Summer gardens bloom with color

Published 9:00 am Sunday, July 27, 2014

Serendipity Gardens by Carol Hegel Lang

At long last the gardens are filled with every color imaginable and everywhere you look there is something blooming. My eyes never grow tired of this amazing scene.  Fragrance from the roses wafts across the Victorian garden and I am so tempted to grab scissors and pick some for a bouquet for my kitchen. Alas, I am never in the house so I leave them on the rosebush for everyone to see and enjoy.

Carol Hegel Lang

Carol Hegel Lang


As you walk through the open gate into the backyard, you are greeted by the bright yellow Stella de’Oro daylilies and a sunny yellow sunflower that just makes me smile when I see it blooming. Zinnias in shades of yellow, orange, pink, red and white add to the color scheme. Trying to tame all of this color is a strawberry jar planted with bright blue lobelia and blue starflowers. Containers sit at the front of this garden in colors of pink, yellow and red from dahlias, calibrachoa and lantana in terracotta pots. The eyeliner daylilies stand tall but the sunflower obscures it from sight until you get closer.  What a dilemma this combination brought me as I knew the sunflower would grow tall and probably block the lilies from view. The lilies only bloom about 10 days and then I will cut off the blooms, leaving the sunflower that will bloom until frost in the fall. It’s such a hard decision to make, but I am glad that I allowed the sunflower to grow exactly where it was.

The tall garden phlox are just beginning to bloom, as is the joe-pye weed, and these two will anchor the garden until late fall. Throughout the gardens, lilies of every type are blooming with quite an array of colors. The tiger lilies will soon make the gardens shout “look at us” with their bright orange and yellow blooms making Garden No. 1 look like it is on fire.

In the cottage garden the self-seeding larkspur in shades of blue, pink and white are oh so pretty. The cosmos in shades of pink and cranberry are cranking up the color, not to be outdone by the coreopsis in a sunny yellow with brown centers. The blue globe thistle, bee-balm in a deep shade of pink, phlox, marigolds and zinnias shout out color from one end of the garden to the other. A couple of lilies will also be adding color to this garden within the week.

Zinnias in many colors, dahlias, lobelia, blue star flowers, lantana and calibroachoa add lots of color to summer gardens along with a gazing ball. – Carol Hegel Lang/Albert Lea Tribune

Zinnias in many colors, dahlias, lobelia, blue star flowers, lantana and calibroachoa add lots of color to summer gardens along with a gazing ball. – Carol Hegel Lang/Albert Lea Tribune

Along the driveway we have zinnias of so many lovely and bright shades, liatris in its purple feathery blooms standing tall and my bright cornflower blue garden spheres take your breath away. Hiding among the flowers stands the dill and parsley planted just for the butterflies, and along the house, swamp milkweed that has such a sweet scent to it.  Can’t forget the butterflies, so I always try to provide many sources of food for them as well as nectar.

My newly expanded front corner garden doesn’t have a lot of color, as much of the garden is in shade where I have planted many hostas. In the middle of this garden, where the morning sun hits it, will be trumpet lilies blooming in several colors in about another week. The gerbera daisies planted in coal buckets, fuchsia and my beautiful blue browallia are holding down the fort this year. Soon the canna lilies will stand taller than the fence and bright red blooms will call attention to the front of this garden. This garden next year will be gorgeous when I add the 50 lilies that I have ordered and I will also border the garden with zinnias and marigolds.

What can I say about the Victorian gazebo garden with the pretty pink daylilies blooming, the gorgeous pink rose in a container and soon the vanilla strawberry hydrangea? This very small garden area has really come into its own in the past couple of years. I love the pink mandevilla that climbs to the top of the gazebo and the fuchsia vista petunia hanging over the sides and draping down with color. And then there are the grasses that sway with the slightest breeze. I love summer!


Carol Hegel Lang is a green thumb residing in Albert Lea. Her column appears weekly. Email her at