Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Scabiosa: Pincushion Flower

Perennials are like old friends who come back to visit every summer.

Just like people, they change and grow, redefining themselves, with or without your help. Some plants, like some people, are so quiet and low-maintenance that you forget all about them. And, in a way, that's kind of sad. Because the easy-going ones (people or plants) are generally the nicest ones to have around.

Pincushion Flowers* are much-loved by people, like me, who have no time to give flowering plants meticulous care. Place this lanky bloomer in a sunny, breezy spot and let Mother Nature do the rest. Like a long, lost friend, you'll see her waving at you one day, when a gentle breeze sets these tall, wiry stems in motion.

I must be doing all right by this gal because she's defying all the rules. She's 4 foot tall (vs. 18 inches the instructions predicted) and like some women I know, she's got a new 'do.' Last year, pink, this year bright fuschia. But, that's one of the greatest things about old friends. Whenever they come back into your life, they almost always surprise you.

It takes a long time to grow an old friend. ~ John Leonard

Dedicated to the adventurous gal pals: Ann, Bev, Kathleen, Maile, Sandy, Stacy, Toni and Xena. Without them, I'd have no good stories to tell.

* Scabiosa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue' was awarded Perennial Plant of the Year for 2000. The variety in these photos is Pink Mist - a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds. Will bloom continuously throughout the summer, with deadheading.

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