Thursday, February 12, 2015

Rose Garden in Late Summer

The Rose Garden continues to be interesting throughout the summer, even beyond peak rose bloom.

The Rose Garden in July

First of all, I have tried to include good foliage plants throughout the garden, to carry it through lulls in blooming. There are a purple leaved Cotinus 'Velvet Cloak', snowy white Salix 'Hakuro-Nishiki', silver Lamb's Ears, bushy green Euphorbias, Sedum, and various dwarf evergreens.

LA hybrid Lily 'Red Alert', with Cotinus 'Velvet Cloak' and foliage of Peony 'Bartzella'

But there are some mid- to late-summer bloomers in here too. These stunning red LA Lilies bloom in July. This type of lily is said to be fragrant, but I do not detect much of a scent.

LA hybrid lily 'Red Alert'

I grow LA Lilies not for their fragrance but for their appearance - they have much better flower power and substance than regular Asiatic Lilies, with the same or better bright color range. They seem to increase rapidly.

Clematis 'Etoile Violette'

Clematis viticella 'Etoile Violette' also blooms in mid-summer, from late June to July. It has very dark purple flowers indeed - almost too dark, I'm afraid - they recede a bit too much for me. A lighter background might help to show them off better.

Rose Garden in July: Clematis, Barberry, Yew, and Quince tree

It is a very vigorous and free-flowering clematis, however, like all viticellas. This is only its third year - it will presumably get bigger than this with time. It climbs a trellis in the back of the Rose Garden, behind a young yew, Barberry 'Crimson Pygmy', and Quince 'Aromatnaya'.

Rose Garden in July: Allium tanguticum 'Summer Beauty' and Sedum

Another July bloomer is Allium tanguticum 'Summer Beauty'. It is an unusual Flowering Allium, having mid-summer blooms and foliage that remains healthy and attractive all season. (Most Alliums bloom in spring and deteriorate horribly immediately afterwards.) Not a show-stopper, by any means, but a valuable contributor for the Dog Days of Summer. It flowers in front of the Quince and Barberry, near Sedum 'Autumn Fire.' The roses in the picture are recently transplated Austin 'Sophy's Rose' - hopefully they will add their red blooms to the picture in future years.

Russian sage (Perovskia atripicifolia) in late summer

Russian sage (Perovskia atripicifolia) blooms in July through August. It is a large, sprawly, wispy plant whose charm I find difficult to capture in a photograph.

Prunella grandiflora 'Freelander Blue' and Euonymous fortunei 'Tricolor'

At the Sage's feet are a vibrant Self-Heal (Prunella grandiflora 'Freelander Blue') and the variegated evergreen Euonymous fortunei 'Tricolor'. The Prunella is new, but so far very satisfactory. It has a low, creeping profile, and smothers itself with dark blue-purple flowers from late June through August. Hopefully it will prove hardy.

Rose 'Eglantyne' and Salix 'Hakuro-Nishiki' in July

Of course, some of the roses continue blooming through the summer as well, although their peak bloom is in June and September. The fragrant pink David Austin rose 'Eglantyne' throws off blooms continuously all summer long as it sprawls all over its neighbors.

Mid and Late summer are not my favorite times in the garden - I find the heat and drought oppressive, and there are no peonies in July... :-) I therefore tend not to emphasize summer bloomers in my plantings. However, I have learned that good foliage plants, plus a smattering of blooms, helps keep the garden together until my next favorite season - Fall - comes along.

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