For years, I was a purist. Growing only the ancient heirloom hollyhocks - from seeds I grabbed at my Mom's and my Grandmother's houses. Most of my gardens are filled with these heirlooms and they are fabulous. A tall, flowering forest reaching 15 feet high in the right conditions (i.e. 3x weekly water + a whole lotta sunshine.)
These are hybridized double hollyhocks. They don't last as long, they don't easily reseed like the heirlooms. But, I don't care. I just absolutely love the cottage garden feel to these bright bloomers.
* If you come back here in a week, or two, you might get to see the apricot Holly in bloom. Can't hardly wait!
Chater's Double Red Althea Rosea - Zone 2! Yep! They grow everywhere! :)) Reaching 4-6 feet.
Hello Handsome. Isn't he a stunner? This is Snuffy. An Appaloosa this pretty deserves a better name but that's what happens when you put the kids in charge.
I've ridden 600 miles with this guy!
This is my girl, Sable, on the Chief Joe Ride in 2017.
The only breed allowed on this ride are Appaloosas - spotted ponies. Which works out great for me! Seeing as how they are my favorite breed of horses.
Snuffy spent the night in my backyard and off they go, up into Washington for their grand adventure.
I've been told I'm being a baby for sitting this one out. But, I just couldn't bring myself to do the ride this year. It's so freaking hot! Plus, this leg of the 1,300 mile journey is too difficult.
* I overheard horse, Sable, breathe a gigantic sigh of relief when I announced we would not be working so hard on these 100 degree days. :)
300 people show up to participate from as far away as Maine & Florida
* The Chief Joseph Trail Ride commemorates the Nez Perce Native American flight from the U.S. Calvary. The tribe was running to safety, in Canada, riding their Appaloosa horses. They made it 1,300 miles before surrendering 40 miles shy of the Canadian border.
** It takes 13 years to complete the Chief Joe Trail Ride. I still have 700 miles to go.
Moonshine Yarrow - coping beautifully with the heat and drought of this sweltering summer. #gardening #garden #perennials
Any Yarrow is a fantastic choice for hot dry spots in a high mountain garden (over 7,000 feet.) I'm partial to the yellow varieties.. Achillea Moonshine - zone 3 - provides nectar for butterflies and gorgeous color when wimpier perennials are overcome by the heat.
A Heavenly Blue Morning Glory stretching toward the sun. This is the only annual I plant in my gardens. Most are too tender for life in the mountains -- and this one is, too! But I just can't imagine a gardening season without this beauty decorating my deck. :)
* Plant from seed. Best in a container, with trellis. They can stretch to 30 feet but once they reach a height where they can climb no higher, they will shift their energy to what they do best. Gracing you with hundreds of stunning, 3- 4 inch, flowers. Blue in acidic soils. Purple-blue in alkaline soils.
Winds shifted. Blowing all the smoke from the Too Close For Comfort Strawberry Reservoir Wildfire in my direction.
Felt like I was 'warming myself' in front of bonfire. What with the heat and the smoke and smell of burning timber.
Lasted a whole 45 minutes out in the gardens because of that.
Just long enough to give the Flax a sip of water and snap this pretty picture.
Flax (Linum) is a pretty common wildflower out west but you rarely see them so healthy and blue. The secret happened entirely by accident. It's horse poo!
Thank my Chief Fertilizing Officers for these pretty blossoms.
* Flax is an annual, reseeds readily, consider it a perennial - since she will return to flower every season. One of the very few true blue flowers we can enjoy in our western alkaline soils. Plant by seed. Fertilize for stronger flower power.
It's been beastly hot around these part so I finally broke down and watered the 'street garden.' Which is just a fancy name for the ditch in front of my rural home. :) Thought the drops of water on the fluffy seed pods of the Apache Plume were so pretty I needed to share.
Look close - you can see the remnants of little white flowers. They're kind of boring compared to what happens after she blooms. Masses of pink, fluffy seed pods decorate the shrub for the entire summer.
If you live in the mountains (above 7,000 feet) and have sections of your property that do not receive regular watering, you should give this babe a try. Birds, Bees and Butterflies love it. Deer and Elk? Not so much.
Apache Plume [Fallugia paradoxa] Zone 4. Requires low nutrient, western, alkaline soils. Will die if fertilized.
Got a hot spot in your garden? This is the gal for you.
Mallows are a very common wildflower in Utah. In the west desert, you can see entire fields of them in bloom at the same time.
I have been babying this Desert Mallow growing wild in the ditch in front of my home. Once a month I'll drag a hose out there and give her a drink. Started with one plant but now I have a small field of happy apricot flowers.
Sphaeralcea ambigua Zone 6
* Once established, requires light watering, once a week, to produce non-stop flowers all summer long.