Hydrangea - Hydragnea spp. Hydrangeas always make me think of my grandfathers house in Georgia. Years ago they planted one by their air conditioning unit, and let me tell you that is a great place to plant one. It grew to be enormous, filled with beautiful blue blooms. When J and I got married, he cut and filled a 5 gallon bucket full and brought them to Tennessee. The flowers at our wedding were daisies and hydrangeas, and the florists' flowers didn't hold a candle to my Pop's. I just love them. We have 3 varieties in the garden.
This one I just recently bought from the UT Arboretum Spring Plant Sale. We planted it beside our air conditioner and it's doing well so far. The blooms were a nice pale pink and the leaves are kind of lime colored.
This one J's mother gave me for my birthday one year. It was blue when she gave it too me, and it's been blooming this awesome dark purple the last 2 years. The deer, unfortunately, seem to think it tastes awesome and have eaten half of it. Grrrrrrr.
This one I bought with some money Pop gave me for my graduation from vet school. We had just bought the house and I wanted to get something that would make me think of him and my grandmother. It's done really well, and the deer seem to leave it alone. In the evening light the blooms really seem to glow.
Supertunia Priscilla - This petunia with double blooms is another recent purchase from the UT Arboretum Spring Plant Sale. I had never seen a petunia like this, and I had to have one! I'm hoping I'll be able to either collect some seeds from it or overwinter it on the enclosed porch.
Spotted Wintergreen - Chimaphila maculata. This little perennial herb has always come up in the wooded portion of the yard, and I didn't find out what it actually was until this year. I send an email to fellow Oak Ridger and wildflower expert Kris Light. His blog is an excellent resource to help identify local wildflowers. The root of this plant used to be used to make root beer - pretty neat!