What’s blooming?

It’s another gorgeous day in the Bluegrass — warm and sunny, dry and clear. The sun sits in a brilliant blue sky, though somewhat further south, as the angle of the light visibly reveals. The same rays that scorched a few weeks ago now lie long and warm upon the land, the lingering caress of a lover who is leaving sooner than she would like.

The insects are at their zenith, in a frenzy to gather as much of the season’s bounty as they can hold. Bees are everywhere, their golden hum in the background of nearly every garden. My Sedum telephium ‘Matrona’ has just finished blooming; while it is in full flower, the blossoms are hardly visible for all the bees crawling over the floral heads.

The Geranium ‘Rozanne’ hasn’t stopped blooming since it started several months ago; I’ve had to cut it back twice to keep it from overwhelming not-so-nearby neighbors! It has spread so much in this year, only its second, that I’m thinking of dividing it before next year.

A second crop of self-sown pink evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa) is starting to bloom. I’ve (perhaps foolishly) allowed them to grow where heavy summer rains carried their seeds, outside of the huge bed in which they were originally planted. The established plants go dormant in the heat of summer and look simply dreadful, but I so love the dense carpet of pink flowers they provide in the spring that I can’t bring myself to remove them. Perhaps I should cut them back when the weather turns blistering so they look less unsightly.

Last, but not least, in the perennial department is the Liriope muscari (known locally as monkey grass). Three varieties grow in my evolving gardens: ‘Big Blue,’  ‘Pee Dee Gold,’ and ‘Variegata.’  All three produce fantastic, blue-purple flower spikes in late summer, hence the species name (same as the genus name of the plant commonly known as grape hyacinth).

Clearly my gardens are lacking in those late summer powerhouses, the asters and their kin. I’ll have to work on that for next season. Now where did I put that season of bloom chart?


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