Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I've Got the Lavender Blues

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.


Anonymous said...

Wow, what lovely photos! I have added your blog to my links list. And thanks for your nice comment, too.

Mom2fur said...

Oh, my gosh, what pretty purpleness you have posted! Those flowers are amazing!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Great flower photos especially for this time of year. I don't have much blooming now. I do love Toad Lilies and they remind me of tiny orchids too.

Priscilla George said...

Those are some beautiful purples. You practically have every shade possible. I'm sorry to hear about your pale crocus. I think that is so weird for it to be so very different from the picture. It's still nice in it's own way I'm glad it finally made an appearance for you. I read from a lot of blogs about people forgetting about their crocuses and then discovering them one day.

Nancy J. Bond said...

Beautiful photos and post! I'm so intrigued by the fall bulbs...the crocus is lovely. It looks like you have a wonderful garden.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Perhaps we should rename those Johnny- Jump-Ups to Johnny-Run-Aways? Mine keep disappearing too, so annoying as I like them a lot.

Nice to see so many blooms at this time of year in your garden Kylee.

Ewa said...

I also got lavender blues after reading Jodi's post. It reminded me that by mistake of garden center I brought home some French lavandula. It will not survive our winter - so, either I will put it in the pot and keep in cellar for winter, or I will cover it with something for protection. Like Scarlett was used to say 'I will think about it tomorrow' :)
Thank you for visiting me and nice comments about my 'cat - post'.

Ki said...

Great collection of blue, purple and pink flowers. Amazing that a lot of them survived a frost. I too have never been able to capture the color of Lobelia 'Crystal Palace' successfully. The photo always turns out too blue and not the blue purple. I have used several different kinds of digital camera and it seems all of them have this flaw. i tried to correct the color using a photo editing program but the result was less than satisfactory so I've all but given up.

Unknown said...

Oh, what a wonderful blue and lavender post, Kylee. That 'Jean Davis' flower is just wonderful looking (I can smell it from here). I thnk you have much more still blooming than I do!

Kylee Baumle said...

I actually forgot to include two others blooming now: Forever and Ever Hydrangea and a hardy cyclamen!

Unknown said...

Wow... lots of bloom still in your garden, Kylee. It all looks wonderful--and Jodi (I think) explained that the digital cameras do not capture reds and burgundies well at all a while back. Something about the way they save and store pixels and colors... but that made me feel a lot better because I can't capture the rich color of 'Merlot' coneflower to save my life. :)

By the way, are you sure that lavender is 'Jean Davis'? I could have sworn that Jean is a pink flowering variety... although admittedly my brain is a bit fuzzy tonight.

Kylee Baumle said...

Okay, that sent me looking and yes, it looks like 'Jean Davis' is pale pink. All I have to go on, Kim, is the tag that was in the pot when I bought it. I bought three of them and all three had the same tag, so you may be right and the supplier was wrong. I don't know. It wouldn't be the first time that something was mislabeled! There were a LOT of them, all the same and nothing irks me more than to have plants and bulbs mislabeled. I've encountered that far more than is acceptable in my book!

Kylee Baumle said...

Val - Thank you for adding my blog to your links! I'm glad you enjoy it!

Merisi said...

Such an incredible array of flowers so late in the year! I love lavender blue (if you search under "lavender" you'll find pictures on my Vienna blog), flowers in any shade of it simply pull me in.

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