Tagged With: Annuals

Strawflower

Strawflower (Xerochrysum bracteatum)

Strawflower (Xerochrysum bracteatum)

Cathy bought some strawflower, also known as golden everlasting (Xerochrysum bracteatum) this spring and has it in a container on the back patio. They are quite bright and lovely to see from the kitchen door. As the flowers open, the center is a bright orange that complements the yellow of the stiff petal-like bracts. As the flower ages, the central disk turns brown, as seen here, but the bracts remain. This gives the flowers their “everlasting” common name. They are already basically dry, so they don’t dry out and turn brown, but rather keep their yellow color. Apparently in their native Australia they grow in sweeping drifts in open grassland, which must be quite beautiful indeed.

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Cleome ‘Senorita Blanca’

<em>Cleome</em> ‘Senorita Blanca’

Cleome ‘Senorita Blanca’

On Sunday, as I mentioned, we went to Stadler Nursery in Laytonsville. Cathy bought a few things, including two Cleome plants, one white and one very pale pink. The white one, shown here, is called ‘Senorita Blanca’ and the other is ‘Senorita Mi Amor’. We’ve had Cleome ‘Senorita Rosalita’ in the past and these are (I assume) related plants with different coloration. My understanding is that they are sterile and will not self-seed, which is both good and bad. Annuals that do self-seed can become a real nuisance and get out of control. But some, if they only just manage to hold on, are really nice. Nigela is a good example of the latter. In our experience, it just self-seeds enough that we have it for a few years before needing to plant more. Other annuals, of course, go totally native and sterile plants are a real boon.

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Cathy

Cathy and Begonias

Cathy and Begonias

We took our annual Mother’s Day outing to the garden center today for Cathy to buy the annuals that she’ll plant around our yard and garden. After a hot and clear day yesterday it was quite cool and rainy today. When we got to Fehr’s Nursery in Burtonsville we were the only customers there. Others came and went while we were there, though, and considering the weather, they were doing pretty good business. Much of what Cathy was shopping for is in their greenhouses, so the rain didn’t really affect us too much. I did what I usually do in these situations, wander around with my camera and take pictures of flowers. I was taking pictures of these flats of red-flowered begonias when Cathy happened to come by, so I got this picture of her in front of them.

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Cosmos

Cosmos

Cosmos

It was an absolutely gorgeous day and after church we decided to drive out to Rocklands Farm (http://www.rocklandsfarmmd.com/) and enjoy being outdoors. We walked around and I took some pictures of oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) growing on fence posts. The little fruits were quite lovely in the afternoon sun. I also took some nice pictures of the barn reflected in the pond that’s below it. I decided to post this picture, though, because it’s a little different from the fall colors that have so dominated my posting of late. This is a cosmos flower photographed from behind and I think it’s quite pretty in an understated sort of way.

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Cleome and Black-eyed Susan

Cleome ‘Señorita Rosalita’

Cleome ‘Señorita Rosalita’

We really should plant more of this. The pink flowers in the foreground are Cleome ‘Señorita Rosalita’ and they really are lovely. They also bloom pretty much continuously all summer and well into the fall. We have just a few plants growing in a container on the back patio. They are pretty much overwhelmed by the yellow of the black-eyed Susans that are all around. I think if we had a larger container or two filled with Cleome, it would be pretty nice. I should make a point of buying a few packets of next year and getting them started early.

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Cleome ‘Señorita Rosalita’

Cleome ‘Señorita Rosalita’

Cleome ‘Señorita Rosalita’

Commonly known as spider flower Cleome is a fast-growing, tender perennial grown here as an annual (it’s only hardy in USDA zones 9 and 10). This variety, ‘Señorita Rosalita’, is “noted for having no thorns, no unpleasant aroma, no sticky foliage, no seedpods and better disease resistance” (Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder). We love it and it’s been a regular feature in a container on out back patio. We really should plant more of them, as they always perform very well and bloom basically all summer from mid-June well into October or November.

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Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

It was another foray out onto the driveway for pictures this evening after work. Today was relatively quiet, coming home from work and not going out again, which was a treat after the week we’ve had. Things will get busy again tomorrow as William and Beth are driving down from New York and we’ll be going through a few things in the basement at Margaret’s house. I stopped at the store and bought some ground beef and ground pork. When I got home I made some meat sauce to have with tortellini and also made a meat loaf to slice and reheat for meals in upcoming days.

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Everlasting Flower

<em>Xerochrysum bracteatum</em> ‘Sundaze Golden Beauty’

Xerochrysum bracteatum ‘Sundaze Golden Beauty’

It’s been a busy week but I managed to get out onto the driveway with my camera this evening. It isn’t a long walk, after all. We have a little, yellow Stella d’Oro day lily in bloom just outside the front door, and I took pictures of that, first. Then I got a few pictures of the flowers on an Egyptian Walking Onion that self seeded from those in the back yard into one of the pots on the top of the driveway. Finally, I took pictures of this everlasting flower, Xerochrysum bracteatum ‘Sundaze Golden Beauty’. It’s certainly bright and as the name suggests, the flowers last. It’s a tender annual native to Australia but they do pretty well here, if given full sun and blooms pretty reliably all summer and well into the fall.

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Zinnia Bud

Zinnia Bud

Zinnia Bud

We have a bunch of zinnias blooming next to our driveway. This is a bud, just starting to open. Cathy asked me to take a picture of it when I got home from work. The problem was that it was a bit breezy and it wouldn’t hold still for me, but I think it turned out pretty well.

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Zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnia

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Cleome hassleriana

Cleome hassleriana

Cleome hassleriana

Commonly known as spider flower, Cleome hassleriana is a really nice plant. It’s probably just as well that it’s an annual or it might get out of hand. This is its first bloom of the summer in our yard and it should continue until early fall.

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Nigella Seed Capsule

Nigella Seed Capsule

Nigella Seed Capsule

Back on May 24 (day 144) I had a picture of a Love-In-a-Mist (Nigella damascena) flower. This is the seed capsule, which is also pretty cool. I didn’t take this until after dark so it’s taken with a reflected flash.

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Love-In-a-Mist

Love-In-a-Mist

Love-In-a-Mist

Nigella damascena, otherwise known as love-in-a-mist, is a very pretty annual. It grows easily from seed and is a good choice for a sunny spot in the garden.

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