Friday, July 12, 2013

A Floral Show and Tell

It's time to Flaunt Your Flowers each Friday, so I went out and snapped a few shots of mine. Let me show you what's blooming!

Angel wing begonia and foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) mingle in a made-for-shade container my mother-in-law gave me for my birthday earlier this spring. This container attracts hummingbirds, which I didn't really expect. We have several feeders and other flowers they frequent elsewhere in the garden, but they seem to enjoy these begonias under the eaves against the porch just as much. It's nice having them come so close to where we sit most mornings and evenings.

Japanese woodland sage (Salvia koyamae) is one of my favorite plants this year. A salvia that grows in the shade is exciting enough, but the pale yellow flowers are such a nice surprise. Large, hairy, triangular leaves make it an especially pretty groundcover. I started my woodland sage from a cutting in the spring of 2012. It rooted quickly but then took its time to fill the pot. Now that it's in the ground, it has picked up its pace. In a shady spot that gets a just a touch of afternoon sun, it is flourishing.

Nemesia (Nemesia fruticans 'Opal Innocence') came from a container my mother-in-law gave me last year. Yes, she gives me one every year—and I always love it! She has an artist's eye, and it shows when she chooses gifts; they are always beautiful. I had never grown nemesia before, but it survived the winter in what had been a mostly-annuals container, so I dug it out and put it in the garden. Even though I barely remember it in the container, I'm noticing it much more as it grows into a nice clump in the garden, and I love it! Flowers look a little like johnny-jump-ups and even more like snapdragons (to which they are related). They're fun to look at, tiny and cute.

This shot of an herby part of my garden makes me wish the pineapple sage (Salvia elegans 'Golden Delicious') had come up on the other side of the zinnias. The dramatic, clashy contrast of that bright yellow foilage with the silvery blue-green of the culinary sage (Salvia officinalis 'Berggarten') is distressing.

Also blooming at the left of the photo, kind of blending in with the pink zinnias, is holy (a.k.a sacred or tulsi) basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum). It is my new favorite tea plant—very fragrant, candy-sweet, and delicious.

A little daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum 'Alaska') has nearly taken over the garden. The foliage is lush and vigorous. All the rain this year has made all of the daisies spread like crazy. But, the flowers are fewer and smaller than usual. Have you noticed changes like this in your garden? Or maybe it's been dry where you are?

All my Thumbelina zinnias are too tall and too pink. They were supposed to be shades of red, orange, yellow, and white and about 6–10" tall. I'm a little disappointed, but there are some nice shades of pink. Two feet is, well, almost acceptable, but only because I love zinnias. I really wanted tiny ones for the edge of the herb garden. Thumbelinas are so variable. I have had them start blooming with 1/2" blooms on 2" tall plants before.

Delosperma cooperi is another of my recent favorite plants. Because the flowers like to open widest in bright sun, it's hard to ever get a great shot of them. Well, that's my excuse. ;) They (suprisingly) seem to be tolerating the very wet, cool conditions of this spring and summer quite well. Sedum and other succulents are beginning to struggle.

Fungi are flourishing. No surprise there. This is a new patch in front of the epimedium in my woodland garden. Every day, a new fungus.

I've written several times about my Flower Carpet Amber rose. I still love it. The size, shape, color gradations of the flowers—all pretty. The shrub stays so much neater without pruning than the one below, Flower Carpet Pink Supreme. I like that about it, too.

Flower Carpet Pink Supreme flowers so abundantly at the tips of the branches that you could clip just one and have an entire bouquet. The floppy branches—which I suppose are why it's called Flower Carpet in the first place—drive me nuts. Can you believe this color? I think it's auto-enhanced by iPhone, but it's intense in real life anyway.

Hydrangea 'Penny Mac' has been flowering for weeks. The rain has caused more flopping than usual. While the plants are loving so much moisture, maybe the flowers would do better if it came from a soaker hose. It's been absolutely wonderful not having to water this year, though.

This is an inherited daylily, growing here in this piece of ground since before we got here almost 20 years ago. I think it is probably 'Hyperion'. It is wonderfully fragrant.

Shining coneflower (Rudbeckia nitida) is a giant of a perennial, topping six feet. Last year was its first year here and it grew to maybe three feet by the end of summer, so I've been surprised to see it get so big this year. I've since found out it typically grows to 6 or 7 feet tall. I'm glad I didn't put it at the front of the border! It doesn't mind shade, has lots of blooms that insects love, and large incised leaves that are attractive even without blooms. But the bloom is plentiful. I like how it lights up the edge of my woods.

Wilson, my garden companion, keeps an eye out for deer and squirrels as he patiently waits for me to finish with the photo session.


Flaunt Your Flowers

I'm going to double up and link to Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day on the 15th as well. I hope that's not cheating!

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul. ~ Luther Burbank


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