Blooming today all along the shoreline, pond bank, marsh, and meadow Iris versicolor goes by many charming common names including Sweet Blue Flag, Harlequin Blue Flag, and Northern Blue Flag. The specific epithet versicolor refers to the fact that it flowers in a range of blue to purple hues. No matter what shade of purple-blue, the falls are always yellow. Whatever one calls our native iris, it sure is beautiful, much prettier I think than hard-to-get-rid-of Siberian iris or the top heavy and overly showy bearded iris. And this American beauty is a hummingbird attractant!
Our alphabet garden at the Children’s Campus at Phillips Andover is coming along beautifully. In its second year, I’ll post photos later in the season as the garden begins to fill out and come into full bloom.
Thanks to Pam and her wonderful staff at Wolf Hill for locating our letter Q plant, the towering ‘Queen of the Prairie.’ She is a gorgeous beauty for the back of the border, growing 5 to 7 feet tall, with panicles of deep pink and purple streaked lacy foliage. Can’t wait to see this native bee and butterfly attracting beauty in bloom!
Playing with triadic color–the planters at the Mary Prentiss Inn are a great example of a classic triad. Triadic color schemes use colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel. When successful, they are really quite vibrant and seem to sing. In these arrangements, the orange color dominates while the shades of purples and greens are the accents.
Poppies popping, tulips resplendent, and flower pots poised to bedazzle, The Mary Prentiss Inn, conveniently located near Harvard University, is an utterly charming bed and breakfast, outfitted with all modern amenities (and a secret garden around back). Homemade breakfast is served daily, along with freshly baked treats for afternoon tea. Jennifer, the proprietor, and Lisa, who runs the front desk, could not be more welcoming. For graduation, business, or simply a romantic get away in the heart of Cambridge, The Mary Prentiss Inn is tops!!
This beautiful Robin’s nest is located at the lovely home of the Del Vecchio family. Daughter Clara noticed that a sprig of lavender was used in nest building so they left out some colorful bits of yarn. The Robins built the nest atop a rolled up rug that was left standing beside their well-trafficked front door. Mama Robin doesn’t seem to mind a bit the constant comings and goings of the household. I’ve seen robins build nests in some crazy places, but this has to take the cake!
Thank you to Michele for allowing me to come and film what has to be the world’s most charming Robin’s nest!
Update on the Robin’s nest: Sadly, Michele reports that the nest was knocked over and the eggs have been scavenged. In our region, Robins typically have several broods and often use the same nest, so perhaps the nest can become reestablished.
A sea of blue by the old wood pile ~ A lovely surprise to come upon this sweet patch of Siberian squill near to the place where I was photographing the sky over the harbor in yesterday’s fast moving storm. Squill is a carefree, pest-free plant, whether lighting up a woodland edge, carpeting a lawn, scampering through a rock garden, or carpeting the forest floor. Its one growing requirement: plant in well draining soil; squill does not like wet feet. They are small, so you will need to plant lots to make an impact, but squill will naturize over time and in a few short years, you’ll soon be digging up clumps to share with friends.
In mid-fall, plant the rounded end of the bulb down, pointed end up, about 3 to 5 inches deep and about 15 per square foot
Nicknamed Siberian Squill not because it is from Siberia, but because it is hardy through zone 2.