Blooming Thursday: Blushing Pinks

Growing up a redhead my mom never let me wear pink.  A ginger herself, she advised that pink was not our color.  She was right of course, but when you’re told not to wear something, you can think of nothing else.  Am I right?

Pink is definitely one of those colors that can easily be overdone, but not in the garden.  This has been my summer of pink.  The volunteer cosmos continue to splash color across the pumpkin patch.  The pink potted Hydrangea doubled in size and bloom production.  I added a few pink Vinca to one of the patio planters and rounded things out with a polka dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya), grown for its beautiful pink and green leaves.

Power to the Pink!

Pink Hydrangea with a Drop of Morning Dew

Pink Hydrangea with a Drop of Morning Dew

Kitty shows off his cute little pink ears

Kitty shows off his cute little pink ears

pink flowers

After my “week of bugs” this flower is starting to look just like one.

Pink Cosmos

Strong winds this week have the Cosmos  leaning sideways

What’s blooming in your world this Thursday?

Blooming Thursday: Pelargonium Stunner

Pelargonium 'Old Bury Duet'

Pelargonium ‘Old Bury Duet’

I fell in love with this Pelargonium on my last trip through the nursery. I was racing to the front of the store with my 4th of July annuals and it stopped me in my tracks. This ‘Old Bury Duet’ was nestled on a table with equally gorgeous coleus which seem to grow well on our deck.

Of course the big question is “where will I plant it?” The snapdragons in the planter at home were healthy, but the companion Lobelia looked tired.  I never have much luck with Lobelia.  Upon further reading, I’ve learned it prefers cool weather.  Once our temps rise, the plants quickly dry out.  So…

Into the cart they went.

Once home, I transplanted two of the snapdragons into a pot with the roses where they get more sun, and moved the rest to another flowering pot out back.  The Lobelia moved to a cooler spot, but they sadly are no more.

Now my trio of front door planters include the new  Coleus ‘Inky Fingers’ and the Pelargonium ‘Old Bury Duet,’ along with the existing coleus and the trailing flowers.

What’s blooming on your Thursday?

Duet of Color

Duet of Color

Variegated Leaves

Variegated Leaves

Torch Like Beauty

Torch Like Beauty

Friend or Foe?  Do you know?

Friend or Foe? Do you know?

Blooming Thursday: Flowers that Shouldn’t

Flowering Basil

I checked on the basil a day ago and all was well.  Today it flowered!  Maximum production requires more pruning then I realized.  The flowers are pretty but the prize on the basil plant are those delicious leaves.  They are at their best, before the flower.

One of my favorite uses for basil is caprese salad, made with basil, mozzarella and tomatoes.  It’s also delicious in pesto.

So when the sun goes down, the pruning shears come out.  Can’t you just smell it?

How to make Caprese Salad.

Easy Pesto: Step by step

How to dry Herbs: I’ll stick with it fresh, but all you cooking gurus can give this a go.

Blooming Thursday: Kinder + Garden

According to Merriam-Webster, bloom can mean “to produce or yield flowers.”  It also means “to mature into achievement of one’s potential.”

Last night my soon-to-be 12 year-old asked if I liked HTML.  I said that I did.  He wanted to create this beautiful lettering for my blog using one of his favorite sites.  He was also careful to point out that it wasn’t completely original, giving credit where credit was due.  I love it!

Gardening Nirvana

His integrity, thoughtfulness, creativity and wonderful imagination bring me such joy.  It occurred to me today as I was photographing the blooms in my garden, that my children are blooming as well, blossoming really into two terrific young men.

That’s a lot of blooming on Thursday!

Oh yeah…the garden blooms:

I can’t get enough of the view: Blue Hydrangea


I think the cosmos grew another foot!

Happy pollinator wearing a purple party hat

Pumpkin flower hiding in the cosmos

Blooming Thursday: Cosmos Open Up

Tomorrow’s Bloom?

This lovely flower was entirely unexpected. It re-seeded around the corner from last year’s location. As is often the case, the seeds that are hearty enough to survive volunteer status (dropped by a bird, blown in the wind, planted by a squirrel) do well. This is the first bloom of the season with two promising buds (photo, left) ready to spring forth in pinks and yellows.

The fairy garden flowers are holding up nicely. I spruced up the table with a mini bouquet and a table-runner made from leaves. Lindy is the self-appointed watch-cat, keeping those scary garden gnomes I saw on Facebook yesterday at bay.

What’s blooming on your Thursday?

First Cosmo

Lindy Standing Guard Near the Fairy Garden

The Fairy Garden: New Table Runner and a Purple Bouquet

Blooming Thursday: Lemondrops and Sage

Today’s blossoms are lemony yellows and vibrant purples, with just a touch of white.

According to Sensational Color, “Yellow is psychologically the happiest color in the color spectrum.”

The color purple uplifts.  “It calms the mind and the nerves and encourages creativity.”

Yellow and purple are complimentary on the color wheel. They always look beautiful together. No wonder these flowers make me happy.

Mexican Sage, a Hummingbird Favorite

Salvia Leucantha ‘Mexican Sage‘ thrives in our planting zone. Its drought-tolerant, requiring virtually no water once established. It’s also a magnet for beneficial bees and hummingbirds and neighborhood kids.  Those beautiful flowers are as soft as they look. This one occupies a small space in our “sidewalk strip” next to the driveway.

Pittosporum Blossoms

Our well-established Pittosporum is probably as old as the house. We’ve lived here for 16 years and it was fully grown when we moved in. It produces beautiful yellow flowers in the spring, and variegated leaves year round. The squirrels use it as a stepping stool to the neighboring pine.

Orange Blossoms

Not only does our orange tree produce a bounty of fruit but it blooms these sweetly fragrant blossoms every spring. Our tree currently houses a squirrel’s nest! It provides great shade in the summer months, but we stay clear of it at dusk when the rats stop by for a treat.

Campanula: 'Serbian Bellflower'

These Serbian Bellflowers are new to our garden this year. This is the first of the plants to bloom. I’m looking forward to the day when they are all covered with these tiny, star-like flowers.  Aren’t they sweet?

Abutilon: 'Moonchimes' Chinese Lantern

Hummingbirds love these gorgeous yellow flowers. This lovely graces our front side yard near the smaller Magnolia by our deck.

What’s blooming in your garden today?

Blooming Thursday: Geranium Containerem

Geranium: Old Faithful

Geraniums are the garden work-horse. In our zone, they flower three seasons  of the year and remain hardy down to at least 30 degrees Fahrenheit. They enjoy full sun and a good soak during the summer months, but the rest of the year they just hang out in the pot, content. Our pretty-in-pink geranium asks for very little, yet produces these beautiful blooms. I don’t see geraniums in local gardens like I used to, so perhaps they’ve fallen out of favor.  When I envision geraniums, I imagine them tucked up along white picket fences or grazing the corners of a bucolic cottage porch.  Time and again, geraniums appear in greeting cards and calendars, imparting a sense of nostalgia and harmony.  I saw several varieties when I traveled through Europe in 1989, dreaming of recreating that essence when I returned home.

Do you have geraniums in your garden?

Geranium Pink

If I were a paint color:
Several shades of subtle pink

Geraniums: Cheerful Splendor at the Edge of our Deck

Blooming Thursday: Enjoying the Rain

We’re enjoying a wet spring break, with rain falling most days.  I woke to a heavy squall around five this morning and never got back to sleep.  The sound of rain at that hour is soothing and invigorating, unless of course you’re a cat.  Falling rain is simply annoying.  Our kitties cast a backward glance as I open the door, as if to say “make it stop!”

If the flowers could talk, they would tell a different tale.  I’ll attempt to interpret with photos, below.

Raspberry Flower about to Fruit

Through the Grapevine

A New Garden Addition

Pink Azalea Closeup


Candy-cane Azalea Smothered in Blooms

Blooming Thursday: Where Have all the Flowers Gone?

Blushing Azaleas

Didn’t spring just arrive? According to my calendar, yes. My garden, however moves along at a different pace. Buds are forming on the berry vines, but everything else seems to be heading for the leafy stage of growth. Green is my favorite color so I’m not completely disappointed, but the contrast of pinks, purples, reds and golds is visually stunning. Only two small blooms remain on the Hardenbergia.  This time next week that spectacle of color will be a distant memory.  The Azaleas are popping in pinks and whites.  Soon they’ll flaunt a brilliant show of color.

Taking photographs each day is a rewarding experience.  I’ve bared witness to things in the garden I might have otherwise missed.  This time next year I’ll have a record for comparison.  Today I’m working on living in the moment.  Perhaps my garden is right on schedule and only now am I taking proper notice.

In order to hedge my bets, I think it’s time to visit Almaden Valley Nursery for some summer annuals.  I want to continue my Blooming Thursdays.

Hardenbergia about to close up shop

Magnolia Continues to Flower

Wildflower Holdover from Last Summer

Blooming Thursday: The Color of the Day is Pink

A Natural Bouquet

The color pink can “stimulate energy and can increase the blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat, and pulse rate,” according to All About the Color Pink.  Conversely, prison walls are painted  lighter shades of pink to calm aggression and anxiety.

When choosing flowering plants for my garden, pink is my top choice.  Pinks contrast beautifully with green, and they are softer and cooler than reds. I’ve planted pink clover, Impatiens, cyclamen and geraniums in the past along with carpet roses and azaleas.  Interestingly, the star jasmine starts out with pink buds, morphing into white when fully in bloom.  The flowering blossoms on many of the fruit trees are also a lovely shade of pink.  Our now-deceased almond tree served as the focal point of our garden for years.  We were  sad to see it go.  We’ve since replaced it with a four-in-one fruit cocktail tree with equally magnificent flowers, but it will be a few years before it grows to the same magnificent size.

What’s your favorite pink bloom?

Four-in-one Fruit Tree

Flowering Bulbs

Jasmine and Mousy

Yes, I am pretty darn cute

Okay, just one more cute kitty picture. Look at those pink ears and that adorable pink nose.