|Free Balloon flowers and a free climbing rose|
are growing like weeds. This is my photo from yesterday.
I tried something from Direct Gardening, an Internet vendor that has low prices and very small plants. Nevertheless, their Rugosa rose prospered in the back and got promoted to the rose garden. I stuck their free Balloon flowers into the soil, near our front door, and they are really blooming this year.
The botanical name means "broad bell", but the open flower is really more of a star shape. However, it's the puffy bud that intrigues gardeners and entices them to grow this plant and that gives it its common name of "Balloon Flower".
Balloon flowers are long-lived perennials that rarely need dividing and are deer resistant.
Leaves: Alternate, bright green leaves grow along the stems. This is a clump-forming plant.
Flowers: The flower bud swells up into a puff and slowly opens, passing through a bell shape to a swept back star with five petals, joined at the base. The purple-blue varieties are the most commonly grown, but it also comes in white and shades of pink.
Balloon Flower, Chinese Bellflower, Japanese Bellflower.
|Butterfly Weed can be quite impressive as the clump grows and flowers. This photo sows some incomplete mulching, which can be fixed with a few more newspapers and more wood mulch.|
Front Door Plants Get Attention
I have stuck plants in odd places because the soil was soft and I did not want to dig into the sod. I tended to forget and neglect them, or they were in zones best suited for very hardy weeds.
I also put Butterfly Weed by the front door. Like most plants that arrive in a cardboard box, they did not look so good the first year. Now they are colorful orange flowers near the front door.
I also scatter Borage seed near the front door, so we can pick the flowers later.
Our Joe Pye Weed Will Look Like This
|Joe Pye is very popular and hard to find later in the season.|
Last year, I began two Joe Pye Weeds along the driveway. One grew especially well and attracted butterflies and pollinators like crazy, as predicted in various books and websites.
|The senior Joe Pye plant is ready to bloom, next to the driveway, six feet tall.|
The second Joe Pye was weed-eaten and disappeared, but only for a time. The distinctive leaves came up again and I threw a protective rose collar around it.
When I see a nearby plant in need, I give it extra rainwater or stored water. The Joe Pye information said it appreciated extra water, so I have watered Hidden Lily and Joe Pye more often. As a result, the rain yesterday made both plantings look even stronger.
Exotic aromas are an extra benefit of the alternate plantings in the rose garden. Mint is strong coming from Cat Mint and Mountain Mint (both good for bees...and CM for cats). Butterfly Weed has a fragrance I missed but Ranger Bob caught. Joe Pye and Chaste Tree have a Vicks Vapo-Rub aroma.
Roses are herbs too. I was near a single Pink Peace along the fence, and the fragrance was potent.
|Not my bushes, not my photo,|
but Butterfly Bush will fill the yard with a sweet grape jelly smell.