Tag Archives: Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

In A Vase On Monday – April Charms

In A Vase On Monday – April Charms

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement using materials collected from our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – April Charms

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.

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

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.

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

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.

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ and Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)

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.

In A Vase On Monday – April Charms

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.

In A Vase On Monday – April Charms

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.

Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose)

Materials
Flowers
Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)
Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose)
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)
Foliage
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Vase
Hand painted Fenton Glass Vase – USA

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’

In A Vase On Monday – April Charms

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 Highlights 2016

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

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.

Dutch Iris mix (Planted Fall 2015)

Dutch Iris mix (Planted Fall 2015)

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.

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' (Ascot Rainbow Spurge) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ (Ascot Rainbow Spurge) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

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.

Coreopsis

Coreopsis

Coreopsis

Coreopsis

Nearby, Verbena bonariensis is shooting upwards next to Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft), one of my favorite white flowered plants.

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena), Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) and Coreopsis

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena), Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) and Coreopsis

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena), Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) and Coreopsis

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena), Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) and Coreopsis

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.

Peonies in Southern Border

Peonies in Southern Border

Peonies in Southern Border

Peonies in Southern Border

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).

Digitalis Foxlight 'Ruby Glow' PPAF (Ruby Glow Foxglove)

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.

Clematis 'Jackmanii' underplanted with Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ underplanted with Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)

This morning my attention soon drifted away from the clematis to the spires of Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ across the path.

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

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.

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

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.

Iris germanica (Bearded iris). A passalong from Henrietta circa 1977.

Iris germanica (Bearded iris). A passalong from Henrietta circa 1977.

Flowers on this white Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion) began opening last week.

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

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.

Narcissus

Narcissus

Narcissus

Narcissus

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.

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

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).

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

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.

Path at NE Gate - Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper)

Path at NE Gate – Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper)

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.

 

 

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – April 2015

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) in this morning’s sunlight

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).]

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) and Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion) several days ago

Budding Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Further down the path toward the main garden, spears of Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ are making ready to bloom. I like the soft green leaves.

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

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).

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)

Artemisia 'Powis Castle' (Wormwood)

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.

Chrysanthemum 'Sheffield Pink' (Hardy Chrysanthemum)

Chrysanthemum ‘Sheffield Pink’ (Hardy Chrysanthemum)

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’).

Gardenia jasminoides 'Frost Proof' (Gardenia 'Frost Proof')

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Frost Proof’ (Gardenia ‘Frost Proof’)

Also I brought home a few new plants with colorful and textured foliage.

New purchase from Southern States

New purchase from Southern States

This one with silvery foliage is Arctotis hybrid ‘Orange’ (Orange African Daisy). I bought it to accompany some small orange zinnias.

Arctotis hybrid 'Orange' (Orange African Daisy)

Arctotis hybrid ‘Orange’ (Orange African Daisy)

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.

Alternanthera 'Red Threads'

Alternanthera ‘Red Threads’

Amaranto tricolor ’True Yellow’ (Joseph's coat)

Amaranto tricolor ’True Yellow’ (Joseph’s coat)

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.

Observations and Iris In Early May

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.

Northern Border

Northern Border

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.)

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

Only a few flowers are present so far in this massive planting of Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion).

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

The highlight of the garden is the Irises, now in full bloom.

A Few Flowers In Early May

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.

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

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.

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

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.

Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)

Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)

Yellow Bearded iris in the southern side path have been blooming for several weeks. Nearby Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion) seems reluctant to open.

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

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.

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke' and Clematis 'Jackmanii' at Southern Entrance

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ and Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ at Southern Entrance

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

April Showers And Flowers

Flowers, flowers.

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait,’ a peony added last spring to the garden, has just two buds this year.

Peony Paeonia 'Pink Parfait'

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ is opening in several places around the garden, its color a rich dark indigo.

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'

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.

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'

In the southern garden bed the black iris continues to stand out against silvery Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear).

Black Iris

Close up the color of black iris is intense.

Black Iris

A couple of pink Achillea (yarrow) opened recently. This is a dwarf variety that stands about 10 inches high.

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) and Catmint (Nepeta) are paired together though happenstance but appear to make nice companions.

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) and Catmint (Nepeta)

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.

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Nepeta (Catmint) makes a nice show a the front of the border.

Catmint (Nepeta)

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.

Coreopsis

Showers.

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.

Iberis sempervirens 'Purity' (Candytuft)