Tag Archives: Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Wordless Wednesday – Late May

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) needs to be trimmed back and thinned out, but the bees convinced me to keep it awhile.

Currently lighting up the meditation circle Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) is a another favorite of the bees.

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

In A Vase On Monday-Accent On Green

In A Vase On Monday – Accent On Green

Each Monday Cathy from Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase assembled from materials collected in our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Accent On Green

The garden has moved on from irises and peonies, bringing a temporary lull in color. Dahlia tubers are coming up; zinnia seeds need to be planted. Meanwhile, the garden is greener, quieter, subtler.

Greens form the foundation of today’s vase. With Verbena bonariensis being the exception, flowers in this floral design are just coming into bloom.

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

The design is a base of green with accents of color from the violet-hued verbena and from red leaves and stems of Husker’s Red.

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

The soft gray-green of lamb’s ear is specked with a few pink blooms.

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Rich blue flowers will soon appear on Black and Blue salvia. Its tender young lime-green leaves form a stark contrast.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

The salvia’s leaves echo the light green inflorescence of Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers.’  Ruby Slippers will evolve its color into pink and burgundy.

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

Materials
Flowers
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Foliage
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

Happy gardening!

Many 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 – June Song

In A Vase On Monday – June Song

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement every Monday using materials collected from our gardens.

June days are swirling past, each day in the garden brings new blooms or promise thereof. Gladiola swords stand tall, ready to step into the limelight in the coming weeks; meanwhile Calla lily, monarda, dahlia, echinacea and shasta daisy all are flowering.

Taking advantage of the variety I gathered such a mix of materials it made creating a vase daunting. To simplify seemed the best solution.

So for today a blue Ikebana vase holds Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ fronted by pink hydrangea, softened by drapes of passalong Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea).

In A Vase On Monday – June Song

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ is a reliable bloomer when there has been adequate rain. It has spread nicely in the southeast border.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

The sweetpea is a sentimental addition—a passalong from my mother’s cousin and garden mentor. It has been in this garden for 17 years and grew at my former home for many before that. It also has appreciated the wet spring.

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Materials
Flowers
Hydrangea macrophylla
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Foliage
None
Vase
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Ikebana Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H inches)

I have filled lots of little vases and glasses with the leftover blooms from this week’s foraging, making the house colorful and cheerful.

Some leftovers: Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

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 – A Little Lime

In A Vase On Monday – A Little Lime

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

After hot days in February and cold snaps in March, the old-fashioned mophead hydrangeas again this year lost their buds. Disappointed, I determined it really was time to invest in a couple of hydrangeas that bloom on new growth.

So in early April I added a  dwarf ‘Limelight’ hydrangea called Hydrangea paniculata ‘Little Lime’ and another dwarf, Hydrangea paniculata ‘Bobo’.  Both received plenty of rain this year and appear to be adapting to their new home.

Little Lime is the stronger of the two so far and I was able to trim several stems for today’s vase. Bobo is not blooming as profusely so I cut only one stem. It is barely discernible in the lower left portion below. It has whiter, more delicate petals.

In A Vase On Monday – A Little Lime

For accompaniment there are gladiolas. My glads have faded quickly in the summer heat but I was able to salvage the top portions from several stalks that had mostly dried up. The tips were still very fresh.

In A Vase On Monday – A Little Lime

In A Vase On Monday – A Little Lime

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ adds a striking bit of color to one of the vases, especially directly against the greenish hydrangea.

In A Vase On Monday – A Little Lime

Materials

Flowers

Gladiolus
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Bobo’
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Little Lime’
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Vases
Two porcelain Ikebana, rectangle and triangle

In A Vase On Monday – A Little Lime

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her to discover what she and others found this week in their gardens to place In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday—Vivid Color

In A Vase On Monday - Vivid Color

In A Vase On Monday – Vivid Color

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

I will be returning home later today from a weekend yoga retreat at the beach and so have prepared this week’s flowers ahead of time.

In A Vase On Monday - Vivid Color

In A Vase On Monday – Vivid Color

This is a quick and simple bouquet set into a small blue ceramic vase. The flowers are a stem of pure white phlox ‘David’ contrasted with rich colors of Black and Blue salvia, garnet red dahlias at their peak and purple Angelonia.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' With Angelonia 'Serena Purple' and Phlox paniculata 'David'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ With Angelonia ‘Serena Purple’ and Phlox paniculata ‘David’

Materials
Angelonia ‘Serena Purple’
Dahlia, spp.
Phlox paniculata ‘David’ (Garden Phlox)
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Small matte-glazed blue ceramic vase

Angelonia 'Serena Purple'

Angelonia ‘Serena Purple’

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

In A Vase On Monday—Gardenias With Blue And Red

In A Vase On Monday—Gardenias With Blue And Red

In A Vase On Monday—Gardenias With Blue And Red

On this Memorial Day I am joining Cathy’s  In A Vase On Monday, a weekly opportunity to share cut flowers from one’s garden.

Gardenias grow 7 or 8 feet tall along the north side of our house. They began blooming this past week and their first fresh, fragrant blossoms were a clear choice for today’s arrangement.

Gardenia sp.

Gardenia sp.

Gardenias

Gardenias

Companions for the gardenias are deep red antirrhinum and Black and Blue salvia.

In A Vase On Monday—Gardenias With Blue And Red

In A Vase On Monday—Gardenias With Blue And Red

In A Vase On Monday—Gardenias With Blue And Red

In A Vase On Monday—Gardenias With Blue And Red

The vase for today belonged to a special neighbor and friend who passed away last year. A brilliant, well-travelled and well-read woman, Linda had a warm smile for everyone, an unforgettable laugh and a fascinating story for every occasion. From time to time I helped her with technical issues with her no longer extant WordPress blog. On her blog she interspersed recordings of her daily life in Chapel Hill as a writer, with accounts of experiences growing up in Seattle and her time overseas as an American Foreign Service spouse where one of her official duties in 1990 was to greet Pope John Paul II during his tour of Africa. Among many things, we shared a penchant for Ann Patchett novels and anything related to Julia Child. A few years older than I, she kindly took me under her wing a bit, which was touching. I am grateful to have this lovely keepsake of our friendship.

As befitting its former owner, the vessel holding today’s flowers is unique. Made of blown glass, the form is asymmetrical with alternating bands of blue and green color. The top is loosely pinched together leaving just a small narrow opening, yet it accommodated quite a few stems.

In A Vase On Monday—Gardenias With Blue And Red

In A Vase On Monday—Gardenias With Blue And Red

Materials

Antirrhinum majus (snapdragon)
Gardenia sp.
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

In A Vase On Monday—Gardenias With Blue And Red

In A Vase On Monday—Gardenias With Blue And Red

As always, thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly flower obsession. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and other gardeners are placing In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday—October Delicacies

October Delicacies

October Delicacies

Monday brings the chance to share cut flowers from the garden by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday.

Yesterday was a lovely day to explore the garden and gather materials for a vase. This weekend the weather was ideal and foliage in our area is vibrant in hues of red, orange and golden.

On the north side of the house pure white Gardenias continue to scent the air, crinkly pink and white Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’ begins its second week of blooms and several eager red Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ flowers are off to an early start.

Gardenia jasminoides

Gardenia jasminoides

Camellia sasanqua 'Hana-Jiman'

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’

Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

For this week’s arrangement I lined a colorful multi-stemmed vase with delicate blossoms from these three flowering shrubs and punctuated them with a few sprigs of ‘Black and Blue’ Salvia. For display I placed the container upon a bright red tray.

October Delicacies

October Delicacies

I also used a small hourglass-shaped vase to feature several of the more perfect flowers.

Gardenia, Camellia and Salvia

Gardenia, Camellia and Salvia

Materials
Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Gardenia jasminoides
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

There were many more of the Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’ available than I used, but they are a favorite of ants this year. It was a tricky locating some flowers that the ants had not yet visited.

Camellia sasanqua 'Hana-Jiman'

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’

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—Featuring Gardenias

Trio of Vases - Overhead View

Trio of Vases – Overhead View

Trio of Vases - Overhead View (B&W)

Trio of Vases – Overhead View (B&W)

Monday brings the chance to practice flower arranging by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday, where the goal is simply to fill a vase using materials gathered in one’s own garden.

Yesterday I gathered a variety of flowers and foliage and placed them into glasses of warm water for conditioning. There were Zinnias, Dahlias, Perovskia, Lantana, Pink Muhly Grass, even a single, long-awaited Cosmos.

But of these, only a few of the Zinnias made it into this week’s arrangement. I never finished working with most of the flowers I collected, but did complete a trio of vases—two small and one large ceramic containers.

Trio of Vases

Trio of Vases

The prized blooms this week are gardenias from bushes on the north side of the house. Their fragrant, waxy white flowers and deep green leaves are the main focus for the large vase, accentuated by a few boldly colored zinnias.

Gardenias and Zinnias

Gardenias and Zinnias

Gardenia sp.

Gardenia sp.

 

In one of the small vases are an Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown,’ a gardenia with greenery and several sprigs of Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue.’

Black and Blue and Sundown

Black and Blue and Sundown

In the other small green vase are five pink and orange Zinnias, simply arranged.

Vase of Pink and Orange Zinnias

Vase of Pink and Orange Zinnias

The vases were interesting to photograph from above. I seldom include props but today I used one of several pieces of decorative molding salvaged from my father’s cabinet shop to play with the composition of the largest vase. (I had planned to use this molding with last week’s orchid but as it turned out it detracted from the integrity of the flower. Here it just is used to add weight to the bottom of the composition.)

Doecorative Molding

Decorative Molding

Gardenias and Zinnias - Overhead View

Large Vase – Gardenias and Zinnias – Overhead View

Large Vase - Gardenias and Zinnias

Large Vase – Gardenias and Zinnias

I like the black and white version of the last image.

Large Vase - Gardenias and Zinnias (B&W)

Large Vase – Gardenias and Zinnias (B&W)

Materials
Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)
Gardenia sp.
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Zinnia

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday and feel free to join in.

In A Vase On Monday—Summer Spectrum

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

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.

After watering the garden Sunday morning I gathered flowers for a vase.  Choosing as many Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ as I could find, I clustered them together in the center of my grandmother’s glass floral frog as the starting point for an arrangement. The container is a hand-thrown ceramic glazed picece, about 9 inches in diameter and 1.5 inches tall.

Cluster stems of Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' in center of glass frog

Cluster stems of Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ in center of glass frog

I added a few stems of Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) to help define the outer edges of design.

Add Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) to help define outer edge of design

Add Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) to help define outer edge of design

For filler flowers I used a stem of Alstroemeria and different colors of Angelonia.

Add Angelonia to fill in design toward outer edge

Add Angelonia to fill in design toward outer edge

Next I deconstructed a gladiolus to use the individual blooms around the base of the arrangement.

Descontruct Gladiolus. Use to add color and hide mechanics.

Descontruct Gladiolus. Use to add color and hide mechanics.

A single Dahlia ‘Firepot’ and  an Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed) were used as focal flowers.

Dahlia ‘Firepot’, Gladiolus

Dahlia ‘Firepot’, Gladiolus

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed), Gladiolus

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed), Gladiolus

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

I can quibble with the design proportions—the materials need to be extended out wider and the shape is uneven. As I rotate the vase I realize the arrangement looks very different from front to back and from overhead it is askew.

In A Vase On Monday. View From Above

In A Vase On Monday. View From Above

And yet, I love this vase of flowers. The flowers are fresh, the textures are interesting together.

The rich vibrant hues in this assortment speak to me of summer itself. At first the colors contrast and shock, then they blend and meld.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Dahlia ‘Firepot’, Gladiolus

Dahlia ‘Firepot’, Gladiolus

Materials

Alstroemeria x ‘Tesmach’ (Inticancha® Machu Peruvian Lily)
Angelonia ‘Alonia Big Indigo’
Angelonia ‘Raspberry’
Angelonia ’Serena White’
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed)
Dahlia ‘Firepot’
Gladiolus sp.
Gomphrena globosa (Globe amaranth)
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' and Gladiolus

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ and Gladiolus

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed)

Angelonia ’Serena White’

Angelonia ’Serena White’

Angelonia ‘Raspberry’

Angelonia ‘Raspberry’

Gomphrena, Angelonia ‘Raspberry’, Gladiolus

Gomphrena, Angelonia ‘Raspberry’, Gladiolus

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.

Sharing The Garden

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Multiple heavy storms this week have my friends complaining, “Enough water!” but by some fluke of nature, promising dark clouds bypassed my neighborhood day after day, time and again. So this afternoon when a nice steady rain started up, I welcomed it readily.

One benefit of the need to be out watering yesterday morning was the enjoyment of seeing bees and hummingbirds sipping from the flowers. I also spotted a beautiful butterfly atop Echinacea purpurea, so came back out later with my camera. I welcome corrections because my identification skills are woefully undeveloped and potentially unreliable, but according to me, this one is Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia).

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeyes are found all over the United States, except in the Northwest. And supposedly here in the south where I live, they are well, rather true to their name, common; however, I do not see them commonly, so one picture was not enough.

When the butterfly is fresh its eye spots have a lavender tint.

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Here the butterfly is sharing politely with a bee. There is a little sliver missing from its upper left wing.

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Eventually the butterfly drifted toward the ground to light upon Phlox subulata (Moss Phlox).

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Its ventral wing coloring is lighter in spring and summer, helping to camouflage itself. In fall and winter the color darkens to a rosier hue.

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Another insect that caught my attention yesterday was the Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus). It is also is found abundantly in this area of North Carolina. For the longest time I tried to discern shades of coloring and markings (chevrons, smudges, spots?) to identify if this is male or female. Still not sure, but I am guessing female.

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) On Nepeta 'Walker's Low' (Catmint)

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) On Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint)

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) On Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) On Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

The club-shaped ends of the antennae are black on the outside and orange on the inside.

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

I will close with a look at one flower I am especially enjoying this week. It is a striking shade of my favorite garden color—blue. The black calyces and stems add contrast and drama.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

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 Morning In The Garden

The severe winter was rough on this Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ but I cut it all the way back in early spring. It has been looking strong ever since. There are flowers, but I became distracted by the colorful young leaves this morning.

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' (Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' (Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ is barely blooming this summer, but a few were encouraged to give it try after this week’s rain.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

While I was photographing the Black and Blue saliva a handsome dragonfly landed nearby for several seconds before dashing off.

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

The heat suits the zinnias just fine. This one looked particularly fresh in the morning light.

Zinnia In Early Morning Sunshine

Zinnia In Early Morning Sunshine

Early June 2014

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) Along the Southern Side Path

In the eastern border that sits against the foundation of the house, Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) has grown tall,  succeeding the Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) that bloomed here earlier. The red flowers should draw hummingbirds, as did the columbine.

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) In The Eastern Border

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

In the western border of the main garden I have been monitoring the Chuck Hayes gardenias as they try to recover from the severe winter. One appears to be lost, but the others, despite showing the stress, will pull through

Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

Meanwhile, a couple of passalong gardenias on the north side of the house recently came into bloom without me realizing it. Rooted from cuttings by my former neighbor, these went quickly from little 6-inch stems to 6 feet tall shrubs. Most of the blossoms have brown spots and do not look very attractive, but even with only a few fresh ones, they all smell luscious.

A Passalong Gardenia jasminoides

A Passalong Gardenia jasminoides

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge) grows in a pot on the patio. I cut it back severely in early spring, doubting it had survived the winter, but it looks healthy now.

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' (Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) has been blooming vigorously for weeks and is attracting bees.

Nepeta 'Walker's Low' (Catmint)

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint)

In many spots around the garden clumps of Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) are primed with buds. Just a few have opened so far, mostly along the southern border. These are drought-tolerant plants but they do better in years with plentiful rain.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Also along the southern border Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ is just beginning to flower.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Shasta daisies form a wall of green in a border near the back steps. They have seemed ready to bloom for a while now but are biding their time.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

At the edge of the shasta daisies is a nice combination of Salvia Dorada ‘Aurea’ (Golden Sage) and English Thyme.

Salvia Dorada 'Aurea' (Golden Sage) and English Thyme

Salvia Dorada ‘Aurea’ (Golden Sage) and English Thyme

Almanac

This is the type of weather I used to wish for when I was a teenager visiting the beach: beautiful, bright and sunny—perfect for swimming and sunbathing, but not so wonderful for gardening.

For the last five weeks it has been terribly dry. Though some parts of this region had heavy precipitation, here in my garden during all of May there were only two rains, one so brief it seemed a tease. Again yesterday a thunderstorm formed overhead, then passed by without even dampening the ground or pavement. I have hand watered the garden a few times, but it desperately needs a good soaking that comes from some sustained, restorative rainfalls.

Happy Birthday Little Garden

This garden turned 13 on May 31.

I really have been letting the borders coast along this year. I have weeded and trimmed but have not done much planning or renewal. A few weeks ago I scattered packets of Bachelor’s buttons and zinnias to brighten several bare spots where several trees had to be removed. So far only a few seeds have responded to my benign neglect.

Anyway, whether it rains this week to encourage the zinnias or not, this garden is so much more. It has come a long way and it has brought me along. Together we have both grown. This quiet personal space I cultivate, cultivates and nurtures me as well. It is a peaceful retreat that brings a lot of satisfaction.

Facing West, Overlooking the Northern Border and Meditation Circle

Facing West, Overlooking the Northern Border and Meditation Circle

 

Mediation Circle With Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' In Bloom and Fading Pansies

Mediation Circle With Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ In Bloom, Thyme and Fading Pansies

Early June Garden View Facing Southern and Western Borders

Early June Garden View Facing Southern and Western Borders

 

Misty View From The Southern Side Garden

The Southern Side Garden hosts the plant of the moment—Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily). The delicate flowers began blooming last week and have multiplied each day.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

A light rain fell most of the day, but pulling into the driveway after an errand I spotted the enchanting plant near the entrance to the garden path and decided to ignore the misty shower long enough to get a picture or two.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Since spring this part of the garden has had little attention but a few reliable perennials and reseeding Cleome maintain interest.

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) is a plant I have enjoyed for years, but I have yet to find a good location for it in this garden. It is not particularly thriving here along the Southern Path, but it does provide a few interesting, colorful flowers.

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ has become a summer favorite and the drops of rain made its deep hues appear even richer. It blooms for a while, then takes a break. Perhaps the cooler weather agrees with it. Black and Blue overwinters here making it a very easy-care plant.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Near the entrance gate to the main garden Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ towers above the fence. Blooming since July, this Rudbeckia has made its finest show ever this year.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)-2

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily), foreground.  Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes,’ upper right background.

Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Almanac

Temperatures remained unseasonably cool by 10-15 degrees. At 7:00 pm it is 70°F.

Summer Beginnings

Summer Solstice 2013 was at 1:04 AM (ET) on Friday, June 21.
Summer is my favorite season so I welcome its official arrival today. The weather is glorious—clear and sunny, only 78°F., humidity is low at 40%.

Summer is not the best time of year for my garden, that would be spring, but the weather has been fairly moderate with ample rainfall, so the garden is in stronger condition than usual as the seasons transition.

Gladiolus In Northern Border

Gladiolus In Northern Border

I always keep a few Gladioli and they recently began blooming.

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

When I began this garden I encountered some snobbishness from a young horticulturalist about growing Gladioli and I remember it was an odd moment. Never before had I really thought much about why one chooses to grow (or not grow) a particular plant. It is an interesting subject to me now. Preference is one thing and the avoidance of invasive species is a necessity, but why would a plant carry a social stigma?

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

I love reading about what other gardeners are growing and I enjoy learning about new (and old) plants. The gardener’s personality comes out in one’s plant choices, it seems to me, and that can make each garden quite special.

Gladioli

Gladioli

Though I mention that incident from long ago, I actually I never worry what the neighbors might think if they spot a Gladiolus in my garden. The tall spikes of blossoms remind me of summer and of my maternal grandmother, who grew rows of glads, as she called them, for cutting flowers. As a child I loved helping her make large and colorful bouquets for her sun porch and that memory seems reason enough to grow a flower.

Gladioli

Gladiolus

As summer begins a few other plants characterize the garden. Echinacea and Salvia have been blooming for a few weeks now. Yesterday a friend offered me a piece of orange Echinacea ‘Sunset’ which I had recently vowed to quit trying to grow. I accepted without hesitation, of course, and will try to give it a good home.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

A small container of mixed Sedum from last year has spilled over the sides of its pot and is flowering for the first time.

Mixed Sedum

Mixed Sedum

Happy Summer!

Last Blooms Of Summer

Summer is winding down. The light in the mid-afternoon garden reveals late summer blooms and insects and portends the seasonal shift.

The blue sky and 75°F temperature has made for a beautiful day. The Autumnal Equinox will occur on Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 10: 49 AM EDT.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – August 2012

Again I am joining Christina of Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD). I do not have deep or wide vistas where foliage is the main highlight, but will concentrate on the foliage of individual plants. Surprisingly some of the foliage in my garden appears nearly as it did in spring.

Aquilegia canadensis  and Monarda didyma

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) bloomed in mid-April and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) began the end of May. Both of these were cut back after blooming and Monarda has rebloomed in a few places. Here, grouped into bright- green triplets, the lobed leaves of Aquilegia have regrown into mounds of soft foliage through which opposite-facing and coarser-textured leaves of Monarda emerge on square stems. At the top of this image seed pods of Clematis (Spider Flower) are a clue that it is indeed August, rather than early spring.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Stachys byzantina and Achillea filipendulina

I pulled up lots of Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) during the summer and was more careful than usual to remove flowers this year before it could set seed.  But here is Lamb’s Ear biding its time and sitting next to another rather aggressive grower, a dwarf Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow). The soft, hairy-textured silvery leaves of Lamb’s Ear contrast with the delicate fern-like leaves of this Yarrow.

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) and Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’

This Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) spills out-of-bounds to soften the edge between the lawn and one section of the northeast border. The spear-shaped leaves are a pleasant grayish-green in color and are fairly aromatic.

I have trimmed this back several times this summer and while not evident here, it continues to form lavender-blue blossoms, though not as vigorously as when it first bloomed in early May. Another large mound of Nepeta, planted in the middle of this same border has been invisible most of the summer. It is surrounded by Echinacea and other taller plants and is essentially lost from view. I plan to relocate it toward the front of the borders where it can be seen and appreciated.

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint)

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

By mid-March Artemisia was forming slivery-green foliage that has added interest and contrast all summer. It flowered for several weeks from mid-to-late-June, after which I cut it back. The base of the plant is yellowing and looks a bit scraggly still, but these fresh new leaves are fine.

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

Unlike many of the plants mentioned so far, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is one that has not already peaked this year and it is preparing to bloom. Its pale green, waxy-textured foliage is an interesting contrast to the other plants in the garden. This is the first time in many years this Sedum has been so poised and ready to make a statement in the fall. I attribute that to the plentiful rains during most of this summer.

Tanacetum vulgare and Salvia guaranitica

The foliage of Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy) has an even stronger fern-like quality than the Achillea. This is another rather tough-rooted spreader, but I have managed to contain it fairly well recently. Here it brightens up a dark corner of the border, along with leaves of Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue.’

Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Each time I pass the yellow flowers with green centers of Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes,’ the strong shape and color of its leaves inevitably draw my attention. This leaf measures 10-by-7 inches.

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Iberis sempervirens

Some plants in the Meditation Circle were chosen to withstand the hot, dry summers we have experienced in recent years. It is hard to prepare for every contingency. Though hot, this is a surprisingly wet summer that has improved the behavior of some plants and hurt others. Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ (Beardtongue) and Iberis sempervirens ‘Purity’ (Candytuft) have suffered the most. This time last year the Iberis formed a lush evergreen accent in the labyrinth.

Iberis sempervirens ‘Purity’ (Candytuft)

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

After A Brief Shower

An early evening shower splashed onto the garden briefly, leaving the air thick and humid and the flowers slightly heavy, weighted by tiny water droplets.

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)

A Few Days Into Autumn

Fall 2011 began September 23 and the time since has been filled with many rains. The moisture has encouraged continued flowering in the garden. After a brief shower early this morning, the sun has been in and out of clouds all day. The temperature is currently eighty-five degrees.

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.

Surprises

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.