauty 🌻🌺🌼. Truly amazing!!

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    1. Oops my flower icons failed!

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    2. Thanks! I've heard it referred to as 'clown pants gardening' but the pollinators and I love it so it works for me. :o)

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  3. Your garden is magnificent! Summer is the closest thing we have to down-time in the garden. Many of the natives go dormant when the garden is at its hottest and driest and even the non-natives often hunker down, waiting for cooler temperatures to bloom. But, even here, we try to coax at least some plants to bloom and the pollinators to visit.

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    1. Wow! Thanks! Your garden is so full of flowers it seems strange to hear the summer is your down time. But when I was a little kid living in Oceanside, winter/early spring was always when we grew our sweet peas. Summer was too windy/dry.

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  4. Such a riot of colour. I love it!

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    1. Thanks! This crazy part of the garden makes me very happy. :o)

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  5. Your summer garden looks gorgeous, full of colour. Yes it is a real party garden, dancing with the flowers must be great fun!

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    1. It's so full of pollinators that it looks like a party. I do love how colorful it is. :o)

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  6. You've mastered summer. Your garden plantings are rich and colorful. Great photo of the swallowtail. I spotted a couple last week but couldn't get them to settle down and pose.

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    1. Thanks! We've had such a rainy summer that I haven't seen many butterflies. But this guy stayed in the garden for several hours. I really hope it laid eggs.

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  7. Ahh, you makes me so jealous... an abundant flowers on your garden. So lovely!

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  8. Hi Tammy, when I see the photos of your garden I think country garden at its very best! It has a very cheerful atmosphere and is obviously heaven for pollinators. I love the white daylily. Do you mind telling me what variety it is?
    Christina

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    1. Hi Christina, it's a fragrant variety called Sunday Gloves. The flowers are huge!

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  9. Now that is a party I would love an invite to. Just fabulous. I hope the echinaceas I planted this year do as well as yours.

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    1. I haven't had much luck with the newer cultivars. They usually die after one season but the tried and true ech. purpurea is a stalwart performer and the colder the winter, the more seedlings I have. But the pollinators love them so I hate pulling them. I have coneflowers in every sunny spot in the garden.

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  10. Looks like fun! I am envious of all your coneflowers. My garden is still doing the Chicken Dance, it doesn't get really wild until the end of July.

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    1. Ha ha ha!! If you were a few zones warmer, it would be a different story. :o)

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  11. Your garden is certainly the life of the party! Love all the colorful bloom combos.

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    1. I think these combos would give a designer a migraine, but so what! I have such little sun in my garden that just about every plant I have that attracts pollinators and needs sun gets thrown into this bed. I love how insane it is. Because the zinnias are a combo of colors, I never know what this area will look like from week to week. I like the surprise of it all.

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  12. You have a humdinger of a party, I mean, garden, going on there!! Have fun, you and your flowers-n-critters!

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  13. Wow, that Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly pic is AMAZING. Great capture. My garden looks a lot like yours right about now. Lots of the bright pink coneflowers, all the rudbeckia coming into bloom, roses mixed in among them. I also love the moment when the dahlias are in full bloom in the palette. Tammy, I planted a gallon pot coneflower last year that knocked me out because it was a gorgeous greenish-white, if that makes any sense at all! (I need to send a photo.) Do you know of that cultivar? I lost the tag, of course, but it is coming in under a peachy tree rose and is a knock out next to the veronica. Ring any bells?

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    1. I have no idea. I have a white coneflower but it's definitely not greenish white. Is it a double? I'd Google it. Swallowtails are native to this area and I've seen several different kinds but we've had such a wet summer I haven't seen as many butterflies as normal.

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  14. Yup, my garden's the same, mid-summer is it's happy time. Everyone who's anyone shows up, pops out a flower and all of a sudden I look like a master gardener. This is the time of year I tell people "if you want to see the garden COME NOW!" Love your pics, the colour, the crowd, the insects - pure happiness.

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    1. Thanks! I think the plants are as relieved it's summer as we are. I need to show both sides of the garden at the same time because they are total opposites. One is bright and colorful while the other is shady and serene. It's so contradictory it's kind of funny.

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  15. Hi, Tammy!
    Your summer garden is very pretty, especially your rudbeckias. How I love them and would like to have in my garden as well but the soil and climate isn't for them :(( These coneflowers look like lights in a grass.

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    1. Thanks! I wonder if you grew them under lights and put them out as seedlings if they would do well. Maybe heliopsis would be a better choice. Coneflowers are a very American prairie flower but I just love them and have them stuffed into every spot I can.

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  16. It's beautiful Tammy, gorgeous slow waltz's mixed in with a tango, and a fox trot. This is a beautifully lyrical post, and I loved it so much I shared it on my FB page, and on twitter!

    Jen

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    1. WOW!! Thanks! That's a huge compliment! I feel very honored. :o) My garden has a lot of partial shade so this area is jam packed with as many bright, sun-loving, pollinator-attracting plants as possible. But then some just crash the party on their own like the red/yellow heliopsis. It's a very happy spot. :o)

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  17. Gosh, those drifts of coneflowers are just scrumptious! And as for that swallowtail.....I am green with envy! What a wonderful display!
    I am off to get my ballet shoes, I simply have to join in!xxx

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    1. Thanks! Swallowtails are huge butterflies. It's such a treat to see them in the garden. :o)

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  18. Well, what can I say that others have not already said? Not much. The garden looks awesomely floriferous!

    Can you tell me more about Silene regia? Will it tolerate heavy clay soil? And is it drought tolerant?

    Gracias.

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    1. It's a native prairie plant that grows well in dry soil. Mine is in heavily amended soil but the sub soil is clay. It has a massive rootball! I'd give it a try. Prairie Nursery says it needs well drained soil and mine is on a slight slope. Both Prairie Nursery and Prairie Moon Nursery carry the straight species. Since it's a prairie native, it's probably drought tolerant but I water a lot.

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  19. Just beautiful, Tammy - I love the abundance of your sunny beds. Our coneflowers are just starting up and they are a favourite around here - I leave their prickly heads even in the winter as the birds seem to love them too (and it's a bit more interesting than a blanket of snow).

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    1. Thanks! Most of my garden is partially shady but I have pockets of sun here and there as well as this big area. I leave the seedheads up, too. The finches usually eat them down to the base over the winter. :o)

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  20. What a glorious, fun way to view a garden!

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    1. Thanks! Life's too short not to have fun. :o)

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  21. Wow that is a beautiful tune your garden is playing. It's so full of beautiful flowers and colours and that swallowtail butterfly is amazing! Sarah x

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    1. They are the true jewels of the garden. :o)

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  22. I like your 'dance like nobody's watching thrown in for good measure'! A very fun and beautiful dancing tune! Love the Silene regia! I winter sowed some this past year, but the seedlings are still very, very tiny.

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    1. Give the silene some time. I'm impressed they grew from seed. They have massive root systems but maybe all the action is happening below ground. :o)

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  23. This time of year there is very definitely a party going on in the garden. I have many of the same dancers in my garden. :-)

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  24. Girlfriend, you do know how to throw a party! Wowzer!!! The photos are all so much fun, but the one with the Silene and the Heliopsis made me laugh. There's just so much uninhibited JOY here! (and so many exclamation marks in my comment). Never heard of clown pants gardens before, but I think you just supplied the visual definition.

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    1. I like gardens that are joyful. I think joy, like kindness, shouldn't be random. Summer is so bright and warm that my garden wouldn't be mine if I didn't throw in some crazy colorful fun. :o)

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  25. Yowsa, that's some party pal! Your summer garden is as exuberant and full of fun as you are! Thanks for sharing the dance with us.

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  26. Such an awesome party happening all around your garden my friend! Your masses are just scrumptious!!! And I just got your email....I signed off of everything except Pinterest for the last month. Glad I stopped by here today friend! Your summer garden is beautiful! Nicole xo

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    1. Thanks! Smart move. Disconnecting can be a wonderful way to get back in touch with what's right there in front of you. :o)

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  27. Dance! Dance like the wind ... because, as they say in 'Game of Thrones' 'Winter is coming'!! Not to be a harbinger of doom, but dance in the sunlight while you may! Your garden is indeed a whirl of fantastic colour, Tammy . Love it!

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    1. I actually thought about that phrase when I was writing this! Summer may be hot but we miss it when it's cold so enjoy I it while I can.

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  28. What a riot of exuberant color in your garden, Tammy! No sedate waltzes or or foxtrots here, for sure. I agree about the coneflowers--mine have been swarming with butterflies and bees ever since the blooms opened. Your summer garden makes me want to put on some dancing shoes, too!

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    1. What's funny is that the other side of the garden is fairly sedate because of all the shade. Now the phlox have started blooming so it's even more colorful. :o)

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  29. I love all your colour, what a wonderful sight. I have never seen that gorgeous Silene before. It really does look as if all those flowers are dancing. Fabulous!

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    1. I think it would do well in your climate. I can send you seeds if you'd like, although I've never grown it from seed so I'm not sure how easy it is. The pollinators avoid it because it's covered in sticky hairs that trap them but hummingbirds love it, as do I.

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  30. I love the sweep of colors, especially as seen in the photo that includes the birdbath. I have planted silene twice, but both times it bloomed in late spring, then died away in the summer, never to return. Is yours in full sun?

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    1. There are several varieties of silene. My silene regia is a tough native that doesn't go dormant in the summer. I think you must have had a different type. It blooms like mad all summer. Mine gets fullish sun but a bit of very bright shade in late afternoon. I'd try it again. :o)

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  31. Ok, this I love. The dance and the flowers! This garden is my dream garden! I've noticed, too, that my purple coneflowers are covered with dancers...more than any other plant. The Russian sage and coreopsis tie for second place. ~Julie

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    1. Wow!! Thanks! That's interesting that coreopsis is so successful for you. I have a clump in my front garden that I'm pulling out this fall because it's so mediocre and is a pain in the butt to deadhead. I'm replacing it with dwarf coneflowers. They are pollinator magnets. :o)

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  32. Having my own little jig, more a John Travolta-style swish, as I enjoy your summer blooms.
    Your garden's so pretty, alas my dancing not so. ☺

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  33. BEAUTIFUL! I love all the humming and you are so right about the pink coneflower being a magnet for the bumbles:-) I love working out there and hearing the humming all day long and all around me-perfect music!

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  34. And it better be a flashy dress too, not one of mama's "tasteful" ensembles. For some reason, I can picture you in a screaming orange wrap dress with neon pink, elbow length gardening gloves and a big smile. Why is that?

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  35. Wow Tammy, your garden is full of the most gorgeous flowering, billowing, vibrant and stunning plants, I want me some of that, including the butterflies! The bird bath is inspired but would be lost on the pigeons here.

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  36. My garden seems to bloom the most in summer.....but it is a wild party here and there too!

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  37. Your sunny garden is fantastic. I love how the flowers all dance together. I purchased that Silene a few months ago. It's alive but it hasn't bloomed yet. I wish it would hurry up.

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