Just Around The House…

Achillea millefolium.

Hello everyone! This afternoon I had a few thing on my “to do” list but I decided to just walk around the house and take a few photos and measurements. It was pretty hot once again this afternoon but i didn’t check the temperature. Yesterday morning I checked AccuWeather and it said 88 degrees but feels like 102. It said today would be hotter and would feel like 105. I decided to take the website’s word for it and not check. Hot is hot and cold is cold no matter what the numbers actually say. Our thermometer on the back porch is useless as far as accuracy goes. Somehow the darn thing can tell how hot or cold it feels and not the actual temperature. If it is 90 and feels like 100, it will say 100. If it is 30 and the cold north wind is blowing and feels like 10, it will say 10. It isn’t influenced by the sun or the wind because of where it is hanging, so I am not sure how it makes it’s decisions.

Ok, now back to the purpose of this post… What was I doing? Oh, yeah, taking photos and measurements. When I was in Mississippi I measured everything periodically. Some plants just blew my mind at how HUGE they got while others I measured to see if they were actually growing (like some of the cactus).

First, as I walked down the steps and turn left, I started with the Achillea millefolium. Right now it stands at 37″ tall in flower. That’s pretty good despite it is growing in a little more shade that it likes.

Lavandula dentata (French Lavender).

The Lavandula dentata (French Lavender) is holding it’s own at 21″. It has been nearly hidden by the Conoclinum coelestinum, Achillea millefolium, and Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’. It keeps asking me what I was thinking when I put it there and then go and put the HUGE Elephant Ear next to it. Despite the Achillea already being there who also objects to this location. SO, I had to admit to it that I wasn’t sure if that was a good spot for it in the first place and I hadn’t brought the Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ home yet. It just looked me and sighed then said, “Well, next time… You will know better.”

Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’.

I must admit I knew it would get huge in time, but I didn’t really think it would be this fast. The Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ I grew in Mississippi from a starter plant didn’t grow this HUGE after just a few months. This gal is 54″ tall ALREADY! That measurement is from the ground to the top of it’s tallest petiole.

Largest leaf of the Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’.

This photo is the largest leaf on the Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’. It measures ONLY 33″ wide x 42″ long.

Colocasia esculenta.

The two Colocasia esculenta growing in the north bed are trying their very best not to be outgrown by the young giant neighbor. Both are standing the same height as she is at 54″ tall. The largest leaf is 24″ wide x 33″ long. I had a few Colocasia esculenta in Mississippi that had larger leaves than this. Ummm… Looks like I have a visitor. Can you see it? If you can, leave what you see in the comment section.

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’.

I didn’t crawl back to measure it, but the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ is still doing OK. I think it is a but lonely back in the corner, though. In time, this world’s largest Hosta cultivar will be around 4′ tall x 5′ wide.

Coleus Flame Thrower™ ‘Spiced Curry’.

I must admit the Coleus Flame Thrower™ ‘Spiced Curry’ is AWESOME! Even though it is nearly hidden under the leaves of the Colocasia it has still grown to 32″ tall x 31″ wide.

Coleus ‘Songbird’.

I don’t know why, but every photo I take of the Coleus ‘Songbird’ looks brighter than it really is. Despite that, it is a very beautiful Coleus that has grown to 34″ tall x 24″ wide. I see it has a few more flowers to pinch off.

Let’s look at the other side of the steps before we go around to the south side of the house…

Conoclinium coelestinum ‘Aunt Inez’

I don’t know what has gotten into the Conoclinium coelestinum ‘Aunt Inez’  this summer. It has grown to 35″ tall! A lot of the time, well, usually always, it starts falling over by this time of the year, like it can’t stand on it’s own stems. (Can’t stand on it’s own two feet). I did something different this year as an experiment and it worked. I did NOT thin them out like usual on this side of the steps because I wanted to see if this would happen. It did. I only removed several plants from the front and moved them to the other side. The plants on the other side fell over this past week after the rain. SO, that has taught me a lesson. I mentioned earlier that they come up much better in the spring on the east side of the steps than on the other side so I always have to transplant. I have a theory as to why but I won’t know how that experiment worked out until next spring. This is is the perennial Hardy Ageratum, Blue Mist Flower or Floss Flower that my dad got from his Aunt Inez (his mother’s sister). SO, botanically speaking, ignore the ‘Aunt Inez’ part. 🙂 OH, another thing… This species used to be Eupatorium coelestinum.

Lobelia cardinalis.

OK, folks… the Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower) was been the biggest surprise this year. Until I bought them I hadn’t done a whole lot of research on them. I had seen them in catalogs and always wanted to try them but I hadn’t until this year when I saw them at Wagler’s Greenhouse. Cardinals are red. The photos of Lobelia cardinalis in catalogs I had always seen were red. SO, when the first two flowered and they were pink, and didn’t even look anything like what I expected… I thought the tags were wrong and someone really screwed up. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Cardinal Flowers can be red, pink, purple and maybe white. SO why call them Cardinal Flowers? Have you ever seen a pink or purple Cardinal? On another note, what do the Cardinals in the Catholic Church have to do with birds or flowers? Maybe that is where the name comes from instead of a red bird. Now I have to check out the latin name for cardinalis… Well, Dave’s Garden says the meaning of cardinalis is Cardinal. That didn’t help… The name ‘cardinalis’ is in reference to the color red or scarlet. The common name is apparently in reference to the red robes worn by Roman Catholic Cardinals.

Now, let’s go around to the south side of the house… Normally I refrain from taking photos in the full sun but I did this afternoon anyway.

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’.

The Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ (Jerusalem Sage) is doing very well and has enjoyed the heat. Despite it’s near death experience this past winter it has done amazingly well. It is standing at 16″ tall x 22″ wide. Not as large as last year, but I am definitely not going to complain. The flower pot I cover it with in the winter close by (you can see it if you look close). I have two very large pots and I sed one to cover the Phlomis during the winter. The other pot is empty behind the shed where my plant tables are and every time I see it I wonder where the other pot is… Then every time I see the pot next to the Phlomis I say, “Oh, yeah, now I remember…”

Baptisia x ‘Lunar Eclipse’

As I suspected the Baptisia x ‘Lunar Eclipse’ (False Indigo) is unlikely to flower this year. The garden center had bigger pots that were flowering already but I chose to by a less expensive smaller pot without flowers. GEEZ!!! NOW I have to wait until next spring to see if it even survives the winter to see if it will flower then. This corner of the south bed will make me nervous all winter since the Phlomis and this plant are next to each other. Maybe I need to put an electric blanket on top of them…

I didn’t take photos of the Salvia coccinea (Scarlet Sage) this time, but they are 36″ tall. Their flowers are looking a little raggy but I can’t deadhead because they need to go to seed.

Ummm… Remember what this bed looked like in the post on June 25? But what happened here is another session to be learned… AGAIN! Every plant in the center row is invisible now. I knew the Celosia spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ would get very tall and I knew how wide they would get. SO, I spaced the plants in the center row to compensate for that. I knew the Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar) would sprawl out a bit, so I did not plant anything directly behind them. I also know there was a possibility the Marigold ‘Brocade’ could go bonkers. BUT, I also thought, according to the size the second row plants were supposed to get, it would be OK and they would be slightly taller than the first row plants. Well… That DID NOT happen… The Marigolds did go bonkers, though.

Marigold ‘Red Brocade’.

The plant in the above photo, one single Tagetes patula, Marigold ‘Red Brocade’ is 22″ tall x 36 ” wide. I am not kidding… 36″ across and deep. If you like Marigolds and don’t mind them getting like this, then you need some seeds! Information on the internet doesn’t say they get this size, but I am here to tell you they can… The flowers are around 2″ wide. The color can be somewhat variable even though I save only the seed from the red. Well, even though I save the seeds I haven’t needed to plant any for two years. I save them just in case…

Kniphofia uvaria.

Ummm… Yep, there are two Kniphofia uvaria’s (Red Hot Poker) in there. There were three but one died before. I think maybe I should do something to give them more sun… Don’t you think so? They won’t flower this year anyway or they would have already done so (May and June). They still need full sun, though. Despite their intrusion, the plants look really good.

Over just a little bit to the right, somewhere in the center row…

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Denver Daisy’.

I had to take a close look to find the three Rudbeckia hirta ‘Denver Daisy’. This past month with the heat and ample rain (and I did water a few times earlier, too), the south bed went wild! The ‘Denver Daisy’ is supposed to get 22-24″ tall, which would be around the same height as the Marigolds grew. However, that did NOT happen even though they had a good head start and were flowering when I put them in this bed. Maybe they were intimidated by the smell of the Marigolds.

Echinacea purpurea ‘Pow Wow White’ and ‘Pow Wow Wild Berry’.

“YOU WHOO!!! Where are you Echinacea purpurea ‘Pow Wow White’ and ‘Pow Wow Wild Berry’? OH, there you are!” Umm, they are supposed to be 24 to 36″ tall but as you can see, they are a bit shy. They aren’t supposed to be shy or short!!! They are Echinacea for crying out loud! Supposed to make a bold statement and show everyone their cones!

Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar).

“OH CRAP!!!” That’s what I say every time I look at the Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar). I need to get those stems cut off! The plants are 20″ tall, so far, but their flower stems are 40″ tall! This is their 3rd time flowering, maybe 4th. When I cut their stems off they will do it again and again and again and again…

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherokee Sunset’.

A couple of weeks ago the Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherokee Sunset’ were screaming for more sun, so I had to make some adjustments. Now they are looking much better and flowering again. They are supposed to grow to at least 24″, some websites say 30″. Well, they didn’t, or haven’t yet anyway.

Buddleja ‘White Profusion’.

The Buddleja ‘White Profusion’ has really strutted this year as always. It is doing a GREAT job attracting butterflies, hummingbirds and the amazing Snowberry Clearwing Moth (Hemaris diffinis). One day I took several photos and videos for a post about them but the videos wouldn’t upload on the post… SO, it is STILL a draft. It was hard to take good photos because of how fast it moves but the videos came out good. The Buddleja is now 72″ tall x approximately 84″ wide. When I bought this Butterfly Bush it was supposed to grow 4-5′ tall. Now, information on the internet has changed it’s tune to a larger size. Seems like we all got fooled! The other Butterfly Bush I bought this spring, Buddleja ‘Pugster Blue’, is STILL in it’s pot because I haven’t decided where to put it. Normally when I get a new plant I already know where I am going to put it.

GEEZ!!! That’s all I am going to say about the “NEW” southeast corner bed… Besides the Rosemary, there is also Oregano and Liatris in there.

Rosmarinus officinalis-Rosemary.

Just as happy as ever the Rosmarinus officials (Rosemary) refuses to be outdone by the Marigolds. Standing at 23″ tall and still growing… She did ask me if I could do something about her smelly neighbors, though. She says they keeps sniffing her and rubbing up against her. Hmmm…


The Zinnia are still looking good but the rose on the other side of them aren’t doing so well. The beetles have continually chewed off the leaves and now the whole bush is ailing. I have to figure out what do do about that very soon…


I noticed today that there are new plants coming up at the base of the Monarda (Bee Balm) I purchased from the garden club plant sale this spring. At least I hope those plants are new growth from the Monarda instead of some weed…

Persicaria virginiana (Virginia Knotweed or Jumpseed)

MYSTERY SOLVED! This interesting plant (weed) growing here is a Persicaria virginiana (Virginia Knotweed or Jumpseed). I also noticed a couple growing in the pasture behind the chicken house. I never noticed them until this year… It keeps growing!

Nepeta x faasenii-Catmint.

The Nepeta x faasenii (Catmint) is still doing very good in it’s own little corner. Despite the soil quality there it is spreading very good. I am so glad it is happy!

Dad’s red Canna’s.

The Canna’s have done really good AGAIN this year and have grown to at least 8 1/2′ tall! This fall, or maybe next spring, I am going to paint the garage then dig up the whole area along the garage and space them out more.

Well, that’s it for this post! I have been busy all week working on the pages to the right but still have a LONG WAY to go. You may have noticed that a couple of times on this post you can click on the plant names and be redirected to their own page. Some of those need updated as I take more photos.

SO, for now, stay happy, positive, healthy and get outside as much as you can. Enjoy nature, take a deep breath of good fresh air. Realize that we are not alone and just embrace the energy from the universe that we are all a part of. I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed thing the photos and writing the post. If you did, I would love to hear from you and be sure and click on the “like” button.

One more thing… GET DIRTY!!!

6 comments on “Just Around The House…

  1. Jim R says:

    The house is surrounded by lots of interesting and colorful characters. What enhancements do you add to the soils?

    I have one of those knotweed out back under the bird feeder. Thanks for the ID.


    • Jim, remember “THE GOOD STUFF”? When I first make a new bed I mix it with the soil. I mixed with the soil in the south bed when I dug it in 2013 then I added a little this spring when I refurbished it. The soil along he back of the house is crappy fill dirt but it seems to grow the Catmint pretty well. Those Knotweed seem pretty neat, so we’ll just have to see how invasive it becomes. Has LOTS of flowers which makes LOTS of seeds… Thanks for the comment!


  2. hairytoegardener says:

    That Coleus Flame Thrower™ ‘Spiced Curry’ has me smitten. Wow. Am also in love with your lobelia. The bed against the house looks great. My Phlomis isn’t well. I hope it survives. Since I’m not Jim and I don’t remember what the “Good Stuff” was, I want to know. ~ Grin. ~ Laura


    • Laura, you want to know what the “GOOD STUFF” is, huh? Hmmm… OK. Where I feed hay over the winter gets mixed up with hay they don’t eat and cow manure. They tromp on it which helps it to break down. Then the following spring there is no evidence of hay. Just good ‘ol composted, umm “GOOD STUFF.” It is rich and black and AWESOME! There is one drawback, though. The weed seeds that come with it. If I showed you a photo of my garden right now, you wouldn’t think it was the same place as a few months ago. The rain had kept me from tilling or pulling weeds. LOL. I am thinking about making a post where I actually have a photo I took a couple of days ago. What is the name of your Phlomis? Glad you like the Lobelia but I am NOT a fan of pink. I keep telling myself that the Celosia spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon is NOT pink. Thanks for the comment! Thanks also for telling me your name. Now I have a name with your hairy toes…

      Liked by 1 person

      • hairytoegardener says:

        I just went through my three garden journals (+/- 600 pages) to find the kind of Phlomis I’m growing. I know I’ve listed it in one of them, but for the life of me, I can’t seem to find it.


        • Pretty bad when you have to look up the name of a plant you see… Um? How often? One morning you may wake up and wonder who you are next to. I learned my plant names by taking photos often and and labeling every one with the plant names. Each plant name has their own photo folders and document folder. All potted plants have labels and individual plants in the flower beds have labels. OH, if you think that is obsessive, I talk to my plants and greet them by their names, not as much now as when I was in Mississippi, though. We were much closer back then. LOL!!! As far as pronunciation goes, that is a completely different story that is a work in progress. Thanks for the comment and keep looking, Laura, there aren’t that many Phlomis… What color are the flowers, how tall does it get, we can figure this out. LOL


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