Monday, June 15, 2015

My New Favorite Summer Bulb!

All of you seasoned gardeners who are familiar with Ixia, I ask your indulgence. You newbies or seasoned diggers-in-the-dirt who are not familiar with Ixia, it's to you that I address this bit of excitement. Actually, I'm addressing anyone who'll listen. :)

Back in February when I was in the thick of flower-starvation, I ordered bulbs. My intention was to have nice little clumps of hardy species gladiolus popping up randomly throughout my borders. Well, here it is, the middle of June and those glads, although diligently planted and tended to, are a no-show. Maybe later? Who knows? 

But I was also enamored of these pretty things called Ixia. Lured by the photo on the Bulbs Direct website, I went ahead and purchased two, twenty-bulb packages of this one called 'Mabel.' When they arrived, I planted the little buggers, then forgot all about them. 

From Bulbs Direct
Within a month, little green pointy things were popping up and getting taller. Then buds... then blossoms! Here's what they look like in my garden. 

A few weeks after planting Ixia 'Mabel', I found a box of mixed colored Ixia at the Dollar Store so I grabbed them. Here is the only one that is blooming so far. 

Yellow, Dollar Store Ixia
So, now that I've seen Ixia flowers with my own eyes, I'm wondering where they've been all my life. I'm completely sold. If the reluctant hardy glads make an appearance, I'll let you know. 


Clematis 'Multi-Blue'

Clematis texensis 'Pagoda'

Clematis integrifolia 'Andante' 

Clematis integrifolia 'Aljonushka' 

New to me this year: Clematis 'Haizawa'
Clematis texensis 'Princess Diana'

And my favorite: Clematis viticella 'Confetti'

Other bloomers: 

Diascia integrimmus

Buds on my Butterfly Weed (Asclepias speciosa). 

Campanula punctata 'Pink Octopus'

Campanula punctata 'Pink Bells'
My sister gave me a start of this plant last year.
Wouldn't it be fun if both Campanulas interbred and created a new, unique plant?

It happened with Monkey Flower.
 Mimulus lewisii x cardinalis 

About the only Salvia that I can successfully winter-over in my winter-wet garden...
Salvia verticillata 'Purple Rain'

I know I post too many photos of Alstroemeria 'Tri-Color' but I love it.

Borage--for the bees! (Borago officinalis

Parahebe perfoliata in bloom

Phlox paniculata 'Red Magic'
Maybe the "magic" is in the fact that it's purple, not red.

Sweet Peas, blooming from plants purchased in April.

Potentilla fruticosa 'Pink Beauty'

Pleiboblastis sp. (Dwarf Bamboo) ... purchased during the fall plant sales, has made a
complete recovery.

What to grow where nothing grows...

Lamium 'Anne Greenaway' love it!

The Banana (Musa basjoo) is happy

Look who has been visiting the garden for the past several days:
I think she's got a thing for these Mock Orange flowers.
(Philadelphus 'Belle Etoile')

Zip with one of his pots of kitty-pot! 
A few days ago, while I had my camera handy we had a cool fly-over--seven helicopters, in perfect formation. I wasn't sure if my photos would turn out but they did!  

And finally, there is a song sparrow that has made its nest in the neighbor's bramble. In the evenings, s/he likes to sit right here and sing. It's adorable.

Isn't life grand?


  1. So many pretty things blooming in your garden. I like the Integra folia clematis and the parahebe

  2. omgee~~I ran all the way over here from face book after seeing those flowers, wowzer are they beautiful in bloom! Your entire garden is so lush and just so beautiful, as always Grace. The Clemmies are still showing off aren't they? Nice capture of the helos too. Darla

  3. Oh, yes, I will listen Grace. ;-) Love the image of the Song Sparrow at the end. I was familiar with Ixia, as they've been included in several flower packs I've purchased for arrangements in the past. But I've never tried to grow them. Looks like you've had success with them, and they're beautiful! Yay!

  4. They're amazing, right!?!? I was a newbie last year, when I bought my first mixed box at Winco, of all places. They bloomed their little hearts out. Unfortunately, they lived in a pot with poor drainage through winter, and I'm afraid they rotted. I did buy a new box this year, but the bulbs went in a pot that the raccoons dumped numerous times this spring, so I'm afraid I'll be lucky to get one bulb to bloom. My mom's from last year, that I bought at the same time as mine, bloomed their faces off about a month ago. Hers were in the ground. I have high hopes for next year. Ha! I'll come back later to peruse more slowly, with my pinning finger ready.

  5. Your garden is full of fantastic plants, Grace! I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think your glads will be showing up if there aren't even any leaves yet. I was just thinking about whether to bring glads back to my garden. We inherited them with the house and they were beautiful for several years until the deer decided to eat all the flowers. With the fence I could have them again. They are the birth flower for the month of August, which my birthday falls in. I've never grown Ixia, because I assumed the deer would treat them the same way. I've seen so many swallowtails this year. I think the mild winter was good for them, perhaps. That picture of the silhouetted song sparrow is great!

  6. Dear Grace ~ It is always a treat to visit here. You have such a diverse group of bloomers and your color scheme grabs me every time. Your new Ixia is just beautiful.

    After visiting here I always want to jump out into my own gardens. Thanks for the inspiration. I can never have a garden like yours because of our climate differences, but I find joy in my tropical jungle. :-)

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  7. Ah, the sweet, sweet days of June! Your garden is looking lush and lovely! I am pleased to see your Clematis texensis 'Pagoda.' I planted one last week and am so excited to see what the flowers will look like.

  8. What a wonderful post! I share your joy with Ixia. I always forget about them as well until they appear as a delightful surprise in my garden (albeit on an earlier bloom schedule than yours). I love all your clematis and immediately set about to hunt down the Parahebe, which I've never seen here. Of course, it doesn't seem available anywhere at the moment but Plant Lust momentarily assuaged my angst by letting me register for notice when it becomes available.

  9. Well, I'm with you Grace—I don't know Ixia. Will have to explore to find it. I love your post. So many interesting things. You must surely be the Goddess of Clematis. (It works doesn't it? Sounds very Greek. Who wouldn't love to be the Goddess of Clematis???) Song sparrow make my day. And your capture of the "birds in flights" in formation is quite a trip! Do you have an army base near you or anything like it? Good catch.
    Love and take good care, Susan

  10. hThe Ixia with the Melianthus major is a brilliant combination. Everything else looks pretty good too.

  11. Life is grand. I think we forget that sometimes. Your garden looks well loved and happy. Love that little Ixia!

  12. You're right, Grace, life is grand! I'm noticing that every day. Even though we found out this past couple of weeks that my son has a brain tumor, the sun still rises in the morning, our garden is still beautiful, and life continues, as it should. We're hoping for a good outcome on his surgery. He heads to Seattle today to meet a surgeon there since the head of neurosurgery here says he can't handle this tumor. But we're told they can in Seattle. So we're hoping for good news. At least it looks as if it's benign. AND he is getting married on Saturday (a surprise wedding we've been helping to make happen). Then he and his new wife will be moving permanently to Seattle so I won't have much access to my granddaughter. But I'll just be happy to see them all alive and well and happy. So that's my news. It's been all consuming.
    I am loving your Ixia. And no, I'm not familiar with them. I'll have to see if they're deer resistant since we'll be moving to Montana in a few years. But, I could plant some here meanwhile and enjoy them. Thanks for sharing, great post as usual!

  13. I share your joy in discovering Ixia, Grace: some years ago, I had some planted as part of one of the kid's fundraiser project. I was entranced by the delicate flowers on their strong, slightly wiry stems. Mine were mixed, but none as strongly colored as your lovely deep pink one. Sedums are definitely the answer for places that are hard to grow in. They make it look easy to garden, right?

  14. Your Clematises are so lovely, I was given one I thought was integrifolia but it resembles your viticella more. The Ixia looks like a great performer. And those Sedums always seem to come through, I found my Dragon's Blood increasing along the dry driveway. I am trying one of the vertical purple Salvias this year, I hope it will live through the winter. Salvia lyrata 'Purple Volcano' has made it through the winter for me and also grows easily from seed. I love the chartreuse foliar touches in your lovely garden.

  15. What an abundance of beautiful blossoms. You have a lovely garden.


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