Sunday, May 6, 2012

Three's company


For Macro Monday hosted by Lisa's Chaos, here is a trio of Eastern U.S. native plants in bloom in my garden now.  Above is Iris virginica.  I have three different iris in my garden that were sold to me under the name Iris virginica that are all notably different, a short one with purple/blue flowers, a tall one with similar blue flowers, and a tall one with white flowers.  I think the shorter one could be Iris virginica var. shrevei.  I think that one is the neatest and most well behaved but they all are quite nice.  I like the blue flowers better than the white.  I would not have chosen the white, but sometimes when you buy plants sold by local garden or wildflower clubs (as I like to do) the labeling is a bit lacking.  It's a great way to get interesting new plants, though, especially natives.
The second photo is an Erigeron species, perhaps Erigeron pulchellus, Robin plaintain, or else Erigeron philadelphicus, Philadelphia fleabane.  I favor the second option because it amuses me to imagine Elton John singing "Philadelphia Fleabane, shine on me!"  That just doesn't work with "Robin plantain", but I suppose I should try harder to find out which one it really is.  This plant just popped up in my garden a few years ago and has stayed and gotten more and more attractive.  I feel honored to have a genuine native wildflower (as opposed to dandelions) feel at home in my garden.

The third photo is Amsonia tabernaemontana, Bluestar.  Many of the natives in my garden don't exactly wow me when out of bloom but this is an exception.  The medium narrow leaves are attractive right through the heat of summer and never wilt even when it hasn't rained for weeks.  On the other hand, I have heard great things about the fall foliage color but I don't really see it.  Perhaps this individual is in too much shade or doesn't have the showy fall genes.  Or maybe the fall color is really only appropriate to its cousin, Amsonia hubrichtii, which has much narrower leaves that I definitely have seen turn banana yellow in the fall.  I like bluestar a lot but the light blue flowers haven't grabbed my attention in previous years.  They are blooming especially prolifically this year, however, and not just in my garden.  When the plant is covered in blooms it is indeed very showy.   I like the ice blue color against the nearly black shaded background in this photo, but to be a real garden standout, I think I need to give my bluestar some blooming companions.  I think the color would look very nice with the blue iris shown above.  A grouping of these three plants in a partly shaded spot would be a very nice native midspring threesome, I think.  In fact, I just found a baby Erigeron at the parent's feet, so now all I need to do is find a patch of empty space in the garden...  


18 comments:

  1. Wow it's beautiful!! Nature always amazes me nothing in this world could copy Mother nature.

    Kim,USA

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    1. I agree. There's nothing like being outside with stuff that grows.

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  2. Excellent macro shots ~ You must have a lovely garden ~ thanks, namaste, ^_^

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    1. Thanks a lot. Perhaps not as lovely as if I knew anything about garden design, but that's the joy of macro - the flowers can speak for themselves.

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  3. These are lovely pictures of your beautiful flowers - your garden must be very pretty.

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    1. Thank you. I definitely enjoy spending time in the garden.

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  4. Lovely photos. I love the color of the iris/

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    1. Thanks. Purples and blues are my favorite color in the garden.

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  5. I grow A. hubrichtii and the fall color is spectacular, but I can't be so kind about the flower color. It is a very pale blue that reminds me of skim milk and tends to get lost in my garden.

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    1. Skim milk - that's very descriptive and, I have to agree, not very appealing. I think this is a little bit more colored than that but I have been underwhelmed by it most years myself. That's why I am scheming to bring it together with something more saturated in the same color family. Perhaps it won't work but maybe worth a try.

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  6. I have fleabane in the cottage garden. It just cropped up there a couple of years ago. I like the daisy-like flowers.

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    1. I like it too. I saw a picture in a magazine of it or a similar plant tucked into the curve of a rock-bordered path and thought it looked really cute. I appreciated it already but seeing it treated like a "real" garden flower gave me ideas...

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