Tag Archives: Setcreasea ‘Purple Heart’

In A Vase On Monday—Bold Colors

In A Vase On Monday-6

Another week has passed and it is time again to join in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday. The goal is to fill a vase using materials gathered in one’s own garden.

After going many weeks without precipitation, rain arrived overnight. Today we are having a series of steady downpours alternating with light misty showers. The entire garden seemed especially bright and colorful when I dashed outside around lunchtime to gather some flowers.

Lantana camara (Common lantana) has been blooming profusely this summer and I had been planning to feature it by itself in this week’s vase.  Plans changed when I found some compatible companions.

Lantana camara (Common lantana)

Multicolored Lantana camara (Common lantana) in foreground

After collecting the lantana, I remembered seeing one flower on the (either misnamed or mislabeled) Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’ that was planted this spring. The purplish-burgundy blossom was still in fine condition even after the rain. I felt the strong, bold color of this flower could work well against that of the lantana.

As the dahlia stem was quite short it dictated using a small, narrow neck vase today.

Dahlia 'Blue Bell'

Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’

Nearby the dahlia is planted a hybrid Big Sky Sundown Echinacea that has produced blooms sparsely this summer. Luckily there were two available for my vase day. The sunset coloring of this echinacea’s petals coordinates easily with that of the multi-hued lantana florets. The dark center echoes the deep vibrancy of the dahlia.

With the dahlia in mind I also chose purple succulent leaves of Setcreasea pallida (Purple Heart) for accent foliage.

Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)

Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)

 

I love the rich, bold colors in today’s vase.

Rich, vibrant colors dominate these flowers.

Rich, vibrant colors dominate today’s vase.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Materials

Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’
Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)
Lantana camara (Common lantana)
Setcreasea pallida (Purple Heart)

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Discover what delightful things she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – June 2012

Canna

I embarked on a major garden renovation in January 2011, installing some new privacy shrubs, a picket fence and a meditation circle with a labyrinth.  These projects made a large impact on the garden and measurably increased my enjoyment of it. So I coasted for a year, just enjoying the flowers, but lately I have begun thinking again about various aspects of the garden’s design, structure and views.

Fortunately Christina at Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides hosts Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD) each month, and this prompt provides an opportunity to examine the role foliage plays in the garden.

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

Summer officially arrived this week and temperatures in the nineties reinforced this changing of the season. This time of year the sun’s glare can pale even the strongest-colored blossoms, making the garden appear washed out. Strong foliage color and varying texture can add interest, especially during these next couple of months. I am often drawn to plants with leaves of deepest greens, reds and purples and find these plants help anchor the garden in summer.  Silvery foliage, such as that found in Lavender, Dusty Miller and Artemisia, is equally useful and serves to complement the dark-leafed plants.

Lavender

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

Canna’s strong form and deeply patterned, smooth, waxy leaves add interest at many levels as it grows.

Canna

This week the first reddish-orange canna flower appeared. (The actual blossom looks yellowish in this picture, but in fact is orange, similar in color to that of the Echinacea cones in the background.) The long, slender leaves of Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) are quite graceful and delicate when juxtaposed with the boldness of the Canna’s leaves.

Canna and Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Several weeks ago I transplanted some of the volunteer Cleome (Spider Flower) seedlings from the Southern path to other areas of the garden that needed filling in. These transplants have not grown very tall yet, just 2-3 feet, but they can reach 4-5 feet. The medium green palmate leaves are but one part of the interesting and complex structure of Cleome.

Cleome (Spider Flower)

This Cleome below is opening in front of a stand of Monarda stems; the mid-range dark purple is Setcreasea ‘Purple Heart,’ a reliable plant used as a ground cover in this garden. A gift from a friend many years ago, Purple Heart dies back but easily survives the winters here.

Cleome (Spider Flower)

Setcreasea ‘Purple Heart’

When viewing the Cleome flower from above, the foliage assists by providing the perfect backdrop for the flower to be seen.

Cleome (Spider Flower)

The garden holds many examples of foliage variations, but over time as plants have migrated, decreased, multiplied or died out altogether, many original plant pairings have ceased to exist. Much of what is left is happenstance. As I consider the garden’s overall design, I need to look closer at foliage and other characteristics of plants in the garden, noting what combinations work well and under what circumstances.

Check out other GBFD bloggers by visiting Christina at Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides.