Flashback Friday – Crocosmia Perennial with Fire Red Blooms in a Whiskey Barrel


Good Day Everyone!  

For this week’s Flashback Friday,’ where I select photos from a prior blog post, here is a perennial from the genus Crocosmia in full bloom in the middle of summer.


It was planted in a container garden the size of a whiskey barrel and placed behind a bench in a small garden area by my house. Shown here is the cultivar ‘Lucifer’, and it impressed me quite a bit during the summer of 2013.


“It will flower in the late summer with VIBRANT wands of scarlet and yellow pops of color.  When most annuals tend to fade away from the summer heat, this tall, spiky foliage perennial plant provides a big thrill , and it may be transplanted into your garden in the fall to reuse.” – CT


How could you not adore these vivid red and yellow flower buds and funnel shaped flowers?  They are really eye-catching. The bees and hummingbirds visited often that year, and it was fun to stop by to take photos of them. In addition, the plant’s sword-like foliage is really striking, tall, and makes a showy full thriller in a big container or patio pot.

Photo by C. Testa

Photo by C. Testa

Do you ever wonder if the bee sees the end of the camera and thinks, “please stop taking my photo! I’m busy.”


This perennial is truly grand and enjoys sun to part sun conditions. It makes a wonderful cut flower in floral design arrangements (re-cut the stems and use lukewarm water in a vase to keep the color intensity).

Additionally, this perennial is deer resistant – another bonus!


And best of all – it returned in my container for two straight years, but on the third year, it was hurting a little bit with reduced growth, which was a sign it required better growing conditions, refreshed soil – or a new home – into the ground.

As a perennial here, a Zone 5-9 plant, it will survive in a garden bed for years to come.


To see more details about this plant, visit my blog post complete with videos and reference links:

Crocosmia It will Rock On in your Container Gardens

TGIF Everyone, Cathy Testa


See the 2015 May Container Garden Workshops themed this year Perennials with Power in Container Gardens.



Situation Grim But Not Hopeless for Monarch Butterflies

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Most folks are familiar with the situation for Monarch Butterflies, and if not, here is a wonderful and informative post by “gardeninacity” complete with details, beautiful photos from his garden of flowers feeding these beautiful butterflies, and more. Enjoy! Cathy T


Scientists have just released this year’s report on the number of Monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico. Those numbers, measured in the amount of land occupied by Monarch colonies, vary from year to year. The last three years, however, have all been at historic lows.


There was an increase over last winter, from 0.67 to 1.13 hectares – compared to an average of 9.2 hectares from 1994 to 2004. (A hectare is about 2.5 acres.)

Monarch Butterfly on Mexican Sunflower. Monarch Butterfly on Mexican Sunflower.

From this we can take heart that Monarchs are not yet doomed, but we should not kid ourselves. Scientists tell us that a Monarch population this small is extremely fragile and vulnerable to extinction.

Monarch butterflies Monarch on Swamp Milkweed.

It’s frightening to think that the Monarch migration could be wiped out through the destruction of less than three acres of Mexican forest. Hard to believe as these were such a common butterfly…

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