Friday, February 10, 2012

Reflections of a Signature Flower


 I like to use mirrors in my garden. They just seem to double my enjoyment of beautiful blooms. Last year I placed one in the kitchen garden behind the perennials that I grow there. I plant perennials and annual flowers near my vegetables to encourage pollinators.

The mirror hanging on the picket fence reflects purple cone flowers, Echinacea purpurea
Mirrors in the garden, like those inside your home, make the space seem bigger.

As well as purple cone flowers and delphiniums, the mirror reflects the raised vegetable beds.
I attached another mirror to the ugly, pasture fence to reflect a bushel basket filled with pots of phlox. The reason the phlox plants were in pots, and not in the ground, was because I was plant-sitting them for a friend -- the bed they were to inhabit not being ready.


I am always looking for some way to hide that ugly fence. It is a necessary evil, needed to fence-in the horse and goat. Someone once suggested I disguise the fence with a pretty vine. She obviously doesn't know that goats eat anything and everything! I make sure the phlox are not reachable by little nibblers.

The pasture-fence mirror provides a focal point at the end of a grassy path.
Phlox are beautiful, but not my favorite, being prone to powdery mildew. I confess, however, I have a special love for Echinacea purpurea purple cone flowers. I am choosing them as my second signature plant -- my first was English bluebell. In my endeavors to create a wildlife garden, I find the purple cone flower has an amazing ability to attract birds, butterflies and bees. Furthermore, they have a long season of interest. Loved by butterflies in the summer; in the fall their seeds are prized by American goldfinches.

Reflection of the seeds of the purple cone flowers in autumn.
American swallowtail butterflies on purple cone flowers.

Fritillary butterflies on purple cone flowers.
Monarch butterfly on a purple cone flower
I planted purple cone flowers liberally throughout my cottage gardens.


They make great cutting flowers, too ...

A vase of purple cone flowers adds color to my shady deck.
Today, I am linking to Diana at Elephant's Eye with my February pick for my signature flower. Also, I am making a very belated link to Donna at Garden Walk Garden Talk, who wrote a great post, and inspired other wonderful postings, with last month's Word for Wednesday, 'Reflection'. Please visit Diana's and Donna's blogs -- you will be glad you did!

I would also like to thank three great blogger friends for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award.


They are Bumble Lush, Donna at Garden's Eye View, and Julia of Polka Dot Galoshes. While I am not following the award rules, I am truly honored to have been nominated, and thank them sincerely. I recommend that everyone reading this posting go over to their must-visit blogs.

Garden bloggers are the best!

Wishing you a love-filled Valentine's Day next Tuesday,
Pamela x

Autumn reflections in the pond.

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.

26 comments:

Jo said...

I love how you use mirrors in your garden, they really do give the impression of extra space, so clever. Your butterfly photos are wonderful.

Lona said...

What a wonderful idea Pam. Flowers reflecting flowers makes the garden look fuller.Your pictures of the Butterflies are so beautiful.I will be glad when it is warm enough for them to return.

Elephant's Eye said...

Thanks for joining in. I had to go to Ballenberg open air museum in Switzerland - to see Echinacea growing in the Apothecary Garden as a medicinal herb.

dorothy said...

I, too, have an ugly fence that I have been trying to disguise. The idea of mirrors in a garden has always intrigued me, and I am glad to see how they are working in your lovely garden. I was wondering if you have any problems with birds fly into yours. That has been my main concern.

Hartwood Roses said...

It is always wonderful to see your beautiful garden ... and it is an especially welcome sight while we wait for spring.

Donna said...

Thank you Pam for linking to W4W. Mirrors in the garden always double the beauty the garden has to offer. They also frame up a picture perfect view when sited to do so. A very pretty post with lovely images too.

Bluebell Woods said...

Oh I can not wait for Spring, loved looking at your garden. It seems a long way away today as we have howling winds and blowing snow. So good to see flowers.
Janice

HolleyGarden said...

Echinaceas are one of my favorites, too, because they really are butterfly magnets. Loved seeing your mirror in your garden! It really does double the beauty.

Karen said...

Wonderful idea to place mirrors in the garden. The reflections are beautiful. I love echinacea too, and so do the butterflies. How wonderful to see all the beauty in your garden, everything here is white.

Jane said...

Such a beautiful idea with mirrors in the garden...x

RedneckRosarian said...

The use of mirrors indoors and out brings such a sense of space and depth to a room or garden. Very clever use of mirrors. Your Echinaceas are a beauty!

Alistair said...

Ah Pamela, Myra is also always on the look out for places for those old mirrors outdoors. Cone flowers are great, they don't do so well in our garden, I think the soil is too acidic for them.

Heather said...

What a lovely blog you have! I love English cottage gardens. I've been trying my best for years to build up my cottage garden, but the heat of Oklahoma summers can be pretty rough. Your blog makes me look forward to spring!

Lisa said...

They say necessity is the mother of invention...the mirrors are such an attractive way to hide your fence and "expand" your plot. Stunning shots of butterflies. I always enjoy seeing the different areas of your beautiful garden.

The Sage Butterfly said...

Echinacea is one of my favorites, too. I so enjoy how the butterflies flock to them, and then allow me to watch. Your idea of bringing mirrors into the garden is so interesting. I like the reflections. Anything that adds more flowers is a good thing. Happy Valentine's Day to you as well! Enjoy!

b-a-g said...

Hi Pam - I'm trying to grow more perennials this year. I've a packet of echinacea seeds ready and waiting. Glad to know it's one of your signature plants.

Jess said...

I've thought about using mirrors in the garden myself. I hadn't really seen it in execution but yours does look lovely. I may have to go to an junk/antique store and get myself a cheap one and experiment.

Marguerite said...

I never used to have a great love of echinacea but as my garden tastes have changed I'm finding I like them more and more. As you point out they are great cut flowers, good for insects and butterflies and I'm finding, very sturdy in a wind!

Bumble Lush Kitchen Garden said...

what an interesting idea! I've never thought about using mirrors in the garden. It would make my teeny plot look a lot bigger! And congrats on your triple award ;)

jsb said...

What an inviting deck. You just long to sit on it. Mirrors in the garden is such an unusual and wonderful idea. Your garden is so lovely, it makes sense to multiply the beautiful images as much as possible.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I love your use of mirrors Pam, an excellent to double your blooms. I am curious though, are the pollinators ever confused by the reflections?

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

Your garden is always so full of flowers that I love seeing photos of it. Maybe a second fence line outside the first with vines growing on it. Quite a project but it would look pretty and solve the goat-eating-vines problem.

Gardeningbren said...

I love this idea...have read about it before but never moved on it but will now that I've seen your results. I also have a white picket fence so, seeing the reflection of the cone flower...inspiring. Thank you.

Ruth said...

I like what you've done with the mirror! I have a vintage scalloped edge one sitting around that I haven't quite found the right spot for yet. It's fun to move it around though, because it makes you look at the bits and pieces it reflects in a whole new way.

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

Dear Pam I do apologize for missing this post. I love coneflowers too and you so deserve the award...a great signature flower for your garden!

Gardening with Juanita said...

I have the same butterfly on the same coneflower, down here they get white powder mildew but they are great butterfly flowers. Last year was so hot my Phlox died, I see they are coming back. Thanks for reading my blog. I do not know why my garden is so early. Mirrors in the garden! what a neat idea. This is why I like to read other blogs we can still learn.