Sunday, August 23, 2009

Obedient Plant and a Thank You!

Was I surprised on Friday to see that my Obedient Plant was finally blooming!

I knew absolutely nothing about this plant when I purchased it. All it said on the label was: "Physostegia virginiana". The cashier at the garden center told me it was a weed! I didn't believe her when I saw the interesting green tips that had formed and looked like something was eventually going to pop out of them, so I bought it!

Since then I've learned that this lovely plant is in the Mint family (Lamiaceae) and is a North American native! How lovely she is, and what a nice surprise to find her blooming in the latter part of August! For a bit more info. on this plant, visit this site on wildflowers.

A big Thank You to Phillip!

Last week I stopped by Phillip's blog, Dirt Therapy, where I always enjoy his beautiful garden. It just happened to be a day he was giving away a hummingbird feeder and I added my name to the list. How surprised I was when he announced that I had won!

It arrived just a couple of days after I gave him my address...and it is really a sweet little feeder. I've filled it with nectar and put it outside, although I haven't seen any activity so far. I may need to wait until next spring to get a better turnout. For a more lovely photo that really does this feeder justice, visit Dirt Therapy.

Are you finding any surprises in your garden? Even if they aren't 'obvious', there are always those little 'hidden' surprises that you can be on the lookout for. Keep your eyes opened and you'll be amazed at what you see!

Until next time, be well my friends!

--Today I am thankful for unanticipated garden surprises;-)

Words and photos by Jan Huston DobleThanks For 2 Day.


  1. Hi Jan,
    I'm glad you won the feeder. It's awesome that it went to someone who loves birds.

    I enjoyed your photos. Did you know the "obedient" name is because when you bend the stems, they stay down, at least for awhile. I think it's a funny name for a plant that spreads wildly and does not stay pulled when you try to keep it from going too far. I hope you put it in an area next to a barrier of some kind, or better yet, is surrounded by barriers.

    I grow the white blooming kind. It's not as pretty, but it doesn't spread aggressively.

  2. Congrats on winning that lovely hummingbird feeder.
    Obedience plants can be invasive, spread rapidly by underground shoots/rizomes. I have both white and pink and I'm forever digging it and giving it away. The hummers love the blooms.

  3. Hi Sue and Linda...I put the plants along an 'island' area in my yard, filled with trees but where I've added a border of plants, such as daisies, astilbe, japanese anemone, and 2 other plants that I put in when I planted this one (can't remember what they are at the moment!)...but if it gets 'overgrown' or 'over-run' with plants it won't bother me at all! I think it will be interesting if it actually spreads...I will deal with it if it becomes invasive. I will remember that you both have it so I'll run to you if I have problems later!! :-)

  4. Jan,
    I did find some surprises this week, a little Malva blooming that I did not even know existed in my garden.
    I love your photos, and I hope your enjoy your new feeder, it is a beauty!

  5. Hi Jan, I have two Obedient Plants. One is 'Vivid' (purple) that is definitely not obedient... but very beautiful. I purchased 'Miss Manners' this Spring (white) that, I'm told, IS obedient. ;-) We'll see. In any case - they are pretty flowers, aren't they??

    Your new hummingbird feeder is quite unique. I know you'll be enjoying it! :-) Another gift for which to be thankful!

  6. Jan, I was going to proudly tell you that my Obedient plant had finally bloomed also...then I read the comments from Sue and Linda. Oh my, I didn't realize it was that invasive. I have mine in an area where it could spread some and I wouldn't care, but I don't want it taking over the whole bed. Will just have to be dilligent about keeping it pulled.

    Your hummingbird feeder is one of the prettiest I have ever seen. Congratulations on the win and I know you will enjoy it.

    A few surprises or happy accidents in my gardens this year. They keep things interesting don't they? :)

  7. Hi Jan, congrats on the hummingbird feeder! What fun. I used to have Obedient Plant and it was a nice addition. It did reappear many many places in the yard. It just didn't survive the tidal flooding. Oh well, now I can enjoy yours in photos!
    Wish I had known you were down here on Saturday....I understand the up and back in one day thing-- did it twice to your area last weekend. 17 is by far a nicer route than 95/64!

  8. Oh how grand that you won the feeder. I sure think it's one of the prettiest I've seen anywhere. We know you love birds so this perfect. Congrats.

    I have lots of Obedient plant thriving in my August heat--it is nice.

  9. What a pretty flower! I had Obedient plant, not only didn't it spread, it died :( Oh, well.
    My surprise was the woodpecker visitor I had yesterday.
    I loved that bird feeder so much I went and bought myself one, it's so pretty.

  10. Jan, congrats on winning the lovely bird feeder :) And yes I agree! There are always surprises found on my balcony and potted plants. Big or small, good or bad, the process of discovering is always fun and amazing :D

  11. Hi Jan, what a delightful feeder, I too am so glad it came to live at your house and garden. I am sure the word will get out soon amongst the humming world that a new treat awaits them at your place! Sweet Phillip. The obedient plant a weed? not IMHO! Yours is lovely. :-)

  12. Jan,

    What a sweet little hummingbird feeder! I can't fill my feeders fast enough for the hummers here...I'm sure with the drought we are having, they appreciate the nectar all the more. Lovely blooms on your Obedient Plant--what a funny name for an "weed". I wonder if it is all in the eyes of the beholder--one man's weed is another man's flower. I've always thought that about Goldenrod.

  13. Hi Jan, congratulations on winning the hummingbird feeder. It's a really nice one.

    I hadn't known Balisha had health problems. I'll certainly include her in my prayers.

  14. Hi Jan, I think your Obedient Plant is very pretty. I'll bet that clerks boss wouldn't like her telling people it's a weed. LOL
    Love that feeder - it's beautiful. Now I want a new one!

  15. Congratulations on your winning the hummingbird feeder. It is a pretty thing. The hummers leave here in September and I will miss their dive bombing ;-)
    I did not know that the Obedient plant was invasive but I have never grown it.

  16. I am a fellow fan of Obedient plant. It is always a pleasant surprise to see those late summer blooms.
    That is one of the cutest hummingbird feeders I have ever glad you won it!

  17. You know I don't even think our zoo has hummingbirds! I have never seen one, Northern Ireland maybe just doesn't float their boat!? But may goodness I'd LOVE one of those feeders to land on my doorstep, really beautiful, really beautiful indeed. Enjoy watching xx

  18. Lovely obediant plant and well done winning the humming bird feeder. you are so lucky to have those delightful birds.

  19. I found a couple surprises in my garden just now. Two new bugs I've never seen before.
    I too want to congratulate you on the hummingbird feeder. It is so pretty.

  20. Jan: So glad that you like "Life in a Day" - and thanks for your comments!

  21. Congratulations on winning! There are quite a few surprises in my garden at the moment - spring flowers that may have forgotten that it's almost autumn... Poor things - but I'm enjoying them a lot!

  22. Wonderful! How nice to win such a cute feeder. Maybe you've got to give the hummingbirds to learn that there's a new banquet just for them :)
    That obedient plant is quite pretty! I like that layered step-like arrangement.

  23. Hi Jan, don't you just love obedient plant? Mine is huge and I haven't even had it very long--it was just starting to bloom a few days ago when I returned from St Louis. Phillip couldn't have picked a better winner for the wonderful feeder. Glad to see you treasure it so! :)

  24. We have the exact same feeder and the hummers love it.
    Good for you for winning.

  25. Congrats on the feeder win Jan! It looks very elegant. I hope it brings you lots of great hummingbird sightings.
    I have white obedient plant instead of pink (I heard it was less invasive) but it still spreads itself around. Your photos of the pink are very nice.

  26. Hi Jan~~ Congrats on the hummingbird feeder. It is a gem, for sure.

    The cashier told you it was a weed??? I wonder if she's still got a job there! Maybe she could have said, "a wildflower native to Virginia," but a weed? Such criminal treatment! Yours is lovely.

    As for surprises: For the past several years my garden has played host to the endangered Northern Red-Legged frog. Uninvited but definitely welcome, I usually see them in spring when they lay eggs in my outer pond. Last evening I was watering and spooked what must be the patriarch of the flock. He's about the size of a tennis ball--very large compared to our ubiquitous tree frog. It was a mutual startle as he hopped into the shelter of a mixed border and I tried not stifle my startle and retain a modicum of dignity. :]

  27. Hi Jan, I find obedient plant to be easily tamed! It plucks out easily if it travels too far...but I like massed plantings so it doesn't scare me off. The feeder is cute...I hope the hummers show up soon~~gail

  28. What a beautiful feeder, Jan! I hope you've had some hummers since you wrote this post. :)

  29. Your obedient plant is a pretty soft color. Mine is the original (?) lavender color. You will probably find that it is very invasive after it gets established. However I think the late blooming aspect and its ability to defy drought or flood makes it worthy of what ever space you chose to give it.

    Lucky you winning the hummer feeder.

  30. Congratulations on the win Jan! That's a very unique, pretty feeder.

    Your obedient plant's blooms are such a pretty pink!


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