Wordless Wednesday: Hoverfly On Larkspur

Hoverfly (Syrphidae) on Rocket Larkspur (Delphinium consolida Rocket)
Hoverfly (Syrphidae) on Rocket Larkspur (Delphinium consolida Rocket)

Purple Passion Of Spring

Why is it that purple(ish) flowers are seemingly the first to bloom every year? Is it genetic? I read somewhere that flower colors may provide signals for specific pollinators due to differences in vision patterns among various birds, butterflies and other insects. So maybe purple flowers bloom early because their pollinators arrive early? I don’t know whether this is actually the case. Maybe it’s just my imagination! Perhaps I’ve been unknowingly planting more purple(ish) flowers than those of other colors and by simple happenstance they all bloom at the same time!

The first Irises that bloomed this spring were white. They’re long gone. They were immediately followed by Irises in various shades of purple. Some might not even be considered purple, but I wouldn’t know how else to categorize them so I gave them that distinction! I do have two yellow ones now blooming but they’ll have to wait for a later post!

These other purple(ish) bloomers are either still going strong or have just begun to flower. I’m not certain whether the Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris) qualifies in this color category. When purchased it was supposed to be blue and white, which it definitely isn’t. So I’ll just consider it purple(ish). The Rocket Larkspur (Delphinium consolida Rocket) have just begun to bloom. Currently most of them are purple, but pink and white ones are beginning to show themselves. As for the Viola — I’m not certain what species they are. They’ve been growing in the shade beneath some shrubs for years. Last week I dug all of them up and transplanted them to a shady area of the back yard. They should put on quite a show during the summer!

In order to combat the ‘purple power’ of my garden, I’ve decided to search out some perennials with flowers of different shades to plant amongst what I currently have. To that end, I accompanied my husband to a local garden center and picked out a few plants that were included in a one-day sale. I ended up with five perennials — Daylily ‘Siloam Paul Watts’ (Hemerocallis ‘Siloam Paul Watts’), Autumn Sage ‘Radio Red’ (Salvia greggii ‘Radio Red’), Tickseed ‘Cruizin’ Route 66′ (Coreopsis verticillata ‘Cruizin’ Route 66′), Butterfly Flower (Asclepias tuberosa) and Phlox ‘Red Flame’ (Phlox paniculata ‘Red Flame’).  The Butterfly Flower is the only duplication of a plant that I already have. So I’ve got some reds and oranges to add some additional color. Of course, they may not be blooming at the same time the plants in my purple family do, but they’ll still add something different to the garden!

I’ll leave you with a photo I took just after a rain shower last week. Aren’t the raindrops and the coloring of the Iris bloom just exquisite?

Iris
Iris

Wordless Wednesday: Keeping House

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

House Sparrow

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

Passer domesticus

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

Picture Perfect Monday: Red Admiral Butterfly

Red Admiral Butterfly (Vanessa atalanta)
Red Admiral Butterfly (Vanessa atalanta)

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: April 2015

This is my first post for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, hosted by Carol and her blog May Dreams Gardens. I had a lot of fun today as I wandered through the garden, taking photos and paying a little closer attention than usual to the flowers! Most of the blooms in my garden this month seem to be Iris. While the white blooms have come and gone, the purple and lavender varieties have come to stay for a while. Irises do so well in our hot, dry conditions that I continually dig and replant them to increase the size of their beds.

I purchased a six-pack of Texas Bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis) earlier in the spring and divided them between two locations in my garden, planting half in the back yard and half in the side yard.

This Bridal Wreath Spiraea (Spiraea prunifolia) was really nipped by a freeze a number of weeks ago just as it started to bud out. I didn’t expect it to rebound and actually bloom, but it did and the flowers are just magnificent!

Bridal Wreath Spiraea (Spiraea prunifolia)
Bridal Wreath Spiraea (Spiraea prunifolia)

While this plant isn’t a native to Texas, I did decide to plant a couple more in the front yard, along with a bed of Daylilies and some Iris. The more drought-tolerant plants in the yard, the less water is necessary to keep everything alive.

Bridal Wreath Spiraea (Spiraea prunifolia)
Bridal Wreath Spiraea (Spiraea prunifolia)

This is the lone Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris) in my garden. The plant information that came with it indicated that it was a ‘Winky Blue-White’.  I don’t think so… But it’s still very pretty!

Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris)
Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris)

Here’s a pot of Dianthus. I planted these last spring and they made it through the winter in great shape. From far away they look more like a multicolored shrub than garden variety flowers.

Dianthus
Dianthus

These English Wallflowers (Cheiranthus cheri) grew from some seeds I planted last fall.

English Wallflower (Cheiranthus cheiri)
English Wallflower (Cheiranthus cheiri)

These pretty Blue Flax (Linum perenne) ‘Blue Sapphire’ are growing nestled beneath a tree.

Blue Flax (Linum perenne) 'Blue Sapphire'
Blue Flax (Linum perenne) ‘Blue Sapphire’

Pink Wood Sorrel (Oxalis crassipes ‘Rosea’) is among the earliest bloomers in my garden. The small flowers last well into summer, before the extreme heat basically dries the plants up. When fall returns, so do the plants and the blooms.

Pink Wood Sorrel (Oxalis crassipes ‘Rosea’)
Pink Wood Sorrel (Oxalis crassipes ‘Rosea’)

Several Pink Evening Primrose (Oenothera rosea) were in bloom today, the first of the season. These flowers — also known as Rose of Mexico — are native to Texas and northern Mexico.

Pink Evening Primrose (Oenothera rosea)
Pink Evening Primrose (Oenothera rosea)

This Rose Pink Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii ‘Rose Pink’) just began blooming this week. It will continue to bloom throughout the summer. Bees love these plants. Salvia greggii is native to Texas and parts of Mexico. It is very drought-tolerant and has wonderfully aromatic leaves.

Rose Pink Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii 'Rose Pink')
Rose Pink Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii ‘Rose Pink’)

I added this little plant — Salvia ‘May Night’ (Salvia nemorosa ‘Mainacht’) to my garden last fall. It was a pitiful looking end-of-season markdown and I wasn’t sure it would even reappear this spring, but it did! It’s another drought-tolerant perennial that loves the sun.

Salvia 'May Night' (Salvia nemorosa 'Mainacht')
Salvia ‘May Night’ (Salvia nemorosa ‘Mainacht’)

Another perennial I added to the garden last fall is this Pincushion Flower ‘Butterfly Blue’ (Scabiosa columbaria ‘Butterfly Blue’). It’s sort of strange-looking, isn’t it? I can certainly see how it got its name!

Pincushion Flower 'Butterfly Blue' (Scabiosa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue')
Pincushion Flower ‘Butterfly Blue’ (Scabiosa columbaria ‘Butterfly Blue’)

That’s it for this month! I hope to have some different bloomers next time. If you’re interested in seeing what might be flowering in other folks gardens be sure to visit May Dreams Gardens.