Thursday, July 24, 2008

Flowers in the Garden

Bergamot ("Marshall's Delight")

So far this variety hasn't appeared at all susceptible to mildew, something my other bergamots seems prone to here on the Wet West Coast.

I love the colour, too - it's such a change from the usual red.

"Monet's Palette" Sunflowers. This is the yellow and brown combination; other mixtures are brown and yellow, dark brown and light brown, dark brown and yellow, light brown and yellow, and well, you get my drift. They are madly tall and have remarkably sturdy stems, so the summer winds will do little to them. And boy, these things are tough. I planted them once and only once - two years ago in ANOTHER city - and they made their way here with us. I think they must have come with the compost; when I dug up my favourite plants to bring with us, I potted everything in the compost (so I could bring that too). And let me tell you, if that makes you laugh or roll your eyes, you are obviously not a madly obsessive to the point of driving your family crazy dedicated gardener. I think you know who you are. (Sheila clears her throat expectantly)
A poppy. No idea what variety. I have zillions of these things, in varying aspects of frilly leaf, non-frilly leaf, veering towards pink, careering towards purple, firmly red, even more firmly white, and they all appear to have come from the same mother plant. Interesting case study in genetics, that's for sure. A "Black Watchman" hollyhock. I flung the seeds into the lozenge bed last summer, after four years of fully intending to plant them in Vancouver. They languished in my garden bag, looking very atmospheric (I can't resist weird colours and varieties). Or maybe I did plant them and they never took. I don't remember. But last summer, while we were renovating this behemoth of a house, I gave them a breath of hot air (something I have in abundance, according to my family) and tossed them into the soil. Lo and behold but this year they flowered.

Just in case you are wondering, technically they are not black. They are deepest darkest red, something you see most clearly when the sun shines through them. And yes, they are just as susceptible to rust as every other bloody hollyhock. I solved the problem by ripping off most of the leaves. I left those nearest the top, as they weren't affected. And they are perfectly lovely.


shaun said...

Wow, if my husband ever looks at the photos on your blog he'll want to pack up and move to BC. Actually MN is a great place to garden -- unless you live on a tiny city lot totally covered by shade from giant trees. There's no way we are cutting down these trees. It's also a great place to bike -- except that it is always too hot or too cold!

Andrea said...

great flower pics! I love that hollyhock. Want to trade seeds? I have white, pink and red.

sheila said...

Shaun, a friend of mine was telling me about his time in Saskatchewan - sounded much like your part of the world. The west coast is pretty nice, it DOES rain a fair bit but it's so mild. Good for gardening, unless you have giant shade trees, of course.

Andrea, sure, love to. Want some of the Princess Victoria Louise poppy seeds too? I collected a bunch.

this is my patch said...

I had a red bergomot, but killed it! The colour of yours is out of this world. I would love this variety in my garden, but fear it will end up with all those other plants I have had, in plant heaven. x