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.

Flower

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.

IMG_8594

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

IMG_8591

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.

IMG_8590

They are the same color as the Asclepias blooms.

IMG_8587

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’.

IMG_7799

I do love its chartreuse leaves.

I love its tiny pink blooms.

IMG_7773

But its best feature is its seeds.

IMG_7774

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.

IMG_7798

So the jewels have dropped and scattered over the years.

IMG_7797

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.

IMG_7800

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

FLOW

Stokes Aster is a Star

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

IMG_7326

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.

IMG_7313

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

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

IMG_7250

Flower

Blackberry Lilies

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

IMG_7055

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

IMG_7057

my yellow “Candy Lily”

IMG_7056

to produce this unusual tie-dyed look.

IMG_7059

Another surprise in the garden!

Flow

 

Seeing Spots!

This is the most magical plant in my garden.

IMG_5641

Its nickname is Fairy Flower.

IMG_5640

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

IMG_5646

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

IMG_5642

Most of my foxgloves are pink this season.

IMG_5683

But no two are identical.

The tubular flowers have hairs inside along the bottom.

IMG_5655

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.

Flow

 

 

Tiny Somethings on a Spiderwort

Sometimes I look through my camera and get surprised.

I got a surprise while photographing one of the Spiderworts.

IMG_5492

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.’

IMG_5489

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.

Flow

 

Don’t Blink, it’s Spring

I was away for three days. I came home to a different garden.

IMG_5047

The change is a tribute to the power of sunshine and rain.

The azaleas started blooming.

IMG_5081

The Lily of the Valley is reaching up and budding.

IMG_5068

The Solomon’s Seal is ringing its bells.

IMG_5065

Ascot Rainbow Spurge lifted its blooms.

IMG_5052

My ‘Expensive Stick’ turned into a tree.

IMG_5076

The best surprise was the ‘Juddii ‘Viburnum blooms.

IMG_5069

I wish I could share the scent of these lovely flowers.

IMG_5070

My garden was busy while I was away.

Don’t blink or you will miss something.  It’s spring in the south.

FLOWER

Another Darling Baby

My other “Darling of Spring” is a tiny Columbine, ‘Little Lanterns’ Aquilegia canadensis.

It is always the first Columbine to bloom.

I have it right by the path into our house because it is less than 10 inches tall.

It will not be overlooked, however, because if its “fire engine red” blooms.

I have many varieties of Columbine that I will share later,

but this one is my most precious.

‘Little Lanterns’ Columbine, Aquilegia canadensis

I have one more itty-bitty plant to share, but you will have to wait several weeks for it.

Every day is an art show in April.

I hope you are out and about. It’s a beautiful world.

Flower