A Red Rose

A Red Rose

A Red Rose

A red rose is a classic flower that is commonly recognized. Growing a classic red rose can be a little bit of a challenge – especially here – but it is possible, as the photo testifies. This is from the Duluth, MN Rose garden taken late this summer (September, 2014). I think it is a “Champlain” rose. It had many, prolific, blooms. In this area, some people “tip” their roses to help them endure the cold winters. But there are multiple approaches. In any case, it is essential for the plant to be hardy in USDA zone 4 .

Winter Thyme

Winter Thyme, Thymus vulgaris

Winter Thyme, Thymus vulgaris

I’ve grown this small Winter Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) for several years. It is the only thyme I have tried that winters over just fine. I remember seeing it on a “plant show” – probably on PBS – but, I couldn’t find it to reference it. I only found a seed company. I bought it, originally, at the Friends School Plant Sale in St. Paul, MN. This thyme grows only a few inches tall, and is very cute with these tiny white blooms in late August. It’s nice to have something new blooming this late in the season.

Purple Smoke Bush

Purple Smoke Bush

Purple Smoke Bush

This Purple Smoke Bush (Cotinus coggygria) has had a long battle with the deer. By the end of winter there are usually only a few stubs of nibbled branches left on the bush, yet it has come back for several years. When in bloom, the small flowers aggregate into a very delicate display. The ant (lower right) was covered with the flower’s pollen! Soon the bush will show off its purple leaves and eventually, the seed pods will form the smokey looking exhibition that gives the bush its name.

Iris Bloom

Iris

Iris

What a wonderful morning greeting. An iris peeking out! This is the first blossom of well over 100 iris plants that live with me. I’m excited to see what’s in store. I consider iris analogous to orchids; although, iris are more tolerant of adverse environmental conditions.

 

 

Spring Lilacs

Lilacs in Bloom

Lilacs in Bloom

The color, the smell and the signaling from lilacs that it is finally going to be spring is wonderful. The mere shrub flowers into a beauty defined not only by its picturesque vision, but also by the sentimental memories conjured by its fragrance. The lilacs are in full bloom in zone 4.