Ageratum, Alabama, Blueweed, Flossflower, Flowers, Gardening, Horticulture, Mexican Paintbrush, Photography, Picture of the Day, Plants, Tall & Handsome

Ageratum, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Blue Flower B

Blue Flower C

I love blue flowers, but they are not the most abundant flower to find in the grander scheme of gardening.

Years ago when I established some landscape design for my home I did quite a bit of research. I used my background as a horticulture student to do my digging and lead me where I wanted to go.

I was gardening for some definite purposes:

That was the foundation for my design and purpose and because of my health I usually have to depend on others to implement my plans. Tall & Handsome’s saying is, “Honey, you be the brains and I’ll be the brawn.”

Well, before we moved out of state for T & H’s work, the yard had a very good head start on a good landscape design. And, of course, I’ve shared the horrors of Big Jim the Terrible Tenant who had a six year reign of terror at the house.

To say the yard was grossly neglected is an understatement. At one time we counted almost 10 to 12 random vehicles parked in the yard Sanford and Son style…and this is not the type of neighborhood you do that in.

But, even in the “ashes” of ruin you can find surprises and renewal. Today’s pictures are an example of that. When we moved in 2004, these delicate little blue blossoms were not growing anywhere in my yard. Now? Well, there is an abundant little colony raising their cheerful little heads in the front and they have made their way into some of my pots.

Ageratum are generally considered annuals but a few are perennials. They tend to reseed themselves very well, profusely in fact, so you might have some to spread around and even share. In some places they can become invasive and may be considered a weed. I like to think of them as a wildflower. They are native to Central and South America and Mexico, but there are four that are native to the US.

They are known by the common names flossflower, bluemink, blueweed and Mexican paintbrush. They tolerate sun to part sun. Some of the more domesticated varieties may only grow to about 6 – 8 inches, the others vary in height from 12 inches up to 30 inches.

You can see by my photos that the two I have are very different. One looks more delicate, a lighter powdery blue with only green foliage. The other one is a deeper, purpley-red color. The stems and leaves have a red vein running through them and the flowers themselves seems surrounded by red calyx.

I’m just delighted that out of ashes of destruction something that appears so delicate rose like a Phoenix to surprise me with the unexpected.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~ Lao Tzu ~


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