The royally honored…

Purple Heart, Purple Queen, Wandering Jew (Tradescantia pallida) are common names for this Mexican native. In Florida it is a favorite ground cover providing a touch of color to otherwise drab shady areas in the garden. Beside the Royal purple color of this plant and it’s flower I have found no reason that it has been given the name “Queen”.

Purple Queen is very much at home in Florida and can quickly become invasive in the garden; so attention is needed when introduced to a garden design. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

American royalty…

Queen’s Wreath (Petrea volubilis) is an American native found in tropical climates. This vine decorated a wall at Ft. Lauderdale’s famed Bonnett House. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

The flowers have dropped leaving what seems at first to be flowers, but are actually five-pointed, star-shaped calyxes. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

A different naked lady…

My southern sisters are proud of their Naked Ladies (Amaryllis Belladonna), while here in Chicago the Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale) is our “Naked Lady”. Both gained their nickname because when the flowers are in bloom their leaves already have become dormant, so are no longer present. These bulb beauties were at Lincoln Park Zoo several weeks ago and drew attention from the Lion Den.

Close up of sunlit petals. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Vibrant autumn color. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Prolific blooms. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Garden bouquet of flowering fall bulbs. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

The bees and the balm…

The Bee and the Bee’s Balm. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg

Macro image of Bee’s Balm. The center here reminds me of tan insect’s compound eye. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg.

The color and the scent attracts Bees: Bee Balm is a chosen nectar. People find Wild Bergamot tea soothing as well. By any name they are an American favorite. This native perennial has been used by insects, Native Americans and European settlers for centuries. I enjoy it’s unique flower design.

Change of subject…

At first my eye was drawn to the opening Purple Coneflower. Newly emerged petals are pale green, which gradually, over several days, turn to pinky-purple when they have grown to their full length. Purple Coneflower are a favorite subject. More images of this returning favorite will follow soon.

Bringing the flower into focus showed me this new bloom had already collected some debris. Upon closer inspection, it became clear the stringy litter was actually the legs of a Daddy Long Legs {Pholcus phalangioides} spider. As a child they were part of summer’s entertainment; watching them climb brick walls was fun and for some reason they were a favorite critter to hold. I am friendly only from a distance with other spiders. Somehow, these Daddys seemed harmless to me. Perhaps my experiences with them as a child served to buffer fears of introducing “Rosey”, the Rosy Haired Tarantula, as a classroom pet.

Perennial favorite Purple Coneflower beginning to bloom. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Perennial favorite Purple Coneflower beginning to bloom. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Closeup of new Purple Coneflower bloom  accompanied by Daddy Long Leg spider. Copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg

Closeup of new Purple Coneflower bloom accompanied by Daddy Long Leg spider. Copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg

Tranquil attention-getters…

Feathery plumes of tiny flowers bring prominent attention to this shade-loving, summer bloom. In the fall, it is often Goldenrods in their golden show or many perennials’ seed heads that create such a fuzzy manifestation. These bunches are the low blossoming Astilbe perennial used as border plants in one of my beds surrounded by Pachysandra ground cover. It is one of my least aggressive plants, so I regularly defend it’s territory, thinning out invading, more prolific, species. This year’s blooms are more outstanding in part due to our very wet spring and early summer.

Ants on blooming Astilbe plumes. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Ants on blooming Astilbe plumes. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Blooming Astilbe among Pachysandra ground cover. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Blooming Astilbe among Pachysandra ground cover. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Readying and happening…

Diablo Ninebark (Physocarpus) shrub with emerging buds and fully open flowers. This shrub reinforces my purple and white shades in my springtime perennial garden. The leaves and the white flowers both have purple undertones. This species is also suitable to my sustainable plans; it is heat and drought resistant. I take advantage of perennial’s deep roots and keep my watering to only once or twice each year. Newly planted perennials are pampered with weekly deep watering as their root systems become established.

Budding Diablo, copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg

Budding Diablo, copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg

Prolific blooms of Ninebark, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Prolific blooms of Ninebark, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

White with a touch of purple…

Trillium are in bloom as well as the other previously mentioned springtime woodland plants. This patch of forest held both the Great White Trillium (trillium grandiflorum) and Purple Trillium (Trillium recurvatum). Appropriately, named “Great” White Trillium’s bloom is substantially grander than the understated Purple Trillium. The first’s brilliant white stance draws one’s eyes in contrast to the purple’s blending into the woodland shade.

Tiny flower of Purple Trillium. Bloom in no larger than your finger nail. copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg

Tiny flower of Purple Trillium. Bloom in no larger than your finger nail. copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg

"Grand" Great White Trillium, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

“Grand” Great White Trillium, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Leaves and pedals of three, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Leaves and pedals of three, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

For more reading see older posts:

  • Frosted Trillium, April 2012
  • Humble interests, May 2013