The perfect spot

Angelonia angustifolia

Angelonia angustifolia

Years ago my boys bought me a purple gazing ball with a stand for Mother’s Day.  It wasn’t  something I would of picked out for myself, but I treasure it nonetheless.  My family is well aware that I am a gardening fanatic so the gift was picked out with great thought to my passion.  I never really liked the stand it sat on because it is tall and hard to disguise in the garden.  For me garden art should be tucked in to spaces so that they are discoveries vs. taking center stage over the plants.  So when I came upon this smaller more discreet stand at a thrift store for the bargain price of 99 cents I couldn’t resist.  Then I had to decide where best to put a purple gazing ball so it didn’t stick out like a sore thumb.  This patch of Angelonia was the perfect spot.  This purple beauty has been blooming nonstop since May and has been maintenance free.  It even seems to be drought tolerant compared to most plants since it required no supplemental watering this summer.  I’ve collected some seed from it to scatter in other beds and I’m hoping it reseeds itself in this location next year.  However I am prepared to purchase more of it next year if necessary to keep this long blooming plant in my garden.  Sometimes you get lucky and find the perfect spot for a plant and it rewards you all season long.  What great long blooming annuals or perennials did you add this year to your garden?


16 responses to this post.

  1. About garden art being discoveries…aptly put. Your gazing ball has blended beautifully with the purple blooms. I’ve never heard about this plant but any gardener would love to have such a maintenance-free bloomer in one’s garden!

    Thanks Kanak. 🙂 Angelonia is a tender plant for my zone 7b garden, but it might work well in your neck of the woods.


  2. It looks great tucked in there and a treasure. I got lucky with Sunny Blue Veronica. It bloomed from June to September and even now still has a few blooms. This is a winning perennial and I just love it. I had purchased a few plants at a bargain sale at Lowes and am now in love. So easy to care for too and does fine in part sun/shade, like I have here.

    Thank you Tina. I’m happy with it’s new home. Sounds like you found a new plant for your garden that has two benefits-perennial and long bloomer. I will have to check that one out too. Veronicas are great plants.


  3. Lovely combo! I like the gazing ball a lot.

    I planted angelonia (I think it’s lavender mist) this year and love it. Mine are still blooming a bit, but we have a frost warning for tomorrow. I’m going to try to save seeds, too. It’s a wonderful annual, but I didn’t try it outside my cottage garden fence to see if it’s deer resistant. Like you, if I can’t get it back from seeds, it’s on my “favorite annual” list.


    Thanks Cameron! Lavender Mist is a great cultivar too, I’m not sure the name of mine. Picked it up at Lowe’s and it has more than paid for itself this year. Frost already??? Let me know if the seeds work next year. I will definitely replant it next season.


  4. My pansies are still blooming long after the others are gone. I haven’t bought them for a couple of years though, they just reseeded themselves into the ground and I trasplanted them. Lucky me. Lucky you too, what a great thrift store find! I got a few of my own when the family and I ventured down to Wausau yesterday.

    Pansies are great reseeders and make wonderful blooms in the fall & spring. Violas do the same thing in my garden. I always let a few go to seed on purpose. Thanks Cinj, I’m happy with my small investment. 🙂 Looks like you found you some bargains too.


  5. That is a perfect blending of flower and ball Racquel. I would love to try Angelonia in one of my containers next year. Our subdivision had it planted in the common area and it is still blooming beautifully despite the frost. That ranks it even higher in my book.

    Thank you Kathleen! 🙂 I bet it would be fantastic in containers, it reminds me of Sweet Alyssum in that the tiny blooms make a nice filler plant. Planted in masses it looks fabulous.


  6. I love the ball and would like something similar myself. A restful shape and reflections as an added bonus.
    It’s always good when you can pick up a bargain!

    Thanks EG! It does look pretty cool with the garden reflecting in it. Bargains are the best. 🙂


  7. Posted by greenwalks on October 19, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    I like how it’s peeking out. I’m all for garden surprises!

    Thanks GW! Me too, it is a nice surprise in the garden. 🙂


  8. What a very special gift! I’m with you..I like things tucked into a garden. I have a little bunny (statue-the best kind to have I have heard!) tucked under my hot lips salvia like he is hiding. So cute!

    Thanks Linda, I’m lucky that my family gives me gifts for the garden. Things I can treasure every season. I bet your little bunny looks really sweet tucked under your Salvia ‘Hot Lips’. 😉


  9. I like the gazing ball – and it looks good amidst those plants.
    My best packet of seeds this year has been cosmos “purity” they are still looking lovely.
    (Despite the weather)

    Thanks Karen. Cosmos are great plants to grow from seed. They are so easy to sow in the garden & they are happy to reseed themselves. Purity, is that a white variety? Sounds pretty. 🙂


  10. The smaller stand is definitely perfect! Like yours, my angelonia has done marvelous all summer long. It’s definitely a keeper!

    Thanks Susie, I’ve been looking for a shorter one for months. I just love finding the perfect thing for a bargain price! 🙂 Yep, I will definitely be keeping Angelonia as a much have annual in my garden.


  11. I think you picked the perfect spot for your gazing ball; it looks great surrounded by all the angelonia. Like you, I’ve never been very fond of gazing balls, but I was given one as a gift by my parents last year. I stuck it in a back spot in my shade garden. Now that its base is surrounded by hostas, it has “grown” on me.
    As for long-blooming perennials, my new gaillardia “Oranges and Lemons” have bloomed non-stop all summer long.

    Thanks Rose, I’m happy with the way it looks surrounded by the purple Angelona blooms. I bet your’s looks great with surrounded by the lovely Hosta foliage too. 🙂 Sounds like you found a great perennial for your garden this year with the Gaillardia blooming non-stop.


  12. My favorites I added are black-eyed susan, foxglove, bee balm, hollyhock and coneflower. I love your idea for putting the gazing ball discreetly amongst the plants. I shall have to go outside now and see about mine!

    Those are wonderful plants that provide months of interest in the garden. Thanks Brenda, I’m glad you like my gazing ball tucked into the Angelonia. It makes for a nice surprise to discover. 🙂


  13. Racquel, the gazing ball looks great. I was able to find a short stand for mine. It does keep the ball from standing out like a sore thumb.

    Thanks Deb! Glad you were able to find a short stand too. I like it being lower to the ground then the stand doesn’t draw so much attention to itself. Easier to blend in with the garden too. 🙂


  14. I don’t have any out of season blooms, but some of my perennials like this cool weather.

    They probably are relieved to catch a break from the heat & drought of this past summer. 🙂


  15. The gazing globe makes a great focal point in the sea of Angelonia. I’m also a convert to this annual. It has totally kicked butt in my mom’s garden where it’s in the ground. It’s still going strong & looks terrific. My sole plant, in a container, kept blooming through the worst of the dryness of August when it’s container partner Osteospermum decided to take a nap. The latter has just started blooming again, while the Angelonia is nearly done. What a trooper! I will definitely be planting more of that next year.

    Thanks MMD, I think I finally found the perfect spot for it. 🙂 Everyone who has this plant in their garden this year has raved about it and the zones have varied. Anything that can survive the hot & dry summer we had without supplemental watering is on my list to plant again. Normally I don’t get too excited about annuals but this one is a true champion in the garden this year. I will have to give some of it a try in containers next year too. Thanks for the info!


  16. My wife bought several gazing balls a few years back and I wondered where she would place them. I have never been a gazing ball person but she artfully (as you have) placed them through out the flower beds and I must say that I like them.


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