Pretties For You

Thinking about what would be appealing for a flowery Valentines Day post, looking at 2007 spring photos, picking the best and happiest of the best, although not the usual spring shots normally taken due to the frost……no, no, no frost talk. Sorry, back to happy thoughts and visions and warm sunny days and colorful fragrant blooms. What better place to start than the passion flower, passiflora incarnata. It is hard to say if these return from a hardy root system or are new self sown seedlings, but we are awash in passion vine.

One of the most beautiful and unusual lilies, the Canada Lily, L. canadense, blooms here in early June. This was purchased several years ago at the Lavender festival from a vendor booth for Sunlight Gardens, a native plant nursery north of Knoxville, although it doesn’t seem to be listed in their catalog currently. It is listed in the Wiseacre Gardens site however.

This astilbe ‘Pink Visions’ is a reliable bloomer and taller and more robust than the white and red astilbes also grown here.

A passalong iris from our neighbors, thanks Mae and Mickey, this color is a favorite with the dark beard and golden orange petals. The sweet william nearby, dianthus barbatus ‘Sooty’ is an unexpected bed mate and a good example of my ‘all colors go together’ mantra.

Another iris, Champagne Elegance is lower in stature but not in star power. All of the iris have been divided and moved to new areas in hopes of better blooms this year.

A little unfocused but such a jolt of color, the oriental poppy is old fashioned and breathtaking.

More of these nectaroscordum siculum, syn. allium bulgaricum, were ordered to add to this single one, given as a test subject by semi, to see how it measured up. It measured up better than fine.

A triumph in seed raising, this butterfly weed,asclepias tuberosa, was planted as a seed found on a plant in one of the big box stores. It has been seven years and there are now three healthy multiple blooming plants from those seeds. The butterflies suction on the blooms for long stretches at a time.

Blooming not in spring, but rather July, this scadoxus multiflora is other worldly in its beauty. A birthday gift, thanks Laurie, this South African native bulb proved to be unlike anything else grown here. There were three sprouts, one was broken off by the gardener trying to pull a nearby weed, talk about your heartbreaking moment. The second stalk went on to bloom as delightfully as this one however.

Another hot color combo, the kniphofia and Azalea ‘Crimson Tide’ with the chamaecyparis ‘Gold Mops’ mopping up all the spilled color.

Longiflorum- Asiatic lily ‘Royal Fantasy’
, exceedingly fragrant. These are planted along a pathway edge between clumps of Autum Joy Sedum, and delight the senses as one travels along.

The grand finale, our peony bed, complete with ants. These are planted closely together in a bed by the side of the house to hold each other up, when so heavy with bloom in May. A grocery sack full of roots was sitting on the front porch the year we moved here, thanks again Mae and Mickey, and the flowers remind me of my childhood. A gardening neighbor would give me large bouqets of these blooms to take to my teacher as I walked to school, wrapped in newspaper. Talk about the teacher’s pet!

Since Valentine’s Day will always fall just before the Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, readers will have a double treat in February as the prettiest flower pictures will be chosen for posting, one group from the year before, and another group of current blooms for the next day. Something to look forward to.



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15 Responses to Pretties For You

  1. Entangled says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    We’re also awash in Passiflora incarnata. Every spring when it sprouts everywhere I think I should get rid of it, and every summer when it blooms I’m glad I didn’t

  2. Anonymous says:

    such a pretty group I love them all. happy valentines day love semi

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Just stunning blooms Frances. My eyes are still full of color. Wonderful!

  4. Kylee says:

    Such pretty, pretty things! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that passalong iris! My passiflora ‘Clear Sky’ has a big fat bud on it right now (inside). It might even be open in time for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!

  5. jodi says:

    Yum! These are glorious eye-candy, Frances…some of them would never grow in my garden, like that incredible Scadoxus (never saw it before) but it’s just so much fun to see some brilliant colour when we’re having another grey day here.
    On the other hand….the torrential rains last night took away a whole lot of the snow–drifts are only 2 feet deep in places as opposed to 4 feet–AND I can see grass in spots on one side of the property. But we have glaciers of melt, too, so that’s why I really, REALLY needed a post like this. Happy heart day!

  6. Frances says:

    entangled…There are many passion vines that get pulled, they come up everywhere. But some get left because the flowers are well, you know.

    semi…Thanks.Looks like blogger doesn’t like the non account holders. love.

    lisa…thanks. The pix were chosen for color.

    Kylee…Thanks. Hope to see a shot of your passiflora on bloom day.

    Jodi…The scadoxus was planted as a fat bulb in April, bloomed in July, probably won’t return, but still worth it for that flower. Glad you at least can see GRASS.

  7. Diana says:

    I’m with Kylee – the passalong iris is stunning! So, you’ve learned to live with the passionflower strangling everything else in your garden or do you prune it all the time? It is lovely — I miss mine from the previous garden. But I don’t miss the work of cutting it out of trees and other perennials! The allium is amazing, too. I planted some bulbs this fall but no sign of them yet. Where do you have yours growing? What do they like?

  8. Diana says:

    Oh, and Happy V-Day! Thanks for sharing your beautiful flowers.

  9. Frances says:

    Diana…Thanks and happy v-day. The allium planted last fall and the one shown in the photo are not up yet. They are in full sun, well drained soil. The passion vine is a nuisance, most of it gets pulled, it is not near trees. Last year I let it grow on the ground along the path, winding it around itself as an edging in the gravel. All others were cut or pulled. I liked the blooms along the path but fear the seeds that came from the fruit. It will be a problem for sure this year.

  10. shirl says:

    Hi there, Frances 🙂

    What a colourful feast for the eyes this post is! Mm… I am thinking what was my favourite and it was the allium but then I came to the peony!! Mm… I can can smell it from here 😀

    Have a wonderful Valentines Day 😀

  11. Frances says:

    shirl…Thanks for visiting. The peonies aren’t especially attractive most of the year, but around mother’s day, early May, they are luscious.

  12. Katarina i Kullavik says:

    Such beautiful flowers – I liked everyone of them! The colours really uplift you. – Great pictures! /Katarina

  13. Frances says:

    Katarina…Thanks and welcome. So glad you enjoyed the photos.

  14. Carol says:

    It was nice to see these blooms on this cold winter night. I also took peonies to my teachers when I was in grade school. They are a favorite, and sentimental flower for me!

    Happy Valentine’s Day,
    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  15. Frances says:

    Carol…Thanks. I think about taking out the peonies, but just can’t. Same to you.

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