One of the most enjoyable aspects of gardening for me is the daily discoveries. Glancing at the garden and working in the garden are completely different. When you are on your hands and knees taking out those pesky weeds, you discover things that you don’t see when just glancing at the garden.

Eucomis comosa 'Sparkling Burgundy'

Eucomis comosa ‘Sparkling Burgundy’

Eucomis 'Sparkling Burgundy'

Eucomis ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ in bloom








In 2004, I planted Eucomis comosa ‘Sparkling Burgundy’, a Pineapple Lily with burgundy foliage and pale pink flowers. I had already had good luck wintering over the species and this lovely cultivar actually lived for about three years and then disappeared. To my shock and delight, a few days ago I saw the leaves poking through the ground. Hard to believe that it just stayed dormant for six years!


Papaver somniferum double salmon, Penstemon barbatus, Echinacea paradoxa

Papaver somniferum double salmon, Penstemon barbatus, Echinacea paradoxa

Papaver somniferum orange/purple

Papaver somniferum orange/purple

For years, I have grown Papaver somniferum. There are many different ones and mine, double salmon pink, were obtained as seeds from another gardener.  Much to my surprise this week, I discovered some single Papaver somniferum that were bright orange with a purple base. Even better was the serendipity of being next to my Penstemon barbatus that is virtually the same color. This combination is the epitome of color echo.

Gaillardia 'Tokajer' with Penstemon barbatus in the background

Gaillardia ‘Tokajer’ with Penstemon barbatus in the background

Then, relatively close to both of them, I found a Gaillardia ‘Tokajer’ that I thought had died. I’m beginning to believe that many plants just went dormant during last year’s drought and have been resuscitated with the rain we’ve had lately.





Rosa 'John Cabot', Clematis 'Polish Spirit'  and 'Marmori'

Rosa ‘John Cabot’, Clematis ‘Polish Spirit’ and ‘Marmori’

I am a clematis junkie and frequently have to consult my data base to see which one is growing in a particular space. This morning I noticed that there was a newcomer growing in my Rosa ‘John Cabot’ (a climber on the left front trellis). I knew that I had two clematis there, C.viticella ‘Alba Luxurians’ (not shown in the picture), a white bell with a green base, and C.‘Polish Spirit’, a dark purple medium sized open flower but the newcomer is a large flowered white with pale purple stamens. Then, as I perused my data base, I realized that the white Clematis was not a newcomer. What fooled me was the fact that it appears white but is actually a very pale pink. ‘Marmori’ is usually not that pale and the stamens are usually magenta.

Clematis 'Roguchi' growing in Rosa rugosa 'Coeur d’Alène';

Clematis ‘Roguchi’ growing in Rosa rugosa ‘Coeur d’Alène’;

While most gardeners are quite familiar with the large flowered clematis, I have a soft spot for the bell types. One of my favorites is ‘Roguchi’, a dark purple with a paler purple edge, that I have paired with Rosa rugosa ‘Coeur d’Alène’. Another is C.texensis ‘Duchess of Albany’. The Duchess is not for the faint of heart. She is so vigorous that I have caged her in order to keep her from taking over the garden. She could be an excellent groundcover in a sunny spot.

Triteleia 'Rudy'

Triteleia ‘Rudy’

I had forgotten that I planted Triteleia ‘Rudy’, one of those small bulbs that no one knows about. It doesn’t bloom until mid-June and has unusual purple and white striped flowers.

Gardening is so much fun. What did you discover this week?