Category Archives: garden

Peacock Orchid

Peacock Orchid (Gladiolus acidanthera)

Yesterday I noticed flowers had formed on the Peacock Orchids. This is the first year I’ve grown them so wasn’t sure what to expect. An Iris family member, the foliage is similar to gladiolus (unlike my glads these stalks stand quite erect).

Peacock Orchid (Gladiolus acidanthera)

The first opened this morning revealing a gently nodding flower, white with tinges of pink on the tips of the petals and a dramatic maroon center. The flowers seem rather delicate, but I read they like hot afternoon sun so they should find themselves at home in this garden.

Peacock Orchid (Gladiolus acidanthera)

Peacock Orchid (Gladiolus acidanthera)

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’ is classified as a decorative. Its flowers are expected to range 6-8 inches. Mine are smaller, about 4 inches across, but as promised this dahlia is a prolific bloomer.  New to the garden this summer its color is variously described as butterscotch, peach, even copper-orange. These petals have some soft peachy tones.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

But as I study it the color shifts.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Once placed in today’s vase, the flowers appeared more bronze or maybe a bit like butterscotch—either way, a bit too reminiscent of fall for these hot August days.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

I went back and forth as to whether these zinnias with their pure bright hues work as suitable companion flowers for the subtly-colored dahlias. In the end I stayed with them.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Though I had picked many more flowers in different sizes and colors for today I never got back to experimenting with this arrangement.  I suspect switching the vase color to blue might make it feel more summery and in turn would make me feel less distressed at seeing summer’s end inching closer. The heat, I know, will be with us a long while, but every day I sense the change in light.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’
Zinnia ‘Cactus Flowered Mix’
Zinnia ‘Cut & Come Again’
Angelonia ‘Serena Purple’
Cosmos ‘Bright Lights’
Foliage
Italian Oregano
Container
Glazed ceramic pottery vase, circa 1980.

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Garden Journal July 31-August 5, 2022

Garden View August 5, 2022

The garden had a good tidy and mow this week. Considering it is August, I am happy enough with the way it looks I will share a long-view photo. There are still some sections (lower corners of the photo) where I am battling bermuda grass. It does not want to give up, nor do I. Covering the affected areas with heavy layers of cardboard and mulch for months has been effective, but unsightly.

We have had several rains, some with thunder, some with sun. They didn’t bring much precipitation but each drop this summer has been especially satisfying. Each shower encouraged a fresh batch of summer flowers and butterflies.

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Butterflying has been very casual this year, still I have noted 248 butterflies, 24 species in the garden. This week added two first-of-year sightings—Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe) and Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos). Both were difficult to photograph but whereas the Sleepy Orange didn’t return for a photo op, I had multiple chances with Pearl Crescents throughout the week.

Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) on Green-Headed coneflower

While Common lantana, Zinnias, Butterfly bush, Green-Headed coneflower and Black-eyed Susans were popular insect hubs this week, dahlias seldom draw more than a passing glance. I ordered some single variety dahlias this year, which are supposed to be more useful than doubles and semi-doubles for pollinators, but they didn’t grow.

Here are some of my favorite scenes from the past few days.

Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius) Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) often draw hummingbirds

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) – dark morph female

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Zinnia

Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’

Gladiolus ‘Performer’ (Large Flowering)

Gladiolus ‘Performer’ (Large Flowering)

Double-banded Scoliid Wasp (Scolia bicincta) on Green-headed coneflower

 

Common Thread-waisted Wasp (Ammophila procera) on Green-headed coneflower

Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) – a fresh beauty

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) – Side view of same butterfly

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) – One more side view of same butterfly

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) -Nectaring on zinnia in front of a sea of black-eyed Susans

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’

Dahlia Ball ‘Petra’s Wedding’

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’

Angelonia ‘Serena Blue’ and Italian Parsley

Zinnia

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Pearl crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

Pearl crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

Little Glassywing (Pompeius verna) on Green-headed coneflower

In A Vase On Monday – Nature’s Pulse

In A Vase on Monday – Nature’s Pulse

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

After a sere month, the rhythms of nature were heard and felt during the last week of July as storms at last brought rain into the garden. Sometimes pounding, thunderous. Often, hurried and incomplete. Yet, rain did come.  Sensing nature’s quickening pulse, the garden’s response was a swift burst of color—pace, pattern and purpose all restored for a time as we enter August.

In A Vase on Monday – Nature’s Pulse

I first planted dahlias a few years ago and had enough success I came to believe they were easy to grow, only to discover it was beginner’s luck phenomenon. Each season now they become more of a mystery. Some have returned, some are new, some old and new failed to appear.

Usually advertised as buff or cream color in my garden the well-known dinnerplate Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ more often throws out pinkish with purple striped petals. (A version of this streaky form is sold as ‘Café au Lait Royal’.) My D. ‘Cafe Au Lait’ does occasionally produce the classic coloration, but not so far this summer.

Dinnerplate Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ with white D. ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’ and reddish-orange ‘David Howard’

With nice color and form Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’ is a fresh addition to the garden this year.

Dahlia ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Also newly purchased this year, Gladiolus ‘Flowering Performer’ popped into bloom this week. Brushstrokes of white along the center of each petal are punctuated here by tiny flowers on sprigs of Italian oregano.

In A Vase on Monday – Nature’s Pulse

As an aside, I’ve never had pests attack gladiolas but I blame the rabbits for this shocking treatment of a beloved summer mainstay. These would have been deep red.

Zinnias are blooming with more vigor after a slow start. More seeds sprinkled early in the week germinated within two days.

White ball-type Dahlia ‘Petra’s Wedding’ peeks out between a pair of Zinnias

In A Vase on Monday – Nature’s Pulse

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’
Dahlia Decorative ‘Great Silence’
Dahlia Semi-Cactus ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’
Dahlia Ball ‘Petra’s Wedding’
Gladiolus ‘Flowering Performer’
Zinnia ‘Cactus Flowered Mix’
Zinnia ‘Cut & Come Again’
Foliage
Italian Oregano
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)
Container
Black metal suiban. 4 x 9.5 x 6.5 inches. Japan.

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Silent Sunday – Garden Journal July 25-30, 2022

Monarch (Danaus plexippus) – Male

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)

Ringed Assassin Bug Pselliopus cinctus on Liatris Spicata ‘Blazing Star’

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’

Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta)

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) – Open Wings

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) – Female dark morph

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Zinnia – Heard a different drummer

Zabulon Skipper (Lon zabulon)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)

Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)

Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

Fork-tailed Bush Katydid (Scudderia furcata)

Ah, Summer In July!

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) – Meditation Circle at Sunset July 14, 2022

Hot, yes. But summer, ah! My husband and I enjoy the daily comings and goings of hummingbirds and American Gold Finches as they forage. Songbirds and cicadas provide a satisfying soundtrack to garden wanders. Paths in the meditation circle are too overgrown to make room for walking but at least the culprits are not weeds this year, but rather cleome rising up 5 or more feet. They seed easily and though I committed to staying strong and trying to reclaim the meditation circle for walking meditations, I aways think maybe I’ll keep just a few.

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Last year I made a habit of checking the garden every day for butterflies, logging 600 individuals from 33 species.  This year I have checked only sporadically, counting 113 from among 20 species. So far I have managed two lifers, a Least Skipper and a Great Spangled Fritillary.

There are two stands of green-headed coneflower in the garden and both are abuzz with activity most of the day with a diversity of insects: bees, a few butterflies and various insects I have identified previously but haven’t learned. They work the flowers with intentionality—some hustle, some accommodate. Their encounters set up a communal rhythm of lighting, feeding, and scrambling for another place to land.

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

This is one of three buckeyes spotted this year. Like many of the butterflies seen so far it escaped being dinner for something higher up the food chain.

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

It is fascinating to discover how varied butterflies present themselves depending on position of wings. This Eastern Tailed-Blue allowed just a tease of its spread-winged blue coloration. Can you spot it in the lower right quadrant above the unopened black-eyed susan?

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

Dragonflies are numerous.

Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis)

Since March eight Eastern Tiger Swallowtail have appeared, though it seems like fewer.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Not quite sure but iNaturalist suggests this is Slaty Skimmers (Libellula incesta).

Slaty Skimmer

A second hairstreak showed up this week, also on the Rudbeckia (I suppose it could be the same individual, so I should say second sighting). Last year I observed two other species of hairstreak as well that are absent this year.

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) on Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

This American Lady was too speedy and feisty for me to approach.

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

A few zinnias are established from seed. Never got them all planted because the rabbits were devouring them (even with my rabbit fence—they’re ensconced within the fence!).

Zinnia

This entire section of the border was meant to be full of dahlias. Some tubers didn’t return, some new ones didn’t emerge, some still hold promise. More rudbeckia in background full of insects. Only one phlox survived the rabbits.

Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’, Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Lantana and Black-eyed Susans are adding a big splash of color in the southern border. Drought-resistant, yes, but they appreciate water too and it has been very dry. I am headed out soon to give them a drink. A shower yesterday lasted only 2-3 minutes.

Lantana camara (Common lantana) and Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Sipping at the butterfly bush, this black swallowtail appeared yesterday and marks the 20th species of butterfly for 2022. The swallowtails are so lovely.

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Dahlia ‘Great Silence’ is about 4 feet tall and is beginning to offer a few flowers.

Dahlia ‘Great Silence’ (Decorative dahlia)

The blackberry lily seeds from my sister were a great gift to the garden. Polinators find them attractive. Most are orange but this one has a decidedly red tendency.

Iris domestica (blackberry lily)

Can you spot the Silver-spotted Skipper at center of the frame? The wings glow in the gold of the black-eyed susans.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Why don’t I stake gladiolas? G. ‘Flowering Performer’ is new this year with a whitish streak in the center of the petals.

Gladiolus ‘Flowering Performer’

Several liatris survived nibbling and have become popular way-stations for bees and other insects.

 

Liatris Spicata ‘Blazing Star’

The garden is feeling more robust this year despite the dry weather. A haven from worldly cares, it offers a kind respite where the pace of life can slow, where nourishment can be found.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cuttings

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cuttings

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cuttings

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement of materials gathered from our gardens. Dahlias and zinnias, usually my go-to summer flowers, are lagging behind my expectations. For today I trimmed a little bit of this and some of that to put together what turned out to be a happy, colorful summer vase.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cuttings

Recently my sister surprised me with two lovely and well-chosen floral books. I am looking forward to exploring From Seed To Bloom by Milli Proust and have already delved into Floret Farm’s A Year In Flowers by Erin Benzakein. I have enjoyed Erin’s luscious designs for years and have taken several of her free mini-courses. In creating today’s vase I was inspired by her book to experiment with looser foliage and a variety of textures.

Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’ and Zinnia

Dahlia Ball ‘Petra’s Wedding’

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cuttings

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cuttings

Materials
Flowers
Angelonia ’Serena Purple’ and ’Serena Blue’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’
Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’
Dahlia Ball ‘Petra’s Wedding’
Iris domestica (Blackberry Lily)
Liriope muscari
Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)
Salvia nemorosa ‘Blue Hill’
Tagetes ‘Durango Red’ (Durango Red French Marigold)
Zinnia -Cactus Flowered Mix
Foliage
Angelonia ’Serena Blue’
Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) Seed heads
Salvia nemorosa ‘Blue Hill’
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Container
Textured, incised ceramic pedestal vase, rice or bone color. 5×6-inches. Red wooden platter.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cuttings

Have a great week in the garden. Thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for encouraging us to create and share our vases. Visit her to discover what is blooming in her UK garden and across the globe this week.

Wordless Wednesday – Celebrity Sightings

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris diffinis)

Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Tomato ‘Celebrity’

In A Vase On Monday – Resilience

In A Vase On Monday – Resilience

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens. Summer in North Carolina is always hot and humid but this past week felt like summer was being served deep fried. Dahlias buds are drying up or developing malformed flowers, but zinnias are just getting started and enjoy the heat.

Oppressive humidity, temperatures above 100 and heat index warnings several days amplified the severe drought conditions. For weeks while some areas nearby were getting severe storms with plenty of precipitation, we had none. Then Friday night, at last, a strong steady rain poured out from the clouds.  Although I have hand watered frequently the results of my efforts cannot compare to the refreshment this rainfall brought. Early Saturday morning I relished in the garden’s rehydrated state. Nice rain fell again on Saturday evening and all through the day on Sunday, a soft watering.  Ahh!

Today’s flowers were prepared Friday prior to the nourishing rainfall, thus the title Resilience to emphasize respect for those garden stalwarts that carry on under dire hot, dry conditions. I’m curious what you count on to carry the garden through tough times.

In A Vase On Monday – Resilience

In A Vase On Monday – Resilience: Clusters of tiny yellow Tansy flowers and fernlike foliage with cactus zinnia

In A Vase On Monday – Resilience

In A Vase On Monday – Resilience

Materials
Flowers
Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)
Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’
Gladiolus ‘Purple Flora ‘
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Zinnia -Cactus Flowered Mix
Foliage
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Container
Dark blue matte ceramic jar

Thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for encouraging us to create and share our vases. Visit her to discover what is blooming in her UK garden and across the globe this week.

Early July Notables

It is hot and humid, typical for summer in North Carolina. As we enter July the garden is thirsty. I’m hand watering every other day which has the benefit of keeping close check on the progress of individual plants. Since June 7 daylilies have been flowering. I can’t get enough of this particular one. It seems to have swallowed the morning sun.

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

This week brought a first-of-year garden sighting of a butterfly only ever observed here once before, in July 2019. It didn’t stay put very long.

Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia)

Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia)

A Snowberry Clearwing made a brief buzz-by. This butterfly bush was a busy hub today, also hosting a variety of bees, several skippers and a worn swallowtail.

Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris diffinis)

Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola) and Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Dahlias planted in early April have grown slowly. The first flower of D. ‘Noordwijks Glorie’ opened up this week. It is showy in the garden itself and promises to be valuable in arrangements as well.

Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Happy Sunday!

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Swords

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Swords

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens. Many gladiolas, known to some as sword lilies, opened throughout the week, allowing me to keep vases of them scattered throughout the house.

The ones I grow are mostly rich jewel tones. The stems are quite tall and heavy, a little awkward to balance. I chose a heavy, substantial Ikebana vase in which to display a few of them today.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Swords

Crinum lilies are just beginning to form bulbils  on the flower heads now that the flowers are finished. I realized after cutting them they will be more interesting when allowed to develop further, but I included a couple at this stage anyway for textural contrast.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Swords

Materials
Flowers
Gladiolus ‘Espresso’
Gladiolus no-names white and bright red
Gladiolus ‘Purple Flora ‘
Foliage
Crinum × powellii (Crinum lily) head
Container
Black metal suiban. 4 x 9.5 x 6.5 inches. Japan.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Swords

Thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for encouraging us to create and share our vases. Visit her to discover what is blooming in her UK garden and across the globe this week.

Silent Sunday – Enjoying The Summer Garden

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Brown-belted Bumble Bee (Bombus griseocollis)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Western Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) – One of a pair resting on Tomato Cages

Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Wordless Wednesday—Glimpse of Summer

Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) (against the fence on Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’)

Angelonia ’Serena Purple’

Angelonia ’Serena Purple’

Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Foxglove ‘Dalmatian Peach’

Foxglove ‘Dalmatian Peach’

Hemerocallis (Daylily) (from Mercers’)

Hemerocallis (Daylily) (from Mercers’)

Iris domestica (Blackberry Lily)

Dahlia Border Decorative ‘Gallery Pablo’

Leucanthemum superbum ‘Alaska’

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Sachem (Atalopedes campestris)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) –Meditation Circle

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) –Meditation Circle

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) –Meditation Circle

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)

Take time to look up!

Looking up through Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Looking up

Looking up

In A Vase On Monday – Gladiolas In Red Vase

In A Vase On Monday – Gladiolas In Red Vase

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

During summer days a closed-in back porch at my maternal grandmother’s was the hub of activity. The porch separated the kitchen from the main portion of the house. Just inside the back door in other seasons, we would pass by pots of out-of-bloom geraniums and begonias. But in summer those would have been set outside and in their stead would sit a carefully tended vase of gladiolas in mixed colors.

When I was five or six often I stayed overnight with my  grandmother. After breakfast, still early, she would get her flower clippers and we would go outside to see if any more of her glads had opened. The mystery of what colors they would be held such excitement for me.

Gladioli From My Garden With Grandma’s Vintage Flower Clippers – 2015

Grandma always wore an apron and would tuck up a corner just so, to hold whatever she was gathering. On these mornings she would come back indoors with an apron full of glads and proceed to groom the flowers already in the vase, removing the spent blooms from the bottom of the stems, making fresh cuts, adding clean water and finally arranging the newest stems into the vase. The rainbow array never failed to delight my young self and must have made her happy as well.

I still adore gladiolas but have drifted toward white ones and deep, intensely rich colors like G. ‘Espresso’. Its silky petals begin as nearly black and open into a sultry crimson.

Baptisia Foliage, unopened Gladiolus ‘Espresso’

Gladiolus ‘Espresso’

Gladiolus

The bright red glad came without a name but has distinctive inner markers and rich color.

In A Vase On Monday – Gladiolas In Red Vase

Keeping company with the gladiolas, Beebalm has begun flowering after several years of nearly disappearing. The spot of blue at upper left is bachelor button.

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

The mophead hydrangea in today’s vase is a pass-along that came from a reader when I first began this blog. She was a volunteer at the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC and the hydrangea was one her father grew.  My grandmother also had a hydrangea by her back porch step (my cousin still grows it). Hers and everyone’s flowered blue due to the acid soil conditions in our small town.  I would much prefer blue to pink but haven’t in all these year taken time to add aluminum sulfate.

Hydrangea macrophylla

Materials
Flowers
Centaurea cyanus ‘Blue Diadem’ (Bachelor’s Buttons)
Gladiolus ‘Espresso’
Gladiolus no-names white and bright red
Hydrangea macrophylla
Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)
Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)
Foliage
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Container
Red/black raku vase, Charles Chrisco, Chrisco’s Pottery—Seagrove Potters

I hope this lily bud will create a focal point when it opens front and center in a few days.

In A Vase On Monday – Gladiolas In Red Vase

In A Vase On Monday – Gladiolas In Red Vase

Thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for encouraging us to create and share our vases. Visit her to discover what is blooming in her UK garden and across the globe this week.

Wordless Wednesday—Mid-Week Sigh

Hemerocallis (Daylily) (from Mercers’)

Hemerocallis (Daylily) (from Mercers’)

Hemerocallis (Daylily) (from Mercers’)

Hemerocallis (Daylily) (from Mercers’)

Iris domestica (blackberry lily)  –Finally managed to get a couple of these from seeds shared by my sister

Tagetes ‘Durango Red’ (Durango Red French Marigold)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ (Garden phlox)

Liatris spicata ‘Blazing Star’

In A Vase On Monday – A Basket Of Pink

In A Vase On Monday – A Basket Of Pink

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

The hydrangeas are more beautiful than in past years, despite some late cold snaps in early spring. I planned a simple vase, but this one went off on its own. Finding a container was a major challenge. After testing out a number of vases I settled on a basket I made some years ago. A few fresh lilies along with recycled ones from last week’s vase.

In A Vase On Monday – A Basket Of Pink

In A Vase On Monday – A Basket Of Pink

In A Vase On Monday – A Basket Of Pink

Materials
Flowers
Centaurea cyanus ‘Blue Diadem’ (Bachelor’s Buttons)
Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Hydrangea macrophylla
Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Foliage
Container
Handmade potato basket.

In A Vase On Monday – A Basket Of Pink

Thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for encouraging us to create and share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are enjoying this week.

Notes On Lilies

Some recent reader comments set me thinking about the lilies currently blooming in my garden. It turns out most of what I think of as lilies are not lilies.

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Lilium ‘Royal Sunset’ and L. ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily) – True lilies belong to the Lilium genus and grow from bulbs.

I don’t remember buying L. ‘Black Out’ in 2016 from a local big box store, as my notes indicate, but since then I have discovered Asiatic lilies are great for use in floral design.  The fragrance is minimal (none in my experience) unlike the overwhelming scent of an Oriental lily.   Several commenters this week were surprised when I used 15 stems of ‘Black Out’ in this week’s Monday vase, but since May 2017 these lilies have bloomed reliably from their home in  a large ceramic container. Over the years they have multiplied and they usually open all at once.

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Piggybacking on their success has not been easy. Lilium ‘Royal Sunset’ planted in the ground in 2020 has been nibbled by rabbits. Most of these have never bloomed but one survived this year and excelled. This single stalk had many buds, unlike the red ones growing in my large container.

Lily Asiatic ‘Royal Sunset’

Crinum × powellii (Crinum lily)  – Grows from bulbs but oops! Actually in the Amaryllis family.

When I moved into this neighborhood 21 years ago we had a neighbor who also had just moved in also. She was a horticulturalist who quickly joined the grounds committee, organized a community garden club, and set out to fill her yard with interesting plants. One plant she advocated for as typical in a southern garden was Crinum lily. I had never heard of it and don’t think I’ve ever seen one in anyone else’s garden, but a quick web search will support this as a classic southern pass-along.  I’m not wedded to this plant.  It’s huge and grows new “pups” each year. It blooms reliably but almost aways looks to be sweltering from hot summer weather.  We’re not officially in summer but already have had a lot of hot weather and very little rain. Perhaps because I’ve been better about watering the past few weeks I’ve been able to catch my Crinum in a pretty fair mood, but today it was pouty in the mid-day heat. This is its normal demeanor in my garden.

Crinum × powellii (Crinum lily)

Here is the crinum on its rare best behavior.

Crinum × powellii (Crinum lily)

Crinum × powellii (Crinum lily)

Crinum × powellii (Crinum lily)

Crinum × powellii (Crinum lily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily) – Oops again! Common names can be confusing. Daylilies are not true lilies.

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

The garden has three daylilies, gifts from my sister when she took my daughter and me to visit a daylily farm a number of years ago. One red daylily opened yesterday followed by a large, darker one this morning. A tangerine one is always the last to flower and hasn’t opened yet this year.

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily) – This red was the first to open.

Two other lilies that are not lilies will be in bloom later:

Lycoris radiata, known as the red spider lily, is a plant in the amaryllis family. It blooms in September.

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily). Although they are commonly called ginger lily, they are not a true lily (genus Lilium) or a true ginger plant (genus Zingiber). It blooms in late August or sometimes not until October when the frost catches it.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Do you grow a favorite lily or lily-nicknamed flower?

In A Vase On Monday – Vases With Red Lily

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenia With Red Lily

In A Vase On Monday – Red Lilies

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.  I prepared two vases this week.

Vase 1 – Gardenia With Red Lily

This week’s first vase holds two standouts from the garden. Gardenias are having a stellar year. The shrubs are covered with flowers. This arrangement was made Thursday as I rescued the flowers from the week’s series of extremely hot days.

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenia With Red Lily

Lilium ‘Black Out’  was first planted in 2016 and never fails to thrill. 

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenia With Red Lily

The flowers were pristine and fresh but I found the lilies less impactful and the gardenias more difficult to arrange than expected. Eventually the vase sort of took shape and I lost interest in fiddling any further. Supporting florals are Oakleaf Hydrangea and a (rather too small) Snapdragon.

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenia With Red Lily

The gardenia fragrance, divine at first, became overpowering and I had to move the arrangement outdoors.

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenia With Red Lily

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenia With Red Lily

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenia With Red Lily

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenia With Red Lily

Materials
Flowers
Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet Bronze’ (Snapdragon)
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’ (Gardenia)
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)
Foliage
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’ (Gardenia)
Container
Textured, incised ceramic pedestal vase, rice or bone color. 5×6-inches.

I’m not usually sensitive but definitely reacted to the flowers. I saved the lilies from the vase and tossed the gardenias.

Vase 2 – Red Lilies

In A Vase On Monday – Red Lilies

By Saturday the majority of L. ‘Black Out’ had opened fully so I gathered them and made a second arrangement using the same vase as the first. There were 15 red lilies but many more would have been nice.

In A Vase On Monday – Red Lilies

It was challenging to find enough material in flower to complete the design. I recycled the fading Royal Sunset lily from last week to help fill in and cut the available stems of Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’ and a few sprigs of Angelonia.

In A Vase On Monday – Red Lilies

In A Vase On Monday – Red Lilies

There are not many Bachelor’s Buttons in the garden but I am thrilled to see any. They probably won’t last much longer in this weather so I cut most of them to provide an airy contrast in color and texture.

In A Vase On Monday – Red Lilies

In A Vase On Monday – Red Lilies

Materials
Flowers
Angelonia
Centaurea cyanus ‘Blue Diadem’ (Bachelor’s Buttons)
Dahlia Anemone ‘Totally Tangerine’
Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)
Lily ‘Royal Sunset’
Foliage
Container
Textured, incised ceramic pedestal vase, rice or bone color. 5×6-inches.

Thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for encouraging us to create and share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are enjoying this week.

First Friday In June

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

The garden required heavy watering this week as temperatures settled above 90F until today when cloud cover (but not rain) brought some relief. Our 21 year old upstairs air conditioner chose this time to fail so the heat was experienced here full on. Having grown up without AC this brought back memories of hot humid nights, but no doubt this severity of heat then would have only been in August, not this early in (not even quite) summer.

The iris beds are overgrown and overrun with a pesky aster. The last 3 mornings I have chased away a rabbit in that area that is evading my new fence by entering under the gate, which has been hard to secure completely. Weeding is getting ahead of me but all in all the garden is hanging in there.

Crinum × powellii (Crinum lily)

Crinum × powellii (Crinum lily)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Started seeing a few more butterflies this week. This butterfly was huge. It didn’t stick around long after I began pointing my camera. By 4:20 pm when I noticed it, the asclepias was greatly wilted from the heat. This seems to be a new early sighting county record (by one day).

Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele)

Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele)

Strange new moth sighting–this flies in daytime.

Yellow-collared Scape Moth (Cisseps fulvicollis)

Are these lily beetle eggs? Anna of Green Tapestry just Monday asked if they were a problem here, but I’ve never known them.  iNaturalist suggested the lily beetle ID.

Lilioceris lilii (ily leaf beetle)

Happy gardening this weekend.

Tuesday Tidbits

Gardenia jasminoides

Soon after moving here in May 2001 my sweet former neighbor Jean shared two gardenias she had rooted in little plastic yogurt cups. The plants grew well and eventually Jean gave me one more instead of adding it to her own garden. Today I discovered they are bursting into bloom.

Gardenia jasminoides

The flowers are pristine at the moment and carry gardenia’s unmistakable signature fragrance.

Gardenia jasminoides

I planted Delphinium elatum ‘Cobalt Dreams’ in early April and finally can say I have had a delphinium bloom in this garden. It is supposed to be particularly hardy and come back every year.  I need to find a better location, it needs to be in a sunnier spot.

Delphinium elatum ‘Cobalt Dreams’

After posting my arranged flowers yesterday for In A Vase On Monday, I took a couple more photos as the sun’s glow highlighted the redbud and lily.

Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)

Lily ‘Royal Sunset’

We are in for a hot, dry week so I have been out watering every morning, and weeding.

In A Vase On Monday – Royal Sunset

In A Vase On Monday – Royal Sunset

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Royal Sunset

As the garden transitions toward summer lilies are oh so close.  L. ‘Royal Sunset’ is the first to venture forward into flower.

Lily ‘Royal Sunset’

Supporting florals come from an anemone dahlia, a passalong hydrangea and an overwintered snapdragon. Tips of a redbud tree that has volunteered in the south border provide foliage while softly echoing the hues of the lily and other flowers.

In A Vase On Monday – Royal Sunset

Dahlia Anemone ‘Totally Tangerine’

Hydrangea macrophylla

Lily ‘Royal Sunset’

In A Vase On Monday – Royal Sunset

Materials
Flowers
Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet Bronze’ (Snapdragon)
Dahlia Anemone ‘Totally Tangerine’
Hydrangea macrophylla
Lily Asiatic ‘Royal Sunset’
Foliage
Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)
Container
Black metal suiban. 4 x 9.5 x 6.5 inches. Japan.

Lily ‘Royal Sunset’

Thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for encouraging us to create and share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are enjoying this week.