Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Candytuft Has Its Say

There's that autumn chill in the air as I walk out to Max's Garden this morning. I've covered the Sunset Foxglove overnight to protect its burgeoning blooms from the frost. It's a new planting just this fall and I really want to see what color it's got to offer before it heads off into dormancy for the winter. I used my large bee skep to cover it last night and I need to take it off for the day.

But before I get too far, I hear something off to the right somewhere, in a tiny little voice that's trying its darnedest to be heard. "Hey! Where are you going? You're babying that thing way out there, but look down here! Look at me! I didn't need anyone to shelter me from the cold and I'm blooming!"

I look down and oh. my. goodness. The perennial candytuft (Iberis sempervirens) is sporting new white flowers. They aren't as full as they were earlier in the season, but they're there and also another cluster of flower buds waits in the wings nearby.

I'm impressed.

I love my candytuft a lot. In the spring and early summer, it's a carpet of lovely white blooms and I always crouch down and admire the delicate shading of color that you might not notice if you didn't look closer. You might think to yourself, "Oh, what a pretty white flower it has." Yes, it certainly does, but there's much more than that. You just have to take the time to look for it.

I want to ask my candytuft if the nearby doublefile viburnum that's acting like it's spring had anything to do with this late season effort at showing off. It's got new flower buds on it and everything and no doubt the candytuft wanted to play that game too. But it doesn't matter so I keep it to myself and admire them both.

Well done, my little candytuft. I'm proud of you. Now go get ready for bed. You need your beauty sleep. Spring will be here before you know it.


Cindy Garber Iverson said...

I just love garden surprises like your candytuft. And your photo of them en masse is just beautiful. Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I just love the way candytuft looks. I have tried to grow it in several spots in my garden and it just won't take. Hmmmmmm

Unknown said...

Did your candytuft answer about the doublefile viburnum? Because mine is also throwing up new flowers. Delightful, but a bit late in the season for such antics.
Candytuft and I didn't get along in the past, but I should try again now that drainage is much improved in many parts of the garden.

Priscilla George said...

I love candytuft. I have a mix so i get whites, pink, and purples. The whites always have some sort of purple pink to them. Mine have finally started to go to seed.

Kylee Baumle said...

Cindy ~ This was the third summer for my perennial candytuft and it really performed very well this year. I hope it keeps spreading so I can move some of it to another location.

Lisa ~ Maybe I should feel lucky that it grows well for me!

Jodi ~ I didn't ask it, remember? I didn't want to risk upsetting it in case it wanted to flower some more. ;-) Yes, you should try it again. Mine is not in that great of soil. I've amended it some, but it's heavy clay and is definitely not well-draining.

vanillalotus ~ I think we might be talking about two different candytufts. This is the perennial and I don't know that it comes in pink and purple. I also grew annual candytuft (which undoubtedly reseeds itself) and it does bloom in pink and purple as well as white. I like them both, but for me, the perennial is a little more attractive because it's a more dense plant.

Gardenmomma Chris said...

Hi Kylee,
I did a blog search for candytuft and you came up. I just planted my daffodil bed with 15 candytuft plants. I didn't even KNOW what a candytuft plant was!!! The garden guy said they would do great in the daffodil bed and blindly planted them. Then I sat down to research!!! I hope mine will want to show off like yours! Chris

Kylee Baumle said...

Chris ~ You're going to love your candytuft!! It just always looks so healthy, even when it's not blooming.

Unknown said...

Jealous... I'm so jealous! I went outside and actually ASKED my doublefile why it didn't decide to follow the trend and reflower for me this fall.

Not only did it fail to reflower... but it also didn't even deign to answer me! The nerve! *grin*

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