Tag Archives: gaura

Special October Flowers

After several years of growth, August Beauty gardenias at last are flowering. That they are October gardenias rather than August ones is a bit of a mystery but this is a nice time of year for them to thrive.

Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty'

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

After spotting these in bloom this morning, I walked around to the north side of the house checking on my other passalong gardenias. Those have been blooming five or six at a time for most of the month and indeed, they continue to flower.  Hugging these shrubs are several fall-blooming Camellia sasanquas, wonderfully laden with buds. I was surprised to come across some buds already revealing colorful petals.

Camellia sasanqua 'Hana-Jiman'

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’

I imagined I even could detect the fragrance. Looking further I noticed with delight the scent was real as several C. sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’ tucked down near the ground were already fully open. The ants discovered them before I.

Camellia sasanqua 'Hana-Jiman'

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’

Also on this north side of the house one more surprise awaited. Never have I had such an early hellebore. It appears to be a fluke but I will be checking this area often now.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

My Gaura never bloomed well in spring but has decided to try slightly to make up for it now. This one is ‘Passionate Blush’.

Gaura lindheimeri 'Passionate Blush' (Butterfly Gaura)

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)

Lately I have read with a smile that chrysanthemums are not universally appreciated. It is understandable, they are ubiquitous and maybe old-fashioned, but I like them. I bought four large pots and placed them among the shrubs out front for instant and long-lasting color. A yellow pass-along I was given more than twenty-five years ago is reliably full of of buds and promise in autumn—-no flowers yet but I look forward to them.  And for the first time I am growing ‘Sheffield Pink’ thanks to my neighbor Nancy.

Chrysanthemum 'Sheffield Pink' (Hardy Chrysanthemum)

Chrysanthemum ‘Sheffield Pink’ (Hardy Chrysanthemum)

What special flowers has October brought to your garden?

June Beginnings

Ambling though the garden today I noticed a new array of plants beginning to flower.  There is something special about these first fresh blossoms.

Hydrangea macrophylla

Hydrangea macrophylla

Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' (Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

Dahlia 'Stargazer'

Dahlia ‘Stargazer’

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Gaura Belleza 'Dark Pink' (Butterfly Gaura)

Gaura Belleza ‘Dark Pink’ (Butterfly Gaura)

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – March 2013

It is Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), an opportunity to notice the value foliage plays in the garden, as feature or support. GBFD is hosted by Christine at  Creating my own garden of the Hesperides. This month I have been watching as clumps of perennials shake off some of the ragged winter look and start greening.

Monarda is growing noticeably and it smells delightfully minty. Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ seeded freely last year so there are several tucked into places now other than just in the meditation circle.

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)  and Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) and Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ (Beardtongue) began dying out in the meditation circle last summer. Highly drought-tolerant plants, they seemed ideal for this spot, but the summer through winter were unusually wet. Combined with some pesky mole activity the condition of these penstemon worsened.  So nearly half of the Pike’s Peak are gone.  Earlier in the week I pruned the remaining plants and am hoping they will bloom.

Penstemon  mexicali 'Pike's Peak Purple' (Beardtongue)

Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ (Beardtongue)

Also in the very center of the meditation circle I this week planted a few clumps of Thymus serpyllum ‘Pink Chintz’ (Pink chintz thyme), a low-growing fragrant Thyme,

Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz' (Pink chintz thyme)

Thymus serpyllum ‘Pink Chintz’ (Pink chintz thyme)

Iris leaves are up everywhere. This is Iris ‘Davy Jones’ (Davy Jones Bearded Iris) making its debut this year. It is a Tall Bearded Iris with a purple ruffled bloom. Tall Bearded Iris are among the last to bloom.

Iris 'Davy Jones' (Davy Jones Bearded Iris)

Iris ‘Davy Jones’ (Davy Jones Bearded Iris)

Autumn Joy (Stonecrop) in several spots are contributing interest at this time of year as is an overflowing pot of colorful mixed Sedum that I added to the garden last spring.

Hylotelephium 'Herbstfreude'  Autumn Joy (Stonecrop)

Hylotelephium ‘Herbstfreude’ Autumn Joy (Stonecrop)

Mixed sedum

Mixed sedum

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ is forming a nice mound of fresh leaves.

Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Shasta Daisy has taken a strong foothold and needs some serious attention to keep it from gaining any more.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura) sports colorful leaves this time of year. I have been unhappy with its performance in this location and need to find it a better spot. It became very floppy and did not bloom very well.

Gaura lindheimeri 'Passionate Blush' (Butterfly Gaura)

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)

Aegopodium podagraria(bishop’s weed) sprang up through a thick mulch layer this week. I was hoping to suppress it and have for years been wanting to manage it.  This is invasive but lovely as a ground cover and was a pass-along from a dear friend many years ago.

Aegopodium podagraria(bishop's weed)

Aegopodium podagraria(bishop’s weed)

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’ is a nice plant for the front of the border. I’m gradually increasing their number. Looks like I should be dividing this clump but am not sure if it is a good time.

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

So as March winds down many individual plants are contributing their foliage shape, patterns, colors and textures to add interest to the early spring garden. Thanks to Christine at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for hosting GBFD each month.

Notes On The Garden At Memorial Day

Northern Border

Temperatures reached 87 degrees and the day felt quite humid and summery. The borders appear full and lush, a tribute to the power of adequate rainfall; however, the first flowering period of many plants is past, so deadheading and trimming are on the agenda for this week.

Southern Border

There has been little work done in the garden for the last two weeks, but that must change. The garden is in transition and is very much in need of attention. Echinacea, Gladioli, Liatris and Daylily are replacing Iris, Lamb’s Ear and Tradescantia.

Liatris spicata ‘Alba’ (Gayfeather)

Shasta Daisy clumps will be covered in bloom any day. Meanwhile Meadow Sage should be cut back to encourage more blooms. Nepeta may need shearing soon as well.

Northern Border, Meditation Circle

Monarda and Lantana are teasing with a bit of color today.

Monarda didyma (scarlet beebalm)

Lantana camara (Common lantana)

This weekend in town I came upon a large and beautiful planting of Baptisia and Autumn Joy, all in full bloom. In this garden all three baptisias lost their flowers suddenly this year after a just a short bloom time, but the foliage remains healthy and green.

Baptisia australis (blue false indigo)

Hylotelephium telephium ‘Herbstfreude’ (Autumn Joy)

Paths in the meditation circle are in some disarray lately. The pine nugget mulch being used this spring is too lightweight to stay in place when rains come. Also the mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ Penstemon has sprawled over quite a bit and requires staking again. Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ is so much better behaved and retains its upright place, (although its self-sown seedlings need to be removed soon).

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

The annual Angelonia ‘Blue’ in the meditation circle has begun to grow now that the weather is hotter.

Angelonia ‘Blue’

There will be plenty of tasks to keep this gardener busy this week but with an abundance of flowers blooming and the scent gardenia wafting through the air, it should be mostly delightful to spend time in the garden.

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Early May Garden Views and Notes – Part 3

Record keeping: Last in a 3-part series of notes about what is planted and what is blooming currently in the garden.

Yesterday I focused on long views of the garden borders to document what is planted in each section.  But yesterday morning there also were fresh new blossoms that can be best appreciated by examining them close up.


Green And Other Colors: Scenes From The Garden

After an overcast morning the sun pushed temperatures to 72° F. today. Strong, blustery winds this afternoon caused plants to sway, chairs to topple, and there was a noticeable chill to the air.

The garden is coming into its own now.  It happened suddenly. The weeding is done, but before all the planned rearranging and assessment could take place, the perennial beds bordering the property starting greening and filling out. The succession of blooms is on its way.

This is the view today from the southern gate entrance looking west.

Southern Border Facing West

Here is the northern border facing west on Sunday. Barely visible just left and behind the dogwood is a new Arizona Cypress ‘Carolina Sapphire’ to replace the one lost last year. Zinnias, gladioli and cleome will fill in the space against the fence this summer.

Northern Border Facing West

Also on Sunday, this is view is looking from northeast to southwest across the meditation circle. In the center of the labyrinth, the white blooms of Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) lasted four months from early December. Now they need to be sheared back.

Garden View From Northeast Corner

As one walks around the garden it is nice to take a closer look a the changes underway. A single bloom opened today on the Iceberg rose.

Iceberg Rose

Ants parade on a ‘Pink Parfait’ peony that was added last year to the garden.

Peony Paeonia 'Pink Parfait'

Amid a green backdrop the burgundy-purple tinge of this iris bud stands out in the southern border.

Iris in Southern Border

A dark pink outlines the leaves and the flower tip of this Veronica spicata ‘Pink Goblin’ (Speedwell).

Veronica spicata 'Pink Goblin' (Speedwell)

Deep blue petals of the spiderwort unfurl in the morning for just one day. In the background are dark burgundy leaves of  Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura).

Gaura lindheimeri 'Passionate Blush' (Butterfly Gaura), Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

This batik iris is irresistible.

Batik Iris

Flowers are forming on several baptisias in the garden. This is Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke,’ which was discovered at the nearby North Carolina Botanical Garden by former curator Rob Gardner. Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ was introduced in 1996 by Niche Gardens and North Carolina Botanical Garden. This specimen was purchased about three years ago at Niche Garden after one of their Saturday morning tours.

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'

Another rosy-tinged flower, Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena), is framed in front of a stand of Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine).

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Unidentified spiderwort (Tradescantia sp.)

Tradescantia or spiderwort is one of the first plants I remember from very early childhood. At the time I did not know its name nor that it was a native plant, but I found the deep purple of its flower so beautiful. Upon discovering that the color transferred easily, I used tradescantia to stain one of the white front-porch columns and was genuinely surprised when my mother put me to work scrubbing it off.

My mother did not garden, but her older cousin did and she became a garden mentor to me. This special gardener introduced me to many plants and was always generous in supplying me with a variety of pass-along plants for my garden, including of course, spiderwort. The color range includes lavender, blue, violet, purple and even white.

Tradescantia does well in sun or shade, but the flowers may close by midday especially in hot sun. Spiderwort is very drought tolerant and self-seeds easily. The plants attract butterflies and this morning were appealing to quite many bees.

Plants have drifted throughout the garden over the years. I always intend to rein them back, but before I can get around to it, they open and form pretty combinations with Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) or provide a needed backdrop to other emerging perennials. I think, “Well let’s just leave them for now.” Spiderworts tend to die back during the hottest part of summer. Before I know it, fall comes around again and the spiderworts give another burst of color to the garden. And so they stay.

A Few Days Into Autumn

Fall 2011 began September 23 and the time since has been filled with many rains. The moisture has encouraged continued flowering in the garden. After a brief shower early this morning, the sun has been in and out of clouds all day. The temperature is currently eighty-five degrees.

Blooming In Mid-September Part 3

Continuing yesterday’s tour around the garden, here are some more plants that I found in bloom in mid-September.

The tiny blue flowers of ageratum, or blue mist flower, show up in the fall. This perennial is Hardy Ageratum (Eupatorium Coelestinum). This plant grows well in part shade among some irises near the Arizona cypress in the back border. Ageratum can be somewhat aggressive, though it has not been so for the last several years.  With more frequent rains this fall, it may need a watchful eye this year.

Tradescantia, or spiderwort, is in a re-blooming period now that the extreme heat has left.  It fills in many spots where other perennials have quit blooming. Colors range from deep blue such as this one, to violet, to pale lavender, to almost white.

Gaura is new to the garden this year. Perhaps it really has been in the sleep phase of the old garden adage regarding perennials: sleep, creep, leap! It has not been as showy as expected and succumbed to the periods of drought by almost dying back (Oops-the tag did say to water weekly in dry periods). Happily though the plant has improved recently. This is Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush.’

It is a delight to have the soft pink clusters of Autumn Joy Sedum in this garden again. The rabbits damage it every spring and for the past few years it has not bloomed at all. This is actually a piece from the original that broke off during spring cleanup.  It has competition here from various other plants which are vying for this spot.

Three sprigs of catmint (also pulled up inadvertently during spring cleanup) grew into a small, colorful hedge at the front of the northern border. It has been blooming all summer.  It looks scraggly in the picture, but when standing in the garden, it really has a nice soft effect.

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) has been planted in the garden since its first year. This spring I moved a portion to the side garden where it has thrived.

Every garden needs a Butterfly Bush or so I used to think. At a talk at the North Carolina Botanical Garden it was suggested to eliminate them as they can become invasive. I have never cared for the fragrance and it does not perform well in this location. This one is probably Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’ and I do plan to take it out this fall.

A few more blooms were identified in the garden yesterday, so this post will be continued.