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Garden Photo of the Day

Lush Summer Blooms

John Markowski's garden never disappoints.

"My garden is in full swing right now as we head into the sweetheart of summer. Lush and blooming and ideally, no room for weeds."

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  1. frankgreenhalgh 07/08/2016

    Wow what a colourful and lush garden, John. Congratulations on a wonderful display. Looks in prime condition as you head into the 'sweetheart of summer'. So what do you call the other parts of summer?

    1. user-7007498 07/08/2016

      Frank: what are you doing posting so early. Usually I can get in a couple of hours before you. Getting competitive here. :)

      1. frankgreenhalgh 07/08/2016

        G'day Kev - You gave your secret away the other day, and the time zone thing may be in my favour. Why don't we have it in turn in setting the scene? In Australian football rules it is called waxing i.e. nothing to do with having a Brazilian in case you are worried! What about John's post?

        1. user-7007498 07/08/2016

          This is weird. I wrote a long post to John before I wrote to you. It was on the website last night, but now it is gone. Won't have time to repost until after work. 😢

          1. frankgreenhalgh 07/08/2016

            Vanished into the ether I guess. Look forward to your post later Kev.

        2. user-7007498 07/09/2016

          You did have me worried about the waxing thing. I could only think about the pain, and then was worried we would have to post a photo.

    2. jmarkowski 07/08/2016

      Frank - I honestly think of the entire summer as "sweetheart". Love, love the heat and sun.

  2. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 07/08/2016

    Love this time of summer in your garden , John. I get a case of the happy blues...no sad face, here. In fact, the 6th picture down made me feel like changing a word in the lyrics of the Star Spangled Banner to 'And the rockets' blue glare..." Wow, those shooting spikes are spectacular!
    And, for those of you who enjoy an fun, entertaining and informative read with great garden photos, you should become regular readers of John's blog...

    1. frankgreenhalgh 07/08/2016

      Thanks for the tip Michaele.

    2. jmarkowski 07/08/2016

      As always, you are the best Michaele!

  3. NCYarden 07/08/2016

    So upright...I mean, like, everything! Most impressive. Those colorful spikes almost look computer generated. It's a beautiful mix. Glad you find a "sweet" aspect to Summer where you are...too miserable here. Thanks for sharing.

    1. jmarkowski 07/08/2016

      Thank you NC Yarden! I love the heat and despise the cold so I'll never complain. Although I've never lived through southern summers. Ha.

  4. user-4691082 07/08/2016

    John, what variety of salvia do you have? That blue is so intense! I don't know where you live, but it is too hot in Southeastern Pa to do much outside except water!

    1. jmarkowski 07/08/2016

      Hi Rhonda - that is actually Veronica (Speedwell) 'Royal Candles'. Veronica performs much better for me than Salvia and tends to bloom lomger as well.

  5. user-3565112 07/08/2016

    John, Your gardens have a flow that draws you in and invites you to turn the corner & see what's there. I like the way you've used blue in combination with the other colors. To me It gives your gardens a softness resembling meadows.
    Good luck, Joe

    1. jmarkowski 07/08/2016

      Thanks Joe! That is the ultimate compliment!

  6. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/08/2016

    You never fail to impress, John. No surprise. Thanks for sending in photos in addition to gardening, working and blogging. I'm not sure which is better: your photography skills or your garden! Nice work.

    1. jmarkowski 07/08/2016

      You are too kind Tim! Best thing I've learned is how to hide all of the garden's flaws. That is a true art form.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/08/2016

        So True. Being an obsessive, neurotic gardener myself, I love sharing photos because I can control what you see and what you DON'T see! My compliments to the gardener.

        1. eddireid 07/08/2016


        2. NCYarden 07/08/2016

          You got nothing to hide, Tim.

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/08/2016

            I plead the 5th.

  7. deborah_gleason 07/08/2016

    John, your garden is so beautiful! I've looked at your pics several times already. As soon as I saw the blue spikes I knew it was veronica. I had some veronica speedwell a few years ago. Is your veronica the same? Mine lasted for 3 or 4 years and I loved it, until we had a winter that saw temps of 5 degrees! It never recovered. :( I'll have to check out your blog, thanks to Meander. It's so hot here now, (Duluth, GA) and we're in a severe drought, but haven't heard of any watering restrictions yet. Can't wait to check out your blog. Happy gardening!

    1. jmarkowski 07/08/2016

      Thanks so much Deborah! That is Veronica and it reblooms after I cut it back which I need to do real soon! Thanks for checking out the blog, it is my true escape from a boring "day" job.

  8. User avater
    treasuresmom 07/08/2016

    My, my, my. What is that amazing blue in pic 6?

  9. User avater
    gringopeligroso 07/08/2016

    John! (Or, any GPOD-der who might know the answer:)
    First off: Nothin' but Nice!! I love your style. And your Veronica is stunning! (V.'Royal Candles'??, or some other variety?? Pray tell!!)
    Also, you're growing a plant which I've been trying unsuccessfully to ID, and it's quite happy in your realm.
    The Pink thingy playing harmony with the Blues, which almost resembles a celosia...almost. Do you recall the name? I had that here, and it was happy for a couple/three years, but disappeared last season and the tag long before that. I'ld love to replace it and add more, but can't remember what to ask and search for. If you, or anyone knows this perennial, I'ld appreciate the help!!
    Now, back to your blog (Thanx, Meander!!!) before finishing a late breakfast and returning to the weed invasion....."Resistance is futile!"...and right now BOTH sides of the battle are repeating this mantra!!

    1. NCYarden 07/08/2016

      If I'm following your description and correct picture, my guess would be Veronica spicata 'First Love', maybe it's longifolia?

      1. jmarkowski 07/08/2016

        They are Veronica 'Royal Candles' and I have tons of them. They've been such great performers for years now.

        1. NCYarden 07/08/2016

          Indeed. I thought he was referring to the pink in pic 4. Amazing plants nonetheless.

      2. User avater
        gringopeligroso 07/08/2016

        If "FIrst Love" is ANYTHING like this one: I'm IN Love....just not for the first time...and hopefully not the last, neither!!! OK, mabey it's just lust? And, I'm gonna have to look up longifolia... Thanx for the enabling!! We addicts love you!!!

        1. User avater
          gringopeligroso 07/08/2016

          I looked up "First Love" after your's and John's clues (...back inside as there's lightening going on in the garden...weeds can wait..) and I believe you may be right!!! AND: Because of your help, I think I now know why it didn't live long.... Veronicas like a little more sun than it's location provided, expecially as the shade continues to expand (grow) in my youngest garden! I've only one photo and I'll post it, but it's not the best and I was going to re-shoot this summer.... Thank you and John SO MUCH!! I'll sleep better tonite in bed instead of dozing off at the keyboard....again!!!

          1. NCYarden 07/08/2016

            You're welcome. Glad I could help and keep you from pulling any hair out along with those weeds.

    2. jmarkowski 07/08/2016

      Thanks so much Jesse! It is 'Royal Candles' and the pink blooming plant is Astilbe 'Amethyst'.

      1. User avater
        gringopeligroso 07/08/2016

        John!! I apologize and should've been more specific! It's the OTHER pink you've portraited (and yes, I just made that word up!!) The elongated, cone-shaped, spiraling flower spikes which aren't quite open in your capture of the moment is my query and quarry. And, I seem to remember the leaves and stems being stiffly haired.
        And, Thanx for the confirmation on the Veronica!! Our local box store carries them in season, and you can be sure I'll be investing in ALL of them :-0 when they arrive again!!!

        1. jmarkowski 07/08/2016

          A ha. I think you mean the pink Veronica where I don't know the cultivar name. Got it unlabeled, other than Veronica, at an end of the year sale at huge discount.

          1. User avater
            gringopeligroso 07/08/2016

            AAhhhhhhhh!!!! My quest continues, but now with a hard clue!!! (As compared before when I was clueless!!! altho I am still accused of being in that state occasionally! Thank you, Sir!! You're the Best!!

          2. jmarkowski 07/08/2016

            As luck would have it, I found the name when I was at my local nursery at lunch. It is 'First Love'.

  10. jmarkowski 07/08/2016

    Thanks so much Diane!

  11. eddireid 07/08/2016

    Being blown away by your garden, John, and especially Royal Candles. They remind me of a Dale Chihuly glass installation, so perfectly formed and placed. Stunning garden altogether. Congratulations - can't stop, I've decided that I need to go shopping at the nursery!

    1. jmarkowski 07/08/2016

      Thanks so much Eddi! Like so many things in gardening, the placement of the Veronica was done by accident initially.

  12. User avater
    Linda on Whidbey 07/08/2016

    John, what is it about blue in the garden that just gives you a happy feeling? I've always loved that type of Veronica. We grew one once that was a little paler blue, but it was short lived in WI. May have to try again in our NW garden. I agree with Joe that your photos give your garden a lovely meadow feel, like they've just popped up there on their own with no effort from you. It's a great affect even if totally untrue:)
    Thanks Michaele for the blog info. Will check it out, for sure, and thank you, John, for closing up the week, nicely.

  13. Cenepk10 07/08/2016

    Ok. Give it up. Im coming over to walk that beautiful garden !!!!!

  14. user-7007498 07/09/2016

    John: This is a repost, based on what I recollect I wrote last night at 1AM before I went to bed. Somehow the post was on the website, but was gone when I awoke in the morning. Just got back from work, so this is my first time to get back to GPOD. Also got to read your blog. I had fun. You have an enjoyable and provoking writing style. Maybe a bit too much humility, because your photos and gardens are terrific.

    I love the informal style of your garden. This is my favorite style. Living in a suburban development, I have had to restrain the amount of "wildness" in the front yard based on how it seems accepted by the neighbors (and especially my wife). You have done a masterful job.

    I love the repetition of the nepeta throughout the garden borders, and yes, the Veronica is stunning. Great use of grasses. My favorite see through grasses are: Molinia caerulea subs. arundinacea 'Skyracer', Schizachyrium scoparium 'Standing Ovation', and as you have planted Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'. I also agree with you that everyone should plant Panicum virgatum 'Northwind'. What a great vertical grass.

    Have looked at your pictures many times today. Great garden. Thanks for sharing.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 07/09/2016

      Hi Kev. - The neighbours are one thing, but your wife is another - happy wife, happy life I say!

      1. user-7007498 07/09/2016

        That's for sure, Frank. She enjoys seeing the garden, but doesn't like to garden. She is more traditional in what she likes to see, and had me promise to restrict the heights of certain plants in the front yard. Just part of the challenge.

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