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Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, sponsored by

May Dreams Gardens


Today, along with my first foray into pickling peppers, caring for a sick boy, watching an

Indiana Jones

marathon with previously mentioned sick boy, peeling 25 lbs. of tomatoes, turning those tomatoes into sauce, and cheering on Chicken Mama as she participated in her first 4-H chicken showmanship competition, I wondered how I could participate in Bloom Day.

Honestly, there's not much action in our gardens.

(Unless you count the incredible growth of weeds.)

So, I was surprised when I left sick Mikey, engulfed in a Pokemon Wii battle, to walk through the gardens for a few minutes.

I actually found a few blooms. Hooray!

Lantana is our garden workhorse, When all else is bare, lantana saves the day. Not only is it a hummingbird and butterfly magnet, it provides a nice splash of color late in the season when most of my perennials are tired. Done. Spent.

I know in many parts of the country, lantana is considered invasive. In our garden, however, I've never found a volunteer.

Found in the same bed as the lantana, Rozanne geranium makes a reappearance. During the intense heat of our South Carolina summer, this lovely little flower tends to disappear. Now, though, a nice blanket of blooms emerges.

Tall verbena add a bit of height to the front perennial bed...

...and although 'Gin' begonia claims to be an annual, it reappears every year along the front walk. (That's the kind of false advertising I like!)

Thank goodness for Japanese anemone. Without it, our front flower beds would be bare. Originally five plants, the entire driveway bed is now a mass of pink blooms.

I believe it's time to transplant and share the anemone love along the side of the garage.

Snail flower is one of my favorite vines. Originally started from seed in our greenhouse, the enormous vine produces gorgeous corkscrew flowers in late summer.

The seeds are pricey--$1 per seed.

It's worth it.

Gaura, or whirling butterflies, tend to slow down mid-summer. In fact, two gaura plants completely gave up this summer. This one appears to be a volunteer.

Ah, butterfly bush--I think you're embroiled in a scandal. Personally, I love how you attract pollinators. Still, other gardeners find your lack of native appeal and invasiveness... unappealing.

Be still, my heart--is that a rose??? In our shady garden? Why yes, it is! I'm always shocked to find a rose in bloom.

'PeeGee' hydrangea is one of the few hydrangeas that continues to put on a show.

The fraise des bois, however, are flowering and fruiting madly--and sweeter than ever.

Native hibiscus tends to be showy in late summer...if you can keep the caterpillars away.

Oreo is a fantastic gardener. I'm pretty certain she plans to remove that nasty grass from the flower bed--with her back paws.

Lazy cat.

Surprisingly, the phlox performed well this year. Typically, I battle powdery mildew on the phlox, but this year the phlox was untouched. Hooray for small miracles!

Mint in the herb garden, beginning to flower.

The blooms of fennel attract many pollinators, while the plant serves as a host for several butterfly species' larva.

The cucumbers, watermelons, and peppers continue to produce in the large vegetable garden.

And the wildflowers continue to adorn the vegetable garden by the river.

One of my favorite vines that I overwinter in the greenhouse is mandevilla. I love the tropical flavor it adds by the pool.

Lamium continues to share it's shell pink blooms...

And the azaleas' repeat blooms are in full swing.

Dragon Wing begonia, sporting a long-legged friend.

A few strawberry plants are producing autumn fruit.

And finally, Black-Eyed Susan vine adds a nice splash of color to our dreary backyard. (I also propagated the vine from seed.)

So, apparently we do have a few blooms remaining in our gardens. Now, if only I would find a few more hours in the day so that I could venture outside more often to stop and smell the flowers--literally.

Happy Bloom Day to you!