A green space for urban gardeners

Out of sight color: blooms of vibrant orange and truest blue

DSC00792DSC00753Looking out onto the deck I have a pretty nice view: I can see the morning glory climbing up my balcony and attaching itself to the net lights, four varieties of basil, a fancy-leaf geranium and healthy pots of heirloom tomato (bar one).

And when I look up at what’s attached to the railing I see lots of gorgeous flowers: petunia, Texas bluebonnet, lisianthus, lobelia, salvia, zinnia, lantana and several others.

Therefore, as you’d suspect I’m pretty pleased right now. But being so taken by all there was to appreciate in my immediate sight line, I neglected to consider that if I looked at things from a different perspective there might be a whole new bounty to appreciate.

I’d forgotten something I’ve learned during previous summers: giving my railing planter boxes a full turn during the season can expose previously hidden blooms for the eye’s delight.

One such delectable surprise on the other side was this brilliant blossom that I originally thought was cosmos “cosmic orange” because of the intensity of its orange color. I found it while hanging my arm out, camera in hand, over the rail, trying to snap another of my blossoms from a unique angle.

Discovering it created one of those moments where I actually gasped at the vibrancy of the color. And it seemed to make sense because the cosmos was one of the seeds I planted early on, but that I had forgotten about, since all the tags were washed away and there were no blooms on it when I put it in the planter.

[I’ve since been given reason to revise my identification (and this post), as a couple of you have pointed out that it looked a lot like a marigold. I agree, but since I didn’t plant an orange marigold, I’m a little stymied. Perhaps some seeds got mixed in my packets by accident… In any case the color is breathtaking!]

Another equally colorful bloom is this sky blue tweedia. I’d identified the leaf on several seedlings I can see looking out, but didn’t realize that one on the other side of the box had already sprouted. It is definitely the truest blue — with no hint of purple — among the seeds that have matured to flower. Wow!

So, as much as I’m enjoying the view from this side, these two discoveries make me wonder what other surprises are just out of sight.

Not unlike life.


  MrBrownThumb wrote @

That blue flower is really nice. Enjoy the blooms after all the trouble you went through this year with your garden.

  Stephanie wrote @

Beautiful beautiful! I can imagine myself on your blue lounger… what a nice place to snap some good photos 🙂 I like that blue flower too! Oh, I have not seen one blue hibiscus here yet but I saw those from internet. It would be so nice to have one splashy blue flower in my garden one day. Oh, I love those orange cosmics too! It is so amazing to see how much you have done for your limited space balcony. Have a great day!

  linda wrote @

Blue and orange make a brilliant combination. I gotta agree with Stephanie – it’s pretty amazing how much beauty you’ve created in limited space!

  Jo wrote @

Beautiful colours. I thought the orange flower was a French Marigold, I didn’t realise it was a Cosmos. I’ve never heard of Tweedia before. It’s so pretty.

  Miss Daisy wrote @

Outstanding, vibrant colors! I love the contrast of the two next to each other–the orange and blue! Lovely!

  Melanie GUSC wrote @

I’ve grown that tweedia here in Central Victoria, Australia although I think its now called oxypetalum. Its the most amazing shade of blue!

  kilbournegrove wrote @

Wow, great colour combo. When clients ask for a “vibrant” bouquet at the flower shop, I often will design with blue and orange. They really complement each other.
Last autumn, someone gave me seeds of anchusa azurea and told me to just scatter them in the garden. I did that, and totally forgot about them until June, when I noticed a bright blue flower. I was shocked, they were so beautiful, lucky that I had been behind on the weeding, or else I would have pulled them up. Talk about serendipity!

  joeltheurbangardener wrote @

That is a nice selection that you have on your balcony. Love the blue flowers.

  Mary Delle wrote @

These discoveries are the wonders of our day. Thanks for your post.

  Lynne Jordan wrote @

I’m coming over!! This garden sounds fab!

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