BY GLADYS JEURINK
always been the flower of love. They
were the first flowers planted around the White House after it was
built. They were mentioned
in a Chinese garden writing over 5,000 years ago. Have you tried the new
CARPET ROSES? The blooms are
small but many. They don’t get over 2 feet tall and I have never
sprayed them in 3 years with no signs of blackspot.
There are red and pink ones in the parkway by the mailbox.
Another no-care rose are the KNOCK
OUTS. No spraying and the only pruning I have done is to keep the
branches out of the path. Now
there are double ones, and pink ones.
Mine are in partial shade in the front yard behind vines and HIBISCUS
but they don’t seem to mind. The
have never gotten over 3 feet tall with blooms a little bigger than the
LOVE IN THE MIST
(Nigella sp) is a short 12 to
18 inches annual with thread like foliage surrounding the petals which
accounts for the “mist”. They come in a number of colors and reseed
themselves. You can get
doubles, striped or marbled ones. The
seed pods are round, striped, and maroon to put in your winter bouquets.
I also found them called “Love in a Puzzle”, or “Devil in a Bush”.
They prefer full sun as most of the annuals.
sunny annual, that can almost be called weird, is “LOVE LIES BLEEDING”-an AMARANTH
whose seeds are used as grain. AMARANTHUS
CANDATUS bleeds in long, roping, blood red spikes that grow 3 to 5
feet in poor soil and hot sun. I
like to have one or two plants in the background with AMARANTHUS
BICOLOR called the “SUMMER
POINSETTIA”, both of which use fair amounts of water for their
large size. However, they
can also get root rot if watered too much. Sometimes LOVE
LIES BEEDING survives winter here in
Do you remember
when everyone had shrubs of BRIDAL
WREATH (Spirea Arguta)? A number of years ago they were the most common
hedge about 8 feet high and wide covered completely with small intense
white blooms. It adapts to
many places but likes full sun. When
it gets too large it can be cut back to the ground and will soon be
white again. Or it can be shortened gradually by removing one-third of
the biggest oldest stems clear to the ground each year.
I prefer doing either of these methods in the late fall so that
new growth will not start until the next spring.
Hybridizers have been at work on the group and now we have spirea’s
of colors mostly in pink shades although there are yellow ones such as
“GOLDEN PRINCESS”, “GOLD
FLAME”, and “GOLD MOUND”
that have yellow leaves.
There are at
least 3 genus of flowers called FORGET
ME NOT. Anchusa,
Cynoglossum, and Myosotis all have this title. The
only one I have had is MYOSOTIS.
This genus has an alpine, and an aquatic species and MYOSOTIS Sylvatica which is a short 3 to 4 inch plant with blue,
white or pink tiny flowers. The name comes from a legend of a knight out
walking with his lady. The knight bent over to pick her some small blue
flowers but fell in the river and drowned from his armor weight. As he
sunk he said “FORGET ME NOT”.
It is a biennial that likes partial shade and damp soil blooming very
early in the spring. Some
years it produces much seed, and in other years, I have to hunt for new
plants. The original plant
was given to me on a tray as they had sold their home.
Did you know
that JOHNNY JUMP UPS (Viola
tricolor) has other names and includes HEARTEASE
and LOVE IN IDLENESS? They
are very short (3-5 inches) and bloom from early spring until it gets
very hot. However, they do bloom much longer than pansies for me.
Some years I have had them get as tall as 18 inches before the
summer was over. They like
full sun and produce a number of seeds.
The flowers are only about 1 inch across and occasionally some
plants will overwinter as a perennial or biennial. PANSIES
are the big flower members of the VIOLA
family. The Romans had them
on their dinner table, and they were one of Napoleons favorite flower.
Living in my pathways I have white, white and blue, and red violets.
Most of their seeds are not formed from the flowers you see but
underneath the leaves, next to the soil. You are probably aware that
they like to grow in the lawn.
Every spring I
look for BLEEDING HEARTS (Dicentra
spectabolis) to appear as they are not always reliable.
They like shade and moist feet.
Some people are allergic to the foliage.
There are about 20 species of DICENTRA
but here in