Red, White, and Almost Blue

For about ten years I’ve been trying to get an Independence Day garden going by persuading monarda, midsummer daisies, and blue delphinium to bloom together for the Fourth of July.

The monarda and daisies cooperated enthusiastically, but the delphinium either died or grew to a height of 18 inches instead of the 48 promised on the plant tag. Last summer I decided to try something else, and planted a blue buddlia, also known as butterfly bush or summer lilac.

The flowers have a bit more purple than I’d like (there’s one hovering over the topmost daisy) and there aren’t as many as I expected, but I’m hoping by this time next year I’ll have the effect I’m looking for.

And the really cool thing is, by taking the photo from the other end of the driveway, it’ll work for Bastille Day, too.

© 2010 Anne Bingham and Making It Up as I Go

This entry was posted in Notes from the Neighborhood, Seasonal and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Red, White, and Almost Blue

  1. How beautiful. I’ve never had a strong hand at planting flowers.

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  2. Anne M Leone says:

    Fourth of July AND Bastille Day! What an international garden! I love that you even thought of that. =)

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    • Anne Bingham says:

      We had a discussion this a.m. about whether it would work for the Union Jack, too (including reprising the old “Do they have the Fourth of July in England?” joke) but decided the closest there was to a “We’re England” day would be Nov. 5 and there’s not much blooming here then but the odd snapdragon.

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      • Tim Eisele says:

        I think that for Nov. 5, something resembling a bonfire would be more appropriate than a combination representing the Union Jack, anyway. Maybe something that turns bright scarlet in the fall.

        Or, maybe just have an actual bonfire. That might be easiest.

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        • Anne Bingham says:

          We went there in the family discussion (we’re all history wonks) but I decided it was best not to go there in the blog. If we’d been thinking a little deeper and not going for laughs, we would have gone with the Queen’s Official Birthday, but we’re a month late.

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  3. Beautiful! Blues are difficult in a garden. I always had luck with tall spikes of blue salvia. Bloomed all summer, too.

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  4. jessica shaw says:

    Beautiful! I have to enjoy the spring flowers…it’s so hot here (central TX) by the 4th of July that about all I can get to keep blooming is Lantana. I don’t think I have the green thumb you do, though!

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    • Anne Bingham says:

      Thanks for visiting my garden, Jessica. I hear the bluebonnets are wonderful in spring, but I’ve never seen any close-up, although I did get a glimpse once from the window of a plane during a May stopover in Dallas.

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  5. Susan says:

    Oooh, how lovely. I’m not at all familiar with monarda. They’re beautiful.

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    • Anne Bingham says:

      Monarda is also known as bee balm. It’s supposed to attract hummingbirds and butterflies as well as bees, but I rarely see them there. The wild species probably does a better job.

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  6. Absolutley gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Karin says:

    Wonderful! All I have is dirty in my backyard! haha

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  8. MaryWitzl says:

    What a great idea. I managed to germinate a ton of monarda two years ago, and it flowered last year, red and magenta and white. The bees love it too and it smells so beautiful.

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  9. MaryWitzl says:

    (What about lobelia for the blue? It wouldn’t grow high enough, though, come to think of it…) Bachelor buttons?

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    • Anne Bingham says:

      The only lobelia I’ve seen is red and grows as high as I am. I had no idea there was a blue variety! I tried lupine a couple of years ago elsewhere in the yard, but it didn’t survive the winter. I planted bachelor button farther down the drive this spring; it’s just coming into bloom now but I debudded it when I planted it so I’m not taking mid-July as its natural blooming time. By next year I ought to have a good idea when it’ll bloom in relation to the daisies and mondarda. (The daisies, alas, were flattened by overflow from the neighbor’s second-story downspout during a rainstorm shortly after I posted the photo. I propped them back up but next year I’m going to put a peony ring around them. And maybe get a patio umbrella for them!)

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