Friday, May 7, 2010

6th and Blue

No, my Romneya coulterii isn't blooming yet. Rather, Hostess recently asked that I join her in a meme and post an image from my 6th blogpost. (She also asked that I pass the meme along to ten other bloggers -- instead, I invite any of you to pick up the idea if you'd like and post your 6th post image.) Blogger doesn't make it an easy task to find one's 6th post, and much scrolling back was required (I've an archive of over 600 posts!!). I was pleased to find this image of a flower that I know blooms in Hostess's garden -- the connection goes even further as mine comes from the same nursery as hers does, a nursery now sadly defunct, but happily remembered, Island Specialty. (moment of silence, a sigh, perhaps a tear -- it's okay, I'll be fine to go on in just a minute)

Where were we? Ah yes, the garden, but as we look backward to July 2007'and forward to this summer's romneya, let's also take a minute to see what's blooming right now, this May, in my back yard. Yesterday we had some splashes of orange-red. Today, let's check out the sea of blues and purples . . .

Forget-me-not everywhere, of course -- I once heard an older woman complaining to her companions, as they chose plants in a nursery, about what a nuisance forget-me-not was in her garden, sprouting up everywhere, requiring her to patrol vigilantly, yanking it up as soon as she spotted it. I just don't get that -- first of all, it's so easily uprooted once the blooms are spent, and second, it's so sweetly pretty, the quintessence of a happy April/May garden day. Happiness. Happiness!

Also making me happy are these allium -- can't remember which these are, Christophii? giganteum? Whichever, they're naturalizing brilliantly with at least 30 bloom-waving stalks where I once planted 5 or 6 bulbs. I'll try to remember to show you them again in another week or so when the blooms have filled out into the golf, even tennis-ball sized globes they will be, each individual spike within the globe sporting a star. Hard to describe, clearly, so I'll try to show you later, but I assure you they're magical.

Adjoining and flowing through the allium stalks is a sea of centaura cyanus, more commonly called cornflower. And perhaps I should use its common name, as this is such a "common" plant/flower in both connotations of that word. Not exalted or exotic, but rather the plant, perhaps, of your grandmother's garden. Mine had these, forget-me-nots and snapdragons and wallflowers, pinks and bachelor's buttons . . . good old-fashioned flowers, self-seeding many of them.
The cornflower reproduces on its own, no help required, no spring division, no seed-saving, never requires anything, this plant, other than the occasional brutal chopping . . .

Mom and Dad brought my first plants over from their garden when Dad was still able to travel, and he's been dead ten years this July, so these guys have been getting comfy here for some time and they've spread. And spread.

They get scraggly later in the summer, sometimes a bit mildewed, often collapsing after a heavy rain. But it's easy enough to chop them down to the ground and wait for another fresh round of blooms.

Imagine getting cranky at these frothy blue pretties. Could you?


  1. Lovely, lovely, lovely!

    I'm partial to forget-me-nots and other flowers that bloom on stalks (though many require more moisture and don't do well in our more arid climate).

  2. Lovely Romneya I cannot wait until they bloom again!
    Yes shedding a tear about the nursery...exotics are hard to come by...I am thinking about joining a horticultural group again so I can get snips and cuttings from the master gardeners!

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  4. I just planted a romneya today - I hope it takes.

    It will be my third try (albeit, the last time was five years ago) and I hope I succeed.

    While out over the weekend I saw a magnificent planting of Romneya in mid-city Wilshire Los Angeles - amazing!

  5. Oh, I hope your new romneya settles in happily. I held my breath the first year or two, but mine is now sending up offshoots several feet away, so I think it's calling my place home now. It's such a spectacular flower that I'm amused how well it grows where not much could be happy -- dry, gravelly-poor soil. And so far, the deer don't seem to like it, which is good since it's outside my fence.
    Did you happen to snap any photos of your sighting? I'll hop over to your blog and see if you've possibly posted them . . .


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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