12 Apr

Cantaurea montana, the Bachelor’s Button

Mountain Cornflower, Bachelor’s Button or Mountain Bluet, as it is known commonly, are popular names of Cantaurea montana, which is an evergreen plant for cold climates of Europe British Isles and parts of North America. It is fairly easy growing plant that requires a regular but well drained soil mix and some exposure to the sun.

Centaurea montana

Centaurea montana, Image by Irma Kallio

Cantaurea montana is better known for its blue flowers that appear in abundance in flowering season that usually starts in spring and lasts till early summer. When the plant is in bloom, it produces a thick mound of attractive blue flowers. These lovely flowers provide a very nice show against the background of bright and velvety foliage.

Cantaurea Montana can be propagated from divisions as well as seeds. Other popular species from this genus are Cantaurea cineraria and C. cyanus. The latter is known for its flowers of many different colors including blue, pink, mauve, crimson, white and pink.

22 Mar

Lychnis coronaria, the Rose Campion

Rose campion or Campion (Lychnis coronaria) is an excellent border plant for its beautiful silvery leaves that make a nice background for prominent scarlet or magenta flowers that appear in summer. Native to temperate regions of Asia and Europe, Campion grows in a well-drained soil under sunny exposure and moderate watering.

Lychnis coronaria, Image by M. Fletcher

Lychnis coronaria, the rose campion

Like most species of Lychnis, Rose Campion grows as clump-forming and hardy perennial. It can grow is almost any soil and spread quickly to cover empty spaces; this makes it a good border plant for beginners. It is a self-seeding plant and blooms until late summer.

Other popular species from this genus are Lychnis chalcedonica. and L. viscaria.

13 Mar

Hardy Ornamental Plant for Sunny Spots: Potentilla Fruticosa

Potentilla is a large genus of flowering shrubs from the family of rose. Most of the plants from this genus are small leafy shrubs that make good choice for mixed borders or as hardy ornamentals. Native to the northern hemisphere, Potentilla can be found in Asia, North America and Europe where they grow as prolific bloomers.

Potentilla Fructicosa, 'Gold Finger'

Potentilla Fructicosa, 'Gold Finger', Image by Manuel Martín Vicente

Potentillas are generally grown as hardy ornamentals for their colorful and showy summer flowers of white, yellow, pink, red and golden colors. A number of cultivars are also grown commercially. Some of these grow quite well in cooler climates.

Among popular species of Potentilla, P. fruticosa is grown widely for its flowers and described as ‘Golden Finger’. It is characterized by dense growth of foliage, and showy yellow flowers. Like other species in the genus, Potentilla fruticosa can be propagated easily from seeds. It prefers a regular soil mix, moderate watering and a sunny spot.

If you are looking for a hardy ornamental for filling empty spaces and some nice flowering, Potentilla fruticosa should be in your list.

03 Feb

Lovely Summer Bloomers for Beginners: Coreopsis

Coreopsis is a genus of perfect summer bloomers for beginners. They withstand drought, require low maintenance, and grow in many soil types and climatic conditions. Originally native to North America, there are more than 100 species and varieties of Coreopsis for almost all garden styles. Some of them make good border plants, some do well in hanging baskets, some make good pot plants and some from nice flowering clumps.

Coreopsis Flowers

Coreopsis 'Fruit Punch' , Image by Terra Nova Nursery

Coreopsis are usually recognized for their daisy-like yellow or orange flowers that appear in summer and continue to bloom till fall – quite a long flowering season indeed. Almost all species of Coreopsis prefer lean and sandy soil in a sunny spot where they receive moderate watering. Established plants do not require much care and bloom very well without requiring additional fertilizer.

Coreopsis grow easily from seeds. Most species tend to form mounds of low-growing herbaceous plants, usually suitable for container gardening, or as ornamental bloomers in mix borders or garden beds.

01 Feb

Hardy, Ornamental Flowering Shrub: Deutzia

Deutzia is a nice, low-growing and usually mound forming shrub that produces very ornamental flowers in summer. The genus offers more than 60 species and varieties (mostly from East Asia especially Japan) that add very nice and delicate show of colorful flowers in gardens. Most of the species are quite hardy and are capable of surviving drought or poor lighting conditions. Generally, these hardy shrubs grow in sunny or partially shaded spots where they receive regular water.

Deutzia Scabra

Deutzia Scabra (Bridal Wreath), Image by Martin LaBar (flickr)

Deutzia performs well when pruned regularly after every flowering season which occurs in later spring or early summer. Flowers are white with a touch of rose-pink or lavender. Though not very showy, flowers or Deutzia are delicate and appear in dense sprays to add a really charming effect to the landscape.

Most species of Deutzia are propagated easily from cuttings or layering. Popular species include Deutzia Gracillis and Deutzia Scabra (Bridal Wreath).