A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.



Sunday, July 20, 2014

"H" Plants are Blooming - Heliopsis, Hollyhock, Hosta

Lots of H plants are blooming in the garden, specifically the Heliopsis, Hollyhocks, and Hostas.  We've finally gotten some warm/hot weather and the heat loving plants are finally starting to thrive. 
The Summer Sun Heliopsis (heliopsis scarbra) is in full bloom, and I'm glad I planted them together in masses in the front yard.  As you can see below, they look great planted in a mass together, and they're in the bird feeder area, so any stray sunflowers that the birds drop that sprout will look right at home and blend in nicely.  Heliopsis are also known as "false sunflower".
These were root divisions that we got from BloomingBulb.com. I've proclaimed the awesomeness of them before in a previous post - Paprika Yarrow and Awesome Customer Service from BloomingBulb.com.  I'm not getting paid to shill for them, I'm just a super satisfied customer. 
 Hidden amongst the field of heliopsis are the first hollyhock (alcea rosea) flowers of the year.
The first pink blooms of the year, back-lit by the morning sun.  I'm not sure of the variety.  We got these as free seeds on a garden tour a few year back, so other than "Pretty!!", I don't know much about them.  Hollyhocks are a bit unusual in that they're a biennial plant, they grow the first year (occasionally throwing up a flower), then die back and grow significantly larger and bloom magnificently in the second year before dying off completely.

Hollyhocks also reseed themselves prolifically and it's easy enough to go around during that first year and remove any unwanted volunteers.  You can get hollyhock seeds pretty cheap (from eBay or Amazon) and then let themselves reseed, or once they go to seed, you can gather them and sprinkle where you want them to grow next year.

Hollyhocks are big in this part of the country, but I'd never seen them before.  The previous homeowner must have had some in the yard because the first few years here I thought they were weeds and pulled them all.  It wasn't until I was at a garden tour and noticed some hollyhocks and how similar they were to the "weeds" I had been pulling.  I did some Internet research, put 2 and 2 together and never had to admit to anyone that I made the mistake of pulling such lovely flowers for two years.
The hostas that line both sides of the front walkway are blooming as well.  I've never been very impressed with hosta blooms, but these are actually kind of cool.  They're numerous flower spikes with very delicate purple/white flowers. These hostas were here when we bought our house, so I'm not sure of the variety, and hosta varieties are so numerous it would probably take a good deal of detective work to figure out exactly what they are.

And that's the highlights of what is currently blooming in the garden.  Happy gardening and stay cool in the summer heat. 

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