Monarch Butterflies love this milkweed

Monarch butterflies love this milkweed so you should plant it. So unusual and kids will love it just be careful because it is poisonous. This is the Ascelpias Furr Balls or Monkey Balls plant which is a milkweed and Monarch butterflies can’t get enough. I got the seeds from The Kew through Thompson and Morgan. It reseeds heavily but was such a fun plant in the garden and in arrangements. Gymphocarpus Physocarpus is the botanical name. Can also be called Swan Plant or Balloon Plant

See also, Monarch Caterpillars in Fur Balls, Feel the Rhythm of the Monarch wings, Ascelpias Monkey Balls —other articles I’ve written on this plant.

Incrediball hydrangea with red coleus

Cottage Style Decorating with bold hydrangeas

Cottage style decorating with bold hydrangeas can be seen here at the home of Flowergardengirl in North Carolina zone 7. I’ve been working with hydrangea cultivars for the past 10 years and have learned what they will do fantastically and where they have weaknesses. They will bloom prolifically if fertilized at the right time. What you fertilize them with turns out to be a key factor. Continue reading

Blue on Blue Flower Container Combinations

Blue on Blue Flower Container Combinations

Blue containers attract the flower gardener more than any other color. Here we see a pretty tin container with lobelia ‘Sky Blue’

and it always looks together with yellow! lobelia ‘Blue Sky’ with yellow nemesia

I can’t go a summer without planting angelonia( tall plant). It comes in pink, white, purple, and a blue. See the PW site for options. The pretty blue centers of Supertunia ‘Mini Veined Blue’ makes this a nice harmonious combination.

Scaevola ‘Whirlwind Blue’

You can’t go wrong with a birdhouse close by and the sweet heavenly scent of heliotrope ‘Atlantis’

having grey close by softens the look…..

Here is a bright blue in the Leadwort contrasting against the angelonia.

So go out and create a blue container and then pair them together with blue birdhouses, dishes, pitchers, candles, …….

all photos curtesy of Proven Winners Plants.

I know how to kill lamium


I didn’t want to kill it. Confession: I know how to kill lamium and it’s easy. I had a very pretty patch of lamium which usually started blooming about right now. However, it croaked last season when I put pine needles in my beds. Has this happened to anyone else? It’s a mint so I assumed it was indestructible.

I looked back at a post last year and it was blooming on the 15th of January.