Plants For You To Love

I was working in the yard I’m overhauling and decided it was time to get going on my “chameleon” garden (the one that will have different color blooms throughout the year) and since it’s summer that means it was time to get some red, orange and yellow flowers for it.  Aside from two Echinacea of assorted red shades, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and a tetraploid red daylily I got Helenium ‘Mardi Gras’.  I love Asteraceae to begin with and this one is just so pretty!

The blooms open yellow and gradually change to paprika red in a tie-dye fashion.  It also supposedly has a much longer bloom period than typical for Helenium (June – August).  Even if it doesn’t bloom that long I think the multi-colored blooms are completely worth it.  This particular variety was a chance seedling grown in a nursery lot.  Helenium is a midwest native (and grows wild all over around here) so I’m guessing it should be just fine in my garden.  An interesting side note, I’d always wondered why these are called sneezeweed (I assumed it had to do with high pollen production…which doesn’t make sense now that I think about it because they’re insect pollinated, not wind, so their pollen is probably too heavy to cause much in the way of allergy problems).  Turns out they used to be used for snuff.  People find the strangest things to put in their bodies…

Another plant for you to love?  Spigelia marilandica or Pinkroot. It’s an east coast native that blooms in early summer.  I love it because it’s a shade plant with red AND yellow flowers.  I never really find much with those colors that grows in the shade, let alone those colors together.  It belongs to the family Loganiacae which is in the order Gentianales and I do love gentians. I don’t have a ton of experience with this plant but I do remember seeing it at nearly ever botanic garden on the east coast when I was out there a few years ago.  I’ve got this planted among some Rhododendrons and Hosta.  I’m hoping that they’ll look good together…it’s so hard to tell right now with everything all small kind of sad.

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