Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Few Good Plants

It has been a busy spring and I haven't made time to post. I do have a lot of new design and planting projects looking fresh and not quite blog worthy yet! But here are a few good plants from my own small garden. This time of year you have to love those plants that just do their thing- without any fuss, like the illustrious Lady Bird Poppy (Papaver commutatum 'Ladybird'). I brought one small seed packet home from England, spread the seeds in fall (or spring?) and year after year they come back in the same spot. I amend the soil, dig, weed, etc. and still they return, uncomplicated and undemanding, looking lovelier and lovelier with each season. They require absolutely nothing from me- except adoration of course. It is good against the red house and with the blooming Rhododendron sucker I brought home from a job five years ago.

This is another great self sower- and another great experiment- Poached Egg or Limnanthes douglasii. This packet of seeds I sowed in spring in the greenhouse and then planted out. It looked pretty sad that first year- a very small plant with a spindly flower that immediately went to seed. I thought nothing of it until it showed itself again the following year in the same spot- this time the plants were four times the size, creating a lovely carpeting ground cover with these extremely cheery flowers in mid spring. The plant looks a bit ragged now- it must be slightly short lived, but I will let it sow itself again for next year.


Here is a bulb I bought on a whim and planted quickly, (somewhere, anywhere!) this fall, Gladiolus communis subsp. byzantinus. I have never grown Glads before, but thought a wintering over species looked pretty good! I had no idea what it was as it came out of the ground- its leaves looking a bit like Crocosmia- until it bloomed. I love that I unknowingly planted it with that hot red-pink Dianthus deltoides 'Maiden Pink.' So hot, so pink!

A quick shot of one area in a late spring sunset. This area is a dense mat of ground covers, but with the bronze fronds of Dryopteris erythrosora poking up through.

Seen here with a purple Camasia and a healthy looking weed!


  1. Ha...all our weeds are very healthy too...

    Wonderful post...joyful connections from seed packets, seemingly random selections of bulbs, and plant stock that speak of your harmony with the earth you plant with such love and admiration.

  2. I didn't realize Gladiolus communis subsp. byzantinus was hardy for us. I tried them one year and they never came up. I assumed it was hardiness, maybe it was voles? Did you do anything special with them? Those unexpected combos are often the best ones in a garden.

  3. Loved seeing those poppies "in situ" Helen. You have some lovely plants in that garden, I don't know how you find the time!

  4. Nice to see your garden! It looked lovely in June.... I have a packet of ladybird poppies that I forgot to sowed out. Perhaps I will still give them a try :)