Friday, July 4, 2008


This post started out titled "Too Much of a Good Thing," and it was going to be about the crocosmia and houttuynia I'm taking out of the front borders. But I decided to start with a digression about white rose campion, and, well, I went on a bit. Sometimes I have a little problem with focus (and not only in my photographs).

Joco, in a comment on Clay and Limestone, asked for a picture of white rose campion, so here is picture from my white garden:

This is called Lychnis "Angel Blush," and there is a very slight pink blush to the new blossom, but it turns bright white, almost a repeat of a bright white impatiens at the front of the border. This is a new plant for me--I bought it when my friend The Garden Curmudgeon took me to Sandy's Plants in Richmond (by the way, thanks, Tina, for showing me how to do links properly!).

A digression within a digression: Sandy's is a must-see. She has acres of perennials, so we have to drive around in golf carts to get our plants. I made the mistake of riding with the Curmudgeon the first time, who quickly filled up the back of the cart with his stuff (ok, he's a landscape designer and he was shopping for a client, but still)--one really needs one's own cart at Sandy's. One also really needs a shopping list: first, because you need to find the plants you want on the map so that you know where to drive the golf cart; and second, because if you don't have a list, you'll do what I did, and buy on impulse, which is very dangerous when you're surrounded by acres of plants and one of those acres (ok, about one of those acres, I didn't actually measure) is dedicated to native plants. Still, the impulses worked--one was the rose campion, whose gray foliage looks stunning next to near-black heuchera "Obsidian" (also from Sandy's) and bright green deutzia gracilis "nikko" (from Lowe's years ago)--the sun-loving plants surrounding it shade the heuchera and sweet woodruff beneath it very nicely.

I realize, by the way, that none of the plants I just mentioned are natives--but on that same trip, I did get some beautiful native columbine, some Virgina bluebells, and something they couldn't quite identify that's some kind of foam-flower (they had decided it was too prolific and so they weren't going to sell it--I apparently found a left-over so they gave it to me--it may end up in one of these "too-much-of-a-good-thing" posts, but for now, it's just a good thing).

But even if Richmond is a bit of a hike for you, Sandy's website is a wonderful source of information--she has a whole section devoted to one of my favorite topics, deer-resistant plants.

So now my digression has become a full-fledged post, and if I'm going to get any gardening done while the morning is still cool, I better get outside. More on crocosmia this weekend.

Happy Fourth of July!


tina said...

Yes it looks a lot better and it was my pleasure. I always appreciate the bloggers who have helped me and have thanked them many times on my blog.

I CANNOT believe you are taking crocosmia out. I love that stuff. What color is yours? Hate the houttenyia-yuck! I did not know campion came in white. Very pretty. I have the rose and hope for more seedlings.

Gail said...

Thank you for posting on the Rose is exactly the one I have and I have no idea where it came from...I planted the magenta one originally!

BTW, a very nice post!


Cosmo said...

Hi, Tina and Gail--Thanks for your support--I feel like a dinosaur with the internet sometimes.

So, if I ever finish the post on crocosmia, you'll see that I'm just moving it. It can be invasive where I live (the Tidewater Gardener concurs)--the clumps get huge and cover up other plants, so I periodically pull out chunks and plant it somewhere else. I love it this time of year--not so much when it comes time to clean up the straps. Anyway, mine is bright red-orange--I think it's the "Lucifer" cultivar, but I'm not sure because someone gave it to me--it's very similar to the one in "Fireworks" on Dirt Therapy.

Believe or not, I don't hate houttuynia, but I sure have learned to be careful with it!

And I'm wondering how true the color of the rose campion will stay--have you had yours for a while, Gail? I share your love of gray foliage, by the way.

Hope you're enjoying the holiday.

Gail said...


I keep iffy records so I haven't the faintest idea where it came from! It might be one of the flowers a friend gave me a few years ago or maybe I got it from a nursery on the sale table! See what I mean bad record keeping! I have two of all rose and the white with a hint of pink!

Yes grays are very nice in the garden!


Entangled said...

I had the idea that Sandy's was wholesale only - thanks for setting me straight! Now I just need to find time to go there....