Favorites and friends in the garden.

The Mexican daisy “showered down the drystone walls” of Penelope Lively’s grandmother’s garden, and was “a Gertrude Jekyll favorite.” She mentions this plant, Erigeron karvinskianus, four times in her book Life in the Garden, finding its other common name “fleabane” to be disagreeable (as do I).

June 2016

“And, as for me, it has become a kind of signature plant; in London, it has obligingly seeded itself all round the railings at the front of my house, and down the iron steps to the basement. And it has spread along this side of the square, colonizing other frontages, where others have clearly welcomed it — only one insensitive neighbor has torched it with weed-killer.”

I’ve been surprised at how much I have in common with this London gardener. I also have Erigeron, which my landscape designer four years ago knew would fit nicely into my vision for the back garden. At the time I didn’t foresee how I would love it.

Today it is a bit bedraggled by all the drenching it’s received, just when it was beginning to put on a show after being sheared a month ago. When I went looking for a photo showing it in its glory, I found scenes from the past that show how far things have developed.

September 2016

Compare that to this morning, and we can see that clearly, one of the first things I must do when the rain finally stops, is to trim back the native currant that has evolved from being simply a pleasant a background to the bench.

Because very soon, I’m hoping one of you will come and sit there with me, while we drink tea and gaze out on the Mexican daisies and other beauties, talking gardens or whatever you like. ❤

21 thoughts on “Favorites and friends in the garden.

  1. I love the fleabane and have grown it before. It would pop up, but I’ve not seen it in a few years now.

    I see that your plants can easily turn into a jungle for you also. I’ve got trimming to do, weeding too. My garden is definitely not pristine or weed free and never will be. 😉

    Happy gardening ~ FlowerLady

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  2. Oh Gretchen, what a lovely garden you have! I love seeing all your plants and flowers. And, I would love to come and sit in your garden and have a cup of tea. Thank you for your kind comments on my blog.

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  3. If fleabane is called that because it makes fleas flee, I might overcome my own aversion to the name and save said aversion just for fleas…but I don’t know if that is the case. It is amazing how much the new things you planted have grown, happy pruning!

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    1. Online sources say the ornamental plants we know as fleabane do not deter fleas. Maybe there was an ancient ancestor or relative that did have that power? That idea does seem to be the origin of its common name, “the bane of fleas.” All the more reason not to use that particular name, if it is false advertising and brings fleas to mind!

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  4. The native currant has grown and envelops the bench. One can imagine that with no pruning the bench will disappear in another year.
    I grow the unfortunately named Fleabane. It’s a lot prettier than its common name. Mine has buds now and probably should be staked or it will flop.

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  5. Our native prairie fleabane, Erigeron modestus, is a lovely white flower, as is Erigeron strigosus, or daisy fleabane. I rather enjoy the historical name, but whichever name is used, they’re lovely. It’s fun to see them popping up everywhere — they’ll even grow through the boards in the bulkheads in the marinas.

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  6. Interesting how many names that daisy has! We call it Santa Barbara Daisy around here; and an English friend has some in her garden and she calls them Livingston Daisy. Yours look really healthy and green (mine look like that about two weeks out of the year). “Fleabane” makes me feel somewhat itchy – LOL! You have a lovely garden, and I like your bench.

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