Possible candidate: Iris virginica ‘Contraband Girl’ (Thanks Ruth!)
The weather has been ideal for gardening this week and I have put in a few hours each day and nearly all day on Thursday. There are so many tasks that need attention that no matter which one I set out to do, I am finding it hard not to become distracted and end up working on something else.
I have been planting seeds, bulbs, perennials and dahlias. I must have really craved color and flowers this winter, but it is hard to know where I imagined I could plant everything I ordered.
As part of my “Friday reflections” I wrote and then deleted paragraphs about weeds, bermuda grass infestations, yellow jacket nests. Sharing the positive highlights of the garden is more exciting.
This week I have seen butterflies: monarch, black swallowtail, and a pearl crescent (every day). None was interested in posing for me or even getting close so the image quality is poor, but I want to post them here as a record.
I was pleased to see a Bumble Bee checking out the ‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe.
A green anole sunned on the back garage steps and scurried just for a moment each time I passed, before settling back into its sunny spot.
More irises opened and others are close. This is one my garden blogger friend from Petals and Wings (now mostly on instagram) sent me last fall. I’m not sure if they will bloom this year but they are growing and look healthy. The variegated foliage caught my attention and the flower is purple/blue.
Many of my Iris tectorum have disappeared in the past couple years, so I am especially happy to welcome this one back.
Another iris of note, this one is one of the only ones I have actually purchased.
Hope you are having a wonderful week in and out of the garden.
I became curious this week about my last-to-bloom narcissus. With its white perianths and very small cup coronas it’s been in my April garden since 2014.
N. ‘King Alfred’, ‘Tete-a-Tete’ and ‘Thalia’ are all finished just as this little one is starting to open. I wondered why the flowers sit inside the middle of the foliage and what to call it and tried to remember where I bought it. It was I think just a little temptation in the small floral section of a neighborhood grocery, just a few bulbs lacking identification but packaged to entice.
Surprisingly quickly I found images online that matched my narcissus, read several stories about others who also searched for more information about this daffodil and concluded this is Narcissus x medioluteus. (Please let me know if you doubt or have more information.) It is a naturally-occurring hybrid between Narcissus poeticus and Narcissus tazetta. First discovered in France it is naturalized in many places now, including my state of North Carolina in the US.
The common names I came across most frequently are cemetery ladies or twin sisters—twin sisters because they usually have a pair of flowers on each stem; cemetery ladies because they were often planted around graves in old cemeteries. That they normally exist in pairs threw me at first. I hadn’t at first noticed second buds piggy-backing on the stems, but yes, sure enough.
Other common names for this little daffodil are Primrose-peerless, April beauty, loving couples, pale narcissus, two-flowered narcissus. The poignant “Cemetery ladies”is the one I shall most likely remember.
Twin Sisters, Cemetery Ladies (13 W-Y) (Narcissus x medioluteus)
Division 13 – Daffodils distinguished solely by Botanical Name
Consists of the Species, Wild Variants, and Wild Hybrids found in natural daffodils.
Annette of Personal Eden wondered what my sasanquas look like growing in situ as opposed to indoors in a vase. The shrubs are utilitarian, hiding utilities from the street view and yes, we are this close to the neighbors’ drive so they have to be kept trimmed.
Listen for liquid bird song at 16 seconds. Maybe Brown Cow Bird?
More of the liquid bird song.
Bumble Bee (Bombus griseocollis) identified through iNaturalist.
Ruby Slippers, which opens pure white and then turns red, is shifting its color.