Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: Evolvulus ‘Blue Sapphire’

The green of life requires blue. . .*

Entrance to our garden/enclos*ure

At the front of our house, in two curvy planting beds, the Evolvulus ‘Blue Sapphire’ is thick and blooming heavily — in the morning.

By early afternoon, the flowers close up, and I’m left with just a small-leaved, grey-green ground cover — which is still pretty nice.

(Above:  that’s a pink-blooming crape myrtle tree to the left, doing so-so — I’m going to give it a light pruning pretty soon and see if it will fill out a bit.)

Front entrance and Evolvulus 'Blue Sapphire' blooming/enclos*ure

I planted out little sprigs of the evolvulus last July. This open area used to be occupied by a large Norfolk pine.  However, it was dying (see here; sixth photo) and had to be cut down.

I’m not very happy with the grass and stone arrangement on the left side of the center planting area (below).  It looks rather ragged.   One of these days, I plan to remove the turf grass (I really like to have a wee bit of Round-Up) and plant mondo grass between the stones — as well as take up a few stones and add a two or three mounding plants.

Entrance and Evolvulus blooming/enclos*ure

Below, the blooms of Evolvulus ‘Blue Sapphire’ are a true blue.  It is a tropical plant, hardy to U.S. zones 8-11.

(Click on any of the photos to enlarge them or on ‘Continue reading’ below to scroll through all the bigger images.)

Evolvulus for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day in March/enclos*ure

Below, I’ve also used it to edge the planting border along the upper lawn in front of the terrace. (A plan of our garden is here.)

Front border edged with Evolvulus/enclos*ure

Below is the same border from the other direction, standing at the center steps.  (The red-flowering shrub/vine at the end is a Mussaenda erythrophylla.)

Border with Evolvulus 'Blue Sapphire' and yellow daylilies

Below, the border continues on the left side of the steps. The tall yellow flowers are double Rudbeckia laciniata.

Our front border/enclos*ure

Below, the zinnias in our cutting garden (from last month’s GBBD) continue to be beautiful.  The tall grass in the back is lemongrass.

Zinnias in our cutting garden in Rwanda/enclos*ure

To see what’s blooming in other garden bloggers’ gardens today, check out May Dreams Gardens.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is the 15th of every month.


*by Robert L. Jones, from “Blue.”

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day for March

I’m traveling today, so I must confess that I took these photos before I left. However, this plant has bloomed non stop for the last six months, so I’m sure it is blooming today too.

Since we arrived in Rwanda in September, I have been telling people that this is a poinsettia, a shrub that can also get really large in frost-free climates. But after identifying our orange and white Mussaenda frondosa last month, I realized that it is a Mussaenda erythrophylla.

M. erythrophylla is native to tropical West Africa and is also known as Ashanti blood, red flag blood, or tropical dogwood. It can reach heights of 30 ft. (about 9 m.). Below, it’s growing up into our acacia tree.

The bracts of this plant glow so red that I’ve had a hard time getting good pictures of it. It will bloom all year long.

The plant cannot well tolerate temperatures below 40°F.  It prefers full sun, but will bloom in part shade.  It needs moderate amounts of water.

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Garden for hosting Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. Click the link to see what’s blooming in other GB’s gardens today.

Mussaendas

I fell in love with this Mussaenda shrub soon after we arrived in Kigali, but I didn’t know its name until tonight after some internet research.

I think my Mussaenda (with orange flowers and white bracts) is M. frondosa, a native to Indo-China and Malaysia, although there is a species native to West Africa, M. erythrophylla or Ashanti blood or red flag. This may actually be the shrub in our garden that I’ve been thinking is a poinsettia. I’m going to have to do a little more research on that tomorrow. [Yes, it is M. erythrophylla.]

Mussaendas are hardy to (U.S.) zones 9-11. They can reach heights from 3′ to 10′, and different species and cultivars can have bracts and flowers in orange, white, red, yellow, or pink. They need a moderate amount of water and sun.

Thanks!

Thanks to Fine Gardening magazine’s Garden Photo of the Day for featuring some of my cycad photos yesterday. Here are a few more: