Friday, June 11, 2010

Balloon Flower...

Kirstin caught a baby snake this morning, but we weren't sure what it was. I thought it might be a copperhead, but after a little research and some input from my brother and my brother-in-law, I now know that it is a rat snake and a good little critter to have around. Even if it was a copperhead, I wouldn't want to kill it because they have their niche to fill, too. But I am happy it is a rat snake.

The soil underneath the Incense Cedars is insanely dry, so I have a collection of pots on the east side. They receive the morning sun, obviously, and then the afternoon shade, so that makes a good spot for a number of plants. Among the things I grow there are a Hydrangea ('Endless Summer'), Coral Bells (Heuchera), and Balloon Flowers (Platycodon grandiflorus). And just I love their color combination.

I have two Balloon Flowers: one on either side of the Hydrangea. This is a plant I didn't grow when I lived in California, but I sure have enjoyed it here in North Carolina. The "balloons" are so interesting! And how about that blueish color?!

"Up the road a piece" is a family owned farm that sells pick-your-own strawberries in the spring and then watermelon and, I think, sweet potatoes in the summer. The lady also has a large greenhouse where she raises some flowers to sell. Most of them are petunias and other annuals, but a couple of years ago, I bought a Balloon Flower plant from her.

I realized that there were 2 plants in the pot, so I separated them out. Since they go dormant every winter, I have also planted Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' in the containers so something is going on until the Balloon Flowers come up.

Have a beautiful day!


Stone Art said...

wow those Balloon Flowers are pretty cool!

sweet bay said...

Lots of snakes look like Copperheads don't they? such as some Water Snakes.

Lovely blue on the Balloon Flower!

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

Gorgeous snake!

Ruth said...

Stone Art - thanks for stopping by! I tried to leave a comment on your blog, but wasn't able to.

sweet bay - at least now I know what to look for to identify a copperhead! :)

Dirty Girl Gardening - I enjoyed looking at the snake for a day before we let him go. He really was pretty. Nice to know he's out there eating stuff for us!