Monday, June 25, 2007

The Waiting Game

It's that time of year in my garden when I have to sit back and wait. While I'm enjoying the daylilies, cranesbill and veronica, the real stars of my summer garden are getting ready in the wings. The "globes" on my globe thistle are readily apparent. Their purple blooms are among my most favourite. I always think they look like a mini-solar system hovering above the garden. Even more appealing than its appearance is the fact that the globe thistle thrives on neglect. Go ahead: put it in the leanest, poorest soil you can find and forget to water it. The globe thistle won't mind. In fact, it will reward you with plenty of blooms.

I have more purple coneflowers in my garden than any other plant. Like a potato chip, one just won't do. I think I've got seven altogether and next year I'm sure I'll have more. These plants are just so easy to divide. I guess it pays to get plants native to one's area. These coneflowers have taken a liking to the conditions in my yard and are really thriving.

This year, one of the coneflowers had a surprise for me. It bloomed last week far ahead of schedule. Interestingly enough, the first bloom appeared in a relatively shady part of the yard. Unusual for this sun-lover but welcome nevertheless.

Ahhhh, astilbe. Talk about a plant that looks great all the time. Just look at that beautiful foliage. And you'll be tickled pink (my astilbe are pink) by the feathery blooms. Astilbe are a great excuse to start a shade garden. So what are you waiting for?

Have I mentioned any favourite plants yet? If not, then my liatris qualify. They appeal to my preference for purple, spiky plants. Like the globe thistle and purple coneflower, they look great even before they bloom. Unlike the other two, liatris are a bit yucky once they're done. I just cut down the blackend flower stalks. Nothing so drastic is necessary for the thistle and coneflower. They look great right through the winter with a fine dusting of snow. No need to cut them down to the ground until spring.

Well, it won't be long now. And so I wait.


Connie said...

Purple coneflowers are one of my favorites too, and the backbone of my summer flower beds. I have been waiting for my new 'Sundown' to bloom and it finally did in a pretty shade of orange. The nice thing is that it bloomed ahead of the purples. Your garden is looking great...enjoy your wait!

Owin & Irena said...

that's great connie. We'll have to compare coneflower pictures soon.

Garden Lily said...

Good to see you have a weakness for purple spiky flowers, as I do, too! Have you ever tried echium fastuosum or echium pininana? Both are biennials, you would need to overwinter indoors, but the reward of those massive flower spikes the second year seem worth the effort. This is my second year I'm trying the E. pininana, from seedlings - last year I was too lazy to dig them up to bring them in for the winter!

Owin & Irena said...

thanks for the tip garden lily. i'll look those up and give 'em a try.