Tagged With: Herbaceous Perennial

Myosotis sylvatica (Woodland Forget-me-not)

Myosotis sylvatica (Woodland Forget-me-not)

Myosotis sylvatica (Woodland Forget-me-not)

The forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica) are in full bloom in our garden. They self-seed and many of them are growing out in the grass. Cathy has dug a few up to replant in the garden beds where they won’t get mowed over. We both really love the powder blue of the forget-me-nots and are happy when the start to bloom. The buds are purple and the flowers, as they start to open, turn from a pinkish purple to the pure blue of the fully-formed flowers. You can see one transitioning at the right in this photo. The yellow “eye” in the center of each bloom turns white as the flower ages.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Myosotis sylvatica (Woodland Forget-me-not)

Weeds

Pokeweed

Pokeweed

Weeds are incredible. They grow so fast, are hard to get rid of, and can easily take over your yard. I’ve mentioned that last year we didn’t do a lot of gardening and the weeds got the upper hand. This spring they are coming up in force. In the big patch of lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) the Canada thistle Cirsium arvense was so thick you could barely see the lily of the valley. I spent the morning pulling it up and it looks so much better. I also dug up some pokeweed (Phytolacca americana). That’s what is photographed here, leaves and root of pokeweed (and you can see a little Canada thistle at the top). This huge root was a bit of work to get out. I’m not naive enough to believe it won’t come back from the small amount of root left in the ground, but getting this huge root out is a necessary first step.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Weeds

Heuchera sanguinea

Heuchera sanguinea

Heuchera sanguinea

We’ve had coral bells (Heuchera sanguinea) growing in our garden and in containers pretty much since we have been able to have a garden. It’s not the sturdiest of plants and we’ve had to replace them from time to time. I may be forgetting something but I think this is currently our only plant, growing in a container in the driveway. It’s fairly happy, probably because the containers get watered more regularly throughout the summer than the in-ground plantings. Also, although this gets a bit of direct morning sun, it’s in bright, open shade by early afternoon so it doesn’t bake. It seems to be happy and it blooms quite freely, which is nice.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Heuchera sanguinea

Asclepias curassavica Orange

<em>Asclepias curassavica</em> Orange

Asclepias curassavica Orange

This butterfly weed, Asclepias curassavica, is also known as blood flower. Cathy recently bought a few plants in both orange (this one) and all yellow. Sadly, it is not hardy enough for in-ground planting as a perennial here, but it should do well in containers and brighten up the back patio. This one is in a container right outside our kitchen door and looks great against the green backdrop of Rudbekia growing around the patio. I especially like the bi-color nature of this one, although the all-yellow variety is nice, too.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Asclepias curassavica Orange

Day Lily

Day Lily

Day Lily

The day lilies are coming into bloom. These are great plants and easy to grow. They like full sun but are quite tolerant of a bit of shade (with a bit of reduced blooming, though). You often see them growing in ditches along road sites in the country. Those that we have are from a very small town that no longer exists in rural Pennsylvania. The houses are all gone, except for a few stone basements slowly being filled by the passing of time. around one of them is a huge patch of day lilies. They are in fairly deep shade, so don’t bloom profusely, but they are happy and continue spreading their roots. I dug up a few many years ago and they really responded to the sun and never fail to satisfy.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Day Lily

Coneflower

Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

There are quite a few really amazing coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) varieties now and if I had the space and the time and the money, I’d consider a collection of the as one aspect of a large garden. They vary in color from the “standard” pinkish-purple bracts and with orange spikes, as seen here, to all sort of oranges, yellow, and darker purples. They flower shapes vary, as well, and they are all lovely. Sadly, there are enough plant-eating insects that enjoy them that they don’t often last in pristine condition. Photographing them in their prime means getting them when the flowers first open, because the bracts get holes in them almost immediately. Still, they provide color in a time when not a lot is blooming.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Coneflower

Lobelia cardinalis

Lobelia cardinalis

Lobelia cardinalis

This red Lobelia cardinalis is growing under the cherry tree at the north end of our yard. It’s really bright and I thought it was worth getting a picture of. With my back still bothering me I wanted to be really careful getting behind it so I could get the picture without having to bend over and with the trunk of the cherry tree available for me to brace the camera against. I was very carefully watching where I was stepping so I wouldn’t trip but about half way back, all of a sudden, I whacked my head against a ceramic wren nesting box hanging from a branch of the tree. I didn’t quite fall but it did my back no favors. Still, I got the picture. Coming back out I was even more careful where I walked and I kept an eye on that nesting box.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lobelia cardinalis

Sea Holly

Sea Holly

Sea Holly

By the time I got home this evening I didn’t feel like going out looking for something to photograph. Later in the evening, as is usually the case, I wished I had, because it meant I had to find something indoors to photograph. If finding something new and interesting to photograph in the yard is a challenge, how much more so is that true in the house. Fortunately there was a vase of flowers on the dining room table and in it were the blue and grey balls of Eryngium planum, better known as sea holly. These are interesting flowers. We had some in our garden in Gaithersburg and I should plant some here. The blue would be especially nice as a contrast to all the yellow-orange of the black-eyed Susan flowers.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Sea Holly

Bird of Paradise Flower

Bird of Paradise Flower

Bird of Paradise Flower

Cathy, Margaret, and I went to Brookside Gardens this afternoon. It was such a wonderfully beautiful day we were not surprised by the number of people there. Nevertheless, we were able to find a parking spot and wonder around the garden for a while. We often go there in the spring, when early flowers are in bloom. I would recommend that highly but this was a different experience. We rarely come in August because it’s so brutally hot. Today was in the mid-70s, though, and absolutely lovely. The summer flowering plants were at their best and we really enjoyed the gardens. The conservatory is always nice, of course, and this photo of a bird of paradise flower (Strelitzia reginae) was taken there. I’ve often thought about growing one of these but never got around to it. They are, apparently, fairly easy to grow, although they couldn’t take our winters and would need to come inside when it gets cold.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Bird of Paradise Flower

Lobelia siphilitica (Blue Cardinal Flower)

Lobelia siphilitica (Blue Cardinal Flower)

Lobelia siphilitica (Blue Cardinal Flower)

This is a really nice plant. Blue cardinal flower, Lobelia siphilitica, is an easily grown, herbaceous perennial, native to eastern North America and hardy to USDA zone 4. It needs fairly moist soil and does better here in part shade, where the ground doesn’t dry out so much, or in full sun in pots where it gets regular watering. It blooms over a fairly long period, which is always appreciated. One thing I didn’t know about it is that the species name of siphilitica is from “a prior medicinal use of the plant in the treatment of venereal disease.”

It does well in our garden and we have it scattered around. This particular plant is growing in a container on the driveway with black-eyed Susans behind it. Blue and yellow is always a good combination in the garden and with yellow being so prominent in ours, adding that touch of blue is great.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lobelia siphilitica (Blue Cardinal Flower)

Blackberry Lily (Iris domestica)

Blackberry Lily (Iris domestica)

Blackberry Lily (Iris domestica)

The flowers on this plant, Iris domestica, the blackberry lily, don’t really give much clue to their common name. When they go to fruit, however, it’s a little clearer where that comes from. They do have a certain blackberry-like look to them. The flowers are a bright orange and are really lovely. The leaves are very iris-like and are beautiful, sculptural fans of varying shades of green. In fact, I’d be tempted to grow these even if they leaves were all they provided. But the flowers are welcome and I like the fruit, as well. We scatter these fairly liberally around the garden and they are now coming up in various places. They aren’t so aggressive that we worry about them taking over, either, which is nice.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Blackberry Lily (Iris domestica)

Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)

Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)

Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)

I took some photos of the obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana) blooms in the back garden this evening. They are quite pretty when back lit by the sun, as they are here. I was hoping to find some insects to photograph but for whatever reason, there weren’t many this time. There were occasional bees and skippers but I wasn’t able to get close enough to them to photograph. I did manage to get some photos of a sweat bee on the Asclepias but they were not very sharp, so I’ll pass on sharing them.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)

Anemone hupehensis var. japonica ‘Pamina’

Anemone hupehensis var. japonica 'Pamina'

Anemone hupehensis var. japonica ‘Pamina’

I know I posted a photo of this Japanese anemone recently but they’re so pretty I thought I’d post another. I got a few pictures with an American hover fly (Eupeodes americanus) on it, but I’ve posted a picture of one of those recently, too, and didn’t see a need to repeat that. We haven’t had much success with anemones in the past but we’re hoping this will do well. It certainly has beautiful flowers and is just the right height for along side our front walk. We really should get a half dozen of them, but one thing at a time.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Anemone hupehensis var. japonica ‘Pamina’

Rudbekia Seeds

Rudbekia Seeds

Rudbekia Seeds

I took photos of various seeds in the yard this afternoon. First I took pictures of seeds of the Euonymus japonicus. From there I moved on to these Rudbekia seed heads. I think their form and subtle brown colors. I took photos of blackberry lily Iris domestica fruit, which do have a pretty blackberry-like appearance. I also took a few photos of the tops of Monarda and of the feathery seeds of the Clematis terniflora. None of the photos were wonderful but this one is my favorite. I also took a photo of a robin in the holly tree by the driveway.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Rudbekia Seeds

Cattails

Cattails, Typha latifolia

Cattails, Typha latifolia

I left work a little early today and stopped at Redgate Park on the way home. If you’re familiar with Redgate Golf Course, then you now know about Redgate Park. I played this course back in the day—not a lot, only a couple times out of the one or two dozen golf outings of my sporting career—and but it has now been closed and is a park. According to The Sentinel, management of the course was transferred to Billy Casper Golf, a golf-course management company headquartered in Reston, Virginia. I can confirm that the state of the grounds it pretty pitiful.

I walked around a bit and took photos of Asiatic bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) as well as these broadleaf cattails (Typha latifolia). I also saw a nearly frozen snake. I’m pretty sure it was alive but it could barely move in the cold weather. Kind of creepy, actually.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Cattails

Ficaria verna

Ficaria verna

Ficaria verna

This is Ficaria verna, formerly known as Ranunculus ficaria, commonly called the fig buttercup or lesser celandine. It is a weed and is listed as a noxious weed by a bunch of states and banned in at least two. It’s growing wild in the area around the pond next to my building. I’ve had enough experience with invasive weeds that I understand the desire to keep them out so I wouldn’t ever plant this. Nevertheless, I can appreciate the beautiful, bright yellow flowers. It is a tuberous rooted, herbaceous perennial native to western and central Asia and Europe. After flowering, the leaves die back by early summer and the plant goes dormant until the next spring.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Ficaria verna

Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells)

Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells)

Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells)

Like most folks, we’re mostly confined to our house and to walks in the neighborhood. We figured that we could go for a drive so yesterday we went out and about. One place we went was the Montgomery County Agricultural History Farm Park on Muncaster Road. I didn’t take my camera with me, which is pretty unusual, so we went back there today with my camera this time. There were a few others there but everyone kept their distance from one another.

They have a small, woodland garden that is particularly nice right now, with mostly early spring blooms. These Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) are just starting to open and are so lovely.

Categories: Miscellaneous | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells)

Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot)

Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot)

Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot)

Another photo from our trip to the Montgomery County Agricultural History Farm Park on Muncaster Road. Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) has very pretty, pure white flowers that don’t last very long. I love them as a true sign of spring. There are some places where you see this native plant in the woods one day as you drive by and then it’s gone the next. The plant is still there, obviously, but not so obvious without it’s bright blooms. The leaves are quite interesting, being deeply-scalloped. The leaves continue growing after the blooms are gone, and are present until mid to late summer when the plant goes dormant.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot)

Trillium

Trillium

Trillium

The third and final photo I’ll post from our visit to the Montgomery County Agricultural History Farm Park today. This is trillium and someone more in the know than I am could probably tell you which one. I’ll guess Trillium cuneatum, “the largest and most vigorous of the sessile trilliums that are native to the eastern U. S.” but I stress, that’s just a guess without much research behind it. Whichever it is, it’s a pretty little plant that should be in any woodland garden in our region. They don’t transplant well but it seems to me they would be worth the effort.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Trillium

Stellaria pubera (Star Chickweed)

Stellaria pubera (Star Chickweed)

Stellaria pubera (Star Chickweed)

It was a lovely day today and Cathy and I went for a longish walk (about four miles) near Lake Frank. We saw one of the two bald eagles nesting there, who was by the nest, then flew off and around for a while before landing in another tree near the nest. We saw lots of wildflowers, including this star chickweed (Stellaria pubera), spring beauties (Claytonia virginica), and yellow trout-lily (Erythronium americanum). The ferns were coming up and we saw some jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum). All in all, a very nice time in the woods.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Stellaria pubera (Star Chickweed)

Galium odoratum (Sweet Woodruff)

Galium odoratum (Sweet Woodruff)

Galium odoratum (Sweet Woodruff)

This will start blooming in a week or so, but even before it’s in bloom, sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum, also known as sweetscented bedstraw) is quit pretty. In fact, I’d say this photo doesn’t do it justice. The shades of green are just lovely and it makes a really nice groundcover where you don’t need something evergreen. We have a few patches of this and I really like it where it is. It isn’t too aggressive and it fits in very nicely. When crushed, it gives off a strong odor of freshly mown hay, even more so as the plant dries.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Galium odoratum (Sweet Woodruff)

Hosta Leaf

Hosta Leaf

Hosta Leaf

Cathy bought a couple hosta plants last year and put them in a container in the front of our house. If we grow them quite close to the house they do reasonably well but the deer and rabbits really seem to like them and if they are farther from the house, they get eaten. Of course the slugs are just about as likely to get them close to the house, but they don’t consume an entire plant over night. This one, called ‘First Frost’, is one of the two that are in this container and it such a pretty little things.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Hosta Leaf

Columbine (Aquilegia)

Columbine (Aquilegia)

Columbine (Aquilegia)

We have a number of different columbines in our yard and garden. This one is growing in a container just outside our front door. This is a relatively simple columbine flower, close to what you’d find in the wild. Some others that we have are much fancier and I’ll probably have photos of them in the days to come. They are a reliable bloomer and well worth adding to your garden, blooming after the bulbs are mostly done and before the summer blooms start, so they fill an important role in the garden plan.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Columbine (Aquilegia)

Dusty Miller

Dusty Miller

Dusty Miller

Dusty Miller (Jacobaea maritima, a.k.a. Senecio cineraria) is a marginally hardy, herbaceous perennial. It’s hardy here, anyway. We have it growing in an urn-shaped container near the end of our driveway and it seems happy enough. It does have flowers but they are not particularly ornamental and many people prune them off so as not to distract from the foliage, which is what the plant is generally grown for. It does well in both shade and sun and really takes very little care.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Dusty Miller

Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea purpurea

This is purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) although obviously there isn’t any purple color here right now. These are last year’s seeds, which we generally leave up all winter for the birds. They are obviously well fed, because by spring, most of them are still here. It’s just about time we cleared them all out. Most of the black-eyed Susan seed stalks have been cleared, although we’ve left some yet.

I was on the ground taking photos of a columbine (Aquilegia) and happened to notice this coneflower stem next to me, so I rolled over on my back and took a few shots, hoping to get a little detail in the seeds, which were seriously back-lit by the sky. This one turned out pretty well. I would have liked to get a little further away, as well, but I was looking nearly straight up and getting further away would have required that I dig a hole to get into. So, not going to happen.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Echinacea purpurea

Alchemilla mollis ‘Auslese’

Water Droplets on Alchemilla mollis 'Auslese'

Water Droplets on Alchemilla mollis ‘Auslese’

It’s a week early for Mother’s Day but we’ve been cooped up for too long and we didn’t want to wait until next week. We took our annual trip to Fehr’s Nursery early this afternoon and Cathy bought a load of plants. As usual, I wandered around and took photos of flowers, etc. I got some nice pictures of various hens and chicks (Sempervivum varieties) including some Sempervivum arachnoideum, which have what look like cobwebs on them. I decided to go with this photo, however, of lady’s mantle leaf (Alchemilla mollis ‘Auslese’) with water droplets on it.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Alchemilla mollis ‘Auslese’

Uvularia perfoliata (Perfoliate Bellwort)

Uvularia perfoliata (Perfoliate Bellwort)

Uvularia perfoliata (Perfoliate Bellwort)

It was quite cool this morning after a soft freeze over night. There was ice in both bird baths this morning, not just the pedestal meaning it got pretty cold. I had covered my recently planted camellias and we moved some pots into the garage, so everything seems fine. We went for a very nice walk in Rock Creek this afternoon and saw lots of pretty things, including this perfoliate bellwort (Uvularia perfoliata), a pretty little wildflower we don’t see very often. The word ‘perfoliate’ means the base of the leaf surrounds or is pierced by the stem.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Uvularia perfoliata (Perfoliate Bellwort)

Tradescantia virginiana (Spiderwort)

Tradescantia virginiana (Spiderwort)

Tradescantia virginiana (Spiderwort)

One of our favorite herbaceous perennials is the spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana). It’s a native and is easily grown in our gardens. In addition to the ‘standard’ versions, we have a few named varieties. This is one of the plain species and it’s lovely, of course. This one is right outside our back door and this is the first bloom of the year. I’ll almost certainly return to it later, when it has more flowers, or will post a photo of one of the other, slightly more exotic varieties. But they really don’t need much improving.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Tradescantia virginiana (Spiderwort)

Lavandula stoechas ‘Anouk Supreme’

Lavandula stoechas ‘Anouk Supreme’

Lavandula stoechas ‘Anouk Supreme’

Last year, after getting rid of the stump from the Colorado spruce that I cut down, we planted a hawthorn to one side of the bed and Cathy planted some perennials as well. Two of them are a variety of Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas) called ‘Anouk Supreme’. They are blooming now and they are quite lovely.

Each individual inflorescence is nice, as you can see here, and overall the entire plant is really nice, with lots of blooms. The individual flowers are a very deep purple and the bracts at the top are only slightly less intense. Both the leaves and the flowers give off that wonderful lavender aroma that we’re all so familiar with.

We haven’t done terribly well with plants like this in the past but I think this is a good location for them. If they do well, I’d be happy to get a couple more. We also have a rosemary that we might put here with them. This species of lavender is native to the Mediterranean countries including France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lavandula stoechas ‘Anouk Supreme’

Asclepias curassavica ‘Silky Red’

Asclepias curassavica ‘Silky Red’

Asclepias curassavica ‘Silky Red’

One of the plants Cathy bought on our annual Mother’s Day trip to the nursery (a week early this year) was this blood flower, Asclepias curassavica ‘Silky Red’. As you can see, the colors are pretty intense. This species of butterfly weed is native to the Caribbean and Central and South America and is only winter hardy to USDA zones 9 to 11, so we grow it as an annual here but it’s worth it. The butterflies and other insects love it and even without that, it’s just a beautiful flower. If you have a very bright indoor location (or a heated greenhouse!) then you could bring it in for the winter, but we just start new each year.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Asclepias curassavica ‘Silky Red’

Strawflower ‘Basket Yellow’

Strawflower ‘Basket Yellow’

Strawflower ‘Basket Yellow’

Here’s another of the plants we bought a while back from Fehr’s Nursery. It’s a strawflower called ‘Basket Yellow’. Also known as everlasting flower, the official binomial is Xerochrysum bracteatum although it was formerly included in the genus Helichrysum or Bracteantha. It’s a tender, short-lived perennial native to Australia and treated as an annual here and we have two. This one is pure yellow and the other is red and orange, which is pretty nice. We’ll put them in pots on the back patio and they’ll give us color right through the summer. The flowers, not surprisingly, last a long time. I wonder if that’s where they get their name?

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Strawflower ‘Basket Yellow’

Evolvulus ‘Blue My Mind’

Evolvulus ‘Blue My Mind’

Evolvulus ‘Blue My Mind’

This is yet another tender perennial grown here as an annual. It’s a non-vining, morning glory-like plant native to Brazil. It’s a member of the convolvulus family (a.k.a. the bindweed or morning glory family, Convolvulaceae) but it doesn’t twine and the genus, Evolvulus, means to untwist or unravel. This variety, ‘Blue My Mind’, has beautiful, pale, sky-blue flowers about an inch across. This does really well in hanging baskets or other containers and that’s where this is destined to go, but so far it’s among the plants waiting to be potted up.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Evolvulus ‘Blue My Mind’

Iris pseudacorus, (Yellow Flag)

<em>Iris pseudacorus</em>, (Yellow Flag)

Iris pseudacorus, (Yellow Flag)

I took pictures in the yard earlier today but then Cathy and I went to Meadowside Nature Center and took a walk there. Since most of my pictures this spring have been from the yard, I decided to feature a photo from off-site today. We walked from the nature center down to the creek (North Branch Rock Creek) and from there to the lake. We could see the eagle’s nest and at one point saw one of the juvenile eagles sitting on the edge of it. We stopped and sat by the edge of Lake Frank and I took some photos of these yellow flags (Iris pseudacorus), growing on the shore. They are native to Europe and western Siberia, the Caucasus, and northern Africa. They’re quite lovely and I particularly liked the way these were shown against the grey of the very still water. We enjoyed watching the swifts or swallows skimming around over the lake. We heard a barred owl a few times in the distance.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Iris pseudacorus, (Yellow Flag)

Woodwardia Frond

Woodwardia Frond

Woodwardia Frond

I’ve had a few fern photos this spring but here’s another. This is a Woodwardia of some type but I’m not sure which. It’s growing in our shade garden at the north end of our front yard and is quite happy there. We went to the garden center today and I bought a royal fern (Osmunda regalis) to plant in this part of the garden. My thought is to move the Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum var. pictum) to the front of the bed, because it’s too short to be seen well where it is. The royal fern should be plenty tall so that will be nice. It’s something I’ve wanted a while.

Categories: Miscellaneous | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Woodwardia Frond

Peony ‘Coral Sunset’

Peony ‘Coral Sunset’

Peony ‘Coral Sunset’

In the fall of 2014 I planted three of these peonies, called ‘Coral Sunset’, in our back garden. They have bloomed a bit better each year and I really look forward to seeing them each year. Between the three plants there are seven blooms this year and they are wonderful. There are a lot of peonies I’d be happy to have but I think this one is high on my list. The stems are strong and the flowers not so heavy that they all droop down, which means you really get the full effect of the blooms. Interestingly, they fade to a pale almost-yellow color as they age, which isn’t nearly as striking, but I’m not about to complain.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Peony ‘Coral Sunset’

Sisyrinchium angustifolium (Blue-eyed Grass)

Sisyrinchium angustifolium (Blue-eyed Grass)

Sisyrinchium angustifolium (Blue-eyed Grass)

There is a lot of interest in native plants and in general I don’t mind that. They often thrive in out local conditions. It’s somewhat related to the emphasis on so-called organics (as opposed to synthetics), thinking that they are inherently better and safer. Nevertheless, some natives can easily become weeds. Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium) is a case in point. It’s actually lovely and in its place, worth growing. But be aware that it will come up around your yard and garden and if you don’t want it to take over, you’ll need to be a little ruthless in pulling it out.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Sisyrinchium angustifolium (Blue-eyed Grass)

Pink Spiderwort

Pink Spiderwort

Pink Spiderwort

We have two of these pink spiderworts in the side garden. They really are nice and I took some photos today with this one in the foreground and with the more usual blue flowered variety being it. We don’t remember the name of this variety and it may be a type of Tradescantia ohiensis, the Ohio spiderwort, rather than T. virginiana. There are others, too, of course. Anyway, it’s a really nice flower and lovely in the border. The flowers open in the morning and then close up during the heat of the day, so best appreciated early. This was taken from about the same spot as yesterday’s photo of the wren.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Pink Spiderwort

Red Strawflower

Red Strawflower (Xerochrysum bracteatum)

Red Strawflower (Xerochrysum bracteatum)

We’ve had strawflower (Xerochrysum bracteatum) each of the last few years and I really like it quite a lot. Also known as everlasting flower, it provides color over a really long period. The central part of the flower turns dark but the almost woody bracts keep their color. This year, we happened to come across this bright red variety. I have to say, it’s really a stunner. The yellow one is nice, but this one is just amazing. I think maybe next year I’ll get more than one. I don’t know that I could get tired of this color.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Red Strawflower

Mountain Bluet (Centaurea montana)

Mountain Bluet (Centaurea montana)

Mountain Bluet (Centaurea montana)

The mountain bluet (Centaurea montana), also known as perennial cornflower or perennial bachelor’s button, has a pretty, blue flower and does well in the perennial border. Dorothy and three of her housemates drove down late yesterday and today we took a drive out to Rocklands Farm Winery. They have just reopened and it was really nice to be out. Actually, we spent most of our time there visiting with Greg and Janis, which I really enjoyed. This flower is in Janis’ garden and I took it as we ate our lunches and got caught up with what everyone is doing. For information on Rocklands, see https://www.rocklandsfarmmd.com/.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Mountain Bluet (Centaurea montana)

Campanula latifolia

Campanula latifolia

Campanula latifolia

This bellflower (Campanula latifolia) has been coming up in our back garden for quite a few years. It’s on the edge of the central bed that we’ve been trying to rejuvenate and it seems to be doing well enough. I think we should encourage it because it’s a really lovely flower. As it is, we get four or five stems and I certainly wouldn’t mind a couple dozen. The Missouri Botanical Garden says it “spreads freely and agressively by both rhizomes and self-seeding under optimum growing conditions.” I’d say our growing conditions are not optimum, then, because it’s keeping itself to itself.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Campanula latifolia

Day Lily

Orange Day Lily (Hemerocallis fulva)

Orange Day Lily (Hemerocallis fulva)

The day lilies are starting to bloom. These are descendants from some we dug up in the woods of Pennsylvania, near our property. They are growing around what used to be a homestead, many years ago. There is a hole in the ground with the remains of stone walls and the base of a chimney. Around that are orange day lilies (Hemerocallis fulva) and periwinkle (Vinca minor) growing in great profusion. It’s in the shade as trees have grown up over it and in consequence the day lilies don’t bloom as well as they might, but we took a few home and planted them in the sun, where they bloomed quite happily. That was at our old house and we dug up and brought some of those with us here, where they continue to give a great show every year.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Day Lily

Euphorbia amygdaloides subsp. robbiae (Wood Spurge)

Euphorbia amygdaloides</em> subsp. <em>robbiae (Wood Spurge)

Euphorbia amygdaloides subsp. robbiae (Wood Spurge)

I took a few more pictures of plants on Cathy’s work table today. This one is a spurge called Euphorbia amygdaloides subsp. robbiae, also known as Robb’s wood spurge. It’s a nice combination of greens and yellows and something nice for the herbaceous border. The Euphorbia genus has something like 2,000 species and they range from small annual plants to trees and there are species from many parts of the world This one isn’t native to North America, but I’m not bothered by that. One thing you want to be careful of with these plants is their milky sap, which is poisonous if ingested and a skin irritant.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spigelia marilandica (Indian Pink)

Spigelia marilandica (Indian Pink)

Spigelia marilandica (Indian Pink)

Here’s a second photo for the day. After our walk in the park, we went to the Agricultural Farm Park and walked through their demonstration garden. It’s really changed since we were here last, about two months ago. There was one plant in bloom that really caught our collective eye. It’s a Maryland native commonly called Indian pink (Spigelia marilandica). What a beautiful flower. This is something I’d really like to get. I’ve done some searching and it seems like finding seeds will be difficult. There are a few mail order places that have the plant but most of them ship in the fall. Hopefully I’ll remember to order some then.

Categories: Miscellaneous | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Asclepias incarnata ‘Ice Ballet’

Asclepias incarnata ‘Ice Ballet’

Asclepias incarnata ‘Ice Ballet’

We’re big fans of Asclepias and have three species growing in our garden. We have a few varieties of Asclepias curassavica, a tender perennial native to the Caribbean and Central and South America often referred to as blood flower. We have several Asclepias tuberosa, butterfly weed, a hardy perennial native to our region. We just bought a few plants of a variety of Asclepias incarnata called ‘Ice Ballet’. The species is generally pale pink but this variety is a creamy white. It’s also a native to the area and is known as swamp milkweed. These will go in a spot that gets very wet when it rains, as these don’t mind that and there are a lot of things that won’t grow there.

Categories: Flowers and Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment