susansflowers

garden ponderings

Silver Thyme

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Silver Thyme

I’ve been moving starts of this plant to different places around the house. Thyme is such a sturdy plant that all the moves have been successful. This example has bi-color leaves of white and green, with spikey flowers in pale lavender.

If I wait too long before I prune this ground cover back, the leaves turn to a solid green.  I discovered that if I prune off the dead flowers, the leaves remain the beautiful bi-color as pictured above.

It will multiply naturally where a longer branch touches the ground, or send up starts on its own.  I’ve given plant starts away, and transplanted it around my house.  The deer and rabbits do not seem to bother with this herb.

Scabiosa

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Scabiosa

When a girlfriend referred to this flower, she made it sound so common and usual, but I had never heard of it. Scabiosa is a sturdy perennial, that flowers prolifically. As long as I keep it deadheaded, it keeps on going. These flowers are a good filler in a bouquet, yet look just fine alone or in a group, in a vase.

This plant has not multiplied for me, as have so many other perennials.  I’m finally deducing it is because I keep the spent flowers removed, so they never have a chance to go to seed.  What a trade-off is needed:  to let some flowers remain on the plant to go to seed, and then it will flower no more that season.  Perhaps it is time for an experiment.

Lamb’s Ear

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Lamb's Ear

I’ve seen this plant turn into a thick mat and take over an area. While it is pretty, and is an unusual, decorative touch in bouquets, I want to be in control. So, I learned that if these do not get watered, they do not take over. Although, I do make sure they get just enough water to stay alive during a hot summer.

Those are waning daffodil leaves turning yellow and laying down to dry out for the summer. Lavender starts are getting established also, in the background.

A Tale of Two Rhodies

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Rhodies

These lavender and purple rhododendrons are the same age, but grew up differently. (Describing plants can be so similar to describing people, sometimes.) They both have their stories.

One year, the lavender rhodie, was photographed by my mother-in-law every day for a week as she watched the blossoms open. I’m thinking it was her last visit here, she was in her mid-eighties at the time. Every morning she would go out and examine the wonder of flowers slowly opening, and take a picture with her little camera. She would get so excited, and later savored her photos after they were developed (this was before digital cameras and instant pictures).

The little purple rhodie on the right was one of the favorite nap spots for our old family dog. From when the plant was little, Rascal would wallow in the dirt, and make his bed there. Many times I tried to pry him from there or lure him into another spot, but no success. The soil there was cool and the area shady in summer afternoons. After he went to doggie heaven, I got more into gardening and have been working to revive this plant ever since.