Monday, February 05, 2007

Curmudgeonly Flower

Here ya go Olivia ... a curmudgeonly flower I came up with from the archives. Ok, so I brazenly swiped Olivia's idea as mentioned in her comments today, and I hope she doesn't mind too much! Though this clump of Sea Holly (Eryngium maritimum) may look intimidating and downright prickly, it's really a pretty friendly (and as those who know me always hear me say) and absolutely unique and dazzling perennial for the front of the border. And with the blazing sun of late June captured here, it gives one of the best depictions of ephemeral blue haze of these masses of "flowers" (they're actually bracts). The best approximation we've come up with for the hazy blue is something akin to "gunmetal blue," though even that doesn't truly cover the range you see in these ... it's all dependent on how the light catches them. And for the naïve or just plain flower ignunt folks, it's quite often mistaken for a mass of thistles, for which the analogy is apt, if incorrect.

So here's a bit of summer past to brighten up the dreary cold of our present arctic blast .... If you look closely in the first shot, you'll also see Bee Balm and Coneflowers peeking through, along with one of the later Delphiniums and the Porcupine grass planted behind "Finger Rock...."

It's making me itch for spring and summer to arrive already ... and given the volumes of seed and plant catalogues I've been receiving lately, I guess they're on other gardeners' (and suppliers') minds as well!

8 comments:

olivia said...

LOL IVG!!! I love these flowers, and am very pleased to see them. It's so nice to see the colour and the life even if it's two dimensional. Seeing your garden makes me long for spring.

And isn't that true of most curmudgeons -- prickly exteriors hide softie insides ... :D

Anonymous said...

Some days the internets look like that. :)

kansas

FARfetched said...

Cool. Can you throw up any linkies to these sea hollies? Are they actually related to hollies? That might not be a completely good thing: we have several varieties of holliy here & they would run riot nearly as much as the butterfly bushes if we let 'em.

I'm transplanting some of the volunteers to the edge of the drop in front of the place, with the thought of making a hedgerow if I can't get out of here before then.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi there folks (nice to see ya here, Kansas!) ... sorry for being tardy in responding.

Far, nope, they are not true hollies (ilex)species, somehow they got that common name. Who knows where that maritimum came from either!

They do, however, have a tendency to colonize an area after they've been there a few years ... we always have lots of seedlings to give away every spring. Not an obnoxious colonizer though ... and being so unusual, we never have a hard time giving them away. Don't think you could turn them into a hedge though, since they rarely surpass about 30-36" in height.

Family Man said...

IVG I've tried twice today to get a post in here, but whenever I come back they're gone. Here goes again.

I was saying today I was thinking of getting a hobby and plant/flowers flew into my mind. But the thought flew out just about as fast. If flowers could pick up their roots and run when they see me coming, they would. :)

I hope you have a farily slackerly week ahead and take care.

Kidspeak said...

Hi, IVG.
Great photos of the eryngium! I've been trying to get my neighbor to plant them for years instead of the not-so-swift blue annuals she puts out every year. She wants blue-gray, she doesn't understand perennials, but at 76, she's beginning to hate putting out flats of annuals.

Oh well.

I've been hunting down all of the people I miss from BT. Wish we had known of your lovely garden when we lived in Iowa. . .but the pics are great anyhow. Miss you, your dog, having a place on the web.
Kidspeak

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi there Kidspeak! And many thanks for the kind words...

I've not been by here for a while, obviously! Between work and being sick w/the flu, just haven't had the time or energy.

Glad you like the eryngium! If you ever need any, just let me know, as it is attempting to reach weed status out front and we always have lots to give away. That goes for annual/perennial seeds as well, just so you know.

Anyway, with spring supposedly coming (hard to believe after the last few days here in iceland!), I should be getting more things posted here, especially once the bulbs can emerge from underneath all the snow out there!

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The best approximation we've come up with for the hazy blue is something akin to "gunmetal blue," though even that doesn't truly cover the range you see in these ... it's all dependent on how the light catches them. And for the naïve or just plain flower ignunt folks, it's quite often mistaken for a mass of thistles, for which the analogy is apt, if incorrect.