May 10, 2012

Frilly Bloomers

Peony poppy
Frilly blossoms weren't intentional, but reading the May Dreams: Finished with the Frilly Flower Phase post prompted me to take a look around my own garden. Yes, there are some fru-fru flowers tucked here and there that are blooming right now.

I don't grow peonies, but I grow peony poppies and that was my criteria when selecting this poppy. The full flowers fit the frilly flower formula. Peony poppies self-sow if you allow the seeds to ripen. Just shake the pods around and wait until next year.  I'm still hoping my pale pink and nearly black (purple) ones will bloom. We had an incredibly warm winter and the poppy germination rate has (so far) been disappointing. Unlike me, poppies like a bit of a cold winter.

A mix of dianthus.
I scattered seeds of "mixed" dianthus in the cottage garden, for the fragrance, not the frill.  These sweet little pinks are so easy to grow and now that I take into account the frilly factor—I do find the form flattering on this flower.  These frillers are great fillers. I like to use a mix of colors because I cannot make up my mind as to which color I prefer. I don't usually transplant the dianthus around, though I did pilfer a solid white to relocate with a blue salvia.

Spirea, stipa, spirea—with a dash of blue nigella.
There's a whole lot of frill going on with the spirea blooms. The frilly pink blooms on two varieties of spirea  are filtered by the flowing stipa grass. There's a dash of blue nigella, another frilly fru-fru flower that was pulled after I took this photo—it just didn't belong there and I have hundreds of other nigella. A still photo doesn't do this spirea-stipa vignette justice. I should take a video. The stipa is especially lovely with a bit of glistening morning dew, backlit by the rising sun and swaying in the breeze.

Verbascum 'Southern Charm'
Verbascum 'Southern Charm' casts a frilly eye upon the garden. The stem even looks frilly with buds and blooms on the spike. This dainty flower is quite the trooper, returning every year and never asking for anything except to be cut back after the first bloom is finished—only to rebloom.

Amsonia hubrichtii frilly foliage and flowers.
Native plant, amsonia hubrichtii's wispy foliage and star-quality flowers qualify as frilly in my book. Not ruffle-skirt frilly, but delicate and feminine. Another tough plant, this amsonia blooms in spring, then the foliage looks great through rain and drought, cool or hot temperatures. In autumn, the foliage turns gold. This is a great plant for frill-seekers. If you want more amsonia, let the seeds ripen and drop to the ground. If you don't want more, then wear gloves to prevent the milky sap from getting on your skin when you deadhead.

Verbena 'Imagination'
I've already bragged about verbena 'Imagination' in a previous post. Again, this is a plant with frilly blooms and frilly foliage. Tough as nails, this verbena is a ground-sprawler that blooms non-stop from spring until hell freezes over. And, yes—it self-sows. It is easy to pull, so no worries.

Itea 'Little Henry'
If bottle-brushes are frilly, then itea 'Little Henry' is another fine candidate. This part-shade small version of a sweetspire shrub has a tendency to run about, so pull the sprouts to keep it from filling up the area. The white blooms go every which way, but are charming nonetheless.

While I never intentionally purchased frilly bloomers per se, each delivers a dose of delight in my garden.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel.  All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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