Monday, April 18, 2016

townsendia glabella

 You might find these unassuming native daisies to be boring, especially because these photos are taken on a cloudy morning when they are not quite open, and when they are on their way to fading. When I purchased them, I did so because I wanted something different from my usual fare of purple/blue mat Penstemons, and I thought that plain white daisies would be a good foil for the real stars of the garden. But these lowly daisies have qualities of their own.

To start with, they began blooming with the early crocuses, and like crocuses, they continue to bloom despite the vagaries of weather, even through the snow. Unlike crocuses which last maybe a week, these have stayed in bloom for at least 6 weeks now, and the first flowers are only just beginning to fade, while new ones form. I expect to see blooms for at least another month. Flowers begin with a purple flush, and the purple stays on the backs of the petals.

Plants stay a compact mound, the peduncles stay short so while you would never pick the blooms for cut flowers, you also don't need to tidy them after bloom, when those flowers turn into puffs of seed. So far they have needed no irrigation since the drink or two I gave them at planting time.

So while these may be boring little daisies in a photo, they are much more enjoyable than I expected. And those Penstemon that I planted to be the stars of the show? They just started blooming, and will be finished in about 10 days. The crocuses are long gone.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

I was going to toss 'Bolero'...

Last year, 'Bolero' was so damaged by thrips that I was just on the edge of removing all seven bushes. I didn't get around to it, although I complained a lot. No way I can bear removing them now. Third year's a charm? Or is it the blue cup thrips trap?

The plants are compact. The leaves are disease free (not saying a whole lot here, though) and glossy. Flowers are four inches in diameter, deliciously fragrant (I've heard described as waterlily, but there is also sweetened whipped cream in there). Bushes are very slow growing, but certainly not wimpy.
Blue cup just visible behind the bush.

Doesn't it look a little like 'Eden'?