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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Unexpected Combinations

Today's feature combination is one that moves around from year to year.

In the bottom left corner is the lovely perennial Oenothera speciosa. This variety of Oenthera took me a few years to learn to appreciate. The blooms are lovely, more pink than this image shows. One possible problem with this plant is that it travels underground and spreads quickly. At first I was worried about it but it really pulls out quite easily and once it starts blooming it's love at first sight. In my garden while it spreads quickly it doesn't seem to choke out other plant material but instead winds its way around them.

The plant in the top right corner is one that can be seen in many combination photos from my garden. It's the annual (or possibly biennial) Silene armeria. The nick name of this plant is Catch fly because of the sticky bands across the stems that actually trap insects. If left to seed it will reward you with lots of lovely babies across the garden. This year for the first time I will make an effort to pot up the seedlings early in the season and offer them for sale since I've rarely seen this plant in any other gardens around here.

Here's another photo of the Oenothera that shows the coloration better. Just a foot or two further in the garden now combined with Stachys byzantina (Lamb's ear), another great combination.

Behind the scenes, this morning I've tried a new feature on my Picasa 3 photo program. Finally I can add text to an image and I'm looking forward to being able to incorporate the plant names in the photos.

I've also been reading quite a few gardening books and magazines lately. Have you been reading too?


Gail said...

Hi Melanie, it is a nice combination the Evening Primrose has such a sweet pink...I have it romping through my sunny bed and am worried it will become a's reassuring to hear it hasn't in your garden! gail

Heather said...

Melanie, those combinations are lovely. I have really enjoyed reading your blog and love pictures. I like all the color in your landscape.

Hà Xuân said...

Melanie, this portion of your garden looks so lush, I wish I could achieve the same effect in mine! I'm still learning to combine plants. Must follow your blog closely for that.
I have a blog, too, should you be interested. Check here.

Melanie said...

Gail, the Evening Primrose scared me at first but it seems to have reached it's limit (unlike the houttuynia that hitched a ride into my garden with another plant).

Heather, thanks for the compliment!

Ha Xuan, I loved visiting your blog. Thanks for leaving a link so I could go on that trip across the world :-) I am very lucky that my garden has filled in so nicely. Here on Long Island (just east of New York City) we have a great climate for growing things.