Monday, July 13, 2009

Making a case for the blues and brandy ....

Readers of this blog remember how much I gushed about the bush morning glory. This week it finally bloomed and it's more lovely than I remember.

I'm not a huge fan of blue. Maybe it's all those years of having to wear royal blue in high school that has turned me off. And it typically isn't a color I am drawn to in the garden either. But this nautical blue is a dazzling sight. In the sunlight it's a bright blue but on an overcast day, it almost has a purple hue.

I sowed these seeds in late May/early June. They were fast growers and were not high maintenance to get going. They do have that trailing habit so I can see why the packet said it would be good in a rock garden. Next year, I would like to spread these out a little more for that nautical flash in a couple of spots.

I planted this laurentia not because of the beauty of the plant (albeit it's pleasant enough) but because of the name "Beth's Blue." I couldn't resist. It actually is more purple and blue. It's been blooming non-stop for weeks.

You can see on this photo that I opted for black mulch in my front yard beds. So far, the experiment has worked well. The soft black of the mulch is very forgiving for gardeners like me that are constantly moving things around. It's true test will be a hard rain or a wind storm!

I had never grown an annual rudbekia until I saw "Cherry Brandy". I've tried to incorporate more red in the garden basically to appease my husband - a big fan of red flowers. Red can look garish so I add it sparingly and with much trepidation.

Cherry Brandy's petals are as soft as velvet and I love the burgundy - almost black cherry - hue. What a bummer that it's only an annual ... although on some sites it says it can be a perennial.

Has anyone else grown it? Can it reseed itself as a perennial?

14 comments:

Roses and Lilacs said...

That morning glory is beautiful. I'm a huge fan of blue in the garden. Does it bloom for the rest of the season like the climbing morning glories. If so, I will find a place for it next year.

I've had the annual rudbeckias before and liked them. Like you, wish it was perennial.
Marnie

Kit said...

Wow, Beth - I forgot how gorgeous that blue is! It's really unique with the yellow/white centers. I bet it's just stunning in your garden.
Love the cherry rudbeckia! What a pretty color! I'm not always a fan of reds either...because I have so many pastel-y hues in my beds I've felt that really bright reds looked out of place in the past. This color is great, though...like you said, almost black cherry. Love it!

Susie said...

I like that bright blue, it jumps off the computer screen!

I like that rudbeckia as well. I've never seen that color. Maybe you could collect some of the seed for next year. I've never grown it before.

Connie said...

Hi Beth - Nice job on the morning glory. Don't you just love fast growers?
I have that Cherry Brandy Rudbeckia this year,too. I love the color of it! Many of my Rudbeckias re-seed themselves. I deadhead to keep flowers coming, but leave the last ones on the plant in the fall for the birds, and I think when they eat the seeds, some fall to the ground. You could try saving seed, but this may be a hybrid color, can't remember....will have to look it up.

Beth said...

Hi Marnie:
So far, the morning glories have been repeatedly blooming. I'll "report" back on them at another time to let you know how they are doing. I've never had much luck with the regular morning glory so glad to see I'm not "jinxed" by them!

Kit - when are you going to plant that Cherry Brandy girl!

Susie - Kit is a master at collecting seeds. I'm going to need her advice on doing that. If I get some - do you want to try them?

Connie - thanks for the compliment on the MG. If you find anything out about the Cherry Brandy seeds - please share. Do you know - are they brand new this year?

Rosey Pollen said...

AllI know is that the Blue MG looks fantastic!
Rosey

Kit said...

Hi Beth -
I dug out my diseased Coneflower (sigh) and put the Rudbeckia in its place...kind of a similar look to help ease the loss of my old buddy. I just love the color!

As far as gathering seeds, I've had pretty good luck with the seeds I've taken in the past, but I do know that not all flowers are easy to grow from seed. We can sure try to get some from Rude Becky though. I think some varieties of Rudbeckia even reseed themselves, so they're probably pretty easy to propagate.

Kerri said...

That bright blue, yellow and white combination is eye catching. I might have to try those.
I like Beth's Blue. Laurentia is knew to me.
That deep cherry red is lovely. I wouldn't be surprised if those Rude Beckies (:)) self sow. Wouldn't it be lov-er-ly?
How are your NY Beckies and Larkspurs coming along?
My Gloriosas have spread themselves around liberally this summer and are putting on a fantastic show. There are some real beauties. I'll be saving seeds of that rusty double, but who knows if it'll come back true to color.
The larkspur seeds I sowed didn't germinate, and I only have one reseeded plant from last year. Most unusual. I just read that they need light to germinate, so I'll try again and see what happens.
We're having yet another rainy day. Bah humbug. But yesterday sunny and beautiful..a nice little taste of what summer is supposed to feel like :)

Jann E. said...

That royal blue morningglory is gorgeous! I just came across your blog via Marnie's...I'm down here in SD. :o) Very nice blog!

Caroline said...

I planted laurentia "Beth's Blue" because of the name too, my daughter #2 is Beth, couldn't resist. Also have rudbeckia "Becky", daughter #1 is Becky. Haven't found a Rachel something for daughter #3 yet.

Beth said...

Rosey: You must try these next year. They are super easy!

Kit - when are we going to do the garden tour at my house?!?!? Between the two of us let's try and get some of these seeds and try them next year. They are too pretty to not try again.

Kerri - I've had good luck with the gloriosa seeds they are doing great but my blooms aren't rust like yours were. But I still love them. Those are some sturdy plants. Hopefully you'll see my newest post where I showcase the larkspur. They love the area they are in and boy, are they lovely. The lupine and monarda didn't germinate for me.

Jan - thanks for visiting my blog from "down South"! (wink, wink)

Caroline - great minds think alike. :O) I'll keep my eye out for some Rachel plants. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Hello Beth,
My Bush Morning glories were so pretty. After seeing the one you pictured last summer I just had to try them. I got the mixed seeds so I had white, pink and blue ones. I liked them but I wished they would have lasted longer. Mine are turning yellow so I pulled them up. I was hoping they would bloom until frost. Maybe it was just mine and this is not the norm for them. Hope you are having a wonderful summer and what is left of it.
Lona

иı¢κ gαяgıттēя said...

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Cameron said...

Hi - did the cherry rudbeckia return (from plant or seeds)? I just bought three at a nursery, then I read horrible reviews on Davesgarden of it not being cherry in color.

Thanks,
Cameron