Friday, 8 August 2014

Platycodon (a pink one!) or balloon flower

Platycodon grandiflorus 'Fuji Pink'


   

Walters Gardens, Inc.
Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.
Common Name: Balloon Flower
Interesting balloon-like buds burst open into beautiful soft pink, bell-shaped flowers which keep their color best in partial shade. 'Fuji Pink' is a very reliable bloomer that is pest and disease free.
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In a village only a few miles from me lives a plant  lady.  She usually has an old kitchen table outside her garage from Spring till Autumn, and if we are out and about we usually say "Martinstown?"  We drive down and see what she has.  Today, this is was outside.  It has about 4 flowers out, and one balloon bud coming along (see bottom right of the picture).  £4 I didn't mind spending!  I have planted it in from of a large bright pink phlox, and next door to a lovely brick red day lily (Hemerocallis 'Stafford') both of which were new to me this year and both of which have thrived, despite the
heat and the dry soil (I do not water once established - plants in my garden have to get on with it!).  It's lovely to have something that isn't finished yet, because frankly, the rest of the garden currently looks like Autumn..... I know from country men that the harvest is at least a week early, but here, on the top of a hill in a really dry garden, I think Autumn is a month early.
Daylily 'Stafford'
All my roses gave up at first flowering - until now.  Having had a few wet nights, and one whole day of rain last week, on close inspection my little hedge of three Count de Chomord is covered in new buds, Gertude Jekyll the same,  Graham Thomas also.  These are all roses that should flower continually, but this is only the second flowering all summer.  Some other repeaters that are new this year and not coming again, but some food, some manure and a good rest over the winter should see them all OK I think.