She screamed pink and then …

gradually revealed the blues that were lurking nearby. The roses are blooming sporadically at this point, so every bloom is savoured more than the ones that came earlier.

Coneflowers continue to bloom as if they haven’t a care in the world. I love these flowers – so easy to grow and wonderful to watch as the flowers slowly change from a cool greenish colour to a pink.

And then there’s the Campanula peeking through the Sea Holly. I think this year I need to pull a few of the Sea Holly. The thing is they really want to take over this small corner of the world. I need a bigger garden!

Aren’t these the coolest seedpods? This is a gas plant, long past blooming, with seedpods resembling star anise. They are covered in a reddish -brown fur and aren’t easy to break into. The birds don’t seem to have any problem though and have started nibbling on them. You can see some missing seedpods already. I love seeing these poking through the snow in mid-January.

And then there are the Balloon flowers. It’s as if they pop open before your eyes. I bought these plants, which were sold in a six pack of annuals … but I knew better. They increase slowly and look lovely.

So now it’s back to finding some more pink colours for this lovely sunny morning.

44 thoughts on “She screamed pink and then …

  1. Layanee says:

    Pink and blue, the pastels are so inviting this time of year when it is so hot! My sea holly is not looking too good. Has yours been easy to grow?

  2. Ki says:

    The sea holly looks so interesting – a bit like teasels. The gas plant seed pods remind me of the much larger pods of the tree peonies only the pods are much more symmetrical in the gas plant. I love balloon flowers but for some reason they haven’t done well in our present garden so I don’t plant them anymore. We had the blue,pink and white. I do miss them though.

  3. Alyssa says:

    Kate – What lovely pictures. Isn’t the gas plant just wonderful. The flowers are lovely, the foliage neat and pleasing, the seed pods have lots of visual interest and the foliage have a neat citrus scent. Don’t think you could ask for more. Your sea holly looks magical!

  4. Alyssa says:

    Me again Kate. Wanted to thank you for the heads-up on the Pugnote site. It’s great and I’m having trouble deciding what to get. There are so many cute things! Definately a pillow! And also a suncatcher. What to do!?

  5. kate says:

    Hi Linda – The week is going well – I need to hop over to your blog and take a peek at what you are up to. Hi Layanee – I’m enjoying the colours at this time of year too. Sea holly grows amazingly well here. If anything, it grows too well! Maybe it is the drier climate here that it likes. I planted a Moroccan sea holly this year which has beautiful deep green leaves with white veins. I’m hoping it over-winters without any difficulty. Hi Ki – The sea holly adds some interesting, silvery colour to the garden along with an unusual texture. I’m sorry to hear about balloon flowers not doing so well there. They grow well here – but I have to be careful not to dig them up in spring. They take ages to appear. Hi Alyssa – I love the gas plant. It has beautiful foliage and stunning flowers when in bloom. I just wish they lasted for a bit longer. I figured you would enjoy the pug site. I’d have trouble deciding what to get too … would end up getting both a pillow and a suncatcher.

  6. cookievf says:

    Kate -Gorgeous! Your posts are EYE CANDY. Food for the soul, really! I look forward to returning to browse more of your lovely garden pics & stories!And I’m so glad you stopped my blog today! (some earlier posts show MY love of flowers! Profile name on myspace is “flower child!”)Here is a favorite quote at the top of my link list – “All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.” – Indian Proverbhave a great day & “talk” to you soon!- vicki xo

  7. Blackswamp_Girl says:

    How beautiful–I never realized that gas plants had such showy seedpods!Wish i were closer… I’d come over and, um, “weed out” some of those sea holly for you. They’re so cool.

  8. kate says:

    Hi Nikki – I am in love with balloon flowers these days. I have some in white too, though they bloomed way earlier. I’ll post a pic of the big balloon flowers in my front flower garden. Hi Molly – Ah, good question! Supposedly, the plant gives off a gas on hot, still summer evenings. Supposedly, the gas can be set alight. I’ve made numerous attempts, but so far my plants don’t seem to want to light up for me. It has been fun trying though…Hi Cookie – Thanks for stopping by. I loved the ATC that you posted. The proverb is beautiful. Hi Kim – Sea Hollies are really great plants. Prickly as anything which is what I like about them. You can definitely come and get some. I’ve left them spread for three summers now and that’s why I think I’d better take out some.

  9. jodi says:

    Catching up after one of those weeks, and greatly cheered by looking at your photos. In fact I was so enchanted by the Dictamnus seedheads I went charging right out to the garden to check my gas plant, and there they were–I’ve never noticed them before, probably because the plant is behind taller things and by the time it finishes flowering, something else is catching my eyes. Thanks for slowing me down to look at the good things…

  10. Gotta Garden says:

    Oh, I’m so pleased to see your gas plant! I finally acquired one this year and am hopeful it will be happy here. Something ate the seed pods off, though, after I settled it into its new home…I wonder what it was! Anyway, yours gives me hope as I think they are quite interesting.Wel, it’s all looking quite gorgeous, isn’t it! Must give you much pleasure…love all the blues!

  11. Naturegirl says:

    I truly love the coneflowers too..I have yellow one too! Oh the color of blue in that balloon flower is stunning! Have a good weekend hugs NG

  12. Cottage Smallholder says:

    Kate, those balloon flowers are superb. I wonder if they are available in the UK.

  13. Ragged Roses says:

    Beautiful flowers as usual. My roses have been sporadic too. I recently bought both pink and blue balloon flowers and both plants were devoured overnight by the snails, so it’s lovely to see yours.Kimx

  14. kate says:

    Hi Jodi – I’m glad the gas plant gave you a reason to dash outside. I love when that happens. GG – The gas plant is one of those garden treats… looks good all year round. Nature Girl – I am becoming a big fan of conflowers. I planted a few others this summer, but so far, they haven’t bloomed. Next year, right? And the balloon flower blue is lovely.Cottage Smallholder- I’m sure you will be able to find balloon flowers in the UK. Please let me know!Hi Kim – So far the slugs have left the balloon flowers alone. They seem to be doing a fine job on the pansies.

  15. Yolanda says:

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I love your flowers. We just moved to this house last year and I did not know what the sea holly plant was till i visited your blog.I will return

  16. MrBrownThumb says:

    Hi Kate,I’ve always wanted to try the balloon flowers but because they come in the cell packs I think they won’t fill out. Glad to know they spread out some.

  17. Mary says:

    Hi Kate,You should write a book and include your photos. I like pink but I love the blue flowers more. Most of your flowers are not in my zone but I still take notes from “Kate”. I have a gardening notebook with plans for next season and you have a page in it. I learn a lot here.

  18. kris says:

    Oh, I want some Sea Holly, too! 🙂 I love the rose and the balloon flower – and everything in between! Gorgeous photos. Is your balloon flower as blue as the photo? Mine is more purple. I’ve never done gas plant – but the seedpods are very cool.

  19. chigiy at Gardeners Anonymous says:

    How come everyone else has an easy time growing coneflowers? Do I sound bitter?I think the color of your coneflower is so pretty.I really like the sea holly campanula combo.The picture of the balloon flower reminds me of my old house. I need to get more balloon flowers.

  20. gracia says:

    I love the idea of cornflowers doing their own thing without a care in the world.see you, g

  21. Green thumb says:

    So pink is the flavour in your garden these days. Pink is such a lovely colour. The sight of fresh lovely pink flowes in the morning can spruce up your day.I can feel your passion for pink catching on. this gives me the idea to plant more pink flowers in my garden.

  22. Parisienne Farmgirl says:

    Just lovely!!!!!! That balloon flower is amazing. I am obsessed with blue flowers (alas, I have just blue flax) I am waiting and waiting for my Heavenly Blues to start blooming on my arbors but so far they just keep growing.PS – Do you enjoy lavender? Mine is looking DREADFUL and I am wondering if it is on account of too much rain.

  23. Sandy says:

    My balloon flower just starting blooming. Don’t you just love those little boxes that come first? I know we share a love of blue flowers, so that comes first, but did you know balloon flowers come in white and pink, too? Just discovered that this week.

  24. dinahmow says:

    I drop in when I have the luxury of time to drool…most of these would shrivel in the tropics, but they are long-time favourites and your photography makes them sing.Kate, if you have not read (or seen the BBC tv show) “The 3000 Mile Garden” I am sure you would enjoy it.When I dig out the details I’ll email you.

  25. david santos says:

    I come to be thankful to you for the work that you have developed in yours blogue and to desire good vacations to you.

  26. Rowan says:

    What a gorgeous vibrant blue the Balloon flower is. I’ll take some of the sea hollies off your hands too:) There’s something about them that I find really attractive, weeding round them isn’t much fun though!

  27. grannyfiddler says:

    wow! are you a busy lady! impeccable garden, gorgeous photos, stencilled wall, fabulous blog with a huge list of people you keep touch with AND a life! i started a list of plants i want to save from a house i’m selling… didn’t think there was much left of the garden after the renter, but so far i have a list of 43 plants to relocate… and i haven’t begun the list of annuals i want to save seed from! you’ve inspired a new list… of things i haven’t yet grown, and MUST try.

  28. violetlady says:

    Kate, thank you for stopping by my blog. Yours is lovely. I am not much of a gardener, but I still have hope. My mother had a true green thumb.

  29. Sheri says:

    thank your for visiting blendedcolors! i love your blog… i wont be able to comment on gardening because of my black thumb, but i could paint your flowers!sheri

  30. kate says:

    Sweet expressions – thank you! Yolanda – Sea Holly is a wonderful plant, I think. It’s prickly and reaches a good height. See you again.Jackie – My garden is a good place right now, especially since it is cooler and possible to spend hours without sweating up a storm. Mr. Brown Thumb – The cell packs spread out well. That’s what I got and they are slowly expanding … they aren’t the tall balloon flowers, though they have much larger blooms. LostRoses – Me too. These balloon flowers are incredible and are blooming for a long time. Marie – thank you! Sandy – I like soothing colours too … though I also like bright, jarring and vibrant colours at times. Beth – I don’t know where I came up with that line … I think it must have been the sun’s effect on my brain. Pam Aries – The flowers are really spectacular this year. I hope they are like this every year – something to look forward to! Mary – A book would be fun – though I have such a tendency to wander off into other things … which makes life more interesting, I figure. Keeping a garden notebook is a great idea. Some of these plants you can grow, I’m sure – especially sea Holly. THey’d probably love it there in the heat! Kris – You can come and raid my garden for Sea Holly too … I just found another patch of seedlings. The balloon flowers are really blue. If you find them, gas plants are great to grow. The clump increases slowly and they look wonderful all year long ( the birds seem to be doing in all my seedpods so the winter interest might not be so great this year). Chigiy – You’ve had quite the time with coneflowers – next year will be better. A few of mine haven’t bloomed yet and I’m wondering what’s up with them. The sea holly looks wonderful with bits of campanula poking through. I don’t think one can have too many balloon flowers! Gracia – Coneflowers in bloom look carefree and they are … at least here (Chigiy may have a completely different take on them than I do!!)Green thumb – Pink seems to be everywhere in the garden mixed in with blues and now some vibrant yellows. I’ve always found pink a refreshing and uplifting colour… the more vibrant the better!Ladynred – I’m glad you stopped by! Parisienne Farmgirl – The good thing about balloon flowers is that they flower over a long period … I need to snip off the spent flowers because they don’t look so good. The heavenly blues seem to be really selfish with their blooms this year. They are only appearing every few days and usually just one at a time. I love lavender but I have found it difficult to grow here. If it is getting a lot of rain, that is likely the problem. Try mulching with some gravel or stones – that can help.Sandy – I do love those little boxes … I was thinking the other day that they looked a bit like hot air balloons. I have a balloon flower in white, though it is taller and doesn’t have these striking larger blooms. I have never grown a pink one though … I reallly should look for one.Dinahmow – I imagine most of these plants would shrivel in NZ – Thanks for the note about the “3000 mile garden”. I’d love to see the show. Thank you!Rowen – You are more than welcome to some Sea Hollies. There are way more than I realised starting off this spring. I find they tend to block even the weeds so they aren’t a problem – thankfully. David – Thank you for your wishes.Grannyfiddler – I wish I made better use of my time though. I seem to spend far too much time lounging about and thinking … well, dreaming, more precisely. If you have a list of 43 plants to relocate, that is wonderful. Is the housing market good there? I have to make a trip to your blog and see if you are back writing posts! Violetlady – There’s always hope – thankfully – when it comes to gardening. Start small and it’s amazing when you see things growing. That’s the best encouragement. Sheri – I’d love if you could paint my flowers. That would be a treat … I’ll keep on growing them, since my painting skills are pretty rudimentary (though I’m trying!)I am the Diva – good to see you and I will have to check out your blog! Thank you!

  31. grannyfiddler says:

    it must be that Canadian pioneer ethic that teaches us if we’re not up to our eyebrows in muck, or making or fixing something, that we’re wasting our time. i’d say the beautiful wall you’re creating, and your magnificent garden are ample proof that your ‘lounging and thinking or daydreaming’ times are productive. does your brain ever stop working when you’re in those still times? not a chance! it’s probably going double-time!the housing market is just loopy here. things are selling for more than their value, which gives me niggling worries and flashbacks to the crash we had in the late 70’s after just such a boom. the little old renovated church i’m selling is a bit odd, though, so not in the same league. no, i’m not posting much… no time. still renovating the ‘new’ place and trying to keep up the huge yard in the one for sale… it’s empty now, and the renter left it in a state of neglect.but i’m still visiting blog neighbors periodically.

  32. teeni says:

    Wow – Laura at I am the Diva was right – your photography and flowers are amazing! I’m glad I checked out the recipients of her Nice Matters Award. Looks like she done good! 😉

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