Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Flowerbed Vignette

This little group of plants really pleased me. The pink lilies are rain lilies (Zephyranthes). They are hardy and easy to grow. In zone 8, just plant them and walk away. They will bloom from time to time during the summer, usually after a good soaking rain or with the hose.
 The short pink flowers are dwarf Ruellia (dwarf Mexican Petunia) These plants do well in the heat and drought of an Alabama summer, as you might guess from their Mexican heritage. They come in both pink and blue (purple really) and are perennial , over time forming a ground cover. Maybe so, but at least 5 years ago, I planted one of these and now I have 2 clumps. This is not to say that next year they will not jump up everywhere. Just so far they have not spread (much). I do know that the tall variety of these does spread, almost wildly. So, if you plant the tall ones, it might be best to plant them away from your main mixed flower bed, so they can have a place of their own. Otherwise,you can weed out the new seedlings in the spring.
The purple plant is an Angelonia. It is an annual that holds up excellently to heat and drought. I see it planted in shopping center beds and baskets. It has a very long season of bloom, likes full sun, and has few enemies. It has never reseeded for me. For several years I have rooted cuttings and over wintered them in the greenhouse, but I think this year I will let them go and plan to buy some in the spring or early summer.
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