Thursday, April 11, 2013

Some of My Favorite Summer Flowers

Magenta pink Rose Campion with its gray green
flannel soft leaves and a purple veronica.
Rose Campion reseed very easily, especially if you dead
head them regularly and throw the spent flowers/seed
heads where you want more plants.
Tall lavender Verbina Bonariensis (vanilla
scent and draws butterflies) and orange red
Gaillardia (blanket flower)
Did you know that petunias, especially Wave petunias, make great cut flowers?  During the autumn as the outdoor potted plants begin to slow, I cut lengths of petunias that have maybe one bloom but many buds.  These buds continue to bloom as a cut flower in small water-filled jars.

I saw Rose Campion in someone's garden as I was driving to the grocery store years ago.  I searched my seed catalogs, found it, ordered the seeds, and been so happy every spring when the plants came up and bloomed through to frost.  They don't make cut flowers (they wilt immediately) but grow and grow when dead headed, and reseed easily.  Each plant lasts quick a few years and generally do well in our July drought season, whether in shade or full sun.

Another of my favorites are annual poppies, such as Rhoes.  The tissue paper petals are so fluttery and delicate and come in so many colors and combinations of colors.  Every plant and flower is a surprise when it opens.  Dead heading them is really important to keep them blooming, and then dropping the spent buds/stems where you want next years' flowers.

I don't think a garden can have too many Verbina Bonariensis, a tall lavender colored vanilla scented pom-pom headed flower that draws butterflies more than any other flower I've ever had.  Although it's not hardy to this area (zone 5, West Michigan), it reseeds readily and the plants that come up from seed bloom almost as fast as the plants that make it through our winters.  You do need to be careful in the spring because they are the last plant to show any green growth and often, I think, is pulled up by gardeners as a dead plant.  I leave a 6" stem on each plant to locate the plant in the midst of the greenery around it.  There are actually very few leaves and then a long, very long, very thin stem that arises out of the base and then a forked triangle of stems that come out at the top to produce the pom-poms of tiny flowers that drive butterflies crazy; even hummingbirds are drawn to each flower ball.
Another annual Rhoes poppy
An annual Rhoes poppy with its tissue
paper petals.
An annual Rhoes Poppy
Pink petunias, Brown-Eyed
Susan's, long leaves of the
biennial Olympic Mullein

1 comment:

  1. What a sweet collection of flowers.Bet your garden is beautiful as well as fragrant.