Saturday, July 4, 2009

Red, White and Blue

As a sort of 4th of July themed post this morning, I'm putting up pictures of some of my favorite red, white and blue flowers. Most are perennials, though a couple are dependably self seeding annuals.
This first one has got to be one of my favorite clematis, a bright red flowered one, Clematis texensis. It is a species and pretty carefree. I never trim it or do much of anything to it except be sure that it is climbing up it's support and not covering eveything on the ground near it. The species clematis are not as fancy looking as some of the others, but they just bloom and bloom. I also have ones that look similar in yellow and blue.

I'm trying to stick with things that are blooming now (which is why you don't see any peony pictures even though they fit the color scheme) and the yarrows are in their glory in this midsummer heat. Achillea 'Paprika' is, I think, the best red. It is always what used to be called fire engine red - before fire engines stopped being red. It will grow in full sun or light shade, though its preference is definitely for more sun. It tolerates a bit of drought, especially after it blooms. This is good as a dried flower, but will loose a bit of the color and by the darkest days of winter, most achilleas are more of a beige.

Monarda, Bee Balm, is also blooming all over the garden right now. This one is 'Cambridge Scarlet', the first one I got and which I brought here from West Virginia when I moved to the farm here. It will also grow in both sun and light shade, and like the yarrows, is happier in a sunny location. Bees (and butterflies) really do like it. I like working around it because of the lovely minty scent when you rub against the leaves.

Nicotiana sylvestris is an annual, though I have never been without it even though I first planted it at least a dozen years ago. The seeds were a gift from a friend and I always think of him when it blooms. This is a big plant, as tall as I am on a good year, and has sweetly scented blooms. It has a tendecy to overseed and so I need to think the seedlings. It doesn't bloom until late summer and is just coming up now. No chance of this one being bothered by late spring frosts.

Another annual that self seeds happily here and which blooms from late spring until frost is Tanacetum parthenium. I actually started out with the gold leaf form, but over the years most have reverted to green, but the flowers are the same cheery white balls and are a staple in my flower arrangements. These are about 2 feet tall, so I have to selectively think the seedlings so they don't overwhelm their neighbors.

The last white flower for this morning is Phlox paniculata 'Delta Snow'. There is the slightest bit of pale pink in the center of the blooms, but you have to be close to see it so the overall effect is definitely white. These aren't quite blooming yet, but will be soon and will have flowers into the fall.

I think that my all time favorite blue flower is just the Chicory that grows by the side of the road. You can't beat the color. Proper name for this one is Chicorum intybus. I've never tried transplanting it into the garden, but might do so since the county has gotten so efficient in mowing the roadsides, that we don't have much near the house any more.

Blooming now is also the Baptisia australis. The blue is deeper than the chicory, but about the same shade. These are tall, and though they are covered with seed pods, I've never had them self seed here, though I'd sure like a few more. They are tall and easily seen above other plants. Full sun and at least a bit drought tolerant.

Last is Forget-Me-Not. I've written about this one before, but it remains one of my favorite blue flowers and would be even without the history behind my plants. It will be covered with blooms in late spring, but will continue to bloom all summer and fall until frost, though there won't ever be quite as many blooms as the initial flush of bloom in the spring.

I know there are many more red, white and blue flowers in the garden, but this is just a sampling. Today I know there will be a lot of red and white daylilies out there.
I hope you'll all enjoy a relaxing day of picnics and friends and family (and flowers).


Anonymous said...

I live in Central FL, do these plants the blue flowers, the Baptisia Australia do well in hotter climates, because I LOVE BLUE flowers, & have some purple passion flowers that I can't get rid of & want some other colors in that garden in front of my house.
Oh about the forget-me-nots about them being heat tolerant too? Are they?

Hoot Owl Hollow Nursery said...

The forget-me-nots, Myosotis seem to be good as far south as zone 8 and so might not be happy in central Florida unless they were in a very cool and shady location. The Baptisia australis will grow in your area and like full sun.