Sunday, July 13, 2008

balloon flower

2006 was the year we spent our first summer in our home. I had been dying to finally be able to plant perennials—or really anything—anywhere I wanted on my property. Being confined to a handful of potted annuals on a 4 x 6 foot porch that faced a parking lot for 5 years had really gotten old. Okay, so we also had a view of the Maumee River from our porch, but regardless I didn't have a yard to call my own and the foliage was less than desired. A lawn full of goose crap and a bunch of weeds and grape vines growing on the hill that led down to the river. The hill that was primarily out of view from our place. Let's just say that we mostly saw parking lot and grass. Plus, the gardener in me wanted to spread her photosynthesis-driven wings far and wide.

Click the picture to see the bug up close and personal.
Come on do it. See how much this camera rocks.

That first spring in our home I was ecstatic to be able to hunt for the perfect plants in my yard. In 2006 I found the balloon flower. I had never seen this beauty before but I was intrigued by what I saw on the little flower identification tag tucked along the edge of the pot.


Platycodon graniflorus has not disappointed. What started out as this tiny 5 inch plant has grown into this huge showy display. The branches seem to get so heavy and they just sprawl in all directions. I've been so happy with it that I bought another one this year. It looks so sad compared to the monster I planted two years ago. I know how much potential it has though, so I just smile at its minuteness.

one plant after two full seasons of growth

The flowers are so cool that the whole growing process is something to marvel. The buds start out small and round like an underdeveloped grape. Then they puff up and take on the appearance of a hot air balloon with out the bucket.
When they finally open they look like five-pointed stars with almost all trace of the balloon shape gone. Just beautiful.
They thrive in sun to part sun and come in a variety of colors. Very easy to grow and require little in the terms of maintenance. Plus they add some real visual interest to the landscape. I'm so happy I discovered their existence.

7 comments:

alli said...

We planted those too!

http://crumleyblog.com/2008/05/22/im-not-a-gardener/

I love watching them puff up, it is so cool!

Vegas Princess said...

They are so cute and perky. The perfect summer flower. And yes, your camera rocks!

Shades said...

Wow!
I don't think I ever heard of those before...

theysaywordscanbleed said...

that looks cool!

arlene,
Gig Harbor florist

Cruel Shoes said...

They're gorgeous. I'm glad you captured it pre-bloom, too, because so few people remember to do that and I happen to love that stage. It reminds me of being a kid, watching plants grow and getting excited when things were finally reaching that "exploding" point. Good times. La vita e bella.

Naynayfazz said...

Once again, GAWGISS pictures. I love purple flowers.

But there is one thing I want to get straight; so you DON'T like a lawn full of goose crap, weeds growing in a yard and a view of a parking lot? ;)

❉ pixie ❉ said...

alli—What does Fuller think of them?

vp—You're supposed to say, "It's the photographer, not the camera". :)

shades—Aren't they cool?

they say—The fact that they are so easy to grow is a bonus.

cruel shoes—The pre-bloom stage is almost better in this case.

naynay—Thanks. Maybe I'll put some prints in my Etsy shop once I get it up and running. And no, I'm not a fan of goose poop, weeds, and parking lot views. How did you guess?