In a sunny situation, Chrysogonum virginicum, commonly referred to as the golden star, will show you a multitude of starry yellow blossoms rising from green carpets to reach the height of 6″ inches.
It keeps up the display all summer until frost quenches the floral glow. Also, it is a good rock garden subject and an easy doer.
If you like gold color among blue flowers, try a few bulbs of Calochortus barbatus among the trailing azure flowers of the veronica.
This is an easy flowering bulb, which is dug and stored in the fall like gladiolus.
The yellow pendant bells are an inch in diameter and are a pretty contrast to the blue-flowered mass below them.
The green and yellow variegated leaved sedum and the white and green also, Sedum alboroseum, make attractive and unusual foliage clumps in the sunny rock garden.
The latter grows about 10” inches high, the former somewhat less, but both bring favorable comments from garden visitors.
The yellow variegated sedum makes an intriguing pot plant for the Winter window, and I often use it.
Pedilanthus Tithymaloides Variegatus
A tiny cutting sent me from a rainbow-hued “devil’s backbone,” Pedilanthus tithymaloides variegatus, gave me much pleasure after setting it outside in the sand in the sun, where its coloring became much more vivid, the rose, green and white foliage fairly glistening in the sunshine.
The tiny red flowers, like little birds, sit on the ends of the stems. Thus if you care to see blooms of this cactus species, be somewhat chary of your cutting gifts from this striking plant with the uneven “Backbone.”
The varied cupheas, which many people seem familiar with only the variety with red flowers, are lusty growers, free from insects and disease, and need very little care.
These cuphea hybrids (Avalon) will grow tall in good soil, about 20″ inches, and a row of them presents a unique appearance.
In full bloom, they look as if flocks of butterflies had settled for rest upon the plants’ butterflies in pale purple, rose, lavender, vermilion, pink, red, scarlet, dark lavender, and shades of these colors.
They last well in water and are so unusual that everyone inquires, “What are those oddly-shaped, beautiful blossoms?”
For the rock garden, the lower Cuphea platycentra, 10″ inches high, is very satisfactory and floriferous, covered with brilliant red flowers.
When a breeze sways the cupheas of planting, the illusion of butterflies at rest is almost perfect as the colorful, fluted blooms stir in the gentle wind.
The seed pods look like cigars in shape, even to the end, which seems tipped with ashes, and this fact has given rise to the common name of “cigar plant,” more often applied to Cuphea platycentra. These annuals are quickly grown.
Varieties Of Potentilla
Potentilla is, I find, an asset in a hot place, for the hot weather disturbs it, not a whit. Potentilla fruticosa Montana (10” inches) has large golden suns over grey foliage.
Potentilla recta warrensi (for a large rock garden) have bloomed in my garden for years, being very hardy, and brightening the area with their cheerful golden flowers.
Last year, I added Potentilla thurberi, which affords deep, maroon-centered blooms, with the edges of the flowers a light red, and the white sorts (beauty), which grow taller, are like snowy cascades of bloom.
Nearly everyone knows Potentilla tormentillo-Formosa for its trailing growth and apricot wealth of flowers borne all the season.
However, the double sorts are also intriguing, a packet of seeds affording many varied kinds, some of which are hybrids.
Have you tried the Polemonium richardsoni? It is only 9″ inches high, starts blooming when the older Polemonium replan finishes, and will grow in either sun or light shade.
This variety is blue-flowered and hardy. I like it for another reason it is long-lived. This makes a pretty contrast planted near iljuga “pink spires” for the color picture it presents to passers-by pink, green, and blue.
The sensitive plant, Mimosa pudica, blooms in Summer with fluffy rose flowers and seems at home in my sandy garden soil.
The leaves are fernlike and feathery, sensitive to strong wind or the lightest touch, and many flower lovers are astonished to see the leaves shrink away and fold up when their eager fingers brush the foliage.
Though a perennial, we treat Mimosa as an annual in Vermont.
44659 by Naomi M. Ingalls