Mish Mashy Breakthroughs

July 5, 2009 006 (2) Still recovering from so much fun during the holiday weekend, it seems a perfect time to jump into the milieu of Monica the Garden Faerie’s meme of Mish Mash Monday. Assorted non connected blooming is happening at the moment in the Fairegarden and what better way to present it than in this M-heavy forum. Let us begin with this little seed started zinnia. Foolish impatience and a general hyperactive personality led to the starting of seeds with the new heat mat and light set up in the greenhouse last winter that should have been sown directly outside after the soil warmed. Like so many others, the zinnias popped right up out of the seed starting mix heated from the mat below. They grew on happily under the grow lights until they became too large too quickly, like the rest of the seedlings. The only problem with this early success was running out of space in the sunroom/greenhouse while there were still frosts happening just on the other side of the windows. A cold frame was set up to try and transition the little plants. There were many many losses, sad to say, but a few hardy souls survived. The above peachy colored fellow, a favorite color here, has tiny blooms but is blooming and still growing. The strange thing is the color of the inner florets. Never before in the decades of zinnia growing have there been peachy tones to these true flowers. A breeding breakthrough? July 5, 2009 020 (2) With the vast quantities of wealth spent on sunflower seed to feed our feathered friends during the cold months here it would be reckoned that many baby sunflowers would appear from spilled seeds. Research has added to the stockpile of facts gathered and held for future use in the soon to be non-cinnaberry cerebrum concerning the lack of sunflower seedlings rising hither and yon. It seems there is a seed germination inhibitor contained in the seeds to prevent world domination. A couple overcame this chemical and are blooming in the gravel paths. Another breeding breakthrough? July 5, 2009 002 (2) On a shrub ordered years ago from the still Hinkley owned Heronswood that has been moved several times to find its happy place, (breath), can be seen the large black berries not prized for eating. With a name like chokeberry, it is not surprising that no creatures have dared taste the succulent fruit of Aronia melanocarpa ‘Viking’. Outrageously vivid fall foliage and a desire for outrageously vivid berries during the same season prompted this purchase. This may be the year to see the plan come to fruition. Yes, dear readers, another breeding breakthrough. July 5, 2009 014 (2) Last year saw the frenzied collecting of the genus Crocosmia. Success with C. Lucifer spurred the searching for more cultivars of this wonderful plant. Good friend and fellow blogger Christopher of Outside Clyde generously added to the group with this unnamed beauty. Thanks again, Christopher! A breeding breakthrough for sure. July 5, 2009 026 (2) Coleus ‘Inky Fingers’ in a purple pot with a resident Green Man lives in the protection from sun and some rain under the wooden ramp to the garage deck. July 5, 2009 023 (2) The butterflies are taking their sweet time showing up at the Fairegarden this year. After the initial burst of Great Spangled Fritillary activity when the Asclepias first opened, the flying flowers have been sparse. Seeing the little jet winged skipper on the store bought Zinnia ‘Magellen Coral’ plants the seed of hope for more to come soon. July 5, 2009 016 (2) With the daylilies winding down and the fall stars not yet ready for prime time, color is appreciated wherever it can be found. The gravel path near the garage deck, home to the magnificent row of deciduous azaleas that light up the spring garden, is a hodge podge, or should we say mish mash of plantings. Mexican Hat, Ratabidia columnifera is still trying on chapeaus, or should it be chapeaux? Jacob Cline monarda sports a double decker doozy of a bloom and the Asclepias is forming new buds for a rebloom. July 5, 2009 019 (2) This combination is a real nightmare to those with particular and tasteful ideas of color usage in a garden setting. Tall Phlox Paniculata from neighbors Mae and Mickey, summer blooming Azalea, Rhododendron ‘Summer Lyric’ and came with the property orange tiger lilies front the Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Gold Mops’ hedge that runs parallel to the property line might win the prize for most garish sight, but…. July 5, 2009 027 (2) … in an uncropped shot of the above described bed looking very much like a sea of green, all color is welcome. Even a mishy mashy non artistic rendition of non tasteful color combinations.
~~~
Monday is laundry day at the Fairegarden household. There is little deviation from this assignment and it is relished as a new week begins without fail every seven days. Clean clothes, sheets and towels are welcome with such regularity. Can Mish Mash Monday join this agenda as a regular feature? Only time will tell, but finding a common theme of recent garden photos where there is none is cause for happiness and contented smiling while folding fresh sweet smelling fabrics.
Frances

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30 Responses to Mish Mashy Breakthroughs

  1. Racquel says:

    Mish Mash Monday is a great way to share all the unrelated stuff going on in the garden. I always enjoy Monica’s weekly post. πŸ™‚ I know what you mean, in a sea of green all blooms are welcome in my garden. Including the garish ones, lol. That tall Phlox of yours looks very much like my ‘Robert Poore’. πŸ™‚

    Hi Racquel, this is a great way to tie up loose ends, isn’t it? When I saw your Robert Poore and heard it was fragrant, I went out to check if this species was, and the answer is yes, a nice scent to it. Maybe a relative? Mine is very very tall and spreads like crazy by seed and root, but is not a thug.
    Frances

  2. Rose says:

    I hope you had a good Fourth of July weekend, Frances! It looks like your garden was all decked out for it, and the aquarium a good place to enjoy part of the day.
    I’ve never seen a zinnia with a center like that either, but my Profusions seem to be changing petal color on me. I think Monica is on to something with this Mish-Mash Monday theme, a good way to share photos without having to think to hard about connecting them. And it goes perfectly with Laundry Day:)

    Hi Rose, thanks and the same to you. The zinnias often change petal color here, especially the pink ones. Not thinking hard is a good goal for Mondays. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  3. Lola says:

    I hope you had a great time with family over the 4th.
    Your mish mash of flowers are fantastic. As you know there is every color in nature even if we think it garish. They are all looking good.

    Hi Lola, thanks and the same to you. As a younger woman, I steered clear of strong colors in the garden, preferring pastels. Now it is anything goes, a trait that seems to develop with the wisdom of age. Or is it failing eyesight needs more pigments? HA
    Frances

  4. Janet says:

    Hi there Frances, love all the blooms. My mix of sunflowers from the seed packet were scarfed up by the bunnies…and since I am using safflower seeds to feed the birds, I have no volunteers as I have had in the past. (Monday is also my laundry day!)

    Hi Janet, thanks. Nice to see another traditional laundress, HA! Two whole packages of fancy sunflower seeds have given one measly seedling. The gifts in the gravel, two, are all we have blooming out of so many planted. It’s a wonder we ever get any. Maybe we need more manure?
    Frances

  5. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Mish mash indeed. Just like your last photo, DELIGHTFUL. I have been coveting all of those lilies I have been seeing popping up one everyones blog posts. I was not aware that there was an azalea that blooms this time of year.

    Hi Lisa, thanks. Lilies are so rewarding and easy too. They will even take some shade. I have three azaleas blooming now, Summer Lyric, an unnamed species probably a parent of Summer Lyric, the flowers are very similar, and R. prunifolium.
    Frances

  6. greenwalks says:

    I think every day is Mish Mash Monday in my garden… laundry day used to be Saturday for me but 4th of July and other recent events messed that up, so I will be joining you in sorting, loading, schlepping and folding today. I love when it’s all clean and it does make the week seem to start out right. Oh, I must have crazy taste, because that phlox and tiger lily combo really made me smile. The Mexican hats and bee balm look great together too, another color combo that designers might not put together but that goes together well in your garden with the blue-ish foliage to pull them together.

    Hi Karen, nothing as satisfying as having the wash done for another week, is there? Either my tastes have changed or my eyesight is failing or both, but ALL colors go together for me anymore. HA
    Frances

  7. Catherine says:

    I have some very mish mashy areas especially in my backyard. I love the Mexican hat and Jacob Cline together.

    Thanks Catherine. Isn’t this a great meme? One can do whatever and still be right on target with it.
    Frances

  8. Germination inhibitors can be a nuisance as well as a blessing. It is upon them that I am blaming the almost total non-emergence of sweet corn.

    Nature’s pretty good at mixing without matching and a light splurge of colour in the middle of an expanse of green can be quite enlivening.

    Almost every day is a washing day in my household – in part because I forget to hang things up when the cycle is finished so it all has to be done again the next day!

    Esther

    Hi Esther, oh, too bad about the lack of sweet corn, for there is nothing that tastes so heavenly in summer. I totally agree, nature has a deft hand at painting with the flowers, why try and mess with it? I moved so many of the original plantings of the daylily hill thinking the colors did not *go*. Now they have all been moved back. Silly me. Laundry was not a favorite thing of mine until we bought lots of underwear and started only washing once a week. With four kids and two adults, all that bedding and towels, it was constant. Now with only the two adults, it is easy peasy. Maybe a timer would help you remember? πŸ™‚
    Frances

  9. Oh, I think Christopher Lloyd would be quite pleased to see your bold colour combination!
    πŸ˜‰
    K
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Colour-Adventurous-Gardeners-Christopher-Lloyd/dp/0563537396

    Hi Karen, thanks and how astute of you. It was Lloyd’s book that got me to think about mixing colors in the first place. He was a genius.
    Frances

  10. Frances you are so lucky to self seeded Sunflowers. It must be great when a sunny one pops up.

    I really like the resident Green Man by the way.

    Hi Rob, thanks. Only two wildlings out of the millions of sunflower seeds scattered about by the birds is not a good return on the investment. Both are in gravel too, and right in the middle of where we walk, so we have to be careful and go around them. One might even need staking, if you can believe it. That is a happy friendly green man, some of them are quite fierce looking.
    Frances

  11. I need to adopt this method of addressing Monday and getting caught up. There is certainly a lot going on!

    Ilove your zinnia, and laughed at your description of seed starting. I need a greenhouse badly, have not got one yet. My method of dealing with zinnias, marigolds, cosmos and a few other happy self-seeders is to collect seeds in the fall, and when it is early spring and throw them around maniacally. What grows, grows; what doesn’t doesn’t. Then I spend a great deal of time thinning the plants in the beds because invariable a lot more of the seeds germinate than I think will.

    I must go out and check mine to see if I have colors other than yellow for the true flowers. That really is rare!

    As far as I am concerned, there are no colors that do not go together when you are talking the garden. I have pink phlox combined with orange tiger lilies too, and never thought it clashed at all. Of course, the person who is speaking right now is also the person whose favorite outfit in 7th grade was an orange jumper with a magenta sweater. I LOVED that combo and could not understand why my mother winced when I showed up at the breakfast table sporting it. I think it was so shocking that no one ever even teased me about it– I mean, what could they say?

    Hi Hands, do join in, Monday is a good catch all day. Your method of seed starting if far preferable to mine, much less work and anxiety about failures. It sounds like you were way ahead of your time with the fashion color wheel too. How funny! πŸ™‚
    Frances

  12. TC says:

    I’m wanting to say “mis-matched” for some reason. Maybe it’s because that’s how my garden grows. Love the peachy zinnia Ms. Francis, I would also appreciate your definition of “true flower.”

    Hi TC, mismatched is a good one too. As for my definition of anything, I am pretty free wheeling when it comes to vocabulary and usage, but in this case, aren’t those little flowers on the cone the true flowers? The outer petals are merely fluff, like on echinaceas, black eyed susans, asters, or that’s how I am defining them anyway. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  13. Charlotte says:

    These are great pictures Frances! Lovely to behold.

    Thanks, Charlotte, and welcome. Your blog is a great resource that will be checked again and again. Thanks for stopping by.
    Frances

  14. tina says:

    Okay, I HAVE to ask, why a soon to be NON cinnaberry head? Say it ain’t so….

    Lovely color. I was happy to see you got that mish mash of orange and pink too. I have it and don’t like it-must fix soon. I thought I was the only one who did this:)

    Hey, when you get your laundry done, come do mine please:) We are still consolidating from hubby’s move home. It would help if the garden would stop calling my name. ttyl

    Well Tina, since you asked, the hair condition is below pathetic after all that coloring. Something must be done, and it might mean growing out for a while to give those follicles a break. HA I am learning to love the orange and pinks, what they need is even more colors to draw the eye. Reds, purples, yellows, even white would make it just perfect. Those are all such tall plants, they need to be bright. But if you feel the need to move yours, just let me say that in a few years time you will see the light. Save yourself some work and leave those plants be. As for the consolidation, argh, what a nightmare. I am still trying to jettison stuff from a lifetime of collecting. Streamline, Tina, streamline. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  15. joey says:

    Your mish-mashy post is delightful, Frances. I’m away at the lake, enjoying your garden and tweaking my wild garden here … and, of course, washed today as I do at home πŸ™‚

    Hi Joey, thanks so much. Being at the lake sounds terrific, serene and peaceful and surrounded by beauty. The Monday washing habit is a good one, isn’t it? Starts the week off right. HA
    Frances

  16. Love your mish and mash especially the phlox and lilies etc. That color combo is what July is all about. And thanks for reminding me of all the Hinkley Heronswood treasures dotting my garden (a nursery I continue to miss). Now off to see Monica’s mm’s.

    Hi Linda, thanks. Glad you have some mementos from Heronswood also. The tags are still on mine, it was always fun that they had my name on them.
    Frances

  17. Nice variety of mish-mashy items for this special day of Monica’s (which I’ve tried in a post, myself)…although for me, every day could be a mish-mashy day;-) For example, my laundry is mish-mashy and needs doing almost all the time…But on to more exciting things like, perhaps, plants & flowers! Your combinations make me happy; I am always happy to see color, regardless of whether it ‘should’ match or not! There ‘should not’ be any ‘shoulds’! As for sunflowers, well, mine do not seem to set little seedlings for me at all…I’ve often wondered why I don’t seem to get any, but your explanation makes sense. Perhaps one lucky one will develop to add some more ‘sunshine’ to my garden. Yours always seems to have plenty of that, Frances!

    Oh, that is so sweet Jan, thanks. As for my garden, it is definitely a sunny space for now, but the trees have other ideas and some day they will offer some shady nooks, I hope. You are so right about color, any color in a garden, always a pleasure.
    Frances

  18. Beckie says:

    Frances, I for one am loving the Mish Mash Mondays. As yo say finding a theme can sometimes be daunting-at least for me. πŸ™‚

    I love the pech zinnia with the peach florets. And I do not find the color combination of the phlox, lilies, ect at all garish. Looks like a lovely spot of colors in a sea of green. And what is with the lack of butterflies this year? They have been very scarce here too. 😦

    Hi Beckie, thanks for stopping by. Mish Mash is an excellent way to use some of those diverse photos taken over the weekend, no thinking required. About the butterflies, fingers and toes are crossed here that it is just too early?
    Frances

  19. Joanne says:

    Great post love being introduced to each flower but also loved the backdrop with the trees.
    I think your idea of Mish Mash Monday is great would you object if I borrowed your phrase or is that not etiquette in the blogging world?

    Hi Joanne, thanks so much. Mish Mash Monday is not my creation at all, rather Monica of Garden Faerie’s Musings thought it up. She is quite generous and would be happy for you to join in too, I’m sure. I know nothing about etiquette in the blogging world, but following memes, with a link to the originator, is quite popular.
    Frances

  20. Randy says:

    Frances, I hope you had a good holiday. A friend of mine plants orange, deep pink, and purple together in his garden and I think it looks divine. So much in fact, that I intend on doing the same in an area of our garden. πŸ™‚ I guess it’s all in what pleases your eyes, plus I’m convinced that none of us see the exact same colors. We know the sky is blue, but what color is blue to you? LOL I’m 99% sure you unknown crocosmia is β€˜Firefly’.

    Hi Randy, thanks so much. We did have a fun filled holiday, hope you also did. When you explain those colors in that way, it makes me want to run out and put more of that combination together too. Yours is just the voice I needed to hear. The sun is so bright in the summer, it seems the louder colors stand up better to it. Firefly it will be, thanks. I have a Calluna named Firefly that is my absolute favorite too.
    Frances

  21. Diana says:

    Frances — I love a mish mash, and I am so glad to be enabled by all my blogging friends! Yours is wonderful — I love that Monarda and it’s on my list of things I want to have. And I had no idea there were seed germination inhibitors in those seed! THAT explains it~I get a few every now and then, but they turn out tiny and spindly and I never understood why I didn’t have fields of them. Thanks for clearing up one of the great mysteries of life!

    Hi Diana, thanks, we love to enable each other, don’t we? Monarda is a great plant, one loved by the hummingbirds around here too. I have trouble even getting the fancy sunflowers to grow here, surely they don’t inhibit themselves? I hope.
    Frances

  22. VP says:

    Hi Frances – I love what you say about your last 2 photos. All too often we spend a lot of time looking at the details without pulling back for the bigger picture and finding that things aren’t so bad after all.

    You asked about Hampton Court vs. Chelsea over at my place which has got me very excited about the possible prospect of you coming over to England πŸ˜€

    Here’s what I said over there:

    As for Hampton Court vs. Chelsea, I can’t really say because I’ve only been to Chelsea, I’ve yet to go to Hampton Court. The thing to bear in mind with Chelsea is that Spring Fling’s probably not long after that, so you probably wouldn’t want to do both. Most people I’ve spoken to who’ve been to both say Hampton Court’s more relaxed and you can buy plants there. Not that you’re going to be that worried about plant buying if you’re going back to the States afterwards!

    Whichever one you choose, you can be assured of a great day and lots of garden inspiration πŸ™‚

    Hi VP, thanks for that. I am hoping to get to the UK one of these years, and had planned on going during Chelsea. From the responses I have had, it still seems that would be the best for me, since I cannot buy plants to bring home. Oh the sadness this causes! You are so right about the spring fling expense conflicting with the UK trip in May. Will have to start saving double the pennies. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  23. Jean says:

    I think that peachy zinnia is really cute. I’ve got an accidental pink and orange color combo going on in my garden as well (pink buddleia and flame acanthus). At first I didn’t care for it but it’s grown on me. As you said, all color is welcome!

    Hi Jean, thanks, that is my favorite color too. Last year when the phlox, tiger lilies and azalea bloomed at the same time, I didn’t like it either, but now rather fancy it. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  24. easygardener says:

    Well that explains why I never get baby sunflowers near my bird feeder!
    I say boo to good taste in the garden. I think your Azalea and Phlox look beautiful together.

    Hi EG, thanks. And boo it is, with gusto. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  25. You should have had a warning at the top of the post to get the sunglasses. That garish combo had me squinting. ;^) I was just telling the girl that green goes with everything. Your garden proves that.

    Hi MMD, sorry there was no warning. Glad you agree that green is the calming color that brings it all together.
    Frances

  26. Raffi says:

    The Crocosmia’s are definitely beauts!

    Thanks, Raffi, glad you like them. Those are favorite here as well.
    Frances

  27. Cindy, MCOK says:

    Frances, you and I talked last year about scattering the Crocosmia seeds and seeing what happened. I sure can’t see any Crocosmias where there were none before in my garden … what about you?

    Hi Cindy, total failure as best as can be seen. Seeds were started in the greenhouse with zero results. Seeds scattered around the bed have produced zero also. 0 for 0. At least the plants are easy to divide to make more. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  28. Frances, I would have to say that Crocosmia works well in the mish mash category since it is no doubt a mongrol of unknown parentage. I’ll have to ask but it could be what we called Montbretia and has been growing in family Florida gardens for the last 40 years.

    I think we have been way light on the flutterbys this year too. They were all over my pole beans last year and now there are none and very few beans setting.

    Hi Christopher, thanks for the info. About the lack of butterflies, should we be getting worried or is it just too soon?
    Frances

  29. Frances, I just asked. Those particular bulbs are the Montbretia (aka Crocosmia of some sort) that my grandmother grew in her Florida garden and have been around for the last 80 years.

    Oh, too cool! That is wonderful news. Sounds like these are a family heirloom, not to mention being a long lived plant as well. Thanks.
    Frances

  30. Victoria says:

    Your garden’s looking as gorgeous as ever, Frances. I’m very excited about the idea of you coming to the UK. You must come and visit!

    Thanks Victoria. When we have decided on a date, not this year for sure, I would love to meeet you and see your lovely garden. πŸ™‚
    Frances

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