Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Something Just Caught My Eye

When I took my morning walk along My Garden Path, a few things drew my attention.  This Butterfly Bush, Buddleja davidii,  is constantly producing blooms and what is truly amazing, it is healthy.  I buy one of these bushes every Spring only to watch it wither away.  This year's bush has been different - in a good way.  I don't know the cultivar name, it was simply labeled as "purple."

The Blackberry Lily, Belamcanda chinensis, is actually in the Iris family.  What I noticed on my walk was the seed pods forming.  This is exciting stuff!  It means I will have more of these beauties to spread around My Garden Path and to share with other gardening friends. 

Look at this!  The Red Firespike, Odontonema strictum, is starting to bloom.  These spikes will get much larger and open up into many tiny trumpet shaped blooms that the Hummingbirds love.  Last year, this was the number one plant where I could count on seeing a Hummer sipping away. 

Another favorite with the Hummingbirds is this Firebush, Hamelia patens.   This particular shrub was planted this Summer to replace the one that never returned from the winter freezes.  It has been planted in a shady area in hopes of the big oak giving it some winter protection.  The shade has not diminished the blooms,  I'm happy to see.

Oh Look!  The Celosia has a bud forming.  I bought this plant for $1 from the County Jail Horticulture program.  I've been taking cuttings and rooting them without realizing I was keeping it from blooming.  I just love the red foliage.  I guess I'll stop cutting it and let these buds blossom.  I have learned since planting it that it re-seeds so if I want it next year I need to let her bloom. 

Oops, those aren't blooms on the Milkweed!  Those are Monarch caterpillars.  Yay! 

The Sweet Almond, Aloysia virgata, has been really blooming of late.  The sweet scent is so nice in the garden.  I've read these can get 10 feet high or more.  I can't wait for my little sprawling bush to grow up and really fill the air with the perfume of many more blooms. 

There are a couple of things I noticed about these Mexican Petunias, Ruellia brittoniana.  First, they are staying in a neat clump and not taking over the world.   These are a sterile cultivar that are more upright in form than the type I have planted (and regretted) in the past.  They really are staying in one spot. 

Another thing that caught my eye was the fact that the Bamboo is weeping over on top of the Mexican Petunias.  That side bed is going to have to be widened.  But, it's definitely a project for a cooler time of year. 


  1. Nana ~ I've not had good luck with butterfly bush down here. Glad to see yours surviving and thriving.

    I've also noticed seed pods forming on my blackberry lilies.

    I don't think I've ever seen much less smelled the sweet almond. I have read about it though.

    Enjoy your lovely flower filled gardens.


  2. I just saw a couple seedpods forming on my blackberry lily this morning too. I was driving up near my son's house this past week and saw a huge stand of blackberry lilies next to a large pond in someone's front yard. It was a stunning sight! Wish I had planted this one years ago. It's really strange to me that you lost your firebush this past winter. They typically look dead for awhile, then return from roots. Mine are already well over my head and just as wide. The hummers are in and out of them all day long. I have that clumping form of Ruellia as well.

    Love your monarch caterpillar!

  3. FlowerLady - Interesting that you have had good luck with the butterfly bush and you're way south of me. Hmmm... Maybe I'll get lucky with this one.

    Floridagirl - I think a huge stand of blackberry lily would be beautiful. I just have three plants that I planted this spring. Hoping to thicken up my "stand." I agree the firebush not returning is strange. I've had it for 3 years and it always came back from the roots. But I waited until late May to call it a goner. When I dug it up it showed no signs of green anywhere. I love it and it's usual return to be bigger and better each year is why I bought replacements.

  4. NK, you've got some great blooms right now! I love the butterfly and hummer attracting plants. I've made specific choices this year...if it didn't attract the butterflies and hummers, I didn't add it to my garden. That blackberry lily is gorgeous...I'm hoping to add some this fall. A friend has promised me some seeds.
    BTW, I really like your sparrows in your sidebar...is that new or have I just overlooked it previously?

  5. NanaK: It is always fun to find something new in the garden everyday. I also see the buds on my young firespike plant, can not wait to see the flowers. I saw the flowers in one of your old blog header, and really loved it. That Sweet Almond sounds interesting with the fragrance. I need to watch for that.

    I have been afraid to introduce Mexican Petunias into my garden since I saw them taking over the whole landscape area in the public place. Your clumping form one would be something I will want since I do love their beautiful purple flowers.

  6. I planted the sterile variety of Mexican petunias for the first time this year, and have been very happy with them. They do grow quite tall but haven't spread...yeah! And, oh yea, I've seen hummers on them, too...which makes me very happy. Your plants look very lush. Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday.

  7. Kimberly - Oh yeah, get the blackberry lily definitely. It is cold hardy as well as pretty. The sparrows were added when I changed my template a little while ago. I'm glad you like it.

    Ami - You will love your firespike from now until frost. The cold gets it here but your garden is a lot warmer than mine. It comes back from the ground and grows back up 6 feet tall or more by summer's end. I wouldn't be afraid of the sterile form of ruellia. I bought mine at Home Depot. They came from Riverview Flower Farms's Florida Friendly Plants. The pots with the butterflies on them. http://www.floridafriendlyplants.com/Garden_Centers.asp

    Susan - I only see one hummingbird at a time here. I think maybe it's the same one. Wish I had more. Glad I'll see you on Saturday.

  8. FlowerLady - I just noticed you said you have NOT had good luck with butterfly bush down your way. I was reading too fast!

  9. Hi Kay,
    Grrr... I'm going to try this again. Blogger ate my first comment. I've enjoyed the pretty flowers that 'caught your eye'. So nice your Buddleia is doing well for you... I've never had good fortune with them. The flutterbys really do love them... my neighbor has one that does great.

    I've had my eye out for a red firespike at the garden center but haven't seen any yet. The purple one I have doesn't bloom until late December. It's nice then but miss having a red one for now. Good to hear the hummers like it.

    The firebush is worth replacing. I'm kind of surprised it didn't come back for you. You are right ... I've seen sweet almond get very large... what a wonderful fragrance they have!!!


  10. Meems - I find my comments missing quite often. Frustrating. I'll take some cuttings from my red firespike :)


Thank you for travelling down My Garden Path with me. I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment and share what is going on in your gardens.