In a Vase on Monday: Big, Beautiful Lily

(c) Terri Robertson, T’s Southern Garden 2018
Asiatic lily, hummingbird mint, dusty miller, sedum and creeping Jenny

This spring, I planted a bargain variety pack of shade bulbs and roots. The big, beautiful Asiatic lily in this vase is the summer payoff.

It’s the only flower so far, but perennials can take a couple of years to put on a show. (And I probably could have taken more care in preparing the soil before planting.) Now, for the rest.

Creeping Jenny

(c) Terri Robertson, T’s Southern Garden 2018

I love creeping Jenny and the dimension it brings to vases. It’s easy to dig up and transplant, and it comes back every year. From late spring to the first killing freeze of winter, it cascades over our terrace walls and softens the edges of the austere concrete blocks.

“Apache Sunset” hummingbird mint (Agastache rupestris)

(c) Terri Robertson, T’s Southern Garden 2018

I’m pleased with how big and bountiful this perennial has become in its second year in my garden. Hummingbird mint is said to attract hummingbirds, but I haven’t exactly been watching for them. It’s hot as Hades outside, and we’ve had monsoon-like rains.

Dusty miller

(c) Terri Robertson, T’s Southern Garden 2018

Dusty miller is one of those plants that’s so ubiquitous in gardens (at least in the Southeastern U.S. where I live) that it’s easy to dismiss. But I must give credit where credit is due. It’s a hardy perennial, and the white, waxy foliage really highlights the lily.

Sedum

(c) Terri Robertson, T’s Southern Garden 2018

The sedum is a “passalong” from my dad. I wish I knew the variety. Like the creeping Jenny, it’s a perennial saving grace for the concrete block terraces. Planted in the openings along the top, it propagates easily and comes back every year.

Vase and props

I inherited the vintage glass creamer (the vase) from my aunt. It could be a family piece, or perhaps she scouted a deal for 25 cents at a flea market, as she was so good at doing. For the photo, I added a vintage brass finial and a small woodblock painting by Moni Hill, which my sister bought for me at the Main Street Gallery in Clayton, Georgia. There’s a quote on the side of the painting, too.

(c) Terri Robertson, T’s Southern Garden 2018

Thanks to Cathy and her blog, Rambling in the Garden, for hosting the IAVOM meme. She has a sunny vase of zinnias, inula, calendula and drawf sunflower today. Please give her a visit.

 

Walk in Kaul Wildflower Garden

Take an evening stroll with me through Kaul Wildflower Garden, one of more than two dozen gardens at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden Blog, 2018
Red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) stands almost as tall as the longleaf pine sapling behind it.

Alabama’s state tree is the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris), and many young specimens grow along Kaul Wildflower Garden’s trails. This strong native tree is resistant to both disease and hurricane-force storms compared to other pines in the Southeastern US. I must also say that the young trees look a bit like Cousin Itt from The Addams Family.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
A young longleaf pine–does it look like Cousin Itt, or is it just me?

I especially love the shady areas of this garden, where ferns and bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), with its distinctive leaf shape, thrive. 

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
A new fern frond unfurls.
(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Look for bloodroot growing along the path–and sometimes on the path!

A special mid-April treat for me was the mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) on the cusp of full bloom. The light was a bit low for a photo, but the end result looks like a pink firework against a night sky.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Mountain laurel about to bloom

If you have an opportunity to visit Kaul Wildflower Garden, you’ll find many plants growing in abundance, but I encourage you to keep an eye out for the oddballs, such as the drawf crested iris (Iris cristata) below. You won’t have any trouble recognizing it as an iris; it’s just smaller. It’s endemic to the eastern United States, which means you won’t find it anywhere else.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Dwarf crested iris is truly petite!

Another sighting on my walk was the red flower below, which I believe is a scarlet catchfly (Silene subciliata). I spotted this plant only once in the garden, but it was close to the trail.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Suggested ID: scarlet catchfly (Silene subciliata)

There are also habitat-specific plants, such as the statuesque pitcher plants and stonecrop in the next two photos. Stonecrop is so named for good reason. Here it makes a home on a small boulder.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Suggested ID: White pitcher plant (Sarracenia leucophyll)
(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Stonecrop, also known as sedum (unidentified species)

I’ve only scratched the surface of what there is to see at Kaul Wildflower Garden, much less the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. And of course, its offerings depend on the time of year. For now I will close with the masses of yellow flowers blooming in the bog and surrounding area.  Based on the leaf shape, I believe the plants are butterweed (Packera glabella), but I am not positive.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Fallen tree in the bog
(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Suggested ID: Butterweed (Packera glabella)

As usual, I used inaturalist.org software to help me identify plants to the best of my ability. If the iNaturalist community of citizen scientists corrects any of these IDs, I will update this post.

Thanks for stopping by!

The Joy of Tiny Things

 

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Left: Tiny bluet (Houstonia pulsilla). Right: Henbit deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule), dandelion, sedum, creeping jenny and garden thyme.

Appreciate the little things, sometimes even weeds.

My perennials have been coming back to life the past couple of weeks, including herbs, heuchera, creeping jenny, moss and various sedum plants growing in the nooks and crannies of the terrace walls. And, of course, weeds. I can find weeds quite pretty– especially if they are native and/or beneficial to the environment–and they are the inspiration for the tiny arrangements featured in this post.

 

 

I am fairly certain that the small lavender-blue flowers pictured above, are tiny bluets (Houstonia pulsilla), native to the Southeast. Moss covers our shady backyard, and the tiny bluets, with blooms no more than a centimeter in diameter, look so pretty against the blanket of vibrant green. I arranged them in a small amber-colored bottle. I will warn you that I had to pull out the tweezers for this one. (As my husband was kind enough to notice, I had a lot of free time that day.)

IMG_4908
Henbit deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule)

The next arrangement features the vibrant purple-pink flowers of henbit deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule), along with a dandelion, sedum, creeping jenny and garden thyme. Native to the Mediterranean, henbit deadnettles are fairly ubiquitous today. They attract pollinators and are a food source for some animals. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even eat them as an herb. (I haven’t tried them, but the leaves smell like parsley.)

Except for the dandelion, which apparently does not last long once picked, this rustic bouquet has brightened my kitchen for almost a week now.

Note: To see what other garden bloggers have put “In a Vase on Monday” check out Cathy’s blog and comments.