So I consulted Max.
“You suppose,” I said to him, “there is anything to camera out here?” (He likes camera as a verb.)
He looked encouraging. Or maybe he just wanted me to throw his orange ball again…
We wandered the gardens, and there were some tipping stems and dead blooms, a little sense of past-it’s-prime-ness, but we found some nice flowers coming, some of my favorites actually.
(Max is usually right about things, but especially during the Dog Days.)
This pink perennial fuchsia, so ghostly and graceful, now seems to me the same as I saw at The wind and the wellies blog, growing in Scotland. I commented there that mine was pinker but now I think that isn’t so. The new blooms are almost white, with just a teeny hint of pink/lavender pastel.
I love this fuchsia and grow it from cuttings, which is how I came by the first one too, and one of the many reasons why I don’t know it’s name, but you can call it Ghost or Phyllis or whatever you like.
These plants have been blooming for weeks and just continue. They are often called Bluebells-of-Scotland (Campanula rotundifolia), a perennial I grew from seed last year. They grow readily in most any location and bloom on and on.
They look like other bellflowers only smaller, with leaves at the base and tall stems with flowers. And the stems are best where they can weave through other plants so that the little blooms sort of emerge and are supported everywhere, otherwise the stems develop over-gravitization, a common condition which often results in complete horizontality.
Now here’s something. This little bunch of daisies is at the end of a tall stem of the Costmary plant. (No it is not in jail that is the picket-fence behind it.) The leaves stay at ground level and are just amazing.
Of course the Costmary leaves don’t look amazing, they look flat and leafy, but if I could ever get the Fragrance Widget for this blog then you could experience the strange and wonderful scent of the leaves, sort of medicinal, pungent, very exotic, and retained even when the leaves are dried. (I need a beer Widget too, just in case you come across one…)
Costmary (Tanacetum balsamita, or Chrysanthemum balsamita) is an ancient herb. One of its big uses historically is as bookmarks in Bibles to keep you awake like smelling salts during long sermons. I don’t listen to long sermons but I like pressing the leaves in books anyway.
This truly is of my favorites. It’s a balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus), a cool perennial that I grew from seed. That seed part I remember being a challenge, and it produced only two plants that took a couple of years to mature and flower. Since then I have started another one from a cutting so now there are three together. They get tall and need support, so I crowd them into an overplanted border. (Someone needs to find the “stand-up-straight” gene for plants and add it to seeds.)
I thought the balloon flowers were white– really I am quite certain they used to bloom snow white– but this year they have interesting blue veining so I think they are aspiring to blue.
All right then. Just remember, these are the Dog Days, at least in some parts of the world. Forget any negative connotations and do something nice for your dog– he loves you.