Tag Archives: rose campion

A Few May Highlights

Even with my normal blinders on I have noticed some rather brash weeds, one standing as tall as the iris the other day. Despite that, the garden this spring has been enchanting—a peaceful and meditative place that also is happily filled with flowers.

A peony novice, I appreciate them more every year. The first I planted several years ago was  Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ and it has just bloomed in the last two days. The cold winter was good for it I guess, as it is loaded with blooms. Last year, just when Pink Parfait’s flowers opened, severe rainstorms turned them into a soggy mess. This spring is different. In the last three weeks we have had heavy, heavy rain, but all coming in a single day—not ideal for the garden in general, but the peonies are lasting better.

Paeonia 'Pink Parfait' (Peony)

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony)

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) makes a nice companion plant for the peony.

Paeonia 'Pink Parfait' (Peony)

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony)

And the Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) has also worked great with my passalong phlox.

Nepeta 'Walker's Low' (Catmint), Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint), Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

The Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William) in the northern border continues to add rich texture and color (and as a bonus it holds up well in a vase). One of the nearly black bearded iris is still blooming nearby.

Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)

Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)

Last year I had the idea to create a red border (and it could still happen, but I am not actively working on it). With that in mind though last April I planted Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice’ in the southern border to accompany a new white peony and a new dark red one. None of them bloomed last year and the dark red peony seems not to have survived, but Pam’s Choice is looking great.

Digitalis purpurea 'Pam's Choice' (Pam's Choice Foxglove)

Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice’ (Pam’s Choice Foxglove)

Forming part of the walls of the labyrinth, a large planting of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) has been flowering for 4 or 5 days. These evergreen plants have seeded generously and I have been able to establish them in several other parts of the garden as well.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue) in the Meditation Circle

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) in the Meditation Circle

The penstemon in the meditation circle need to be divided and the pansies are overdue for removal.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

A potted Hippeastrum (Amaryllis), kept over the winter in the garage, bloomed successfully this spring. Now there are two blooming outdoors in the southern border, which I find more exciting. They have been growing outside for a number of years but do not always flower well.

Hippeastrum (Amaryllis)

Hippeastrum (Amaryllis)

A little ground cover planted last year looked just ok during the winter but it has filled out with lots of dainty blue flowers and is creeping between the stepping stones near the north gate. Its name is Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper).

Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper)

Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper)

Another addition to the garden last spring was this dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea, now sporting a lone flower. Named ‘Ruby Slippers,’ it is supposed to have beautiful red fall color, both leaves and flowers. Although this has become a rather shady location, Phlox paniculata still seems perfectly happy, as seen in the background.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'  (Lil' Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

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

A garden club friend gave me some yellow Primrose this spring with the warning it spreads like crazy.  Last year I refused the same plant for that very reason. If anyone recognizes it and can give me some details on it I would appreciate it.



This was a tag-along plant from the primrose. Does anyone recognize it?

Tag along from the yellow primrose

There are three Baptisias in the garden, none of which perform well to my dismay. The deer stripped every flower off the stems of one that lives outside the fenced area just as I began to hold high hopes for it this year. The other two are underachievers, though to be fair, both are perhaps a bit crowded. I love the blue color of the flowers.

Baptisia australis (blue false indigo)

Baptisia australis (blue false indigo)

Along the southern side path plants often decide for themselves where they like to sit. Some years I make suggestions, but this year they have had free rein and I actually love the loose, effusive effect of letting them have their own way. (Self-seeded cleome will have to be removed from the path itself.) The very first bearded iris to bloom were these yellow ones and they are still putting on a show.

Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear) Along Southern Path

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) Along Southern Path

Along this path Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) and white Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion) began blooming about a week ago. The red Lychnis did not make it this year.

Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear) and Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

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

This tall verbena took hold along the path last year and seems content as the evening approaches.

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – January 2013

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' (Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

It is a sunny but cold day. Frigid temperatures moved in today and are expected to remain for the rest of the week.

Today I am joining Christina of Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD). It always seems repetitious to post foliage from the same few plants but perhaps that illustrates a good point. These are year-round workers in my little garden.

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge) grows in a pot on the patio where I plopped it last spring. It has done pretty well there but I still hope to get it planted in the ground one day.  In the future I plan to rely on small shrubs and perennials, such as this Euphorbia, in my pots, with maybe an annual or two for color. The planters seem much more cost effective and long-lasting this way.

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' (Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

I am partial to silvery-leaved plants and Artemisia has been a reliable one for the borders. This is Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood). It needs some new companion plants as it seems rather solitary at the moment.

Artemisia 'Powis Castle' (Wormwood)

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

In a span between the back garage steps and the southern entrance to the garden is a five-foot long hedge of Lavender. Although it did not bloom very well last year, the silvery leaves provide year-round interest in this dry area. Spilling over across the slate path, the lavender has become quite woody in places and needs to be trimmed back, but I am guessing now I should wait until after it blooms in spring.



Along the Southern side path that leads to the garden are more silvery plants. On the left are drifts of Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion), a rather old-fashioned plant. Though I have grown it for many years I do not see Rose Campion used frequently in other gardens around here. In the summer this path is filled in with Cleome. Originally it was lined with a small mixed shrub hedge that succumbed to severe drought a few years ago.

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Just at the lower right side of the path Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) is creeping back. I used a heavy hand with it last year and removed many plants, as it had spread too aggressively. In this part of the garden, which can seem a bit dark in the winter, the silvery foliage of Lamb’s Ear and Rose Campion is welcome. These plants are easy to grow and come back every year (or more accurately, never really die back).

The blue slate stones need to be readjusted and the entire garden needs a good mulching. Where does that mulch get to? It seems to just evaporate.

Please visit Christina at Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides for more Garden Bloggers Foliage Day entries.

A Few Garden Minutes Last All Day

Another beautiful day in central North Carolina and it would have been a day perfect for working in the garden, but the day passed another way. Early this morning there were just a few moments to enjoy the crispness of the air, notice the bird sounds, greet next-door neighbors and savor that feeling one gets from being outside among the flowers.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)

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

Black and Blue

Sporting a black stem and black calyces, a single tall flower spike of Salvia guaranitica  (Blue anise sage) appeared in the Southern side path earlier in the week. Today several of its tubular flowers are open and one can easily appreciate its cultivar name, ‘Black and Blue.’  If the pattern of frequent rains continues, there should be plenty more of this herbaceous perennial coming along for hummingbirds and butterflies to enjoy all summer.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’, Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) and Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ and Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

And here is a look at it from the other direction facing a sea of white rose campion along the slate path.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ and Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

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.


Early May Garden Views and Notes – Part 2

Record keeping: Part 2 of a series of notes about what is planted and what is blooming currently in the garden.

Northern Border

Looking across meditation circle toward Northern Border

The northern border is filled with Tradescantia (Spiderwort), Nepeta (Catmint), Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox), Bearded Iris, and an Iceberg rose. Siberian Irises at the far end of this border are yet to bloom. Daylilies have grown large.

NE corner of Northern Border, facing SW across the meditation circle

Western Border

As the border transitions around to the west even more Tradescantia has crept in. Across the meditation circle toward the NW corner of the garden is a favorite native tree, Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood). This dogwood had its best show ever this spring.

A ‘Carolina Sapphire’ Arizona Cypress that used to fill this corner of  the garden died last year. Its replacement is growing, but it will be a few years before it takes over to lessen the awkward, unbalanced look. I planted gladioli and zinnias against the fence this morning so the corner should be colorful later in the summer.

Meditation Circle, facing NW corner of the garden

Veronica aspicata ‘Pink Goblin’ (Speedwell)

Behind the meditation circle, in the western border (above left) red Dianthus and Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura) provide additional color.  Phlox subulata were added this year to this area in early spring are nearing the end of the bloom cycle but will remain green in the front of the border. A recently added Veronica aspicata ‘Pink Goblin’ (Speedwell) is blossoming.

More Notes on the Western Border

In the western border a single Dahlia ‘Stargazer’ returns annually and I came across it this morning. It is the sole survivor of dahlias a friend started from seeds and shared with me years ago.

Backing up to the fence in this section, a Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’ has grown tall but is not ready to bloom. Tradescantia mixes with Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine), Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena), and perennial Dusty Miller. Nearby Foxglove and  Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ are growing slowly, while Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ (Yarrow) is beginning to bloom.

Along the fence five or so Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’ evergreens prepare to flower. In the center two Italian Cypress trees planted a couple of years ago are beginning to add  much needed verticality. A Spiraea shrub bloomed well earlier and needs pruning soon.

Both in the western border and in the meditation circle white buds sit atop Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue). This evergreen perennial has burgundy and green leaves that contribute color as well.

Western Border

Southern Side Path

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ is turning brown from fluctuating temperatures and little water. A couple of weeks ago it was 34 degrees and today it was 92.

Monarda didyma (Scarlet beebalm), Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) and Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ are starting to grow up behind the clematis.

White Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion) just began blooming all along the path that leads up from the garden to the front of the house. In the middle section, yellow Bearded Irises are nearly finished for this year. Beyond the irises are lavender and Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear).

Southern Side Path

Late Winter Garden Notes

Several clusters of cheery daffodils enliven the garden. Adding more spring bulbs, (especially daffodils which the deer resist) would be an easy improvement to make. Usually when it is time to order and plant bulbs I tend to be focused elsewhere. This is a reminder to myself to really do it this fall—plant more Spring bulbs.

By this time last year I had been very active in the garden, planning the garden renovation, pruning, tidying around the perennials, installing a hedge. I have logged many fewer hours this year. Although the need is strong, discipline is lacking. Garden tasks abound. There are weeds to pull, pruning and trimming chores and general cleanup to perform, as well as some paths to redesign, more screening plants to choose and a replacement to locate for the Arizona Cypress that died last year. Note to self: get busy on these projects.

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Actually two items can be checked off my task list this week. I planted six or seven Rose campions a thoughtful neighbor potted up and saved for me after I lamented that my magenta ones died out several years ago. The garden has many white ones thriving that were planted from seed, but I had missed the red. These three were placed near a lavender, spiderwort and irises.

Penstemon 'Huskers Red'

Another chore completed recently was to finally plant several perennials purchased a couple of weeks ago.  Five Phlox subulata (Creeping Phlox) were added to a front section of the western border.  Many things there had died out over the years, leaving behind mostly a sad area of mulch, so the phlox will add color in Spring and will be mostly evergreen.

Three Penstemons ‘Huskers Red’  went into the meditation circle at turn-around points. The purpose is to provide some visual guidance (and a physical barrier) to clarify where to step next along the labyrinth.

Camellia x `Coral Delight` (C. japonica x C. saluenensis)

The label that came with this Camellia ‘Coral Delight’ indicates flowers should appear December to February. Planted in 2006 on the north side of the house, it actually blooms around March 20th each year. So many plants are opening ahead of schedule this year, it will be interesting to see if that date will hold.

Perhaps a Trout Lily?

In late December I transplanted this mottled-leafed plant and its mossy accompaniment from its home under a beautiful tea camellia at my sister’s house.  Upon seeing it, the name Trout Lily came to mind, but so far I have not found a picture that matches these reddish leaves—trout lilies seem to have green leaves with a mottled pattern.  Time will tell if it will bloom so it can be identified.