Wednesday Annotations

Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)

Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)

Echinacea are opening up all around the garden this week, mostly the species E. purpurea. Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ is a hybrid coneflower with a rich red center. At first it seems to be all cone, but eventually petals emerge.

Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)

Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)

Over the past several weeks I have removed all the red snapdragons and most of the ‘Husker’s Red’ penstemon from the meditation circle and replanted it with annuals that should perform well through the summer. I was happy with the labyrinth this spring, its walls planted in taller, fuller plants, but stepping to the next stone became like navigating an obstacle course.

For the new simplified planting scheme I used several shades of Angelonia (Summer snapdragon) to add color without blocking the path. I wanted blue and white, but when I was ready to buy the blue plants were scarce. From the penstemon at 11 o’clock around clockwise to 5 o’clock I used Angelonia ‘Serena White’.

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Angelonia 'Serena White'

Angelonia ‘Serena White’

With the hot dry weather in May, it was difficult to get these established, and I had to break my rule and water nearly every day in the month. We finally had a little rain yesterday and today is overcast, a welcome reprieve.

To complete the plantings on the other side, I used Angelonia ‘Lavender’ (in bloom on the far left path) and Angelonia ‘Raspberry’ on the interior path (not blooming yet).

Angelonia 'Lavender' and Angelonia 'Raspberry' In Meditation Circle

Angelonia ‘Lavender’ and Angelonia ‘Raspberry’ In Meditation Circle

Angelonia 'Lavender'

Angelonia ‘Lavender’

At the labyrinth entrance with larger and darker flowers are Angelonia ‘Alonia Big Indigo.’

Angelonia 'Alonia Big Indigo'

Angelonia ‘Alonia Big Indigo’

I could not resist slipping in another gardenia to show. A single flower of  ‘August Beauty’ is blooming for the first time. Three of five bushes survive that were planted in August 2012.

Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty'

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

 

21 thoughts on “Wednesday Annotations

  1. Stepheny Houghtlin

    I covet your meditation circle and make no bones about it. The new planting is wonderful. The image of you planting on your knees in this holy space is perfect. The caretaker of this space is an amazing gardener. Blessings.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Yes, it reseeds like crazy Marian, in the meditation circle. But I have some in another spot where it’s never done much at all. I gave away a dozen full-sized plants to a neighbor and I replanted about that many elsewhere in my garden. It’s very easy to pull up though so it’s great to have. My grows in full sun–didn’t realize it would like the shade.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Rickii. After spring my garden is very much hit or miss. It’s hard for me to maintain interest in grooming it through hot, humid and/or dry summers.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Probably just a fluke John! The foliage on these gardenias look terrible still from the cold winter. I gave them a half-hearted trim several weeks ago.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Angelonia is an annual I discovered a few years ago that is fairly drought resistant once established. It’s starting to be used all over town by landscaping companies in medians and borders at shopping centers, but I like it a lot for the wall of the labyrinth, which are very narrow. The header shows one of the first of the season, soon-to-open Monarda didyma (Scarlet bee balm). This is native and the hummingbirds are drawn to them.

      Reply
  2. woodlandgnome

    Angelonia, a beautiful choice for this garden . I hope it performs well for you all season . Love your little bee balm blossom in the header , too. No choice but to water these last few weeks , or lose all of our new plants. A lovely post ☺

    Reply
  3. Cathy

    Your new header is lovely Susie. Is it Monarda? And your Echinacea is a beauty…. can’t wait for mine to flower. I think the Meditation circle looks much calmer and more ‘meditation-like’ now although I did enjoy that riot of lush growth and colour in spring!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Yes, October 28th is average freeze date in this area, but of course it can be early. The Angelonia should be safe until mid-October.

      Reply
  4. Donna@Gardens Eye View

    Echinacea budding up here too and I hope I do not have more with Asters Yellow. I love the sedate look of the circle with new plantings. I have not planted any annuals except for the flowers I grew from seed. I have to go plant shopping soon.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Donna. The streamlined planting in the circle makes it more functional. I need to toss out more zinnia seeds–the first batch didn’t do much at all, but really have to have some.

      Reply

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