Tag Archives: Scabiosa columbaria

May Garden Interests

While irises have captured most of my attention in the garden this spring, other plants have competently played supporting roles and many more are leading the way as transition toward the warmer season takes place.

An amaryllis I have been watching to develop surprised me today when it opened up and was white, not red. I also found one with a red bud nearby.  These flowers did not bloom well last year and I had forgotten the particulars of them.

Hippeastrum (Amaryllis)

Hippeastrum (Amaryllis)

Pincushion Flower is an enchanting name for this plant, nicer sounding than Scabiosa. This plant seldom last more than a couple of seasons in my garden and this is year two. It has been blooming well this year, starting just over a month ago. The cooler temperatures and plentiful rain this spring seem to have kept it happy. If I can force myself to do regular deadheading it will help.

Scabiosa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue'  (Pincushion Flower)

Scabiosa columbaria ‘Butterfly Blue’ (Pincushion Flower)

Scabiosa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue'  (Pincushion Flower)

Scabiosa columbaria ‘Butterfly Blue’ (Pincushion Flower)

Slow to open this year the peony flowers show some browning after heavy rains this week. In the previous two years this ‘Pink Parfait’ bloomed by May 11, but this year, still waiting.

Paeonia 'Pink Parfait'

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony)

A Veronica spicata ‘Pink Goblin’ purchased last year is beginning to bloom. I enjoyed it last year so purchased 3 new ones this winter by mail order, this time ‘Red Fox’ Veronica. They arrived bare-root and are still very small.

Veronica spicata 'Pink Goblin' (Speedwell)

Veronica spicata ‘Pink Goblin’ (Speedwell)

This black iris has a few more blooms open today.

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)  Black Iris

Iris germanica (Bearded iris) Black Iris

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena) has been blooming for a couple of weeks and now several thymes are also beginning to flower. Echinacea is shooting up in many of the borders and forming buds. In the meditation circle Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ and Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ both opened today.

Every Southern garden should have hydrangeas and, thanks to Jayme at EntwinedLife, my garden has a healthy hydrangea that not only has survived, but is forming flowers. Thank you Jayme.

Hydrangea macrophylla

Hydrangea macrophylla

This year I ordered an Allium Raspberry and Cream Collection, which is in fact a mixture of Allium Nigrum and Allium Atropurpureum. One Allium Nigrum is open this week.

Allium Nigrum

Allium Nigrum

To end this this garden tour today I will mention my family’s old-fashioned rose that my grandmother and mother grew. This was passed along eons ago by my mother’s cousin and my dear garden mentor. She shared with me so many of her favorite plants and they have become my favorites too.

Old-fashioned Rose

Old-fashioned Rose

Red, White and Bluish Flag Day

June 14 is Flag Day in the United States, marking the adoption of the flag in 1777 by the Second Continental Congress. In honor of the day here are a few garden red, white and blues. This ‘Jackmanii’ Clematis bloomed during the first half of April and last week seemed done, but it rallied again today. There are only a couple of blossoms though and of course, it is not really very blue. The red flowers growing underneath this vine are Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) and they are very red.

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

Scabiosa columbaria ‘Butterfly Blue’ (Pincushion Flower) was added to the garden this spring. This is a perennial that always looks so compelling at the garden center, but does perform well in this garden and seldom lasts beyond one year. It may need more sun and definitely requires a lot of dead-heading to keep it blooming.

Scabiosa columbaria ‘Butterfly Blue’ (Pincushion Flower)

The carnivorous pitcher plants in the hybrid pitcher-plant beds looked amazing this afternoon during a brief walk at the nearby North Carolina Botanical Garden. There are many colorful ones, but this red and white was very interesting.

Pitcher-Plant (NCBG)

There are two varieties of Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy) in the garden, one is probably ‘Becky’ and the other, ‘Alaska.’ One has been blooming since the last week of May, while this one is only now starting to open. The earlier-blooming one is taller with narrower leaves.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy) 2012-06-14 – This image by pbmGarden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Creative Commons License
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy) 2012-06-14 by pbmGarden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Garden Tour Weekend

Touring the gardens on the Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour this weekend was a great way to gather gardening ideas and see plants that work well in this area. Each garden had a very distinct personality and it is fascinating to see the different styles and approaches to gardening.

I was particularly charmed by the Marson Garden, where I helped out as a tour guide on Saturday morning. The enthusiastic and talented owners, Pat and John, were on hand to answer questions as people walked around their garden, setting a comfortable and friendly atmosphere. Unfortunately the pictures I took do not do this garden justice, but one feature I really like is this bench, created from a rock uncovered during some grading work. Something like this would fit in well with my concept for a seating area in the center of my meditation circle.

Bench at Marson Garden

Back at home

After seeing so many well designed and well tended gardens it was easy to grow an ever longer task list of things to do in my own garden—plants to add, plants to remove, paths to build. Plantings in the meditation circle really need to be completed…

But for today around this garden there was just time enough for a quick glance.

Meditation Circle

Clematis 'Jackmanii'


Batik Iris

Scabiosa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue' (Pincushion Flower)


After cooler days last week the temperature today was about 82 degrees F. There has not been rain for a week and things are starting to look stressed and dry.