Wednesday, September 14, 2011
A beautiful summer bouquet I saw on the Bookhou site today (Arounna's post on 14.9.11) inspired me to go out into my garden and pick some flowers. With just over a week to go in summer (autumn starts at 5:05 a.m. on September 23rd this year), we need to get outside or bring a little of it indoors.
The flower I cut today is a late blooming perennial I love. It's not seen in lots of gardens which I think is a good thing. Who wants their garden to look exactly like the neighbour's? It has a wonderful, whimsical name--turtlehead. If you look closely at the flowers, you can see why.
At the moment, my turtleheads are busy with bees. I tried to get a photo of the bees but they crawl right inside of the flowers! Be careful not to bring the bees into the house with your bouquet. :)
The botanical name is chelone obliqua. If you plant young nursery seedlings, space them according to their adult width and be patient. Chelone obliqua can take a few years to fill into a lovely clump but it is worth the wait. One other wonderful quality is that it can grow and flower in semi-shade or even full shade. I have some planted out in the front of my garden behind some hostas (a lovely marriage). I also planted a small clump beside a staircase and behind a shrub where they get no direct sunlight (I can see them from my living room window) and they are quite content.
Some people tend to give up on their gardens once the school year starts in September and the weather starts to get cool. Don't. I'm all for enjoying gardens as long as possible, right up until the arrival of a four-letter word that begins with 's'.
I cut two bouquets this morning--one for my kitchen table and the other to go upstairs in my studio. I cut the stems relatively short, just down to the next set of leaves where buds are already forming for more flowers. Their floral display is nowhere near to being over. They will continue to look beautiful even as the days and nights get progressively cooler in the weeks ahead.
"A late summer garden has a tranquility found no other time of year."