Tag Archives: Veronica spicata

Peony In Pink

Pink Peony

Pink Peony

A mixup with two mail-order peonies several years ago left me with a Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’ instead of Paeonia lactiflora ‘Duchess de Nemours’ and masquerading as Paeonia lactiflora ‘Black Beauty’ (Nightlife Peony), this lovely pink mystery.

I think I went ahead and labeled it P. ‘Black Beauty’ last year when if bloomed, but it cannot be accurate. If you recognize it I would appreciate knowing its name. This is the pink mystery peony in and out of the garden.

Pink Peony with Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear) and pale yellow Iris

Pink Peony with Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) and pale yellow Iris

Veronica spicata 'Rotfuchs' (Red Fox Veronica) is companion to the pink peony, but mostly hidden by the peony foliage.

Veronica spicata ‘Rotfuchs’ (Red Fox Veronica) is companion to the pink peony, but its first blooms are mostly hidden by the peony foliage.

I included white P. ‘Festiva Maxima’ in Monday’s vase of Hippeastrum, but also had filled the house with vases of many other flowers, including the unknown pink peony.  Joining the pink peony in a Fenton vase are Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox), Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris), and Digitalis Foxlight ‘Ruby Glow’.

Pink Peony Vase

Pink Peony Vase

Pink Peony Vase

Pink Peony Vase

Pink Peony Vase

Pink Peony Vase

Pink Peony Vase

Pink Peony Vase

Pink Peony Vase

Pink Peony Vase

In A Vase On Monday—Cottage Garden Bouquet

Cottage Bouquet in Pringle Pitcher

Cottage Bouquet in Pringle Pitcher

Each Monday brings opportunity to practice flower arranging by joining 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.

I think of my garden as an informal one, a cottage garden planted with old-fashioned, easy-to-grow favorites. Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ (Yarrow) began blooming about two weeks ago and Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant) opened just a couple of days ago. I took them as a starting point for creating this loosely arranged collection of blossoms.

Both of these plants produce their flowers in clusters (umbels). The flat-topped clusters of Appleblossum yarrow range in hue from a pale, straw yellow to this peachy colored one.  The Asclepias, of course, is a bright, deep orange.

Achillea x 'Appleblossom' (Yarrow) and Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ (Yarrow) and Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Now that the irises and peonies are but a memory for another year, the garden is transitioning toward summer flowers. Currently there is not a lot of any one plant dominant in the borders, so I gathered a bit of this and that to round out the cottage garden bouquet.

For foliage I selected Dusty Miller from a large silvery clump in the western border. For a tall, spiky accent I found two colors of Veronica spicata, ‘Pink Goblin’ and only slightly darker ‘Rotfuchs.’ Both are just coming into bloom.

Veronica spicata 'Rotfuchs' (Red Fox Veronica) and Dusty Miller

Veronica spicata ‘Rotfuchs’ (Red Fox Veronica) and Dusty Miller

Verbena bonariensis is finally taking hold in my garden after a few years of trying it in different locations. This week it is cheerful, still standing tall. The American goldfinches enjoy it and its stems bend gently under their ever so slight weight once they begin perching on it and harvesting seeds.

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena) in front of Achillea x 'Appleblossom' (Yarrow)

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena) in front of yellow straw-colored Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ (Yarrow)

Three stems of Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) provide round focal flowers for today’s arrangement. These flowers are just coming into bloom and usually I can still find one or two for a quick vase in October. Each year I try to add a few more of this native plant to the garden. The Echinacea’s orange cone center echoes the color of the Asclepias, which could be exploited in a more formal design for an interesting effect. The yellow-hued achillea works less well with the color of the Purple Coneflower.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

In A Vase On Monday-Cottage Bouquet1

Today’s floral container was handmade by local artist Jim Pringle of Pringle Pottery. A treasured wedding gift, this ceramic pitcher is part of a set that came with four cups similarly decorated in bands of blue, green and white. Together the pieces have held countless informal arrangements of garden flowers, but they are rarely used for beverages.

Cottage Garden Bouquet



Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ (Yarrow)
Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)
Dusty Miller
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Veronica spicata ‘Pink Goblin’ (Speedwell)
Veronica spicata ‘Rotfuchs’ (Red Fox Veronica)

Cottage Bouquet

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. I encourage you to visit her to learn what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

Green And Other Colors: Scenes From The Garden

After an overcast morning the sun pushed temperatures to 72° F. today. Strong, blustery winds this afternoon caused plants to sway, chairs to topple, and there was a noticeable chill to the air.

The garden is coming into its own now.  It happened suddenly. The weeding is done, but before all the planned rearranging and assessment could take place, the perennial beds bordering the property starting greening and filling out. The succession of blooms is on its way.

This is the view today from the southern gate entrance looking west.

Southern Border Facing West

Here is the northern border facing west on Sunday. Barely visible just left and behind the dogwood is a new Arizona Cypress ‘Carolina Sapphire’ to replace the one lost last year. Zinnias, gladioli and cleome will fill in the space against the fence this summer.

Northern Border Facing West

Also on Sunday, this is view is looking from northeast to southwest across the meditation circle. In the center of the labyrinth, the white blooms of Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) lasted four months from early December. Now they need to be sheared back.

Garden View From Northeast Corner

As one walks around the garden it is nice to take a closer look a the changes underway. A single bloom opened today on the Iceberg rose.

Iceberg Rose

Ants parade on a ‘Pink Parfait’ peony that was added last year to the garden.

Peony Paeonia 'Pink Parfait'

Amid a green backdrop the burgundy-purple tinge of this iris bud stands out in the southern border.

Iris in Southern Border

A dark pink outlines the leaves and the flower tip of this Veronica spicata ‘Pink Goblin’ (Speedwell).

Veronica spicata 'Pink Goblin' (Speedwell)

Deep blue petals of the spiderwort unfurl in the morning for just one day. In the background are dark burgundy leaves of  Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura).

Gaura lindheimeri 'Passionate Blush' (Butterfly Gaura), Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

This batik iris is irresistible.

Batik Iris

Flowers are forming on several baptisias in the garden. This is Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke,’ which was discovered at the nearby North Carolina Botanical Garden by former curator Rob Gardner. Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ was introduced in 1996 by Niche Gardens and North Carolina Botanical Garden. This specimen was purchased about three years ago at Niche Garden after one of their Saturday morning tours.

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'

Another rosy-tinged flower, Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena), is framed in front of a stand of Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine).

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)