Friday, June 24, 2011


My Columbine wants to say hello! Don't they remind you of Chinese lanterns or petticoats? I thought I would share them with you before they go into their long slumber until next Spring. This variety is growing along side Hubby's tool shed. Years ago I spread a can of wildflower mix in the garden there, and these have survived. They are starting to spread, too. They must be at least 10 years old. I admit that I don't take very good care of them, I fertilize about once a year with Fish Fertilizer and I keep them watered in the dry summer months.

These pretty little pinwheels are a different variety. I planted them in my Mom's Commemorative Garden this Spring. The only problem I have with Columbine are 'Leaf Miner's'. They haven't attacked the Columbine by the shed, but they 'did in' one I had by the house a couple years ago. I hope they leave these alone. For all of you that don't know what leaf miner's are, they leave little trails inside the leaves where they burrow. If the plant can't fight them off, it will eventually die. I am against using pesticides, so anything that doesn't survive, gets thrown in the compost pile.

Here is a view of the Commemorative Garden before the second columbine started blooming. The white flowers in front are 'Candy tuft'. They are a creeping perennial sub shrub with the most amazingly sweet scented flowers. Mine like it here and are spreading. The gray plants are called 'Snow in Summer' and they stay small with little white flowers that bloom all summer.

Here is a close-up view of the Candy Tuft. They bloom at the same time as the Forget-me-nots and Columbine.

I brought in a little bunch of Forget-me-nots to enjoy. They are such a sweet shade of blue. Soon they will be going to seed. They look scraggly at that point, but I let them stay until they are all covered in seed and then I cut the long seed stems and save them to spread around here and there. They need very little care and will grow just about anywhere, shade or sun. (Although, they like a moist soil) They are a biennial and will flower the second year. But if you plant the seeds as soon as they ripen, the little plants will grow over the summer and winter and flower in the Spring. But you must keep them watered.

Of course I let the dandelions grow, too. I think they are much discriminated against. They are actually a beneficial herb and all parts of the plant can be utilized. You can eat the young tender sprouts in salads in the Spring before the leaves get bitter. They cleanse the liver. The flowers can be made into Dandelion Wine. Because they have such a long taproot, they bring beneficial minerals up from the deep soil to the surface to aid in the growth of other plants nearby. Aren't they so bright and cheery?

This is my invader. It is a tall spreading grass that has invaded a lot of my gardens. I made the mistake of letting it grow because of the large plumes of seed heads in the fall. But it doesn't look pretty after a heavy rain in the late summer and all the tall stems flop every which way. So I have been pulling it and smothering it everywhere but in this one little barrel. Isn't it pretty with the late afternoon sun shining through? Don't let it fool you!!!

Well, I must leave you now. Whitey is waiting for me. I hope you have a lovely weekend and don't forget to stop and smell the flowers.


  1. Your commemorative garden is SO beautiful! Very inspiring. And your columbines are really lovely. Do they reseed themselves? Mine do - and I mark any interesting ones and take out quite a few of the others, which all seem to be purple. The bees do really love them.

  2. Thank you, Christine, yes, they do seem to like our climate. I think it is a lot like yours, lots of cool weather and rain in the Spring, a little bit cooler and wetter than Oregon. Thank you for sharing! xx Karen


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