Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

June 15th, 2011

It’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day and I have new plants to show you.

Oenothera glazioviana

Oenothera glazioviana 'Tina James' and associates

I grew Oenothera glazioviana ‘Tina James’ from seed last year. Despite being chewed to the ground by something earlier in the year (blame the deer) it’s now blooming. A biennial, or maybe perennial if you don’t let the seeds mature, and the flowers pop open in the evening. Or so I’ve heard. One recent evening, I dragged the spouse up to the kitchen garden where they’re planted. “See, there’s this plant with big yellow flowers and they pop open in the evening. A garden writer named Tina James had parties where the opening of these these flowers was the entertainment.” So we waited. And waited. And waited. You could see they were going to open. The cross-shaped stigma emerged first, sort of sticking its tongue out at us. Then the reddish calyx started to split open, revealing the pale yellow petals. Then one petal began to raise an edge from the cigar roll of petals. Then we got tired of waiting and I peeled back the calyx. The petals did unfold and spread and the spouse agreed that they were nice flowers.

Oenothera glazioviana

Oenothera glazioviana 'Tina James'

I took these photos early in the morning, which is the only time I’m going to see these flowers unless I plant some closer to the house (or go up to the garden in the evening and peel back calyces). Each flower lasts one night and is wilted and closed by mid-morning.

Next up, we have Impatiens balsamina. Sometimes called balsam, but that name is applied to so many plants that I prefer the Latin name. I grew these many years ago and decided to give them a try again. I’m glad I did. I don’t remember them being this floriferous before. Large semi-double flowers in various colors that are familiar from the more-common Impatiens walleriana. My only complaint is that seeds are only available in mixed colors and so you have to be prepared for some clashing shades of pink, red, and orange. Well, maybe I have another complaint, and that’s that the flowers are not at all self-cleaning. It takes a long time for them to drop off after they’re finished, and until they do they’re sort of brown and saggy. But the plants are nice and sturdy and they have quite a few flowers in bloom at once, giving a bright shot of color. Oh, and Thomas Jefferson grew them at Monticello and that’s a very big deal in central Virginia.

Impatiens balsamina

Impatiens balsamina

Sweet peas. I didn’t think I could grow them, but look. This is another thing that I grew many years ago. The first time I tried they bloomed nicely and every time I tried after that was a failure. I don’t remember doing anything in particular that first time, but this time I started seeds (Spencer Ripple Mix) during the winter in cell packs in the cold frame and then planted them out very early in the spring. It seems to have worked, but the plants looked as if they were about to dry up and die just before putting out this new growth and flowering. How long will they keep going? I have no idea.

Sweet Peas

Sweet Peas (Lathyrus odoratus)

Here’s a strange one. I grew these so-called Korean Hybrids Chrysanthemums from seed last year, and they bloomed last fall. I wasn’t too impressed with most of the flowers in the mix, but I didn’t dig them up either. Now some of them are blooming in June. Strange. These hybrids must have some summer-blooming ancestors. I’m still not impressed with the flowers.

Chrysanthemum, Korean Hybrids

Chrysanthemum, Korean Hybrids

Well, I’ve gone on long enough about these new plants and you need time to visit all the other blogs in bloom on this GBBD, so I’ll wrap up with the list of other plants in bloom at Tangled Branches South.

  • Red-hot Poker (Kniphofia)
  • Pink-flowered Oregano
  • Coreopsis verticillata ‘Zagreb’
  • Eryngium planun ‘Blue Glitter’
  • Lavender ‘Munstead’
  • Lavender ‘Grosso’
  • Thyme, broad-leaved English
  • Germander
  • Nepeta transcaucasica ‘Blue Infinity’
  • Verbena hastata ‘Pink Spires’
  • Verbena bonariensis
  • Achillea ‘Summer Berries’
  • Monarda menthifolia
  • some repeat bloom on various dianthuses
  • Coral honeysuckle
  • Phlox maculata ‘Miss Lingard’
  • Platycodon (Balloon Flower)
  • Various violas
  • Cuphea llavea (Bat-faced cuphea)
  • Nicotiana alata ‘Sensationally Fragrant Mix’
  • Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)

7 Responses to “Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day”

  1. Hanni says:

    You know, I have had the same thing happen with sweet peas! Beautiful the first time I tried to grow them, but nothing every year since. I will have to try your idea of starting them in the winter & planting early.

    and the Tina James? Sounds very exciting. I will have to hunt up some seeds for that.

  2. Everything is lovely, but I particularly like ‘Tina James’…so delicate and beautiful!

    • entangled says:

      The plant itself is maybe a bit coarse-looking (i.e. weedy), but the flowers are very pretty.

  3. Greggo says:

    primrose is awesome

  4. Flowering Pear says:

    A garden writer named Tina James had parties where the opening of these these flowers was the entertainment.” So we waited. And waited.
    Thanks for sharing..

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