Thursday, April 07, 2016

F is for Flowers

F is for Flowers
Borage , catmint, calendula, and
 chocolate cosmos in bloom, © B. Radisavljevic
As I pondered what kind of flower or other plant started with the letter "F" for the AtoZchallenge, I couldn't think one. I could not find any plants that started with "f" for which I had photos. It suddenly dawned on me that "flowers" itself would work. I have hundreds of flower photos to choose from, so F is for Flowers

I'll start in my own garden. The photo above was taken in my front flowerbed. The small purple flowers at the top left are borage flowers from a plant that reseeded. The smaller white flower spikes are from a catmint plant which was overshadowed by the borage. I love to throw the borage flowers and the petals of the calendula flower (left, yellow) into my salads to add color. I can make tea with catmint, and the neighbor's cat sometimes comes over to steal a bit. You can barely see the chocolate cosmos, above the calendula next to a borage leaf. For some reason, the chocolate cosmos did not last past its first year. Maybe I only thought it was perennial.

F is for Flowers
Logan looking at hornworm on borage plant in front of catmint, borage flowers, catmint,
 calendula, and chocolate cosmos in bloom, © B. Radisavljevic

Above you see Logan watching a hornworm on the borage behind the catmint. Later I gave him a leaf, and he became quite intoxicated. You can see the photos of that in a related link at the end of the post. The yellow flowers that look like buttons are santolina. I planted that in a pot from a root division from a mother plant in Templeton. It did really well in this pot until it somehow got too much water. That killed it. The mother santolina plant gets almost no water and lives on. 

By now you have figured out I use a lot of herbs in my flowerbeds. I love them. I got most of my herbs from the now out-of-business Fat Cat Farm and the Sycamore Herb Farm which preceded it. I really miss having them right down the street. I then propagated those perennial herbs with cuttings or root divisions, and some just reseeded year after year. The flowers add color in their season and provide forage for the bees I like to befriend. They love my rosemary and black sage. So do the butterflies.

F is for Flowers
Bee Foraging on Rosemary, © B. Radisavljevic

F is for Flowers
Bee Foraging on Black Sage, © B. Radisavljevic

F is for Flowers
Butterfly on Black Sage, © B. Radisavljevic

Two other flowers that butterflies like are scabiosa (pincushion flower) and gazanias.

F is for Flowers
Butterfly on Gazanias,  © B. Radisavljevic

F is for Flowers
Swallowtail Butterfly on Scabiosa,  © B. Radisavljevic

One of my favorite flowers is this yellow rose. My mom used to live in this house, and she had a landscaper plant the rose garden in the back yard. I enjoy the roses, and although they are beautiful, I get more satisfaction from flowers I plant myself and watch grow.

F is for Flowers
Yellow Rose from my Garden,  © B. Radisavljevic

Below are two plants I've come to love -- Lamb's Ears and Sweet William. I have no idea how the Sweet William got here. One day I discovered it in my flower bed by the garage and I liked it. It took quite a while for me to identify it. It dies down every year in winter and pops up again in spring. It's trying to grow through the spreading Lamb's Ears, which I'm in the process of thinning. The Lamb's Ears have a tendency to spread. It all came from one root division from a plant in Templeton and it is now trying to take over every flower bed I have. I love it, but it needs boundaries. As you can see, it's just starting to bloom this year. 

F is for Flowers
Lamb's Ears and Sweet Williams Growing Together,  © B. Radisavljevic

In 2013 I planted a lot of daffodil bulbs. Some were very close to the black sage which is now trying to make a canopy over them. Black sage really needs to be pruned every year if you don't want it to grow to six feet wide. I will probably have to move any of the daffodils near it before next season. This daffodil is peeking out from the black sage. 

F is for Flowers
Daffodil Emerging from under Black Sage,  © B. Radisavljevic

The rest of the flowers are from my neighborhood or in public places. Just below is lantana that was growing in a planter in front of the Park Cinemas in downtown Paso Robles. I love lantana, but haven't had good luck growing it. I'd never seen its berries before. Birds eat lantana berries, but they can be toxic to people and pets.

F is for Flowers
Lantana Flowers and Berries,  © B. Radisavljevic

I love my neighbor's garden. She grows many plants I love. She and I both like to mix them up. Here she has irises, roses, Jupiter's beard, California poppies, and a red sage. I featured much more of her garden in "Earth Laughs In Flowers.

F is for Flowers
My Neighbor's Garden,  © B. Radisavljevic

This is my sixth post for the 2016 AtoZchallenge, a Blogging Challenge for the month of April, 2016. My theme is plants, since this is a gardening blog.  Here are links to the other posts if you missed them.

A is for Apple Blossoms
B is for Bottlebrush
C is for Carnations
D is for Daisy
E is for Elderberry

You can buy these greeting cards made from photos of the flowers in my garden by clicking the images below. You can see my blank floral card collection here. 

If you enjoyed this post, please share it. The sharing buttons are just above the comment box at the end of this post. The photo below is especially designed for pinning. 

F is for Flowers


alberta ross said...

I reckon that is a beautiful garden - lots of wildlife and beauty :)

Jane Helms said...

Beautiful garden! How lovely that your mother's roses are part of your garden now.

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