Down the Backstretch

Welcome back race fans!

Here we are witnessing the Memorial Marathon, the first leg of the Triple Crown – the Greatest Spectacle in Flower Racing!

On the morning of the third day of the Marathon the weather breaks fair


and the flowers come charging out of turn two, heading down the backstretch.


Gloriosa Daisy is showing signs of fatique.


Daylilly blooms a magnificent morning bloom, edging around Gloriosa to take the lead.


When out of nowhere, Wild Campanula bursts forth like a speed demon and slingshots around the around the frontrunners to take a full one length lead.


It is Campanula, Daylilly, Gloriosa.

Beebalm remains steady in fourth.


She picks up her pace and pulls right up against Gloriosa.


Shasta Daisy maintains a steady pace in the middle of the pack but Yarrow begins to fade.


As the morning wears on, the sun becomes hot and punishing.


After days of rain, the abrupt change to hot sun is hard on the flowers.

Gloriosa withers in the sun and the erstwhile favorite appears to be fading.


Sweet Pea hears her fans cheering and digs deep for more energy.



Poppy remains a no-show, Echinacea can’t get loose of the pack and Forget-Me-Not is just beginning to find her bloom.


Lumbering at the back of the pack, the controversial entry Elephant Ear tries to sort this whole racing thing out. Never a bloomer, yet always a showman, Elephant Ear was allowed to join the race this year and appears to be having a ball.  Rain, rain, heat, rain.  Elephant Ear LOVES this weather!


Maintaining a comfortable pace with Elephant Ear are the greenhouse annuals of the Red Impatiens and White Begonias.



As the day wears towards evening, the weather changes again. Heavy rains return, hammering the flowers.


The leader Wild Campanula stumbles, falling forward in the rain.


Spiderwort breaks from the pack, taking over the leaders and charging into turn three.


Meanwhile Bee Balm continues to look steady, taking the abrupt changes of weather in perfect stride.


It’s a crazy mix with flowers jammed together in a pack.


At the end of day three, it appears that the order is Spiderwort, Daylilly, and Bee Balm followed by a determined, yet struggling, Gloriosa Daisy.

Stay tuned race fans….  The race goes on and the Memorial Marathon is beginning to sort itself out.


45 thoughts on “Down the Backstretch

  1. Love this! Your garden looks great! And it is so interesting to see what is in bloom in your little corner of the world. Here in Southern RI, bee balm, daylillies, black eyed susans won’t bloom for another couple of weeks. We have foxgloves, lavender, catnip, yarrow just starting, some very late blooming peonies and the last of the columbines and bleeding hearts. It’s been very dry here, only three rain days since April 15, so the flowers are holding a long time. I’m looking forward to seeing how the race turns out…rooting for beebalm! 🙂

    1. Keep rooting. Bee Balm is running well. 🙂 It sounds like you have an awesome late spring garden. I hope it rains plenty for you as the summer heat settles in. 🙂

  2. I greatly admire the complexity of your garden. No single plant would show as well as it does without the stunning backdrop of the others to support and enhance it. All the flowers are winners, absolutely.

    1. Thanks Margot. They do blend nicely. Though, a few tend to hog the air and light, but that is where I come in. 🙂

  3. Beautiful garden photos, so many lovely flowers. I cheer for bee balm, spiderwort and campanula. 🙂

  4. Breathtaking garden, excellent photos and the reactions/feelings of flowers included…I must be dreaming Jim….This must be a dream….Thank you sharing them with us…

    1. Now you’re talking. Buy into the suspense! 🙂 Spiderwort is a naturally occurring wildflower here. Some might consider it a weed, but I’m much more generous than that. Plus it sure is pretty. 🙂

  5. Dang, my bookie never even mentioned Spiderwort, LOL

    All three of your finishers are still lounging around in my paddock here, Jim; maybe I need to borrow your trainers!

  6. Lovely, lovely. Spiderwort took over my garden for a while so I’ve been aggressively trying to take it out (an impossible task). I’ve managed to keep it under wraps. That said, I love Spiderwort. Not surprised it showed so well.

    1. Thanks. Yep, ol’ Spidewort can be a bit aggressive. I let it thrive on the edges where the gardens melt into the woods. 🙂

    1. Thanks Julie. You are so kind and generous. I love the garden too, and the race is really heating up now! 🙂

  7. My scrolling was arrested by the image of the Tradescantia virginiana…so much prettier a name than Spiderwort. We have scads of these intermingled with tall purple Dutch irises who vied to outbloom each other last month. Lovely piece.

    1. Aha! An elegant name for Spiderwort. It is rather a strange name when you think about it. But flower names are often strange to me. Like the names of Irish Ballads… strange and oddly disconnected. Have a great day and stick around for the rousing finish! 🙂

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