friday grab bag


My favorite Iris is one of the last to bloom. Can you see how velvety/satiny it is?


I’ll step a little closer so you can share the love.

spex-x iris 'Alley Oops'

This was added last year from our visit to Schreiner’s Iris Gardens. It goes by the unfortunate name of ‘Alley Oops’, which makes me feel not so bad about having no name for that deep mahogany beauty.

Physocarpus obutifolius 'Summer Wine'

As the Physocarpus continues to load up on blossoms, the long branches arch over into even more of a fountain shape.

Sisyrinchium bellum

Blue eyed grass is a ferocious reseeder, but I forget all about that when its blue eyes are winking at me in shafts of sunlight.

NOID geum

For some reason, a massive patch of Stachys petered out this year, but look what was liberated: abrilliant orange Geum

Cornus kousa

You lose some, you win some…the kousa dogwoods are loaded with blooms this year.

Aguillegia 'Swallowtail'

Look at the spurs on the columbine called ‘Swallowtail’. I made a calculated guess that leaving some of those darned buttercups around this plant would help to prop it up. That it does, but it’s also seemingly sapping its strength. Guess I’ll have to come up with a better solution to the flopping ways of Swallowtail.

Aguillegia 'Black Barlow'

Not a problem for A. ‘Black Barlow’. Its leonine ruffs stand up at perfect attention. Thanks, unknown blogger, for bringing this to a swap last year.


Now for a quick peek at Delusional Drive. We’re standing a little past where the first iris shots were taken, looking towards the entrance. In the distance you can just see the blue of Ceanothus ‘Victoria’, echoed by a lone blue iris in the middle distance.


Moving along, you can see that there is quite a bit of yellow-green foliage that plays nicely with the blue.

Ceanothus 'Victoria'

Here’s a close-up of ‘Victoria’ at her best.

Helianthemum 'Henfield Brilliant'

On the other side of the drive, Helianthemum ‘Henfields’s Brilliant’ brightens things up and does a nice job of obscuring the dying foliage of daffodils past.


A wayward foxglove seemed to know I would welcome a dash of hot pink against the red-orange.


Now here’s a question for you. I adopted a scraggly twig with no label at the Cistus ‘Tough Love’ sale two years ago. This year it rewarded me for the TLC by leafing out prettily and producing one coy little bottlebrush blossom. Any idea what this is?

28 thoughts on “friday grab bag

  1. That’s a great bunch of flowers for a Friday.

    I suspect the ‘Black Barlow’ columbine came from Linda. You’re lucky: I had one from her I loved the first spring, but it never reappeared after that.

    Your mystery twig’s flower has the look of Fothergilla, but although they’re similar, I’m not quite sure the leaves are right. Nice foliage!

    • Some think it’s Fothergilla, but with you being unsure…maybe I’ll print out the photo and take it to Cistus to see what Sean says.

  2. I’ve got some of those ‘Tough love’ no names . That one looks a bit like a Fothergilla ?
    That First Iris is a beauty . The one I got from you needs to move , the bloom got knocked off …by me not the dogs !

  3. I’m in love with ‘Victoria’! And then all your bright orange flowers – the Geum and Helianthemum. And what a velvety texture on that iris – like you could upholster fancy throw pillows with it.

    • Thanks, Tamara…and I did so enjoy reading your piece about Drake’s 7 Dees. Hope it brings lots of new business their way. It’s a bit off my beaten track, but I must make sure to visit soon.

  4. Love the yellow and blue combination in the delusional drive and that velvety iris is stunning. I also have that beautiful swallowtail columbine but this year, something ate the leaves to the ground. It’s rebounded but only put out a couple of blooms. Time for Sluggo!

  5. Ricki – I had some Lambs Ear that died this year too. What’s up with that? I thought they were pretty much indestructible… I think Black Barlow might have come from me, but not sure. I also think your mystery plant is some kind of Fothergilla, but like Jane said – not sure about the leaves. I like the strategy of asking Sean. Finally – love that velvety red iris – scrumptious!

    • So happy to be able to thank you for ‘Black Barlow’. It’s a beauty, and I’m quite fond of black(ish) flowers. It was only the older patches of Stachys that died back. The divisions planted elsewhere are looking great.

  6. You have many stunning beauties blooming currently. I noticed Blue-Eyed Grass blooming and and naturalizing all over the place in Florida–even in fields near parking lots at environmental centers. At my parents’ Florida retirement community, they simple mow it once a week along with the other grass. And then it perks back up and blooms again. That shade of blue is intoxicating (IMHO). Lovely post, Ricki.

    • Hmmm…that might be an idea. I could plant some of the plants I pull up out in our so-called grass. We only mow about once a month, so it would have plenty of time to recover.

  7. That first iris is absolutely stunning! Especially paired with stachys. Mahogany Beauty sounds like a fitting name, to me. One of my favorite flower colors, along with blue and orange. Your ceanothus and helianthemum are beautiful, too.

  8. Your mystery shrub is definitely a fothergilla. Give it some afternoon shade and it will be a happy camper. I have them in my garden. They’re southeastern natives. It is a long way from home! Your iris does look like satin! 🙂

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