The 2009 year of bloom days has nearly come to an end. It was thought there would be so few of them that every single flower blooming this month could be shown, but that has not been the case. While the number of flowering plants is dwindling, there are still too many to show every one, even every type of plant still in bloom. That is considered a good thing. The fern leaf bleeding hearts, Dicentra eximia have been everblooming since early spring. I love how the foliage is aging attractively, turning a bright golden.
The unidentifiable yellow button mum is a stalwart of the winter garden, blooming well into December and beyond most years. We saw this plant for sale recently at the University of Tennessee garden sale with the name given as Dendranthema ‘Ruth Baumgardner’. We know Ruth, she is the owner of our favorite nursery, Mouse Creek. This is where I bought this mum many years ago, she called it by the name Ann Wright, a local gardener who had given it to Ruth. Does anyone know the correct name out there in the blogdom? Calluna vulgaris ‘Firefly’ is turning red for the winter. This combination is growing in the newly redesigned heather bed.
Also originating from Mouse Creek is D. ‘Sheffield Pink’. Most of the blooms have gone by, fading to nearly white, but the more protected bunches are continuing to put forth new flowers. This shot shows well the darker apricot color of the buds and the fading that occurs over time.
This was the year we went gaga over Cupheas. (There will be a plant portrait post about them during the slow months of winter.) Mouse Creek, do you see a trend here? offered a good selection of these tender perennials in small four inch pots. We bought every kind she had and every one is still blooming except the Proven Winners C. ‘Totally Tempted’ which did not like the heat of summer. This is C. hybrid ‘Twinkle Pink’.
As promised, the non macro longer shot is featuring the heart’s delight of the gardener and the pollinators at present, the family of Salvias. This was another species group that was added this year in quantity. A Salvia post, or two will be written this winter as well. Ruth must have been reading my mind, for she also had many types of Salvias in smaller pots making these additions affordable and feeding my plant collecting frenzy. I suppose she would be called an enabler. The velvet purple and white spears of the S. leucantha, probably not hardy but quite a star for a cheap annual, show up well against the reds of S. coccinea self sowns and the Knockout roses sharing space with the fading Faire muhly grass.
Not showing any signs of fading yet is the fruity scented pineapple sage, S. elegans in the black garden has been a standout. Like Leucantha, it is a late bloomer, but worth the wait.
Sister, brother, let’s call it sibling to S. guaranitica ‘Black And Blue’ that is popular in many gardens is the lesser seen S. guaranitica ‘Argentine Skies’. This is planted behind the muhly by the driveway. It seems to be more vigorous here than the black calyx sib.
Growing in the same bed but nearer the path due to its shorter stature is S. nemorosa ‘May Night’. There are three types of blue salvias in this area, trying to duplicate the look of the Lurie in Millenium Park in Chicago. S. ‘Caradonna’ and S. ‘Blue Hill’ have not been nearly as vigorous as May Night.
The effort to save and start seed of S. coccinea in the greenhouse has been dropped from the to do list. Over the years the black calyx seedlings have been allowed to grow while the green ones have been pulled. The gravel paths of the knot garden have proven to be the best nursery for many plants in the entire garden. When the seedlings are large enough to move they are placed here and there around the garden. This patch by the garage deck side has done extremely well and will perhaps give us babies in the same area next year. If not, there is always the knot garden gravel from which to choose the best of the best.
This group of macro shots gives a balanced idea of what is still blooming at this late date in 2009. From the top: Viola, hybrid musk rose R. ‘Penelope’, Dahlia ‘Gallery Cobra’, annual Dianthus, Zinnia, marigold, Tagetes cross between Queen Sophia and Tiger Eye, I need to name this, how about T. ‘Faire Tiger Queen’,
As always, our thanks go to the delightful Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting this world wide showcase of blooming plants each month on the fifteenth.