The Violet Fern

Creating Art & Gardens


One In A Dozen for Diana

I am joining Diana of Elephant’s Eye in choosing twelve months of my favorite garden plants. In this month of January I miss the sun and what could be more fun than Sunflowers? My first selection is Sunflowers!

Ever since I planted that first tiny Sunflower seed and witnessed the gigantic bloom that sprung from the ground in what seemed like overnight, I have been growing Sunflowers. Bees, flies, butterflies, hummingbirds, song birds, woodpeckers, chipmunks and squirrels – all enjoy our native Sunflower.

There are many annual varieties to choose from but I always make sure I choose the varieties that do produce pollen. I also grow perennial Sunflowers, Helianthus Microcephalus.

I let my Sunflowers stand over the winter. Birds relish the seeds. Woodpeckers will search for insects inside their stalks.

I cannot imagine a summer without growing at least one plot of annual Sunflowers.

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What’s Blooming

August’s colors in the butterfly garden include coneflowers, black-eyed susans and false aster ‘Jim Crockett.’

False aster ‘Jim Crockett.’

Purple coneflowers.

This year the joe-pye weed has reached towering heights in the butterfly border.

Butterfly bush ‘Black Knight’ is also in bloom. Its deep purple wands stand out against the yellow verbascum spikes.

Globe thistle, echinops ritro, ready to burst into bloom.

Perennial sunflower helianthus microcephalus. The bees seem to enjoy this more than the butterflies.

The border along the drive is full of autumn color. Oxeye ‘Summer Nights’ against ninebark ‘Coppertina.’

California poppies pop against ajuga.

Sneezeweed, helenium autumnale.

Rudbeckia maxima. I planted three of these in spring. One has decided to bloom already. Mature, these will reach a height of 5 to 7 feet. The seed cones can be 4 to 6 inches tall.

This cutleaf coneflower was planted among the sunflowers in the border along the potager. I bought it at a local plant sale and it was labeled as a perennial sunflower.

The seeds planted in the pollinator garden along the potager are now fully grown and in bloom.

Zinnia and rose mallow.

The monarchs seem to prefer the joe-pye weed and swamp milkweed.

Bloom Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens the 15th of each month. Visit Carol’s blog and if you’d like, add your blog to the list so we can visit your blog blooms.


Bloom Day: November, 2009

This is my first Bloom Day! Bloom day is hosted (and created by) Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Every month on the 15th bloggers share pictures of what is blooming in their gardens.

Not much blooms in North Country this time of year. But it has been a spectacular Fall and I am just thankful we are not under snow cover yet – as we usually are! Most of my blooms have faded but are still standing, and a few brave ones are still blooming – incredible. I usually do not “clean up” until early Spring so the birds can enjoy the seeds, and the bugs the cover, during the winter. I still find the faded blooms beautiful and the color of leaves “bloom” in their own right. Here’s a tour of what’s “blooming” in my garden.

Christmas Cactus (Indoors)
Switch Grass ‘Dallas Blues’
Agastache ‘Golden Jubilee’
Cornelian Cherry (Cornus Mas)
Evening Primrose
Sedum ‘Blue Spruce’
Lettuce Mix
Black Lace
Mt. Bluet
Cone Flowers (Eaten by birds)
The last Oak Leaf