Last year (2015), using the Winter Sowing method, I grew a large number of annuals and perennials to bring a flush of color to the veg garden. This summer, I’m kind of glad that I didn’t marshal the energy to do that again because I would be stressed out from trying to keep them hydrated! With the last two months being abnormally dry, it takes a lot of time just to barely maintain what is already in place. So, there is no riot of color this summer, but a few plants from last year did flower for the first time despite the weather challenges. The predominant floral color theme in the veg garden seems to be yellow–it’s cheerful anyway–and is echoed in the flowers of most veg plants like squash, cukes, brassicas and tomatoes.
Tall Tickseed (Coreopsis) self seeds wildly eveywhere here and I tend to leave it because the birds eat it. Perennial Threadleaf Coreopsis and some of the other annual types (Coreopsis tintoria) have also been blooming. Gloriosa daisies (Rudbeckia hirta) are huge and bright, often with the variegated patterns. Yarrow, my favorite yellow type being Achillea filipendulina, makes huge flat soft yellow plates of blooms over ferny bluish-green foliage. Two newer plants started from seed are Anthemis tinctoria (Kelwayi) and Anthemis sancti-johannis which is more orange-gold. They look like huge buttons surrounded by short rays. Then there is vigorous Cup Plant with its huge water catching leaves and many types of native prairie wildflowers like Helianthus and Ratibida columnifera (long headed Coneflower). Also in bloom, mini Solidago (Goldenrod) from seed which is kind of funny because the native tall stuff composes the main problem weed clusters that I am busily hacking out of the bramble patch!
Two new additions from seed planted last year have been in flower: Senna and Armenian Basketflower (Centaurea macrocephala) which I grow in a particular bed with prairie/native plants. Senna likes pollination by bumblebees and the Basketflower is said to attract butterflies. However, I have been able to count the number of butterflies seen this year, there have been so few (other than the Cabbage Whites).
My favorite foxglove, which I hope will rebloom later, is the soft yellow Digitalis lutea, is said to be more reliably perennial that other foxgloves. I am busily shaking the seeds from the dried cut flower stalks to ensure that I get more of them!
I have enjoyed gorgeous fragrant yellow daylilies (Hemerocallis) like Hyperion and have my designs on the classic “Lemon Lily” (Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus) which is said to have a scent not unlike Lily of the Valley.
As for yellow annuals purchased, I did score some Lantana in variegated yellow to plant along the sidewalk.
The only shrub with yellow blooms right now is St. John’s Wort, which rapidly set seed.
What yellows do you enjoy in your summer garden?
These are the only pictures I have uploaded with yellows available for now…The rest are still on my camera awaiting a return visit to Westminster!
One patch near the north side of the veg garden
This is my favorite foxglove.