Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Consider the Flowers...

From the few posts about the garden this year, one might assume that all the flowers and vegetables withered up and died. This is not the case. The garden is thriving beautifully and we've been enjoying lots of blooms.

One of my favorites: Toad lilies.

Their arrival signals the fading of summer and the beginning of autumn. Like the first songs of the katydids and the dog-day cicadas, it means the first frost is on its way. The flight of geese and the tinge of gold and brown in the leaves also tell me of the coming of autumn and the end of summer.
New addition: Helenium Carnival.

A pinwheel of bright, autumnal colors, this new addition is related to the sneezeweed that is commonly found around these parts that has more of a lemony, yellow color. Don't be fooled! Despite the name, the flower won't make you sneeze... that is unless you grind up the leaves and use them as an expectorant in folk medicine.


When we were kids, my best friend and I grew sunflowers for the birds. As a tribute to those days, I planted lots of seeds. Almost all of them came up! Over 50 of them them. We planted them around the garden, but most of them got mowed down my deer. Some survived though. A few are about the size of my head, but a majority of the survivors are about the size of a softball.

Another new addition: Butterfly Flowers.

I wanted to encourage butterflies and this little plant did not disappoint. There always seems to be some kind of insect, butterfly or otherwise, hovering about it. I'm particularly fond of the little orange blossoms. They fit right in with the orange and purple color-scheme that seems to be taking over the planters on the porch.


Lorelei Eurto said...

wow. gorgeous. i love that first flower you show, the toad lily. never heard of that. where did you find them, did you plant seeds or bulbs??

Andrew Thornton said...

Toad lilies are some of my favorites! They remind of orchids. They're also called tricyrtis. Since they grow well here, you shouldn't have a problem.

I got some from Amazon too. Some of them did well the first year, but died off the second. But they're pretty hardly and I love the speckled blossoms.

AJ said...

I'm glad there are people like you in the world, so I can enjoy pictures of your beautiful garden instead of looking out at my own brown weeds.

Ann said...

Andrew - next time you are over at Penn State, they have some test gardens. You can check out what they are growing and how large they get (that is great to judge how many to plant - I always overcrowd).

Here is their site:


Unknown said...

I miss the woodlands in Virginia! I think I will always say that! Everythings dried up here with the 100 degree weather here everyday. Thankfully the water restrictions arent as severe as the Woodlands further North. They are allowed no watering at all.
The flowers are beautiful! I too love toad lillies!