the gates of hell

the gates of hell
The Gates of Hell

Friday, July 18, 2014

Syneilesis palmata in bloom

This shredded umbrella plant has been taunting me all spring (shredded, because, well, check out the leaves at the base). It sent up a flower stalk early, and for seemingly months now has been on the brink of opening, but then takes just a little longer to stretch out (more than 3 feet tall now). Now that the flowers are beginning to open, I'm glad its been a slow process, maybe they will entertain me for quite awhile longer. I didn't know what to expect, but certainly not this. These flowers look like they are sprouting cooked quinoa or a collection of coiled insect proboscides, or some little creature with spectacles, depending on my mood. And they look like they may still have something up their sleeve...


Monday, July 14, 2014


There's a chimera in the devil garden, and I don't mean the gargoyle on the fence. This butterfly bush has both white and purple flowers growing out of the same trunk. They grow on distinctly separate stalks, and I've now marked the origin points of the white ones so I don't prune them completely away by accident, as I have some years. I'm not really sure whether this is a true chimera, or just two different buddleia varieties that were planted too close to each other long ago and now have completely melded trunks. But I love the idea of having a chimera! (even one that isn't a fire-breathing hybrid monster)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Firecracker flowers, perfect timing!

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' and Monarda 'Jacob Cline' joined forces to set hell ablaze today. They are quite reminiscent of fireworks. These flowers are surprisingly robust, as tall as I am, and loving the devil garden despite limited sun. Maybe the lack of sun has encouraged more height in search of it. The monarda bloom that's centered under the entry gate is a double-decker, one bloom growing out on top of the other on a single stem.

And check out the
  red dragonfly spy.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hellstrip Gardening

I'm not sure if this exactly qualifies as a hell strip, but given that: (1) we don't have a sidewalk, (2) this area abuts the street, and (3) it also marks the path to hell (the devil garden), perhaps it might. This is a row of 5 to 6 foot tall foxgloves that run about 20 feet down the line between my asphalt driveway and the gravel area to the side. Amazingly, these are volunteers; they started growing a few years ago and come back every year now with no effort on my part other than a quick shake before cutting the spent stalks. They seem to just love the little gap between the weedcloth underlying the gravel and the driveway. Note: this post was inspired by danger garden: