Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, April 16, 2012

What's Blooming At Clay and Limestone!

Iris germainca (Lily family), Phlox pilosa (Polemoniaceae family),  Aquilegia canadensis (Ranunculaceae family) and Lunaria  annua (Mustard family)
Hello and welcome to Clay and Limestone's Garden Blogger's Bloom Day celebration.  Many of my favorite plants are blooming today, like Phlox pilosa, the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox,  my favorite sweet grape scented iris and the perfect red and yellow of native columbine. (A Wildflower Celebration)
Phlox pilosa is  blooming all over the garden
Phlox pilosa is so perfect it needs its own closeup!  This denizen of the Garden of Benign Neglect has been spreading through other parts of the garden with abandon.  This is a good thing, because the drought, over jealous sharing and a few nasty rodents have taken a toll on it.  I can see light at the end of the tunnel and it's pink!

 It's been an odd year and plants that normally are blooming in late April and May are blooming now and plants that should be blooming now are already past their prime.  The very best news is that the critters are back~Pollen eating beetles and a small skipper are happy with the Ox-eye daisy that's found it's way to Clay and Limestone.

Then there's this absolutely delightful late blooming narcissus that held out past the 80F degree days in March  to  start blooming this past week. It's a small cup narcissus~Possibly 'Actaea' or another one whose name I have misplaced! You'll have to forgive the out of focus beauty, the winds were gusting like crazy this weekend and this is the best shot I have! That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Physocarpus opulifolius/Ninebark~Rosaceae family
Ninebark has been fantastic this spring...What a delightful shrub with  great foliage color when the flowers fade away. Later, this month, I'll share 'Little Devil' a miniature of the cultivar 'Diablo' that is perfect for smaller gardens and/or tucks into a border beautifully.
Salvia lyrata/Lyreleaf sage~(Lamiaceae family)
Lyreleaf sage is blooming in the lawnette~This is a perfect evergreen plant to replace lawn grasses~Sometimes it repeat blooms if you mow/deadhead the flower. I am always shocked when I see neighbors trying to get rid of this wildflower~Call me folks, I'll be glad to come dig it up!

Ornamental Kale (Mustard family)
I can't imagine not having kale in my garden from fall through the spring. It brightens up the winter garden, but, really sparkles when it flowers in the spring to make a delicious combo with Iris germanica.

Euonymus americanus/hearts-bustin'-with-love~ Celastraceae family

 Hearts-bustin'-with-love is blooming~it's not a showy flower and is quite small,  but, later when the seed head bursts open you'll fall in love.

Astranthium integrifolium/Entireleaf Western Daisy~Asteraceae family
Western Daisy will bloom all summer and is happy in the lawn or in a garden bed.  This little cutie pie is an annual and native. If you want more you must let it go to seed. I know you can do, trust me, even if Mr I has been known to mow it down before it's gone to seed.

Monarda bradburiana/Eastern bergamot~Lamiaceae family
 I had to go to Chicago to discover  this Tennessee beauty that can take dry conditions! It's a major planting at the Lurie Garden and although, not as showy as some of the other monardas...it has its charms.

Hypoxis hirsuta/Yellow Stargrass (Lily family)
Yellow Stargrass is absolutely charming and it will bloom on and off all summer....It's a small plant and you can tuck it  here and there.

Baptisia X 'Starlight Prairie Blues'~(Fabaceae Family)
I love baptisia~all of them, but, please  don't tell the species that I told you that this hybrid is my favorite! (A Fab Fabiaceae)
Penstemon smallii 'Violet Dusk' in the background (Scrophulariaceae family

Although, my garden isn't as floriferous as it has been in past years~It's not looking bad! As the spring heats up the Penstemons will burst into bloom and the Hummers will be feeding like crazy.  Maybe this year, I'll catch a photo!
One of the seedlings of Penstemon 'Dark Towers' or 'Husker Red'

Have a wonderful day.

PS Now, please pop over to May Dreams Gardens, where our delightful hostess, Carol,  has set up the Mr Linky magic carpet ride  to more Bloom Day posts than you can imagine.  You're in for a treat~it's Spring (and Autumn in the Southern Hemphisphere) and gardens are dressed in their finest.

 Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.


  1. Gail it is always a delight to come visit your wildflower garden...so many beautiful blooms and so early...mine too..I am amazed to find hyacinths blooming with Trout Lilies...what an April!

  2. Such an array of colors in your garden this April, Gail--I love the purple iris with the pink PPPP, my favorite color combo. Fantastic close-up of the ninebark--I really need to find a good place for one of these, because they are such fantastic shrubs; I hope you'll give us more info on Little Devil. I agree about the kale, too; mine is back for its third season in the veggie garden. You have so many beautiful natives, the pollinators must think they've found paradise when they arrive!

  3. I didn't know that Lyre Leaf Sage was a native plant. I just love it. Your garden is quite beautiful in it's spring finery.

  4. Gail, you have a very beautiful garden.Thanks for sharing...


  5. What a great collection of unusual flowers. I especially like the White Monarda. My guess for the daffodil is 'Milan'...

  6. It's so funny what different people call the same plants :) I recently walked around my new yard with my grandmother, and she calls Lyreleaf sage 'Virginia Bluebells', and Hearts-bustin'-with-love 'Strawberry Bush'. Or maybe her eyes are not as good as she would like us to believe they are.

  7. Gail,
    I love your garden glories. What a great start to spring!

  8. Beautiful blooms. I am always surprised that your Phlox blooms so early. I like 'Little Devil', have 'Lemon Candy' a gold foliaged compact variety, and 'Coppertina'. Great plants.
    Seeing your 'Heart's A Bustin' reminds me that I have photos in the camera to download....have a lovely Euonymus in the front woods.

  9. Beautiful blooms and images, Gail. I think I saw the butterfly you showed in your post. There are many of them flying around up here and this is really odd for this time of year. It is all the one kind too.

  10. All your blooms look lovely...especially love the skipper. I like baptisia as well, and I want to add it to my garden when I find the right spot. I have seen it in other gardens and am always in awe of its beauty.

  11. A treat indeed! I love everything you showed. Oh yes, I did. Loveliness abounds. I would have to say my fave Baptisia is 'Purple Smoke.' Mine finally started blooming which is so good. The yellows and blue are also doing their beautiful things. Love them. Bill said your iris was so pretty. He likes iris. His mom grew them.~~Dee

  12. Your gardens are filling in with beautiful color!! Our youngest daughter has fell hard for the blooms of the ornamental kale this year. She was actually in the gardens with her camera yesterday and I was so dang proud!! She is almost 14. Silly I know.. I am going to see if it will self seed any.

  13. It is all beautiful, but I especially like the pale yellow flowers of Kale against the purple Iris background. I had to pull my Kale out as the wind blew its tall self over.

  14. All looks so lush and lovely, Gail! We are at least 2 weeks ahead of schedule here too! My azaleas are blooming plus many other normally May goodies ...

  15. I love all your beauties Gail! That 'Prairie Twilight' penstemon sure looks promising. I've often wondered about those little bugs I see on the blooms - didn't know they were eating pollen but it sure makes sense now that I think about it. It has been such an odd spring. Your ox-eyes are blooming before mine. Some of my bloomers are way early and some are on time.

  16. I love all those purples and yellows together!
    Have a wonderful day!
    Lea's Menagerie


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson