Tag Archives: iberis sempervirens ‘Purity’

Spring Weekend

Alyssum 'Easter Bonnet Violet'

Alyssum ‘Easter Bonnet Violet’

This weekend the weather was ideal for working in the garden. Highs today were in the 70s and was still 69°F at 8:00 pm.  Even warmer weather is forecast for the week.

On Friday afternoon I visited a favorite garden center, checking out each and every offering and finally bringing home mostly more of my same favorites. Last year Alyssum, an annual, bloomed well into winter so I decided to use it this year again to fill in. I chose a pretty violet, rather than white.

At the store I figured out exactly why I needed each plant and where it would go, but once home I could not match ideas to reality, so most are still unplanted.  No regrets, but in fact I still need to focus on cleaning up the perennial beds and mulching. This task that has taken much too long.

The sunny, warm weather this weekend helped motivate me though and I was able to make some progress, but the beds need serious renovation. I expected just to pull weeds and spread the mulch but there are many plants that have become so overgrown and entwined with neighboring plants, it is taking a long time to clear small spaces. Daylily, tradescantia, bog sage, another unknown type of salvia, perennial sweet pea and columbine are the biggest offenders this year. Tansy and yarrow are also getting out of hand. The soil looks beautiful though and I am finding lots of earthworms this year.

It was satisfying to spend the daylight hours outside. This time of year there are no mosquitoes, no air conditioners humming. It is pleasantly quiet and peaceful.

Iberis 'Purity'

Iberis ‘Purity’


3- Phlox subulata ‘Emerald Blue’
6- Alyssum ‘Easter Bonnet Violet’ (annual)
1- Creeping Lemon Thyme
1- Dianthus ‘Early Bird Frosty’ (White) –blue-silver leaves
6- Dianthus ‘Ideal Select White’
6- Dianthus ‘Ideal Select Red’
1- Diascia ‘Dala Desal’  (annual)
1- Salvia nemorosa ‘May Night’ (Hardy Sage) (Mainacht) [synonym Salvia × sylvestris ‘May Night’ (Meadow sage)]
6- Iberis ‘Purity’ (despite their poor performance last year)
10- Angelonia ‘Purple’  (annual)

April’s Middle – Garden Views and Notes

Garden Views

The garden was refreshed by gentle rain during the night. By noon today the grass had dried sufficiently for mowing, just in time too so visiting friends could wander around and linger in the garden.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Artemisia, Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Bee On Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Catmint (Nepeta) and Phlox


Several types of irises are blooming. Newly opened today are the pale yellow Japanese Iris, pass-along plants from a special sister-in-law in Idaho.

Japanese Iris and Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Japanese Iris

This iris with pale lavender standards and dark purple falls is another pass-along from a former neighbor. I brought this and the Japanese Iris from my first garden nearly eleven years ago to help form the foundation of this current garden.

Bearded Iris

A more recent pass-along, this lovely white iris with very large flowers is from a gardening friend now serving in the Peace Corps.

I did not realize the garden had this black iris but am thrilled to discover it. It must have come into the garden at the same time as the white one above. It promises to be gorgeous.

Pass-along plants bring memories of friends and neighbors, but precise identification of these is not possible. I simply remember them by the names of the donors. Here is another iris from my old garden by way of a dear family friend.

Notes on Labyrinth Wall Plantings In The Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

The meditation circle is a year old this week and the evergreen perennials that help define the walls of the labyrinth easily survived the mild winter.

  • Iberis sempervirens ‘Purity’ (Candytuft) – Used in the innermost portion of the circle (goal of the labyrinth), currently this is ending a long bloom cycle that began December, 2011.
  • Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) – Two plants, used to define walls at one of the turn-around points, did so well that three more were added this spring. Self-sprouted seedlings from the original two are growing nearby and may produce some plants that can be added to the labyrinth, although references indicate that ‘Husker Reds’ from seeds will not have the same dark red leaves that plant divisions would.
  • Thymus x citriodorus (Silver Edge Thyme) – Not thriving but doing ok. Conditions have been too wet for this herb, but the thyme is beginning to improve and look healthier. May gradually replace them after they bloom.
  • Silver Edge Thyme and Penstemon mexicali 'Pike's Peak Purple' (Beardtongue)

    Penstemon  mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ (Beardtongue) – This penstemon has a wilder look than the Husker Red and seemed scraggly last summer, but during fall and winter looked very green and strong. It was severely sheared in March and has returned with strong, lush look. This plant may become too wide and grow too far into the path.

To complement the perennials, yesterday I added fifteen Angelonia ‘Blue’  between the two left-most paths. Angelonia are annuals that bloomed until October last year, providing a lush look for the meditation circle without much maintenance. Angelonias tolerate heat and humidity, are deer-resistant and do not require dead-heading. They did outgrow the narrow 6-inch space between the paths and had to be trimmed back several times, but the cuttings made lovely and long-lasting indoor arrangements.

Labyrinth ‘Purity’

Today the plantings in the meditation circle seem a tiny step closer to being complete. After months of indecision I decided to continue planting the goal of the labyrinth with Iberis sempervirens ‘Purity’ (Candytuft). In addition to forming evergreen mounds, this cultivar is reputed to be tolerant of a wet or a hot dry site, and it also tolerates humidity. It has already proven itself under these conditions in the labyrinth during the past year.

When the labyrinth was built last March, five ‘Purity’ candytufts were selected particularly to satisfy one major requirement: staying evergreen. Of course it has been extraordinarily mild this winter, but they met the requirement and more by blooming since the first week of December.  A bonus, these flowers are lovely in moonlight and tonight the moon is full.

So, the innermost circle is joined. More plans await.