I’m certainly not the only gardener who buys plants and then takes awhile to get around to planting them. Usually these neglected plants don’t do much in my yard, but 2019 brought several delightful surprises.
I had forgotten I even bought a pasque flower the year before, so when I rounded the corner to the backyard and saw this beauty, I gasped:
I bought two pots of blueflag iris at a spring sale, and each produced three gorgeous blooms:
A brand-new harebell:
This one was particularly embarrassing. I had bought these two pots in 2018. Not only were the tags weathered and unreadable, but I had not even the slightest memory of what they were — and they had been in that spot so long, roots had grown out the bottom, so the pots were stuck in the ground.
They turned out to be wild petunia:
And last but certainly not least, this dark blue stunner I didn’t see coming: bottle gentian.
A photo essay starting at the end and evolving backwards.
Clusters of berries that have been partially eaten, perhaps by birds that will spread the seeds to new areas:
Beautiful ripe berries:
Because there are berries, these two plants were female.
But get this: next year, both of these same plants will probably be male! Jack-in-the-pulpits change sex depending on how much energy they have stored. Producing berries takes a lot of energy, so usually the next year they’re male.
Family photo of four blooming jacks under their tall, umbrella-like leaves. I assume the two plants on the right are male, though I didn’t know to check while they were blooming. Next year I will look more closely!
Stretching their leaves open:
Just getting started:
About this flower
I can’t resist spying on sleeping bumblebees.
Their sleeping positions are sometimes peculiar.
A few rest on the top of flowers — like this bee that looks like it’s sleeping on a pink cloud.
But most of them hang upside-down from blossoms or under leaves.
Joe-pye weed was a particular favorite this year.
This has to be the funniest flower choice I’ve seen. The bees are bigger than the flowers!
I try not to spend too much time looking at them, though, because they seem to get stressed out if I’m too close.
It’s better to take a quick picture and then admire digitally.
More of my posts about bumblebees
With the late and wet start to the summer this year, there were lots of people wondering what happened to the bumblebees.
I was one of them, but I knew that they don’t usually show up until the bee balm starts blooming, so I wasn’t too worried. Only a few showed up then, though.
It wasn’t until the joe-pye weed, purple giant hyssop, and cup plant reached full bloom that the bumblebees arrived en masse.
And now, whenever it’s sunny, the front yard is in constant motion.
Bumblebees on cup plant, with a monarch flyby at the end:
Bumblebees on purple giant hyssop:
Not just bumblebees, but other bees too.
The only thing I haven’t seen much of this year is honeybees.
Where are the bees? In my yard. Plant native flowers, and you’ll see bees, too.
Right now, so many of the garden blooms are purple.
(I’m choosing not to include the invasive creeping bellflower, though it is purple.)
But is this joe-pye weed pink or purple?
Color is indeed subjective. I would say these flowers are pink, but they’re called purple coneflowers:
I would definitely call this one purple, but its name is blue vervain:
And this is purple giant hyssop, but it looks less and less purple every year: