Garden Photo of the Day

Summer in Indiana

Top blooms of the season

close up of bright blue flowers

We’re visiting with Joseph today in his northern Indiana garden.

It has been a great summer so far in my garden. Other than one errant hailstorm that tore up my hostas, we’ve had plenty of rain and no excess heat, and things are thriving. Here are some of my favorite things that have been blooming in the garden.

close up of Moon carrot plant with white flowers and silver foliageMoon carrot (Seseli gummiferum, Zones 5–9) looks a little like Queen Anne’s lace, but with the volume turned up. It is a biennial I grew from seed. Last year it was just a clump of silvery lacy foliage, and this year it exploded into this display of white umbles. Since it is a biennial I don’t expect the plant to come back next year, but I’ve heard it tends to self-sow, so hopefully I’ll have new ones.

close up of bright blue flowersThis is either Gentiana septemfida or Gentiana paradoxa (Zones 4–8). I grew both from seed and then got them mixed up, and I honestly don’t know how to tell the two apart. Whichever it is, I’m loving the incredible true-blue flowers on tidy, low-growing plants. The best part is that they start blooming right in the height of summer when I’m ready to have something new and beautiful in the garden.

close up of blue flowers with white centersI really like this particular gentian seedling, with its white throat that contrasts with the dark blue petals.

close up of low-growing plants intertwinedI planted a bunch of low-growing, drought-tolerant plants in the bed next to the sidewalk, and I am enjoying how they are starting to knit together. Here, hens and chicks (Sempervivum sp., Zones 3–8) and woolly thyme (Thymus serpyllum, Zones 4–8) are getting up close and personal.

close up of pink and white liliesI would have had a better display of ‘Scheherazade’ lily (Lilium ‘Scheherazade’, Zones 4–8), but the flowers got pretty damaged by our little hailstorm. But I love the blooms that survived and am looking forward to an even better display next year.

small purple flowers growing in front of ornamental grassThis little harebell (Campanula rotundifolia, Zones 3–6) is a species native all around the northern hemisphere. It has bloomed more or less all summer despite being given a few haircuts by the rabbits.

close up of light purple vespers iris flowersEvery summer I look forward to vespers iris (Iris dichotoma, Zones 5–9) blooming. The flowers are small but are produced in big air clouds, and they open each afternoon around 4 pm. I love seeing them pop open and then watching the bees come by for nectar and pollen.


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View Comments


  1. jeremywalsh 08/16/2023

    Very cool and unique plants! I am definitely looking for gentian seeds now!

  2. becky44 08/16/2023

    Such vibrant and beautiful colors! Love it!

  3. btucker9675 08/16/2023

    Love your garden - especially all of the blue flowers. Those gentians are gorgeous. I'm going to look for moon carrots - look pretty/cool name!

  4. User avater
    cynthia2020 08/16/2023

    Hi, Joseph. I like your combinations in the hell strip. And the gentiana is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing your photos and for admitting to the seed mix-up!

  5. [email protected] 08/16/2023

    Love them all, but the Vespers Iris sound amazing! What fun!

  6. User avater
    simplesue 08/17/2023

    Wow, so that's what Gentiana should look like! I tried and had no luck- yours look fabulous! Love the succulents you are growing too! Never heard of vespers iris before- they are pretty!

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