Cathy of Words and Herbs gardens in Bavaria and recently suggested posting a week of flowers, one or more photos a day of our flowers and gardens to brighten and cheer us all.
For Day Three I went back to April to show a glimpse of the Southern Side Path. This garden is a narrow strip running alongside the garage giving access to the main garden in back. (You can see the neighbors’ gate on the left, ours on the right.) The yellow iris is a particularly fragrant pass-along iris I’ve had since the late 1970s, brought to this garden when we moved here in 2001. Just before the entrance gate is Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ which bloomed particularly well this spring.
This is the view looking up the path toward the street. Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ also had an exceptional year
Visit Cathy’s Words and Herbs blog for more flowers.
Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of cuttings from our gardens.
I experimented with a variety of designs on Saturday morning but in the end I was most happy with a reworking of last week’s vase, which had featured dahlias. Mid-week to refreshen the vase I had replaced most of the dahlias. For this week I kept the same container but actually only the foliage, Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ and a few dahlia leaves are original from last week. The dahlias really seemed tired after all and so were replaced completely with white and gold shining discs in the form of Shasta daisies and black-eyed Susans along with flat-topped umbels of miniature suns in the form of tansy.
The low-profile glazed ceramic vase works well this week, but if I had taken more time I would have switched the flowers into a basket for an even more summery look.
Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)
Leucanthemum superbum ‘Alaska’ (Shasta Daisy)
Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Pottery bowls, with Lomey plastic dish inserts, eco-friendly floral foam
Here are a few of my other experiments using reddish orange Dahlia ‘David Howard’ with coral bells and a nice specimen of Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’.
Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place in a vase this week.
Update. July 14, 2020
Note: I am red-faced as I make this confession. After fussing below about this dahlia not looking like Cafe Au Lait, I think I simply forgot that I planted another variety alongside the replaced dahlias. I’ll have to check back to see if I can find a label for it. Meanwhile the “imposter” has opened into a lovely form (semi-cactus?) with a white center. I actually love it. Apologies for my confusion.
Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase using cuttings from our gardens. After what seems like a month without rain passing us by, we finally had a fierce, full-blown thunderstorm Friday night. Temporarily refreshed, the garden must brace for extreme heat this week.
I am not a huge fan of pink but with fewer flower choices today I decided to showcase a couple of dinnerplate dahlias in an Ikebana vase.
Last year I ordered 9 Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ tubers. I was disappointed when they bloomed. Not all but most seemed imposters—so unlike the photos of the soft coffee cream blush ones I have admired. The company where I purchased them suggested I might have been sent D. ‘Labyrinth’ by mistake and offered a refund or replacements this spring. I chose to receive replacements.
Now dahlias that overwintered from last year along with some replacements planted this spring are in bloom.
The replacements so far look even more distantly related, although I’ve heard from some of you there can be a range of color variation in the flowers of ‘Cafe Au Lait’ and also there are pink ones such as Café au Lait Rosé and Café au Lait Royal.
This is from the new tubers. Since the photograph was taken this flower has begun opening to a somewhat paler center. I am curious to see how the other replacements turn out.
Ironically this one is from last year. Still not the iconic look I seek, but beautiful and definitely less pinky. It is about 6 inches in diameter. I will keep feeding.
A small hydrangea cluster, pale pink in color, became the third element in today’s design. Would I prefer it be blue, yes, but I haven’t taken on the task of adjusting the soil pH. The hydrangea is perfect for today’s study in pink.
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)
Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place in a vase this week. Peace. Be well.
Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.
Purple Smoke baptisia was the starting point for today’s vase. It grows outside of the main fenced garden and its flowers usually have been stripped away by now, presumably by deer.
‘Purple Smoke’ (B. australis x B. alba) is a shrubby perennial which typically grows 3-4.5′ tall. It was discovered as a chance seedling in a trial bed at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in the early 1990s. Features smoky violet, lupine-like flowers (from B. australis) and gray-green, clover-like foliage on charcoal stems (from B. alba). [ “Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke.'” Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed May 3, 2020.]
Purple Smoke was discovered by Rob Gardener, late curator of the North Carolina Botanical Gardens here in Chapel Hill and was introduced by Niche Gardens, also of Chapel Hill. (Sadly Niche Gardens closed in October 2019.) Kim Hawks, former owner and founder of Niche Gardens, is known for other introductions, including ‘Kim’s Knee High’ echinacea and Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore.’
Last fall’s snapdragons are mostly white or salmon, but one yellow opened up this week. I thought it would be a good foil to the baptisia.
Several of you were surprised to see Clematis ‘Niobe’ in last week’s arrangement. I am happy to report the clematis lasted all week. I have had other clematis cuttings fade quickly in arrangements, so I don’t know why that one did so well. Hope Jackmanii will also make it for a few days.
The irises are having a good year, but I have lost a number of my passalongs from the late 70s.
Some heavy rains came just as Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’ began to peak, leaving many of the flowers bent to the ground. There are a few more buds and I just stashed 4 in the refrigerator to bring out in a few weeks.
I hesitated to introduce pink into this vase but Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ is looking fine this week. It has very few flowers for some reason, perhaps from being a bit close and overshadowed by Festiva Maxima.
Antirrhinum majus ‘Rocket Mix’ (Snapdragon)
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)
Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’
Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)
Black Matte Dish With Red Interior
Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place in a vase this week. Good health and peace to you.
Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement using materials collected from our gardens.
Exceptionally cold weather this winter seems to have invigorated the peonies—first to open is Coral Charm. Its magnificent show this spring is the inspiration for today’s design. Planted in the western border May 2015, it has achieved six blooms this year.
I selected the oldest of the blooms to cut. Usually I do not mind cutting anything from the garden for use indoors, but I did think twice about this one.
It was a busy week here with obligations that kept me away from my own garden, but I did manage a few hours of weeding and each day I explored to see what might be blooming. It was the kind of week when new flowers suddenly appeared, each with their unique charms. One such wonder, Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke,’ is just a lovely plant. Its pea-like blossoms seemed ideal to include in today’s vase.
Many kinds of iris are in bloom this week also. I chose Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris) for the way it complements the baptisia, though its delicate demeanor enhances all the other flowers in fact. The gentle foliage belongs to the baptisia.
Snapdragons are slowly opening in the meditation circle where they have survived several years. I clipped one of their first blooms to add a bit of sass.
The deep red adds impact to the arrangement overall; the interior of the peony carries a red punch of its own.
A stealthy come-along from a plant exchange a couple of years ago, Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose) is deceptively pretty. After its showed up last spring I was warned last year this is a thug that deserves no mercy. It is in like-minded company–there is a waiting line of plants that need to be eradicated from this particular border where the Oenothera has made its home. What a dream it would be if these hard-hitters could compete with each other so aggressively all could be kept in check. Meanwhile the oenothera has to earn its keep by participating in Monday’s vase.
Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)
Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose)
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Hand painted Fenton Glass Vase – USA
Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower designs across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.
April has been a gorgeous and floriferous month. I want to invite you along as I make note of some particular enjoyments from my little spring garden.
When featuring white Dutch Iris in a Monday vase on March 28 I mentioned I thought I had planted blues ones this year but could not remember where. Happy to report they are found and blooming this week, not all blue, but rather a mixed collection that is delightful.
To add further to the confusion, I displayed these leaves as part of April’s foliage day. At the time I thought they were alliums. The mystery now is where did I place the alliums.
Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ has given a rewarding show this spring and often I feel the columbine in its midst makes a charming companion.
Unfortunately, this native Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) is becoming unmanageable, drifting to all corners of the garden. I will cut it all back this week but seedlings are everywhere.
With this year’s nice gentle spring, Coreopsis has bloomed well. Although I often see it recommended for summer, it generally stops blooming here when it gets too hot or maybe it is too dry. Then it resumes briefly in autumn.
Nearby, Verbena bonariensis is shooting upwards next to Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft), one of my favorite white flowered plants.
Peonies are ever so close to blooming, 3 in one border and 1 in another. A third border hosts a peony purchased last year that already was in flower. Its foliage looks healthy but does not promise blooms this year.
Foxglove have been difficult to establish in my garden, but I keep trying. I added 3 new plants in early spring, Digitalis Foxlight ‘Ruby Glow’ PPAF (Ruby Glow Foxglove).
Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ was featured in this week’s vase. It grows outside the main enclosed garden at the top of the southern side path and deserves another look.
This morning my attention soon drifted away from the clematis to the spires of Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ across the path.
Yesterday I just saw two huge yellow Baptisia ‘Carolina Moonlight’ at the N. C. Botanical Garden in full bloom. My own baptisia seems minor by comparison and must really not be in a good spot. It is supposed to be very easy to grow. Nevertheless I enjoyed discovering these blossoms today.
Verbena bonariensis growing in the side path opened just this week.
This yellow bearded iris is a pass-along from my long-ago neighbor Henrietta. Many of the irises in my current garden came from her.
Flowers on this white Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion) began opening last week.
A late-flowering Narcissus showed up this week, but I have not been able to find the tag. I would like to believe these are the one transplanted from my family home about three years ago, but I also bought some similar bulbs after those did not appear the first year.
Iris germanica ‘Immortality’ is beautiful this spring. Here it is growing near Clematis ‘Niobe’.
The grass needs cutting every few days, but that is not happening on schedule. Maybe today it will though before some predicted showers. The meditation circle is on the list for a good clipping and cleanup. Thyme has happily adapted to the center of the labyrinth and beyond, overtaking some of the pavers. The pansies took a while to bulk up after winter. They soon will be replaced with angelonia for summer.
Edging the border just before the labyrinth begins is a nice stand of saliva, Meadow Sage ‘May Night’. This is where the lady bug in the top image was hanging out. (Tradescantia is popping up everywhere too).
At the northeast gate the path is blue with blooms of Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper). There is a lot of sedum mixed with it.
Plenty of tasks await the gardener today but I have been taking time to enjoy the birds, chimes, fragrances and blossoms swaying on gentle breezes. Thanks for visiting.
Time again for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides.
When I showed a tour of the garden several days ago, I saved one section along the Southern Path to feature for foliage day. On both sides of the walkway silvery Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) and further back, gray-green Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion), add enchantment to this border. Both are full of buds. [Note: In an earlier version I had mislabeled the Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) as Lychnis coronaria (Rose campion).]
Further down the path toward the main garden, spears of Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ are making ready to bloom. I like the soft green leaves.
More soft green in this border comes from the tender young foliage of Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) and from a mound of Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood).
I spotted a down-the-street neighbor working in her yard Saturday. She remembered I had inquired about getting some of her Chrysanthemum ‘Sheffield Pink’ (Hardy Chrysanthemum) when she was ready to divide them. The next day I discovered a nice clump of them in a pot on my porch.
After errands yesterday morning I visited the nursery at Southern States (along with half of Chapel Hill! It was very busy.) Everyone is excited to be out planting this time of year. I found another gardenia to try and planted it along the back fence. This is Gardenia jasminoides ‘Frost Proof’ (Gardenia ‘Frost Proof’).
Also I brought home a few new plants with colorful and textured foliage.
This one with silvery foliage is Arctotis hybrid ‘Orange’ (Orange African Daisy). I bought it to accompany some small orange zinnias.
The others I bought to insert into some bare spot around the garden—one Alternanthera ‘Red Threads’ and two Amaranto tricolor ’True Yellow’ (Joseph’s coat). After I got home I became nervous when reading about them online. They seem to be rather reliable spreaders.
Should I keep them in pots or try them in ground?
I often wonder what gardening would be like if I were not always trying to pull out some things that have become too aggressive. I have never been intrigued much by time travel but a time machine would come in handy to eliminate certain plants.
Visit Christina at Garden of the Hesperides for a look around her garden in Italy and find links to foliage posts from many parts of the world.
Thunder rumbles in the distant night after a nice spring day. There was a brief shower early this morning and then the sun peeked in and out. Temperatures are warming and the garden quickly has become more lush and full, a very different garden than just a few days ago.
Echinacea and Canna are emerging.
Tender young foliage weaves in and out offering strong textural and color contrasts, although they are more observed than actually planned.
The Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ is blooming. (Certain plants are difficult to photograph and this is one.)
Only a few flowers are present so far in this massive planting of Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion).
The highlight of the garden is the Irises, now in full bloom.
More irises are slowly beginning to open after another week of overcast skies and cool temperatures. This white ruffled one was shared with me three or four years ago by a friend and former neighbor.
Another iris came from a neighbor in my former neighborhood back in the late seventies, passed along by her mother’s friend, who grew them to supply a florist.
Most pass-alongs come to me without names but this lavender iris finally has one. Touring some other gardens today with some knowledgeable gardeners helped me finally identify it as Roof Iris. It tolerates part shade. The leaves have always looked unhealthy, whether in sun or shade, and I am not sure if there is anything I should be doing about them.
Yellow Bearded iris in the southern side path have been blooming for several weeks. Nearby Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion) seems reluctant to open.
A few other plants in this same area are beginning to add some color though. The Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ is in full bloom this week and the Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ is ever so close to flowering.
Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait,’ a peony added last spring to the garden, has just two buds this year.
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ is opening in several places around the garden, its color a rich dark indigo.
More fully open another Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ looks pinkish in the late day sunlight. The actual flower color is more like that of the bud in the previous image, a beautiful deep blue.
In the southern garden bed the black iris continues to stand out against silvery Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear).
Close up the color of black iris is intense.
Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) and Catmint (Nepeta) are paired together though happenstance but appear to make nice companions.
The phlox divaricata is a pass-along plant that has been in this garden and a previous garden forever. It is an old-fashioned, charming favorite.
Nepeta (Catmint) makes a nice show a the front of the border.
This Coreopsis was added to the garden last year and did very poorly. It is surprisingly healthy this spring with a deep rich golden yellow.
Except for one hot and dry week April has brought generous rains to the garden. Following a few threats of frost this past week, temperatures reached into the seventies today. Starting very early today, rain alternated with sun throughout the morning and then the afternoon was fair. All day the birds have sung incessantly.
The garden needs attention now, but it is going to be on its own a few more days. After this recent strong period of bloom, some things such as the roses and a few of the irises need grooming as they are beginning to look a little tired. The tradescantia is encroaching in every direction and the eastern red columbine should be cut back soon before it spreads seeds. In the meditation circle Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) is overdue to be pruned back, but the recent cooler weather and rains encouraged it to produce fresh blooms, earning it a few more days.