susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Aster

?????????? aster with visitors ??????????

The first aster plant I bought, the purple flowered one in the first photo, looked a little sad in the discount section of one of my favorite nurseries, Down to Earth in Eugene, Oregon.  A birthday present to myself.  I would give it a good home and bring it back to life. 

How little I knew at that time.  It seems these are very sturdy plants, as long as I keep them from the deer, and give them enough water.  Oh, yes, and they like to multiply.  So I moved the new plants around to different places in the garden.  Flowers of the off-spring apparently do not have to be the same color as their parents, as I now have a variety of colors of asters growing.  I have not seen the white flowered plant yet this year, but it may be still to come.

In the second picture you can see a moth and a bee appreciating the blossoms.  I am careful as I walk among these flowers, as I know the bees and wasps can be easily agitated as the season wears on. 

These make great cut flowers, and will keep on blooming if the stems are not cut too short. 

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.

Balloon Flower

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Balloon Flower

I planted this a number of years ago, and was sure it disappeared soon after. Surprisingly, it has survived and lives in the shade and moisture under a Camellia bush. The blue-violet flowers grow on stalks that emanate away from the balloon plant, thus they appear to be growing in the leaves of nearby winter-blooming violets.

Violets grow profusely under the camellia bush, making it hard to see any other plants that might also be growing there.  Besides the balloon flower, I am now discovering various other plants popping up under the camellia including a bergenia and bluebells.  I know I have not planted the latter two in that area, so I am thinking the mice (or voles) have been moving bulbs and parts of plants around in the winter time.  I had heard that this could happen, and now I am observing plants in places that I have no other explanation for their location.

White Ground Rose

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White Ground Rose

What a find this plant was. While driving in Northern California through Mount Shasta, we stopped in the north part of the town at the city park with the headwaters of the Sacramento River springing from a rock. As one turns off the highway towards the park, there is an excellent plant nursery, where I have found plants suited to the extreme local weather. What survives there, can survive the coldest winter or hottest summer in Douglas County, OR.

This was purchased as a ground rose, whatever that means. This is a very sturdy, disease-resistant, prolific flower-producing shrub. I cut it back liberally after each mass of blooms, then it reblooms and gets larger. The deer keep it pruned on one side as it is next to one of the “flower jails”. The blossoms look beautiful in one of the small, 2″ – 3″ high porcelain mini vases I have made.