Flour and Flowers | A Kitchen and Garden Blog

A Tardy Garden Update

I am wildly overdue for a gardening post.  This is not because I haven’t been gardening.  Or, more accurately, this is not because my garden hasn’t been doing things.  This is because for some reason I have been more focused on food than on plants whenever I sit down to my computer.  I’m not sure if that has some deeper meaning, but I’m going to choose to pretend that it just means I’ve been hungry.  Anyway, this is gonna be a long one…

My garden is beautiful this year.  Beautiful and wild and green and thriving (with a few notable exceptions) and producing fantastic and sometimes unexpected things.  I love it, and I try to go out and commune with it every day.  Except lately it’s been raining a lot (perhaps hence the notable exceptions?), and I’ve been tired and getting home late a lot.  But most days!

Here are my cats communing with nature along with me. Note how they are perfectly synchronized in their bird and mom watching – this is the only time when they get along this well.


This is going to go back a good way in the year, because apparently my last gardening post was actually before anything bloomed this year (which is amazing, because everything bloomed really, really early), but I’m going to give you a glimpse of what I’ve gotten this year. It’s pretty incredible.

The irises were spectacular – some of these I planted new last year and they didn’t bloom at all, so by the time they came out this year I’d forgotten what they were supposed to look like.

These were all here when we bought the house, but they didn’t bloom last year either. The picture doesn’t really do this color justice – it’s the most beautiful shade of … I don’t even know – almost iridescent pale violet.

These were some clumps I relocated last year, and they didn’t quite settle in. This year, they went crazy. The yellows were harvested from my friend Charlotte’s garden, and they did bloom a bit last year, but not anything like this year.

I planted these Iris Rosario last fall, and they were so pretty when they came up! They will be better when they come in a bit thicker, but they’re perfect. I love them with the poppies.


My mystery rhododendron was really on fire this year. The sunrise probably helped, but this picture is actually glowing.

This is how you know we’re in Virginia. (In case you’re not actually from Virginia, this is the State Bird in the State Tree.)

This might be my favorite of my new plants from last year. This is Heuchera Peach Flambe, and it really looks like it’s on fire in the right light. Not quite as bright as the Rhodo, but spectacular.

The front walk is going wild, as usual. This year there is a particularly stunning heuchera (“Bressingham Mix”) that’s been doing amazing things for months now. Ever time I think it can’t get any better, it sends up another mass of little bells. And with the Callas just opening up, the whole scene is pretty spectacular. (Have I mentioned my gargoyles? I love my gargoyles.)


Poor lighting on the Columbine, but they were really happy earlier this Spring. Things have gone a bit dormant now, but it was well worth it.

My Astilbe has really taken off here. The flowers didn’t last for very long (maybe two weeks?) but they were so delicate and added the nicest touch to that corner of the bed.

I discovered that my elephant ear from last year had volunteered to come back again. It’s a bit hard to see, but there are four leaves peeking out from between the crocosmia.  I guess our winter really was as mild as it felt – this guy is a Zone 9!

I planted a bunch of different Campanulas last summer, all of which took their time settling in, but got off to incredible starts this year. Which of course has helped me realize that most of them are in the wrong places and are terribly crowded and need to be moved. But in the meantime, oh the flowers!


My buddleia have gotten huge this year. I guess I didn’t cut them back enough in the Spring (there was some damage in an early storm, when the longer branches broke), but I’m enjoying the screen between our house and the neighbor’s.  This one has decided to grow straight up.

Crocosmia. I really can’t say enough about these. They are just starting to bloom – these red ones are new this year; my yellows and oranges from last year will be later – and I love them more every day.


Hydrangeas Gone Wild (and slightly less wild).


Lilies! Daylilies, Asiatic lilies, lilium plumilum! In no particular order!



This thing is supposed to get 10 feet tall! I have no idea what it is! Thalci-something? There’s a tag, but I’m not in the yard.  I love it!

The Glads are coming! The Glads are coming!

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