Popping in with Star Double Pop Star

We are fine. Much has transpired. Staying safe is not easy. Please follow precautions.

I wanted to share this gorgeous dianthus from the fairy garden.

It is magical!

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This is Star Double Pop Star Dianthus.

This is its second year in this location.

It seems to be very happy here.

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I hope all of you are able to stay well.

Wash hands, wear a mask, social distancing, stay home…you know the drill.

I miss us.

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A Mountain Town

Blowing Rock is full of flowers.

I always look forward to strolling along while enjoying the lovely combinations.

There are planters and gardens everywhere.

September is especially lovely because of the cool weather.

There are many places to eat, shop or people watch.

Blowing Rock is a charming little mountain town.

I am always inspired by my visits there.

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Named After its Food

How would you like to be named after your favorite food?

Ms. Chocolate Eclair? Mr. Potato Chip? Mrs. Pimento Cheese?

Well someone named these bugs after their food, Large Milkweed Bug.

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Its Latin name is not much better, Oncopeltus fasciatus. That sounds like a disease!

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I found these on my Butterfly weed which is in the Milkweed family.

Here is an adult on a seed pod.

These nymphs do not have wings yet.

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They are the same color as the Asclepias blooms.

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Is this camouflage? I doubt it.

You are what you eat. These are toxic due to the milk weed seeds that they ingest.

They don’t need to hide.

Flower (Ms. Mongolian Beef)

 

Jewel Dropping

One of the stars of August is this magical plant, Talinum paniculatum ‘Limon’.

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I do love its chartreuse leaves.

I love its tiny pink blooms.

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But its best feature is its seeds.

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That is why its common name is Jewels of Opar.

These little round seeds sparkle in the sunshine.

They also drop to the ground and germinate.

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So the jewels have dropped and scattered over the years.

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Those familiar chartreuse leaves show up wherever the plant was located last season

or in the pots of other plants next to the pots where they bloom.

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I do truly love this plant, jewel dropping and all!

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Stokes Aster is a Star

I am so thankful for this beautiful and easy plant, Stokesia laevis ‘Peachie’s Pick.’

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When other flowers start to wilt and fade in the July heat, it steps it up.

I do not give this one any special treatment.

I divide it every few years.

It has thrived wherever I plant it.

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No wonder it’s ‘Peachie’s Pick’ Stokes Aster.

Whoever Peachie is, she know her plants. Butterflies like it, too.

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Blackberry Lilies

The Belamcanda chinensis are competing for attention in a rather crowded field of flowers today.

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These beauties are really in the iris family, but are called Blackberry lilies.

There are several colors.

My dark “Leopard Lily” must have crossed with

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my yellow “Candy Lily”

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to produce this unusual tie-dyed look.

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Another surprise in the garden!

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Seeing Spots!

This is the most magical plant in my garden.

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Its nickname is Fairy Flower.

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Most call it foxglove. The scientific name is Digitalis purpurea.

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One year I actually hid tiny fairies in the flowers for a post.

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Most of my foxgloves are pink this season.

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But no two are identical.

The tubular flowers have hairs inside along the bottom.

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The stamen with pollen and stigma are under the roof.

Bees go in and get their tummies tickled by the hairs

as pollen is deposited onto or removed from their backs.

It’s the spots that get me.

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Tiny Somethings on a Spiderwort

Sometimes I look through my camera and get surprised.

I got a surprise while photographing one of the Spiderworts.

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It had tiny flying insects hanging onto its stamen.

Not hoovering like a normal bee, but tucked into the flower.

This Spiderwort is Tradescantia ‘Zwanenburg Blue.’

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Its flowers close during the heat of the day and in wind.

It likes moist conditions, but I have had some rot if kept too wet.

It is deer resistant. A feature that is much needed now that my garden is a deer delicatessen.

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