Try Some New Plants in the Garden

As long as some plants make me wait to give me
what I'd long hoped for, very few disappoint me.

Take the Godetia, or Clarkia, a Pacific Northwest wildflower with silken petals in bright, no-nonsense shades. I fell in love with its photo many years ago, but chalked it up as an impossibility because of its love for cool temperatures and disdain for humidity.

But if I've learned anything over the years, it is that I can grow it. Just not long-term. Or with resulting bouquets filled with its beauty.

The Godetia I started from seed in March didn't start blooming until three months later. And by then, it had already started to get hot. And humid. It soldiered on in both container and in ground, neither overshadowing the other, but neither thriving either. Godetia as a cut flower is lovely, but it tends to close up at night. It's a good thing to know, especially if you plan for a bouquet to look a certain way, but worth it for its wildflower demeanor.

My favorite thing about gardening is trying new plants. I've been growing tropical Passiflora for the past few years, and this year I have one called 'Lambiekins' from Easy to Grow Bulbs in California. I know, who could resist a name like that?

'Lambiekins' has huge flowers that take awhile before they open. I noticed the buds several days ago, and yesterday I spotted this little marvel from the other side of the garden. I didn't give it the sniff test, but it's supposed to also be fragrant.

I didn't start much from seed this season. Nothing much to show for it, anyway, except for some chewed up Amaranth 'Molten Fire'. I've combined the Amaranth with Phormium 'Lancer's Terracotta', Calibrachoa SUPERBELLS 'Holy Moly!' and Sedum 'Lemon Coral'. None of my mixed containers have really taken off yet. They've either been too cold or too wet, and neither is good for their nutrient uptake.

I really had a hard time finding Phormium, or New Zealand flax, a wonderful container plant with stripes of varying colors that go with lots of plants grown for their blooms. I ordered two cultivars from Sequim Rare Plants, located in Washington.  I can't wait to see what this grows into, as the Phormium is a strong grower that can top out at 4 feet, as can the Amaranth.

Poppies have appeared, but that's about it, as they also have suffered from the weather. By the time the Godetia is ready to cut down or rip out, I'm hoping things will be a little drier.

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