After the whites, pinks and pastel purples of spring, the gardens are now hot with summer color, leading to bouquets such as this:
I’ve had a long love affair with Echinacea, and my new flower crush is definitely Hot Papaya, a double coneflower in the most unbelievably vibrant orange you’ve ever seen, these pictures don’t do them a lick of justice. And the flowers last a long time: these have been in the garden 2 weeks with the same blooms that came home from the nursery, Rudolph Gardens, at the crazy price of $6.25 each. I bought ten. I couldn’t help it.
I have a stand of them right outside my dining room windows, next to a clump of not-yet-bloomed Black-Eyed Susans, and a mess of Drumstick alliums. Drumsticks as you can see bloom much later in the season, in a very nice red-purple color. At the base of the Echinacea is some Mirabilis, or Four O’Clocks (so called because the flowers don’t open until mid-afternoon). This kind is called “Limelight” – it has chartreuse leaves and bright magenta flowers. I grew them from seed two years ago and they have just re-populated themselves like crazy. Every year seedlings show up and I just move them wherever I want that hit of lime-green foliage.
There are another 2 planted in the stone wall just below the dining room windows, with some Veronica, and I love the purple spears coming up next to the orange pom-poms.
Then over here in the garden bed I call Bramasole (meaning “to yearn for the sun,” because all the plants grow tilted over to one side as they reach for the sun’s rays that aren’t quite so strong on this side of the house), I have 5 more Papayas growing with a big clump of yellow Coreopsis which is stunning. The silvery, prickly things right behind are Eryngium Giganticum, or Sea Holly, “Miss Wilmott’s Ghost,” which looks superb next to the orange. It’s a great filler flower but I don’t use it in bouquets much because it’s hard to handle.
Here’s some regular pink Echinacea with another big clump of Drumstick Allium coming up behind.
And this clump of coneflowers grows with Monarda “Raspberry Wine”. Right up above it is one plant of Echinacea “Mango Meadowbrite” next to one that’s in the “Big Sky” series but I forget if it’s “Twilight” or “Sundown.” There’s all clumps of Nepeta (catmint) at the base of them but it’s been sheared down recently. It’s resting.
Hmmm…Now that I’m looking at these pictures it’s occurring to me that Redman may have left some smudgy fingerprints on my camera lens. Do you see that? Oh well…it’s still hot.