Showing posts with label blue flowers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blue flowers. Show all posts

All Atwitter About Agapanthus

Unknown Agapanthus from 2016 blooming in 2017.
About a year ago, I wrote about how some of my Agapanthus were doing. I'd purchased an unknown variety at a garden center late season sale and enjoyed its blooms through summer of 2016.

About a year ago, I divided its root system into two plants, and one of them bloomed in September, 2017.

Meanwhile, I'd purchased a couple more for my collection. That's me--send me a little luck with a plant and I have to buy more.

One of the Agapanthus I picked up at a GWA symposium/trade show as a sample in fall, 2016. To tell the truth, I got three; they were small. I treated them like the others, its first season beginning in spring of 2017.

Flowers of Agapanthus 'Neverland' have a delicate
purple stripe at the center of each petal.
Although it filled the pot pretty well, it didn't bloom last summer. I decided to turn it into a houseplant for the winter and have been growing it under lights. Guess what?!?! It bloomed! Well, let's just say it sent up one flower spike, which I cut off because it came up with aphids. I guess the little blighters couldn't get enough of the succulent petals.

Although not a deep blue like many of the best cultivars, 'Neverland' had flowers of the palest purple with deeper purple stripes down the center of each petal.

And then there is a cultivar called 'Elaine', which I ordered from Glasshouse Works last spring. This cultivar promises flowers of a deeper blue, and according to Glasshouse Works owner Ken, it's easier to flower than some of the others.

It was ready to practically jump out of the plastic pot I planted it in. I thought I'd best knock it out of the pot and deal with it first. I had to slit the pot down one side to get it out, but what I found were some seriously healthy roots. 
Agapanthus 'Elaine' was struggling to be released from the pot she's been in for nearly a year.

I planted it in a pot about an inch or so larger on all sides, because Agapanthus like their roots to settle in nice and cozy before putting out any blooms. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Singing the (Happy) Blues of Summer

Blue, or what we call blue in the garden, seems to become more prevalent as the season winds down. It might not be in swathes of startling beauty, but it's there nonetheless, inviting us to catch our breath from the heat and rest our eyes on the coolest color on the wheel.
The 'Legend' tomato and the 'Polish Spirit' clematis form a
pretty partnership.

Although I couldn't have planned a more cheerful partnership, I'll take credit for the grafted tomato 'Legend' cozying up to the simple deep blue-purple "Polish Spirit' clematis.
Cynoglossum amabile
But there is a true blue flower that's decidedly easy to grow. I tossed seed of Cynoglossum amabile here and there throughout the garden, and it's been blooming since mid-July. This annual Asian native will self-sow if it likes its environment, but it's really not that fussy. It's great in a vase, tolerates some shade and seems to thrive in lean soils. Put this on your "must-have" list for next season. Annies Annuals has the tall variety, which is great if you have lots of sun. I think mine is a 1-foot tall hybrid that stretched a bit in the shade.
Phlox 'David's Lavender'
Next to the true blue Chinese forget-me-not above, Phlox 'David's Lavender' looks nearly pink. But it's got a good bit of cool to its demeanor. And this variety has been mildew-free for several years in my crowded garden.
 
Aconitum of a species likely napellus.
Speaking of crowded, Aconitum napellus, or at least I think that's the species, keeps a very low profile in a shady spot as it takes support from a trellis whose clematis has seen better days. The common name for this gorgeous true blue flower is wolfsbane. (Wickipedia) It's poisonous, but that doesn't mean you can't admire it up close. I always wash my hands after handling it.


Fragrance and unusual flowers

species Gardenia
I bought a gardenia labeled simply "species gardenia" from Logee's several years ago, and it's having a fairly good year finally. It's a single-flowered species, don't know if it's a cultivated variety or not, but it's a real cutie.  I planted it last year in a styrofoam container with cactus soil mixed with regular potting soil and topdressed it with gravel for extra drainage away from stems. It gets an acid fertilizer about every other time it's watered and had a dose of Osmocote about a month ago.

Gardenia 'Miami Supreme'
This Gardenia is called 'Miami Supreme' and we've had it for nearly 15 years. By early March in our sunroom, it's severely defoilated and covered with mites and scale. By July it's covered with buds and its leaves have mostly recovered from chlorosis. It also gets Osmocote and acid water-soluble fertilizer. What a wonderful fragrance! And it keeps me in gardenias for the entire summer.

Deinanthe caerulea ‘Blue Wonder’
Deinanthe caerulea ‘Blue Wonder’ is in a less than prominent spot so I had to cut a stem to photograph. Its flowers face downward and are an awesome blue. Deinanthe is in the Hydrangea family, with huge leaves. It likes lots of moisture but good drainage and fairly deep shade.