Tag Archives: Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

In A Vase On Monday – Blue And White In Autumn

In A Vase On Monday – Blue And White In Autumn

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

In A Vase On Monday – Blue And White In Autumn

With the autumn season officially upon us, my garden is overgrown and in need of some tough love. Even the zinnias are fading. Today’s vase is fitted with a few rebloomers and lingerers, beginning with several lusciously fragrant gardenias. Of the the few zinnias that remain most are coming in with very tiny blooms. I spotted several diminutive white ones to include. There are also a couple of pristine Shasta daisies making a surprising appearance for this time of year.

In A Vase On Monday – Blue And White In Autumn

The title of this vase would more accurately be “purple, blue and white in autumn,” with Angelonia from the meditation circle providing purple hues and Blue Sky salvia offering up a true blue.

In A Vase On Monday – Blue And White In Autumn

In A Vase On Monday – Blue And White In Autumn

Materials
Flowers
Angelonia ‘Purple’
Gardenia jasminoides
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again’ (Zinnia elegant pumila), Botanical Interests.

Vase
Small matte-glazed blue ceramic vase

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement using materials collected from our gardens. Today’s vase is filled with a selection of old-fashioned flowers, all rescued from the heat on Saturday.

The starting point was a fading border of shasta daisies. The shastas were nice for a few weeks but now most are wilting in the hot sun. I have lost interest in keeping them deadheaded and watered, so picking the freshest blooms to enjoy indoors seemed a good idea.

To accompany the daisies I cut some stems of Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower), whose yellow petals are just beginning to unfold this week.

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

I wish I had taken a picture at that stage. The Green-Headed Coneflower paired with the daisies made a winsome combination and I had planned to stop there. The arrangement ended up distinctly different though when I tested to see what would happen if I added some of the other flowers I had gathered, starting with Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers.’

The panicles of this oakleaf hydrangea sported quite a bit of red color this summer, but without enough rain they recently began to turn brown.

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

Other flowers added were small clusters of Hydrangea macrophylla, Liatris spicata (purchased as ‘Alba’ yet not white after all), and some under-performing calla lilies.

Shasta Daisy and Coneflower With Addition of Liatris, Calla Lily, and Hydrangea

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

The container for today’s arrangement is a cream-colored, crazed ceramic urn on which “Vintage 4” has been stamped. Why “4” is unclear but I like the vase’s shape.

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

Materials
Flowers
Calla Lily
Hydrangea macrophylla
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Liatris spicata (Gayfeather)
Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Foliage
None
Vase
Ceramic Urn Stamped “Vintage 4”

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

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.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – April 2017

Today is Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides. It’s been too busy around my house the past few months to blog regularly as my husband recovers from surgeries. (He is doing well and continues to get physical therapy to help him regain strength.)

But today I planned to join Christina in looking at the part foliage plays around the garden and as there still are a few hours before the day ends, here goes. I refuse to show a photo of the Italian cypress, one of three planted last fall, mown down in its youth by voles. [I discovered it simply leaning over the other day. How I wish there were an easy and practical solution for controlling those creatures]. So, here is more interesting foliage that caught my eye this week.

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) is looking great in the meditation circle.

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’  (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea) took several years to get established but is looking strong this spring.

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

The soft silvery mound formed by Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ foliage is appealing in springtime.

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ at the southern side path entrance has tripled itself. Although it looks fine here alongside this Asclepias, it will soon tower 6 feet.

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) and Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

This little beauty is Itea virginica ‘Sprich’ LITTLE HENRY (Virginia sweetspire). It was planted last fall (along with the fateful cypress vole fodder.) I have admired this shrub on other blogs and am looking forward to having it in my garden.

Itea virginica ‘Sprich’ LITTLE HENRY (Virginia sweetspire)

Shasta daisies have helped themselves to an entire border. I push back occasionally and pass along plants to friends, but the foliage is evergreen and in summer the flowers will be welcome, so for the most part I just enjoy them.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Visit Christina at Garden of the Hesperides for a look around her remarkable Italian garden and find links to foliage perspectives from many parts of the world.

In A Vase On Monday – Four For Fourth

In A Vase On Monday - Four For Fourth

In A Vase On Monday – Four For Fourth

Each Monday brings the chance to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden.

Each July Fourth America celebrates Independence Day, acknowledging the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Eschewing classic red, white and blues I opted for subtler, yet still bold, variations of the traditional colors.  In several attempts I could not get reality aligned with my design ideas, so I ended up with four very different arrangements.

The shasta daisies are the fourth effort and my favorite. Creating this simple grouping was made easy using the colorful multi-stemmed vase.

Shasta Daisies, from above

Shasta Daisies, from above

The third try was a loose display of purple coneflowers, Blue Sky salvia, red dahlia, shasta daisies, and starring a lovely lavender gladiolus.

In A Vase On Monday - Four For Fourth

In A Vase On Monday – Four For Fourth

The second vase was composed of two coral gladioli among two hydrangea blooms. I liked this one also.

In A Vase On Monday - Four For Fourth

In A Vase On Monday – Four For Fourth

The first arrangement of gladioli, phlox, hydrangea and Blue Sky salvia was more formal.

In A Vase On Monday - Four For Fourth

In A Vase On Monday – Four For Fourth

The house is filled with flowers today—four arrangements for the Fourth. Have a happy day wherever you are.

Materials
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Gladiolus
Hydrangea macrophylla
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly flower arranging devotion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – May 2016

It is time again for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides.

Near the back steps, a passalong dahlia is preparing for its second year in my garden, courtesy of Libby at An Eye For Detail. The foliage looks strong and flowers are forming. I neglected to dig the dahlia last fall so am relieved to see it made it through the winter.

Dahlia

Dahlia

In the upper left of the image above, fragrant Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) is inconveniently growing up through where the garden hose is stored and needs to be reined back. In front of the monarda, a few dark red leaves of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) are visible. Also here several plants of Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) are pushing upwards through some impertinent clover and a ground cover of Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft). Foliage of Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) peek through as well. The Aquilegia’s last remaining red flowers nod their heads.

Here is a closer look at the Echinacea and Aquilegia, with seeds formed on Iberis. The textures were not planned but do look interesting together.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

The other side of the steps features a long, sunny border fronted largely by Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy).

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Across the garden in its shadiest corner, several Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) responded well to the recent rains and have grown substantially. Their multi-hued foliage is rich and full for the moment. Meanwhile Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not) finished blooming, but the smaller silvery, patterned leaves add a bright pop to this planting area (lower left of image). In back at left fern-like foliage of Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy) and sword-like iris leaves add height and texture.

Heuchera villosa 'Big Top Bronze' (Coral Bells)

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)

In a small nearby border with a bit more sun grows more Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’. Its companion Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ has similar coloring. A stand of self-seeded Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena) with long green, leathery leaves gives a change in texture and color.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue) and Heuchera villosa 'Big Top Bronze' (Coral Bells) with Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) and Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) with Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Silvery shades of Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) and soon to bloom Lavender complement more leaves of Bearded Iris.

Bearded Iris, Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear), Lavender

Bearded Iris, Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear), Lavender

Four Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’ have been planted for about three years. Most are finally getting some size and buds are forming.

Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty'

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

One of the August Beauty gardenias has been eclipsed by its aggressive neighbors.  Soon the monarda will explode with red, inviting hummingbirds to sip its nectar, and dark pink flowers will grace the echinacea. But for now this spot is a relaxing green with Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ providing white accents—a cool, calm, peaceful interlude.

One Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty' has become swamped by surrounding plants.

One Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’ has become swamped by surrounding plants.

Thanks to Christina at Garden of the Hesperides for hosting. Read her foliage update and see more links to foliage perspectives from many parts of the world.

In A Vase On Monday—Evolving Design

In A Vase On Monday—Evolving Design

In A Vase On Monday—Evolving Design

Each Monday brings the chance to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden.

My vision for today’s offering was to form an abstraction by arranging florets and foliage into a pattern—a circle, rectangle or square—laid on a pure white background. The idea evolved into creating the shape on a decorative silver-plated tray and eventually into abandoning the idea altogether and returning to a regular vase of flowers.

Laying down the abstract design was not as straightforward as I had imagined. Interweaving the greenery and blossoms was simple, but soon it was apparent the stems and flowers were going to twist and turn, yielding to gravity rather than to my plans. I needed to find a way to keep them in place.

To solve the problem I decided to build components, similar to small boutonnières, that could be held together by wrapping the stems with florist’s tape. This worked great and they went together quickly. I had gathered enough materials earlier in the day to crank these out all day. But after making a few I began losing interest in completing the original idea of the abstract shape.

I decided to just share the collection of flower sprays.

Building Blocks - boutonnières

Building Blocks – boutonnières

These sprays of flowers would be attractive to tuck around individual place settings for a dinner party.  There are four variations. The first combines Helleborus with foliage of Everlasting sweet pea and Lamb’s ear.

Helleborus with Everlasting sweet pea and Lamb's ear foliage

Helleborus with Everlasting sweet pea and Lamb’s ear foliage

The second pairs Narcissus ‘Thalia’ and Candytuft flowers with Shasta daisy and Lamb’s ear leaves.

Narcissus 'Thalia’ and Candytuft with Shasta daisy and Lamb's ear leaves

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ and Candytuft with Shasta daisy and Lamb’s ear leaves

The third set also uses Shasta daisy and Lamb’s ear leaves for the background. The flowers are Narcissus ‘Thalia’ and Euphorbia ‘Shorty.’

Narcissus 'Thalia’ and Euphorbia 'Shorty'

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ and Euphorbia ‘Shorty’

The last design uses one of my new Hellebores. The interior has matured to green and is edged with the same maroon that is on the exterior of the petals.  I love the greenish hue of this hellebore with the blue-violet of Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker.’  Soft lamb’s ears and a shasta leaf add the finishing touches.

Greenery, Helleborus and Anemone coronaria 'Mr. Fokker'

Greenery, Helleborus and Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

 

Since I actually had polished the silver tray I decided to experiment a few minutes by arranging the the flowers on it.

In A Vase On Monday—Evolving Design

In A Vase On Monday—Evolving Design

In A Vase On Monday—Evolving Design

In A Vase On Monday—Evolving Design

Components arrayed on silver

Components arrayed on silver

Helleborus and Anemone coronaria

Helleborus and Anemone coronaria

 

Materials
Flowers
Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’
Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ (Shorty Spurge)
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft)
Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)
Foliage
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Candytuft and Narcissus 'Thalia’

Candytuft and Narcissus ‘Thalia’

No matter that my original concept evolved into something unexpected. I enjoyed the exploration. Eventually I collected the flowers and placed them into a square glass vase to savor this week.

In A Vase On Monday—Evolving Design

In A Vase On Monday—Evolving Design

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly flower arranging addiction. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday and feel free to join in.

In A Vase On Monday—A Simple Refashion

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Each Monday brings the chance to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden.

On Saturday it was 70F, but last week, as predicted, the overnight temperatures briefly plunged below freezing several nights. For last Monday’s vase I had rescued many camellias as well as the last few Zinnia ‘Profusion Fire’ flowers.

And, surprised by how fresh the zinnias remained all week, I decided to display them again for today’s arrangement in the same small kenzan Ikebana vase.

Zinnia 'Profusion Fire'

Zinnia ‘Profusion Fire’

Zinnia 'Profusion Fire'

Zinnia ‘Profusion Fire’

 

The red-orange zinnias are paired this week with shasta daisies and photographed in early morning light atop my daughter’s contemporary cherry table.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Though only five in number, shasta daisies in flower at the end of November are unusual. Three of the daisies fit into the vase with the zinnias.

Daisy and Zinnia 'Profusion Fire'

 

Daisy and Zinnia 'Profusion Fire'

The other two daisies sit in a clear shot glass with some yarrow foliage, all held in  place using a half-inch size black kenzan.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

 

 

 

Materials
Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)
Creeping Lemon Thyme
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Zinnia ‘Profusion Fire’
Kenzan Ikebana Vase

Daisy and Zinnia 'Profusion Fire'

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly flower addiction. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday and feel free to join in.

In A Vase On Monday—Keep Calm And Garden On

In A Vase On Monday - Keep Calm And Garden On

In A Vase On Monday – Keep Calm And Garden On

Monday morning is time to join Cathy for In A Vase On Monday, a weekly invitation to fill and share a vase using materials gathered from one’s garden.

In A Vase On Monday - Keep Calm And Garden On

In A Vase On Monday – Keep Calm And Garden On

My two younger sisters helped me celebrate my birthday last week with some special garden-themed gifts, several of which I incorporated into the setting for today’s vase. One is a refashioned and repurposed silver spoon stamped with the words, “Keep Calm And Garden On,” guidance I appreciate and shall try to follow.

In A Vase On Monday - Keep Calm And Garden On

In A Vase On Monday – Keep Calm And Garden On

The arrangement sits atop a beautiful batik table runner made by my quilter sister. The colors in the fabric echo those of the today’s flowers as do those in the pretty kitchen towel with diminutive pots of herbs. I had not planned the vase around these items but they make nice companions.

In A Vase On Monday - Keep Calm And Garden On

In A Vase On Monday – Keep Calm And Garden On

The flowers themselves are a simple summer bouquet of Shasta daisies paired with dark orange and deep pink Zinnias. Multi-branched stems of Lantana camara provide foliage as well as complementary floral accents in pink, orange and gold.

Shasta Daisy, Zinnia and Lantana

Shasta Daisy, Zinnia and Lantana

Materials

Lantana camara (Common lantana)
Leucanthemum superbum ‘Alaska’ (Shasta Daisy)
Zinnia

Zinnias

Zinnias

Thank you to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for welcoming everyone to join her in this opportunity to share a vase each week. Please visit her to see what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

Post 550—Flowers And Insects

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

It is just a number, but having arrived here, I like the idea of marking my 550th post.

Most days this week I have enjoyed the garden by getting up early, between 5:00-6:00 a.m., to take pictures, water certain plants and spend some time in quiet reflection before the neighborhood starts bustling. A red Daylily started flowering a week ago, this yellow one opened today.

Wednesday I noticed a colorful creature spiraling an Allium Atropurpureum. Perhaps someone will be able to help me identify it.

Allium Atropurpureum

Allium Atropurpureum

Scattered all around the garden, Echinacea purpurea has been reliable in the heat. Some planting of echinacea received no extra water during this drought, but I watered this section fairly regularly since I was watering nearby. Even drought-tolerant plants such as this one respond positively to some attention.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) Along Back of Northern Border

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) Along Back of Northern Border

Bees are becoming active at this early time of day, but frequently during my walks I have come upon them asleep on Echinacea and once, on Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint).

Nepeta 'Walker's Low' (Catmint)

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint)

Another bee pair was lazily hanging out on the spire of a Liatris spicata. This one is the only liatris that has kept its dignity during the recent heat wave.

Liatris spicata

Liatris spicata

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox) came into its own this week. Along with Cleome it helped to fill in some gaps along the fence in the western border, attracting more bees at the same time.

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Bee on Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Bee on Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

A recent addition to the garden, Ruellia brittoniana ‘Purple Showers’ (Mexican petunia) is taking its time getting adjusted to its new home. Eventually it should make a nice large clump and overwinter, I hope. There are  a couple of new flowers each morning, gone later in the day—the bunny or some other phenomenon? I have not seen the rabbits in 4 or 5 days nor have I come upon an abandoned little blue velvet jacket.

Ruellia brittoniana ‘Purple Showers’ (Mexican petunia)

Ruellia brittoniana ‘Purple Showers’ (Mexican petunia)

Under the screened porch a long border was overtaken years ago by Shasta Daisies. When they first come into bloom they are fresh and inviting.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Always too quick for my camera on a few mornings there was a single hummingbird sipping among the Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm). The blooms are drying out so one time the tiny bird caught a a long red petal in its long beak instead of finding nectar—I could almost see it trying to spit it out.

Last night a huge storm passed us right by and hovered instead over the town of Chapel Hill. Several friends reported hail damage. Tonight a smaller storm carried some light rain our way for 45 minutes. The bird baths were filled only half-way, but the water should help refresh the garden. Have a great weekend.

MidAugust Blooms

Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' (Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

Echinacea have been a mainstay this summer, drawing bees, hummingbirds and American Goldfinches to the borders. The blooms on this white one, Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’, really improved after the recent rains.

Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' (Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

By design I have a lot fewer Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy) and Tradescantia (Spiderwort) in the garden this year, both of which were becoming rather aggressive spreaders.

Tradescantia (Spiderwort) and Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Tradescantia (Spiderwort) and Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

The sap of Tradescantia lately is causing me to have an itchy skin contact rash. For that reason and because I want to control its spread, I tried not to allow it to bloom at all this year, but a few sneaky flowers remind me why I have enjoyed it for so many years.

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

I have simply grown tired of Shasta daisy after letting it roam for a lot of years.  One entire bed was taken over by this plant, so I still have a lot of work to do to tame it.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage) and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude) are pairing up in a lovely color combination. This salvia also spreads freely but I have finally learned to be ruthless in pulling it out when it wanders too far.

Salvia uliginosa 'Blue Sky' (Bog sage) and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude)

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage) and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ is finally blooming again encouraged by the recent rains.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

This passalong everlasting Sweet Pea looked miserable most of the summer but, like the Black and Blue salvia, it was rejuvenated by the rainfall.  I planted annual sweet peas seeds this year but none survived.

Perennial Everlasting Sweet Pea

Perennial Everlasting Sweet Pea

The bird feeder is always a source of entertainment and occasionally the birds plant a few flowers for themselves. I am not sure exactly what this volunteer is but it is cheerful enough.

Birdfeeder Volunteer

Birdfeeder Volunteer

For the first time in many years my Stargazer Dahlia, did not return, done in by the cold winter I suppose. It was a passalong from a friend and former neighbor and so I missed not seeing it this year.  In spring though I had picked up a dinner plate Dahlia bulb, packed in a fairly generic-looking box, but labelled to have come from The Netherlands.

Dinner Plate Dahlia 'Blue Bell'

Dinner Plate Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’

Well the dahlia has finally bloomed. Granted I selected a poor spot for it, but I do not think it will  reach the promised “up to eighteen blooms per plant.” Neither does the size nor color correspond to the package at all. The flower is beautiful though and I am happy to have another dahlia for the garden.

Dahlia

Dahlia

Early July 2014

I have tried to grow Bachelor’s Buttons every few years without success, but this year things improved. A single plant surviving from an entire package of seeds shows yes, one can get results. If I were to water and tend them properly perhaps two next year? The sumptuous blue color is what I find appealing.

Centaurea cyanus ‘Blue Boy’  (Bachelor’s Button, Cornflower)

Centaurea cyanus ‘Blue Boy’ (Bachelor’s Button, Cornflower)

Unlike my experience with seeds, some perennials are terribly assertive and settle in without invitation, crowding out anything in the vicinity. On the left of the back staircase leading to the garden is a large section of Shasta Daisies that spread seemingly overnight from a small container purchased years ago. Some years I am simply delighted with anything that manages to limp along through our dry, hot and humid summers, but this year I find myself thinking these have to go someday.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

When the garden was just getting started I ordered a blue tall garden phlox, but a pink one is what was shipped.

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

In the years before the fence was installed, deer would eat the flowers of this Phlox paniculata just as soon as they opened. It was maddening. Actually the fence is not tall enough to keep deer out if they decide they want a taste, so it still makes me nervous to have these phlox blooming; however, this is another plant that dug in its heels years ago and would not leave even when I tried pulling it all up.

It has made a comeback in several spots and so far the deer are dining elsewhere.  I have planned numerous other garden phlox such as ‘David’ but they are very short-lived, so it is a mystery why this one is so attached to the garden.  I am not positive of its name but think it is ‘Robert Poore’ perhaps, a mildew-resistant and heat tolerant phlox.

Looking toward the northern border - Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Looking toward the northern border – Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Behind the phlox is poorly sited butterfly bush that I pruned back hard in late winter. It turns out this is a dwarf so it does not get a chance to make much impact at the back of the border. It has not bloomed well in several years, but has more room this year to reach the sun after a couple of neighboring spartan junipers had to be removed. Its name is Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis Blue Butterfly Bush).

Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)

Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)

One plant that has done well without taking over is Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes.’ It is right on schedule to brighten the southern corner of the house during July with its golden yellow flowers with green centers. Pollinators love this plant.

Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

This time of year the garden has lost its cohesiveness, but a few things keep determinedly plugging along. The garden very much needs rain.