Tag Archives: Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

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.