Earlier today, I'd read Jodi's post from Monday, then went out for a walk through my garden. Prompted by the title to her post, I was singing to myself as I slowly meandered through the waning display that earlier in the season had been so colorful and lush. "Lavender's blue, dilly dilly ..." and it was an appropriate theme song.
Of the flowers still blooming in the garden, by far the majority of them are "lavender blue" or purple, and one of them actually IS lavender. I caressed the spiked stems, put my hands to my nose and breathed in deeply of its scent. I don't think I could ever tire of it. I've got three cultivars of lavender, but it's 'Jean Davis' that's still putting forth blooms at this late date.
It's been awhile since I've seen a bloom on 'Siberian Blues' Dianthus (Dianthus amurensis), and my plant is small, but one lone bloom stands proud and perfect, having defied the frost we had on Monday morning.
I don't have this plant sited in the best location, and it is slated to be moved next year to a place where it will get more sun. I was disappointed in it initially, because it turned out to not quite be the color shown in Park Seed's catalogs. But the longer I have it, the better I like it, even if it isn't as blue as they would have you think. The anthers are blue though.
A short distance away are some 'Aladdin Nautical Mix' petunias I grew from seed. When I planted the dust that was the petunia seeds, I really had my doubts that anything would come of it. Oh me of little faith!
While petunias are not my favorite flowers by a long shot, I wanted the shades of blue I saw in Park Seed's catalog. Once again, most of what I got wasn't really blue, but the mix of lavender hues turned out to be a joy as they grew and bloomed non-stop from mid-summer on. They laughed at the thermometer this week, too.
I turned around and smiled at the 'Crystal Palace' lobelia, blooming its heart out and looking handsome as ever with its deep, deep indigo blooms and burgundy foliage. It's a wonderful color combination that I've tried numerous times to capture with the camera, but never seem to be able to get the purply-blue quite right. It's such a rich, vibrant color, it nearly seems to glow.
The lamium (Lamium maculatum 'Red Nancy') that I've had for years is another one that defies accurate rendition of its color by my camera. It always comes out more pink than it is in real life. I've got it in a couple different locations and its blooming as if it's still summer.
Mom once again shared some Johnny Jump-Ups (Viola cornuta) with me. She's given some to me before, saying I'll have them all over the place, but I don't think they like my garden very well, because they bloom and promptly disappear, never to be seen again. I'm still trying though. I even planted some seeds this spring, but never got a single seedling to show for it. Maybe the fifth time's a charm. (Or is it the sixth?)
I realized as I was looking at the clematis and one of the late-season blooms it has, that the two vines are nearly thirty years old! We planted them shortly after we first moved here in 1977. Before we added the room onto the back of our house in 1983, they used to climb all over a wrought iron railing. After the room necessitated the removal of the railing, we used our old chain link fence posts to construct a trellis with strong fishing line and each year it twines its way around that.
While it was still growing on the railing, one year it had hidden in its vines and foliage a robin's nest. We didn't know it was there, but it was at just the right height for little three-year-old Kara to look right in and be tempted by the blue eggs. Yes. She did. When I saw the yolk dripping from her chin, I went into panic mode and called the doctor right away. He wasn't concerned in the least and in the end, nothing resulted from it, not even an upset stomach.
The delphiniums (Delphinium elatum 'Magic Fountain') continue to look pretty good and weren't harmed by the frost either. I really hope these come back for me next year, but my past experience hasn't been good in that respect. However, this year's plants were by far the strongest growers and the most prolific bloomers I've ever had, so maybe they'll survive the winter.
Oh look there - a primrose (Polyanthus 'Pacific Giant') bloom trying to hide under that foliage. It's looking pretty ragged due to some sort of something chewing on it, but it's still nice to see. I've got a red one and a yellow one too, but it's the purple one that blooms most often.
I had this little bellflower (Campanula sp.) potted up most of the summer, but planted it out a couple of weeks ago so it could winter over in the ground. It will likely stay in the ground from here on out. If I want more next year for potting, I can probably get it at Walmart, which is where I got this one (actually there are three plants). It's been a non-stop bloomer all summer and is still going pretty strong. The frost didn't hurt it. I love the leaf shape and of course the little purple bells. I'm really falling in love more and more with the different types of bellflowers.
I believe this toad lily (Tricyrtis) to be 'Sinonome' but I'm not sure. It's the last one to bloom of the several varieties I have in the shade garden and this one just opened today. There are a few more coming on. I love toad lilies and would like to acquire a few more in the years to come. They remind me of little orchids for some reason.
The spiderwort (Tradescantia sp.) continues to pop blooms out its top and seems to like the cooler weather than the heat of summer.
This verbena was just gorgeous when I bought it already potted up in a hanging container this spring, but it declined mid-season to the point that I cut it way back in a last-ditch attempt to let it start over. Good move! It came back in fine form and is still blooming pretty well. The frost didn't hurt it.
This is the Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana) that many times isn't. I used to have two clumps of it in two far apart locations, but we dug out the larger of the two this fall. It had just gotten out of control to the point that it was trying to kick its bedmates out of bed. You'd think it was a mint or something. I don't like it well enough to tolerate such behavior so it was banished from that garden. For some strange reason, it stays contained in the other one.
And finally, the lavender bloom that I'm most excited about and I almost missed it. I'd been complaining just last week that those darn fall-blooming crocuses (Crocus kotschyanus) that I planted two years ago had never bloomed. I'd gotten lovely grassy foliage in the spring, but nada in the fall. Last night, Romie pointed out to me that it was blooming!
So fragile-looking and very pastel, it was a teeny bit of a disappointment to me as to its appearance, because the picture on the front of the package looked like this. But they were a free bonus from Bluestone Perennials and anything that blooms at this time of year is okay in my book.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007