Thursday, July 17, 2008

a few flowers

black and blue salvia
As I mentioned yesterday the Casablanca lilies are beginning to open, pictures coming soon and I caught an odd looking bee up close on a volunteer dog daisy (my grandmother's name for that flower) which are no bigger than the tip of your little finger.  A few of the flowers that have popped out this past couple weeks which I haven't had time to show off were the lovely tall blue balloon flowers. These come from seeds we collected in Williamsburg, VA along side the road one afternoon near the Colonial Williamsburg Inn. I noticed a huge bed of  balloon flowers gone to seed in October and collected a few in a candy wrapper. I like balloon flowers tall but the nurseries around here only stock the short hybrids so I was excited to find seeds to grow some tall ones in our garden at home. You see them here when they first began to bloom with the bee balm's red flowers and yellow yarrow and the cone flowers pink in the back ground. 
Next is the sweet orange flowers speckled with red dots called a black berry lily. It related to iris and has foliage that looks like iris but instead of roots for spreading this flower blooms for one day and then twists up and forms a thick pod below the flowers spent petals which become a knot for  few days then falls off. Inside the pod develop a bunch of seeds that will display in the fall as the weather cools and the plant dies it bursts open to show off these black berries! When collected like the balloon flower seeds it takes a season to grow the plant and the second season it flowers and produces seeds for the cycle of two years or biannual  flowering to repeat. They are very drought tolerant and easy to grow. 
My next presentation for today is the black and blue salvia we got last year at the Beltsville nursery. The color alone sold us on them. Bees like them but I noticed that they drill a hole at the base of the black part and suck nectar from there instead of entering the flower's blue doorway. I will leave it there for today. Thanks to all who have commented on my Dad's passing. 

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