June 24: blue, pink and more

Blue Delphinium.  I call this my blue forest.  These plants have been planted here for over 3 years.  I started them from seed.  They are very well adapted to the soil and have been getting pretty tall every year- the tallest spikes are about 6 feet.  There are enough plants together that even when the wind blows they are not getting toppled over.  I’m really enjoying all the shades of blue.  It is interesting that the darkest blue flowers have a very dark center and the lighter blue ones have a white center.  Lots of insects like these flowers and so do the Hummingbirds.

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Yellow Coneflower and Dahlia bud.  The yellow coneflower is a new plant this year.  I put it in next to the yellow Coreopsis and Black-Eyed Susan, which is also yellow.  I like that this plant has a lighter and creamy yellow color.  I’m paying special attention to it because the leaves are curved in like it doesn’t quite like where it is.

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Two Dahlia buds.  Each of these plants has been in the ground for 2 winters, their third summer in this spot.  Keeping them in the ground gives them a head start in the growing season.  Many dahlias that have just been planted in May won’t be blooming until late July.  The garden bed where these plants are is raised a bit and on a small slope so they have wintered over well in place.  My goal is to keep as many dahlias in ground over winter as possible.  Digging them up and storing them is not a guarantee that they will survive any better, and its a lot of work.

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Two Dahlias about to bloom.

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Four different Dianthus.  Common names for Dianthus are: Carnation and Pinks.  They are in the same family as Sweet William.  These Dianthus are perennial, meaning they come back from the roots each year.    I have had each of these plants is 3-4 years.  They are doing well and expanding quite a bit, so in the fall I will be moving a few of them to avoid the over-crowding.  They smell very fragrant!  The leaves/plant is a sort of gray color.  These varieties are compact and bushy and not great for cutting.  The primary maintenance is just to trim all the flowers off after they are done and dried- with sharp shears it only take a minute per plant.  If you are looking for a hardy ground cover or rockery plant, I recommend giving this plant a try.

Happy summer!!

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