In a Vase on Monday: Sun Hats and Dragons….

Hello! It is Monday again and I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her weekly meme. And this week I actually have a prop. 😃

I must admit this sun hat is rarely used, as it is a bit floppy, with a baseball cap being preferred. 😉 But you may be asking ‘Why Sun Hat?’ Well, Echinacea are known as ‘Sonnenhut’ in German… sun hats. 😃

The ones featured today are the earliest to flower and I am still waiting for a few others to open.

Pink Double Delight on the left, Pica Bella, Baby Swan White and one Echinacea pallida in the middle.

Pink Double Delight is rather fancy, but I like it for being a bit eccentric.😉

The dragons are my snapdragons, all grown from a packet of mixed seeds.

But actually there is quite a menagerie in there… lime green Wolf’s Milk (Euphorbia) at the base as a filler, and one sprig of Sedum which is known as fat chickens here (Fette Henne)… just below Pica Bella in the next photo.

The day promises to be warm but not too warm… great for visiting a garden. 😃 My friend and I are looking forward to a visit to the Himalaya Park nearby this afternoon, which I have mentioned before and will write about again soon.

Hope you have a lovely day too. ☀️

Buddleia davidii ‘Nanho Blue’

Buddleias are pretty tough plants and the only one I have ever lost was a dwarf one in the old garden after a very hard winter. This spring I was certain I had pruned mine back too early and a late frost appeared to have finished them off… a disaster for my Butterfly Bed where four different shrubs are the main focus of the bed.

I was wrong. By May they were all sending out shoots with new leaves appearing daily. Now they are back to the size they were last summer and the first flowers are opening. I am writing this down as a record to remind myself not to panic again next spring!

My favourite is Buddleia davidii ‘Nanho Blue’ (also called Buddleia davidii v. nanhoensis). This was featured in my vase last Monday (see here) and a few comments prompted me to take a second look at this shrub.

The reason I love it is partly for the fragrance of its flowers, which is not as overpowering as some. But the main reason is its foliage. The leaves are narrow – longer and thinner than other buddleias – and smoother too. As with my other buddleias they are also silvery. The combination of the smooth silver with the blue flowers is rather attractive, but even when it is not in flower it looks pretty. It retained most of its leaves throughout the winter as well, although they do look a bit worse for wear by the time I prune it in spring.

The flowers are also longer and thinner than other buddleia I have grown.

But what stood out in the photos of my vase the other day was the bubbly clusters of petals on each panicle.

This occurs on most of the flower heads it seems, and the effect is rather pretty. I think most of my buddleia have similar clusters, but because they are shorter and fatter flower heads it isn’t noticeable once they are in full bloom.

I planted a second Nanho Blue in the Oval Bed. This one is still quite compact….

 …… but the one in the Butterfly Bed is already about 2m tall and at least 1.5m wide. It isn’t supposed to get any bigger than that….

I will have to post some more photos once it is in full bloom… preferably with a few butterflies on it. 😉🦋

I think almost every garden has a buddleia, doesn’t it? So which buddleias have you grown and do you have a favourite? Are they invasive in your part of the world? Do they grow in warmer climates?

Thanks for reading and have a great gardening weekend!

Sneezewort and Yarrow

Isn’t that a great name for a plant?…

‘Sneezewort’

For me it conjures up images of people in times past sniffing this plant and promptly sneezing, hence giving it its name. Perhaps the wild one does cause sneezing. I am, however, pleased to report that this one does not!

Achillea ptarmica ‘Schneeball’, also known as ‘The Pearl’ or ‘Boule de Neige’.

I only discovered Achillea ptarmica last year, and am very very happy with it. I planted three small plants (9 cm pots) in the Moon Bed in the autumn and they have all produced masses of flowers since mid-June. They should continue to flower all summer.

I am wary about white flowers as I know some can look past their best rather quickly. These seem to look good non-stop. The German and French names perfectly describe the little puffy balls of petals, like snowballs. There is a slight hint of yellow at the centre.

They are about 50 cm tall, not flopping at all despite all our rain and thunderstorms and look as fresh as a proverbial daisy, to which family they actually belong.

The leaves of Achillea ptarmica are not feathery like those of the wild Achillea millefolium (which is profuse in our meadow and runs riot in my beds if permitted!).

According to the nursery where I buy my plants from, it likes a sunny position on damp ground. Well, I was gambling a bit as my garden is usually very dry, but I had hoped with mulch and an occasional extra drink it would be okay. Well, this year has been damp enough for it to thrive and get established without any additional help, so I hope it will stick around.

It is a very bright white that stands out especially well on cloudy days.

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The other Achillea I want to share is the one I used in my vase this past Monday. (See here)

Achillea millefolium ‘Pomegranate’

Achillea millefolium ‘Pomegranate’ resembles its wild friend -that most people know as yarrow – in all but its colour… and its choosiness. It took a few attempts to find the right spot for this plant. It loves heat and sun and doesn’t like to be crowded.

The shade of pinky red is gorgeous and is a great splash of colour on the back of my Butterfly Bed.

In the autumn I shall try putting some in other spots in the garden to see how it fares. Its growth is also a little unruly, but considering the rain and wind we have had I would say that is forgivable. It is a little taller than the A. ptarmica at about 60 or 70 cm.

The flowers opened about mid-June and have lasted well, although they can get a bit singed on an extremely hot day. Unlike A. ptarmica, it definitely does lean, as you can see above.

Do you grow any kind of Achillea? And have you had success with it? Do you see them growing wild?

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!