Saturday, October 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - October 15, 2011

GBBD_October 2011
October GBBD is here, and with it my favorite time of year...Autumn! While the leaves in Portland are just starting to turn vibrant shades of red, orange, yellow and purple, the rains have been in full force for several weeks. While I actually like the rain, I have to admit it's a mixed blessing in my garden. Fall planting is such a no-brainer in PDX, mild temps all winter and plentiful rain means the plants aren't stressed by summer heat and I don't have to traipse around the garden in a bonnet with my wooden bucket. The flip-side, however, is that tall, top-heavy plants just topple over as their blooms get waterlogged. As a result, the garden looks a bit rough this year...but whatcha gonna do? It's almost comforting to know that soon the garden will be cut down by frost and I can start fresh and new a few months I just have to remember this feeling in January ;-)

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Clematis tibetana
Blooming at last! I bought this vine at Cistus Nursery last fall after covetously eyeing this vine in their gardens the year before. It was just a sprig, and so fragile-looking I was afraid it wouldn't make it through winter. It popped up this spring, however, and hasn't looked back since. It's practically covering an entire wall of our house in the back yard. I love the thin, wiry stems, which change in color as they age, from a deep plum-purple to a warm rust color. The foliage is so finely divided, it's almost invisible from a distance. The blooms are reminiscent of a quartered lemon peel...thick and succulent-looking. I was so excited to see a few flower buds a month or so ago...feeling please to get any blooms...then, weeks later, I realized there were probably hundreds more starting to 'em!

Agastache 'Purple Haze'
This Agastache wins the award for durability this year. It's been blooming since June and is still going, it has also managed to stay fairly upright throughout our rains...although, admittedly, a few branches have snapped from the weight. The color is less vibrant than a few other Agastache, but is still a nice foil to it's brighter neighbors, plus, it adds mass and height to that part of the garden.

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Agastache 'Ava'
'Ava' is still going strong, many of these plants collapsed almost entirely, but I propped them back up and they just keep on blooming! I'm probably going to cut them back a bit this weekend so I can at least walk along the pathway in back...and the formation of lateral buds along stems that already snapped let's me know they'll probably be blooming again in a few weeks (barring frost).

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Persicaria 'Lance Corporal
Ok, ok, I know it's practically verboten to let this one blooms, unless you really want a million seedlings the following year, but I can't help it, there is something intriguing about those wiry, scarlet tapers! Plus, the seedlings are easy to spot and uproot if you don't want them.

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Verbascum 'Album'Persicaria 'Golden Arrow'
The Verbascum seedlings gifted to me by Ryan Miller are still blooming! I gotta admit, I love them without reservations, and can't wait to see them bulk up even more next year...they are so wonderfully evocative of meadows and cottage gardens. Persicaria 'Golden Arrow' has settled in happily (it is a Persicaria, after all) and has been blooming madly. I LOVE that burst of chartreuse in the garden and hope it seeds a bit around...would love to play with it in more spots in the garden.

Helenium mardis gras
Helenium 'Mardi Gras'
I was a bad gardener this year and didn't deadhead the Helenium, not even once. In the past, with regular deadheading, it has bloomed from July to the first frost...but it's in a very hard-to-reach spot, so I decided to just let it go this year. It rewarded my inattention with continuous blooms...apparently, I'm not as necessary as I thought!

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Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
How can you have an Autumn post without the stalwart 'Autumn Joy'. Ubiquitous it may be, but for good reason! It's dependable and offers a really long season of interest. I actually appreciate it most in the winter, when it's skeletal silhouette remins a point of interest until I chop it down in spring.

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Agastache 'Blue Blazes'
This Agastache, by far the tallest, also suffered the most from our recent rains. I woke up a few weeks ago to find most of the stems completely snapped. I actually wasn't surprised after I went out to cut them off...heavy with rain, they really weighed a lot! Next year, I'm resolved to cutting them back as they are growing, to keep them busher...well, most of them...I rather like the ginormous size they attained!

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Agastache 'Blue Blazes' new growth
This is the new growth appearing at the lateral buds beneath the snapped stems. I can't believe how vigorously the Agastaches are still growing! I guess I always think of them as heat-lovers, but they seem to really be responding to our recent cooler temps and ample rains with a surge of new growth.

Aster Prince
Symphyotrichum (Aster) 'Prince'
Yikes...this name change will take me a while to remember (and longer to pronounce). I suddenly realized, which typing this post, that this is my ONLY Aster...crazy! I think I've avoided many of them because they are so nondescript during most of the year...and having a small garden, I try to maximize interest as best I can. 'Prince', however, has wonderful, dusky purple foliage all season long...which makes it a no-brainer for me. I actually bought it out of bloom, just for the foliage, a few years ago, so was pleasantly surprised by how wonderful it is in bloom. I love those little raspberry-centered white blooms...which are absolutely tiny, but borne is such profusion that they (like most Asters) completely cover the plant. Seeing it in bloom these past few weeks makes me realize I'd really like to add more of these around the garden...such a great plant!

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Geranium 'Ann Folkard'
Oh, 'Ann Folkard', you just don't give up, do you! This year, 'Ann' managed to completely avoid getting defoliated by rust, so I got to enjoy her awesome foliage all summer, and now with cooler temps moving in, she's putting out new, fresh growth. She flowers constantly until frost, although the amount of flowers decreases during the hottest part of the summer. Her wandering ways means I get to enjoy serendipitous combinations like the one above.

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Agastache 'Desert Sunrise' and Vebena bonariensis
After this year, 'Desert Sunrise' may have become my "go-to" for smaller Agastaches, replacing A. rupestris. While I will always have a few rupestris in my garden, 'Desert Sunrise' has better color and more it still has that amazing silvery foliage that I love in rupestris.

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Salvia 'Black & Blue'Anemone 'Honorine Jobert'

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Eutrochium (Eupatorium) rugosum 'Chocolate'
Another name change that I keep forgetting! This poor plant was smashed up a bit earlier this year when the neighboring Joe Pye toppled over onto it...eek! Next year, I'll be sure to brace the Joe Pye just in case it happens again. Luckily, 'Chocolate' is as tough as it is beautiful and formed an arching mound. This is one plant I could probably never have enough of...the foliage is just beautiful, sultry and lovely. The flowers are just a bonus, with their frothy white caps floating around the garden.

Knautia macedonica
The flowers get smaller and fewer, but they just don't stop! I must admit, Knautia has become one of my top plants for it's wonderful, rich reds...but in blooms small and charming enough to avoid being overbearing...great for a dash of warmth without setting fire to a border ;-)

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Verbena rigida and Muhlenbergia capillaris
You can hardly beat a Verbena for durability and lenght of bloom. This one, a smaller, lighter version of another I have elsewhere, really captured my eye, even though I don't know if I would have bought it had I known it was such a light color....still, it's a happy accident, I now love, how can you not look smashing when you're enveloped in a gauzy pink cloud of Pink Muhly blooms!

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Dicentra scandens
Another gift from seed-starting champ Ryan Miller, this little climber surprised me with it's vigor! It grew to over 6' in a little over 2 months! It's already taller than the Panicum 'Northwind' it's planted between!

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Persicaria 'Firetail' and Miscanthus 'Purpurascens'
Persicaria are probably classified as "summer-blooming", but I think they are at their best in the fall...maybe it's just that their wild-looking nature speaks of gone-over pastures and opulent meadows. Then again, maybe it's that their fiery blooms look amazing popping up between the fading foliage of other plants.

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Geranium 'Rozanne'
Oh, 'Rozanne', how could I ever garden without you? I am constantly reminded by how much I love this plant...such a long bloom season, and she always manages to look fresh...a winner in every way.

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Salvia 'Purple Rain'
This Salvia really surprised me this year by blooming almost constantly...what a work-horse. Of course, the fact that the flowers are pretty much the most gorgeous, rich purple ever makes it even better!

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Geranium wlassovianum
I bought this Geranium mainly for it's fall foliage color, which is supposed to be warm reds and far it's looking like it will just be yellow. Oh well, I stil got the flowers :-)

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Verbena bonariensis
How can you have a garden without this amazing just can't!

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Echinacea purpurea
While the Echinacea blooms coming on now aren't as richly-colored as those of summer, they are still a nice treat...and I actually like this sort of faded color almost as much...seems very fitting for fall, somehow.

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Cosmos atrosanguineus
Another plant that just keeps pumping out the blooms! I'm not sure how hardy these are, but we'll see...I hope to see them come back next year bigger and better than ever.

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Vernonia missurica
The Vernonia that was just starting to bloom in last month's GBBD post is finishing up. The other two plants near it were the victims of a spring cat-stomping, so were stunted a bit and are just now starting to bloom...which,happily, extends the show!

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Vernonia missurica in BLOOM!
This is what the Vernonia looked like a few weeks ago, just before I left for Nebraska...what amazing color! I love that rich, saturated reddish-purple. Sadly, these were pretty top-heavy and were toppled over when I got back from our trip...I'll have to remember to stake them next year, just in case.

Persicaria Firetail and Grasses v
Persicaria 'Firetail' with Panicum 'Blood Brothers' and Calamagrostis 'Overdam'
So there you have it, a taste of what's blooming in my garden today...head on over to May Dreams Garden for more!


  1. Scott, you have such beatiful plants and combinations and you take very good pics of them: bravo! :)
    I love your persicaria lance corporal, is there any chance we can share some seeds? I can keep some of my pennisetum if you like. Seriously, I want that persicaria to spread all over my garden!


  2. That is an amazing encyclopedia of flower power! Simply amazing, and I enjoy the selection you can grow, with your dry, warm summers and cool, wet winters working together. And your soft!

  3. You still have so much still flowering like mad, it all looks so beautiful. I need to explore a few more Persicarias, I love them! I hope you get some good seedlings of Golden Arrow, with leaf color that comes true. And I hope your chocolate Cosmos returns next year, I have been tempted to plant it a few times, but I worry about its hardiness.

  4. Fantastic display still going on. You really have some great plants.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  5. Dear Scott, Your fall garden is amazing! Look at all those Agastache. I so agree with your sentiments about the perennial geranium 'Rozanne'-- I couldn't garden without it either. Happy Bloom Day! Pamela

  6. Your pictures, as always, are amazing. How do you fit all those plants in? What I love is - you don't see many of those plants in the Binghamton, NY area so visiting you for GBBD is always a treat. Thank you!

  7. I love all the color you have in your fall garden. Great photography too! I'm glad to hear your report on knautia. It's new to me this year and I can't wait for it to bloom next year.

  8. Scott where are you going to put more of those asters? you've so much wonderful colour already! I especially love the look of those Persicaria 'Lance Corporal' flowers - I wouldn't mind a few of those seedlings but Persicaria just hates my garden. As a photographer you'll know that your last shot is my absolute favourite capturing all of that delicious golden light at sunset.

  9. I think I will be moving into your place soon. What a great fall garden. After drooling over your persicarias last year I purchased some but they died over winter- sigh. But the Aster 'Prince' I LOVE it. It is on this years list now.

  10. Persicarias. Intriguing. Must investigate. I read you going home post also, loved it. Scott your photography is 1st class. I too enjoyed a wedding in the last two weeks. It's wedding and funerals when you see many people you may not see again. Great Posts...greggo.

  11. Wonderful wonderful photos Scott. That last one- OOO-la la !

  12. Amazing fall garden, Scott. I always think of agastaches for sun and dry conditions, but they really seem to love the PNW. And what a lucky man to have chocolate cosmos like your growing conditions!

  13. Stunning photography of your October blooms, Scott! As I was reading, I kept think “ooo, I‘ll comment on that one. No, that one. Hold on, that one too.” I agree on the Persicaria 'Lance Corporal. Love it. Happy Bloom Day!

  14. I agree about the wiry, scarlet tapers! And your photo of the Geranium is enchanting. Your autumn blooms are gorgeous!

  15. Your gardens and photography of them is beautiful! It's hard to decide which one but I think the photo with the grasses is my pretty and graceful! Happy GBBD!

  16. So many beautiful flowers! Did you make the copper pipe arbor?

  17. Hi Scott,

    Lovely blooms - I love how many different Persicaria you have! They really are very pretty and it's great that they're blooming so late on in the season; surely a must for any garden??!!

  18. Wow!! and wow! That last photo is really amazing. Love the backlighting. have 'Prince' and you have 'Purple Rain' --do I sense a theme?? hahah I do love your blues, purples and yellows together. Saw your Tiger Eye in the background of one second one died too. I give.

  19. This is a lovely post, Scott - Thank you for being such a fall-lover and helping me see how to enjoy the season more.

    I can't get over all your Persicarias! And after seeing your picture of it, I'm beginning to think my passalong Persicaria may well be 'Lance Corporal'; the plant looks just the same with lighter leaves and a faded chevron if it gets much sun. I might need P. 'Firetail' in my garden.

    Your Agastaches are likewise impressive...and numerous! I really appreciate that although they like summer's heat, they don't just curl up and die when it gets a bit wet, so we have their strong color for fall. I even have a small volunteer from last year's A. 'Acapulco Orange'!

    Happy GBBD!

  20. Great colour and variety. My geraniums are mostly gone so nice to see yours still going. Great Bloom Day photos. Kelli

  21. Your garden makes me so jealous. You have such great plants!

  22. i agree with tom; gee whiz!! yours is one beautiful fall garden! what a great bunch of blooms and photos. you've convinced me to grow the prince aster...i love the idea of purple-y foliage and the white/purple of the flowers. beautiful.

  23. What a stunning display of blooms! I love all your agastache, and the aster is quite an eye-catcher. I've visited Portland several times in the last few year to see my daughter in the spring, summer, and winter. But now I see what I've missed in the fall! Happy Bloom Day!

  24. Lovely photos, refreshing writing!

  25. So many beautiful combinations ~ and your photography is stellar.

  26. Scott,

    What a great group of plantings. I am a fan of agastache but am limited to certain varieties bacause of climate.


  27. Stunning images of beautiful plantings as always. I think I could live in your garden quite happily. :) You have many of the same plants as I have introduced this year, and most of those I don't have are flirting with my wish list! When did Aster become Symphyo...*gulp*? I missed that when I bought one earlier this summer, which has its first few flowers this month too. I had already seen one in bloom at one of the RHS gardens so knew that it has great flowers as well as stunning foliage. It's one of three 'intentional' Asters in our garden so far, with another that seems to have self-sown... I planted Rozanne out in the garden just yesterday, and have a tray of Verbascum Chaixi Album germinating in the greenhouse that will need pricking out soon. You obviously have very good taste ;)
    I love the strings of scarlet beads on that persicaria, despite its thuggish reputation; would be terrible to stop it flowering and miss that sight.

  28. Your post refreshed my memory (with gorgeous photos) of a lot of great plants that I had forgotten about. I have tried to grow Dicentra scandens three times without success. It must not like our hot summers. I studied Clematis tibetana in my vines course at Longwood and had forgotten that I really want to try it. Now I have to find a source. If you try hardy ageratum, you have to get 'Cory'--that's why my photo looked so good.

  29. I cannot get over how many beautiful blooms you still have in your garden Scott. I really like your Agastche Blue Blaze. The colors in it are so pretty.

  30. Scott I absolutely adore your gardens and flowers. You have all my favorites especially the many I love and will not see in my garden for another year...

  31. What a wonderful bloom day you had. I am awestruck by that Veronia missourica. I don't think I know this plant. In fact I am beginning to realize that there are a whole lot of plants I have never heard of-thanks to bloom day. Is that the chocolate cosmos? and those agastache.. Love 'em all.

  32. Your photos are superb! There are too many that I love.

  33. Scott, great photos, great plants. A true feast for my eyes.

    Agastache, salvia, so many things I love to grow. I adore asters and think people should plant MORE. It will take me awhile to remember the new name.

    All joys,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  34. Bonnet and a wooden bucket - guilty as charged ;~(0)

  35. Beautiful mix of flowers, amazing how global many species are but quite a few unfamiliar to me in your garden.

  36. Your rains also make for rich colors to photograph. Absolutely stunning, Scott!

  37. What a fabulous garden you have. I am defintely going to have to get a persicaria.

  38. Wow! So many interesting flowers! Love that Geranium 'Ann Folkard'

  39. Wow, it's like fall fireworks. Such gorgeous colors. Love the lighting of your shots as well.

  40. Despite the rain you have so many things blooming. I am with you on the periscaria 'lance corporal'. I let them bloom. I usually forget to cut them back until too late. Luna (my dog) strews the seeds all over. Happy GBBD.

  41. Your garden photos are absolutely beautiful! As I scrolled through them I kept changing my mind about which one was my favorite! Perhaps the last one with the light streaming through .. no, wait, let me look again!

    Thanks for your comment on my cactus bloom post.

  42. You have some beautiful flowers in your garden, it just proves how much plants like water!
    I'm growing Symphyotrichum (Aster) 'Prince' as a low hedge between my vegetable garden and the triangular rose bed (named in the past the pink frilly knickers border!), I got the idea from Great Dixter where there was a long path edged with them. Christina, ps I've started a meme for foliage GBFD on the 22nd of the month, I can see from your images that you have wonderful foliage in the garde too.

  43. Excellent blog you have! Am very impressed, to say the least...

  44. Wow - you weren't kidding when you told me you love Persicaria! Your garden is absolutely beautiful! I'm amazed at how many plants we have in common - that's always such a fun surprise with GBBD isn't it? We obviously have stellar taste (ha!). Love the final photo of Persicaria 'Fire tail' - must definitely try and find that one out here!!

  45. Wow - fantastic! Love all those agastaches!

  46. Everything looks great in your October garden, Scott. And, without a doubt you've got some of the best photos out there! Just lovely, such a treat.

  47. Hi Scott, I aspire to have my posts as beautifully organized and my plants so carefully identified as yours. I always find that I am jotting down names when I pop in for a visit; there are so many interesting and unusual plants in your posts. Your pictures are all amazing and that last one makes you stop and catch your breath. Beautiful!

  48. Scott,

    Thanks for coming by my site. Your pictures are amazing. So many beautiful plants in your garden. I love the persicarias, especially the firetail. I don't have any at my home and have been eyeing them.

    Read your previous post on Wind Dancer Garden and love the wonderful grasses. I realized it is a mere 20 minutes from my home. I had not heard of this nursery before, and am going there Very soon.


  49. Whew! Thanks for all the comments everyone, and sorry for the late responses…I swear, it seems like I JUST got done going through everyone else's GBBD posts just this morning!!!

    Altroverde: You can absolutely have some seeds from the Persicaria…I'll save a few stems for you ;-)

    Desert Dweller/David C: You are so right, the PNW is kinda amazing for gardening…I think we forget that sometimes!

    Alison: Thanks! I hope to get some good 'Golden Arrow' seedlings too…we'll see…and yes…I'm crossing my fingers on the Cosmos!

    Sunray Gardens: Thanks!

    Pam's English Garden: Thanks! Isn't 'Rozanne' great…so very, very useful!

    Bookworm: Well…I honestly tend to cram things in a bit too closely together!

    Dorothy: I bet you'll love it next year…it's a really lovely plant :-)

    Rosie@leavesnblom: hahahaha…that's a VERY good question! I still plan on ripping up the parking strips next year…so I'll probably wedge a few in there ;-)

    Patty: Oh no! So sorry about the Persicarias…you just never know about plants, do you…but you'll LOVE 'Prince', he's gorgeous!

    Greggo: Thanks so much…and so true about weddings and funerals.

    ks: Thanks…I mean, merci!

    Denise: I know…I guess it just goes to show sometimes the books are completely right…I'm amazed at how well the Agastache do here.

    Jane: Hahahahahahaha…thanks so much!!!

    PlantPostings: Don't you just love them…they are just unusual enough to be pretty instead of bizarre!

    Landscape Design By Lee: I agree…the grasses are always my faces!

    Bluestem: Thanks…and yes…believe it or not, we just make it out of copper pipes bonded together! Only took one afternoon :-)

    gwirrel: Absolutely…they blooms practically forever, it seems like, and are so easy-going.

    Janet, the Queen of Seaford: Hahahahahahaha…too funny! So sorry about your 'Tiger Eye'…mine seriously looked like it was a goner last year, but this year it finally acted like might make it…so strange!

    MulchMaid: Anytime you need a dose of fall cheer, I'm here :-) I bet your Persicaria is 'Lance Corporal', or something VERY similar…mine fades in too much sun as well. I just love Agastaches, I admit it, and am so amazed at how well they do here…so glad to hear your 'Acapulco Orange' gave you a little gift!

    Why I Garden: Thanks…it looks like the Geraniums are definitely reaching the end of their season, doesn't it!

    Tom: Awwww…thanks!

    Daricia: I hope you can find one, they are just lovely!

    Rose: You simply must visit in the fall…it's not quite as intense as back east, but it's very mild and pleasant :-)

    Rhonda: Thanks so much…glad you enjoyed it!

    sweetbay: Ah, shucks ;-)

  50. Gatsby Gardens: I know that feeling…then again, we all make the best of it, right!

    halliards: Hahahahahahaha…you obviously have good taste as well ;-) I know…all the recent name changes of plants has me running in circles! I find that I really need more Asters…that amazing color in autumn is just such a breath of fresh air…especially all the lovely purples and blues…amazing! I know you'll love 'Rozanne' next year…and the following year, watch out…she is really vigorous…but in the best way possible!

    Carolyn@Carolyn's Shade Gardens: I actually don't know how the Dicentra will fare during the winter, but it's been a fast grower this summer. I hope you find some of the Clematis, it's a winner, for sure (and I think I saw mention that Far Reaches Farm may have a black-blooming variety for sale someday!) I will definitely keep my eye out for 'Cory', that is one seriously lust-worthy plant!

    Lona: Thanks so much…yes 'Blue Blazes' is at the top of the short list of fave plants in my garden!

    Joene: Thanks!

    Donna: Thanks so much…and from a fellow Agastache lover! I know…it's so hard to wait for their return :-(

    Lancashire Rose: I know…I think everyday during Bloom Day I make a list of plants I want for myself the following season! Yes…it's Chocolate Cosmos…love the smell!

    One: Thank you…glad you like them!

    Sharon Lovejoy: Thanks for stopping by…love all your books! I know…we all need more Asters…even I forget until I see them in someone else's garden and am struck by total jealousy…the same feeling I get each spring when I wish I'd planted more bulbs :-)

    Elephants Eye: Hahahahahahahahahahahaha…we're kindred spirits, then ;-)

    Kirsty@Bowerbird Blue: Thanks…that's one reason I LOVE Bloom Day…I get introduced to so many new plants!

    Jocelyn H. Chilvers: Absoultely they do!

    Commonweeder: Yay…I hope you love it!

    NHGarden: Isn't she a beauty…and she blooms all summer long!

    Kristi: Thanks so much…glad you liked them!

    Melissa: Thanks :-)

    Lisa at Greenbow: Hahahahaha…glad to know I'm not just crazy in my letting 'Lance Corporal' have his way!

    Lea: Thanks…I agree with you…I think the last pic is the best of the lot :-)

    Christina: OMG…I bet that hedge of 'Prince' is breathtaking…what a great idea…and you know what they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    Lrong: Thank you for stopping by!

    rebecca sweet: Hahahahaha…indeed! Yes…I love seeing the things I have in common with other gardeners…it's so funny to feel a bond with people I've never actually met :-)

    garden girl: Totally, they are so great!

    Grace Peterson: Thanks for stopping by, Grace…coming from you, that's a great compliment :-)

    Jennifer@threedogsinagarden: OMG…thanks so much…sometimes I feel like I may ramble on a bit…and just hope people can bear with me to the end :-)

    Yael: Absolutely, and thanks for stopping by here as well :-) OMG…you have to go to Wind Dancer…I think you just have to call/email before hand to make sure they will be there…it's amazing! I'm totally going again next year :-)

  51. You have given me hope...I have not pulled 'Tiger Eyes' up yet...will give it a chance. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  52. I have to admit, I would let that Periscaria bloom as well. Those red spikes are gorgeous!

  53. I think I visited this post, but got sidetracked, I think by our grandsons, and didn't get to leave a comment. I think we have some favorite flowers in common. I seem to have trouble growing verbascums, but I keep trying.

  54. You have very beautiful plants and flowers. Your garden is do nice. This selection of jump seed, Lance Corporal,’ is a striking perennial for the unique maroon-banded "V" on its lime-green leaves.