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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Angelonia 

I'm baaaccccckkkkk! My monitor fried so it was kinda hard to write a blog without a screen to see what I was saying. Luckily it was still under warranty and HP got me back up and running today. So on to Angelonia.

What a romantic sounding name, isn't it? This plant has been rolling around in my brain for the last month and a half so here's the rest of that story. Six weeks ago my dad had to have heart surgery. While we were spending the day at the hospital, my sisters and I walked my mom outside hoping to get her mind off what was going on inside. A tough proposition considering they've been married almost 63 years but we felt it was at least worth the effort. On the table was a copy of the local newspaper complete with a Home Depot ad. My mother likes all plants that flower, so she immediately turned to the garden page and there was a list of various plants carried including Angelonia. No pic, just the name so Mom asked me what it was. I didn't know but just happened to be reading a gardening book I had just purchased and turned to the index to see if it was listed. No such luck. I told her I would check it out when I got home and promptly forgot. Obviously my mind was elsewhere - the good news is my dad made it through the surgery and is home recuperating as we speak.

A few weeks later my older sister visited Lowes and bought a few plants for my mom's garden. One didn't have a name tag but Carol liked it, purchased it and plopped it in the front bed (turns out it was Angelonia). Shortly thereafter I was at Lowe's and saw a sign for - you guessed it - Angelonia but there was none. So I bought a bunch of other stuff and again forgot about it. What else did I buy you ask? Lantana -yellow and multi-color, purslane - considered a weed in the north but flowers and spreads just like mexican rose so is prized here, and lavender cosmos. Gorgeous stuff. Today, I was connecting my new monitor and had to crawl under my desk to do so. I found a few gardening magazines along with a bunch of dust bunnies (I have to fire that housekeeper) and started glancing through them. You'll never guess what jumped out. Not a cock-a-roach, or as we so elegantly refer to them palmetto bugs, but an article about Angelonia. Ok, I thought to myself, this is getting a little freaky. For some unknown reason, a higher power than me wants me to be aware of Angelonia and what better way to create awareness than to write about it. Hence this article and the long-winded explanation.

So, now you're intrigued. What, you ask, is Angelonia? Well, some nurseries call it summer snapdragon. It's an annual that flowers from spring through fall with delicate blooms ranging from white to purple. Angelonia is drought and heat tolerant, and in zones 8 and higher is considered a perennial. It's a delicate-looking flower and attracts butterflies. Growing to about 18 inches high, Angelonia makes a great border plant. One of these days I just may add it to mine. Happy Gardening.

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Thanks to Andrew Stenning who contributed the photograph for our masthead

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