Tag Archives: Salvia ‘Blue Sky’

In A Vase On Monday—Aloft In A Silver Goblet

Aloft In A Silver Goblet

Aloft In A Silver Goblet

Monday brings the chance to share cut flowers from the garden by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday. And today Cathy is celebrating the second anniversary of creating and sharing arrangements each Monday. Congratulations Cathy and thanks as well!

This past week was wet, but unseasonably warm, so I was surprised at how chilly it was Sunday afternoon when I went out to the garden to gather flowers. Despite the rain chrysanthemums and camellias looked pristine.



Camellia sasanqua 'Hana-Jiman'

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’

There were no fresh gardenias this week, instead an unexpected Iceberg rose was blooming.

Rosa 'Iceberg'

Rosa ‘Iceberg’

Other usable odds and ends were scattered about, the last floral traces of summer: lantana, salvia, cosmos, coneflower, and zinnia. Aloft in a silver goblet the flowers mix and meld, a colorful composite of pink, yellow, blue, lavender, orange.

A Look From Above

A Look From Above

Zinnia, Saliva, Coneflower and Camellia

Zinnia, Saliva, Coneflower and Camellia


Aloft In A Silver Goblet

Aloft In A Silver Goblet

Aloft In A Silver Goblet

Aloft In A Silver Goblet

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Lantana camara (Common lantana)
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)
Rosa ‘Iceberg’
Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)
Gardenia foliage

Aloft In A Silver Goblet

Aloft In A Silver Goblet

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.

Early October Garden

Days of cool rain marked the year’s transition from September to October. The harvest moon remained hidden behind deep clouds.

Yesterday, temperatures and humidity rose dramatically. This afternoon the sun broke through the clouds lifting the temperature to 86F, quite a change from highs in the mid-sixties at the weekend.

Certain signs of autumn belie today’s warm weather. Berries now adorn the Flowering Dogwood, whose leaves had already browned in July’s extended dry spell.

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

A windblown spire of Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage) rests against of Hylotelephium ‘Herbstfreude’ Autumn Joy (Stonecrop). The Salvia’s pink calyx reflects the ruddy, rusty hue of the flowering Stonecrop.

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

A multicolored flower petal of ‘Blue Sky’ Salvia sits suspended in a spider’s complex world.

‘Blue Sky’ Flower In Spider’s Web

The burgundy Chrysanthemum in the background has bloomed most of the summer and now complements the rose-colored wisps of fall-blooming Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly Grass). In the foreground stands a spent stalk of Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage).

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage), Chrysanthemum, Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly Grass)

Blue-violet Ageratum brightens a dark corner of the garden.


Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower), became very aggressive and was theoretically removed from the garden a few years ago. Unaware of its banished status, it displays brilliant yellow blossoms annually.

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

The annual, Angelonia angustifolia ‘Angelface Blue’ (Summer Snapdragon), has bloomed throughout the summer among the stepping stones of the meditation circle.

Angelonia angustifolia ‘Angelface Blue’ (Summer Snapdragon)

The meditation circle itself is soggy this week and needs attention.

Pine-bark mulch now sits in drifts, having been swept across the stone paths during the recent heavy rainfalls.

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) still performs satisfactorily, while generous green mounds of Thyme surpass expectations.

Unfortunately other evergreen perennials that were chosen specifically for their drought-tolerance, Iberis sempervirens ‘Purity’ (Candytuft) and ‘Pikes Peak Purple’ Penstemon (Beardtongue), are brown and may not recover. ‘Purity’ was beautiful all winter and spring and ‘Pikes Peak Purple’ was lovely in spring, but both choices will need to be reevaluated for long-term performance.

Everlasting Pea

In the southern border this week Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting Sweet Pea) is reblooming.

Normally, this Sweet Pea would have died back by this time of year, but instead it has lush green foliage and many cluster of pink, presumably stimulated by this summer’s odd heat and rain patterns.

In its current sunny garden location this Sweet Pea vine has higher aspirations for climbing than its trellis can support, so for now it is forced to sprawl among its neighbor, Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage).

This perennial came from my previous (and shady) garden eleven years ago, one of many pass-along plants from a dear relative.

Though not fragrant, the pink blossoms hold a certain old-fashioned charm.

‘Blue Sky’ Salvia and Everlasting sweet pea

Newly Blooming

Fragrant Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’ and a few other plants are newly blooming in this Chapel Hill garden today.

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

Long before the garden’s picket fence was installed ‘Chuck Hayes’ was planted as a low privacy hedge in the western border. Both evergreen and deer resistant this gardenia variety is very cold hardy in this area. It prefers regular watering, but seldom is anything watered in this garden beyond a week or two after planting. The hedge is benefitting from the very significant amounts of rain the garden has received all winter and spring. It also responded well to the Epsom salts I applied a month ago when some of the leaves began to yellow. Many of the original ‘Chuck Hayes’ shrubs were lost to drought and the spots left bare are gradually being replaced with taller plants that can provide more privacy.

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

Nearby the first clusters of flowers have opened on the Butterfly bush (possibly Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’).

Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’? (Butterfly bush)

Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’? (Butterfly bush)

The bees are finding plenty of food, including this Veronica spicata ‘Pink Goblin’ (Speedwell), which actually has been blooming for a few weeks now, not just starting today. It seems much revived after last night’s elaborate thunder and lightning storm that brought heavy amounts of rain.

Veronica spicata ‘Pink Goblin’ (Speedwell)

Pale delicate flowers of Lavender are open today at last and bees are finding it irresistible.  In the background are drifts of pink Achillea and the ‘Blue Point’ Juniper hedge planted last year.

Lavender and Pink Achillea

The first blossoms of Salvia ‘Blue Sky’ appeared today, revealing this flower’s characteristic azure blue brilliance atop a 5-foot flower stalk.

Salvia ‘Blue Sky’

Liatris spicata ‘Alba’  is not quite open, but a little of the white flower is visible. The soft grass-like foliage provides a nice texture in the northern border.

Liatris spicata ‘Alba’

One more newly opened flower today, a cheerful Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy). There are many large clumps of this herbaceous perennial all around the garden, so soon this single blossom should have plenty of company.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Chrysanthemums Just Before Ten

Just before ten this morning a bright yellow caught my eye through an upstairs window. The sun had reached into the bed of chrysanthemums, awakening the southern border. These smallish yellow flowers are charming. With edges that turn lighter, almost white, as they open, they are long-lasting and cheerful in indoor arrangements.

This is an old-fashioned woody-stemmed chrysanthemum, passed along by an elderly cousin many years ago. Unlike the tidy, mounding chrysanthemums frequently sold at garden centers and grocery stores alike, the growth habit of these is more unruly and sprawling. Perhaps with a little effort they could be contained and made to behave, but they actually work fine in this informal cottage-style garden. This bed does needs thinning though. Along with these chrysanthemums, Salvia ‘Blue Sky’ Salvia and Eastern Red Columbine are seriously encroaching into this spring’s new ‘Blue Point’ Juniper hedge.

Blooming In Mid-September Part 2

A walk around the garden yesterday revealed so many interesting blooms for mid-September, I wanted to continue documenting the state of the garden as Autumn approaches.

Cottage Garden Feeling Along the Southern Border

Salvia ‘Blue Sky,’ a “bring-along” plant from the former Wave Road garden, sometimes spreads too much for its surroundings, but it is easily manageable. Reaching about 5 feet tall, it brings height and a cottage-like feel to the garden to the southern section of the border.

In the same area an old-fashioned sweet pea is paired with the ‘Blue Sky’ salvia evoking a nostalgic effect. This pairing occurred through happenstance, rather than planning. The sweet pea also made its way here from the Wave Road garden.  It was one of many “pass-along” plants from a dear cousin.

Not blooming, but worth a mention here while visiting the southern border, is this year’s new evergreen privacy hedge. The five ‘Blue Point’ Junipers installed in late February are growing well. They were chosen because they are deer-resistant and drought-tolerant and this seems to be the case. After these junipers were planted, the fence was added also as part of the garden renovation project. It is hard to remember how bare this area looked before these improvements.

A few feet down the border is a small stand of Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue.’  This salvia blooms well when given plenty of water and recents rains have brought out a plethora of deep richly-hued blue flowers.

Tanacetum vulgare (Common Tansy), a pass-along plant from a former work colleague, has a pretty little yellow flower this week.  Skin contact with tansy causes a rash. A non-native it also is fairly aggressive and is difficult to remove once it spreads.


The heat and drought set in just as the red gladioli should have bloomed this summer. They dried up quickly.  Apparently this one bid its time and waited for more moderate conditions. Discovered too late to bring inside, the gladiolus hid itself and is leaning into a large group of woody-stemmed chrysanthemums, which will have yellow blossoms in mid-October.

A surprise Monarda (Bee Balm) in the side garden contributes a spot of deep red next to an underperforming Pink Muhly Grass.

To Be Continued

Mid-September Blooms will be continued.

Blooming In Mid-September

The garden has been completely on auto-pilot for the past eight weeks. With July’s extreme heat and drought came parched plants and severe gardening lethargy. Then the months of August and September brought several important rains, and as is the way of gardens, this garden responded, sparking renewal in growth and interest.

Blooms, Blooms

Touring and taking inventory today it was impossible not to revel in the multitude of blooms.

A few days into September the gardenias began blooming again, putting on a more magnificent show than in early June when temperatures in the mid-nineties forced them to struggle. Now the air is filled with the lovely and unmistakable scent of gardenia.

The Orange Canna adds height and interest to the east end of the side garden. Throughout July the canna’s blossoms wilted almost immediately. Today its elegant blossom brightens this space again.

A few Shasta Daisy flowers continue to bloom in different spots around the garden.  The divisions transplanted in early Spring are healthy.

It was a treat to discover the Jackmani Clematis in bloom today.  This is unusual for this garden. Again the rain seems to have made the difference.

The lantana has been in this garden for ten years.  It performed beautifully this year, one of those plants that does not mind the heat.

The Meditation Circle

The flowers in the meditation circle have held up well throughout the entire summer. The marigolds and angelonia withstand the heat and humidity brilliantly. Both have spread beyond the 12-inch allotment of space between the stepping stones, but an occasional shearing works to restore order to the labyrinth and yields long-lasting bouquets to bring inside.

The perennials in the circle, candytuft, thyme and penstemon, all performed well and look healthy. Between the two types of penstemon (Beardtongue), Penstemon Digitalis ‘Husker Red’ is the preferred choice. The 18 ‘Pikes Peak Purple’ Penstemons (foreground) have done fine but are more scraggly and flowers are not very showy–fine in their own right but not great accents for the labyrinth in the meditation circle.

To Be Continued

Many more flowers deserve mention today so this post will be continued later.  For a last glimpse at the garden today, here is Salvia ‘Blue Sky.’  This was brought from a former garden ten years ago. It is particularly lovely this year.

July Flowers

Rainstorms swept through the region this week, missing this garden more times than not. Big splats, soft mists, ominous thunder, but often it was not even damp under the trees by the end. The flowers seem revived nevertheless and the first of the Cleome (Spider Flower) and Canna opened.

There is a lot of activity in the borders. Echinacea (Purple Coneflower) is popular with a great variety of bees, moths and other insects. Hummingbirds regularly visit the Monarda (Bee Balm) while American Goldfinches enjoy Verbena Bonariensis.

Unfortunately deer jumped the new fence this week to nibble on the daylilies and to devour a container of ornamental Sweet Potato Vines, putting an end to thoughts of keeping the daylilies and even reintroducing Phlox paniculata ‘David’ to the borders.

Among the interesting blooms in the garden this week are:

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’
Shasta Daisy
Salvia ‘Blue Sky’