Tandy Arnold
Tandy Arnold
  • Hometalker
  • Pendleton, IN

Lobelia Cardinalis: Prettiest Mistake I've Ever Made!


What do you do with your gardening mistakes???
gardening cardinal flower lobelia cardinalis, flowers, gardening
By mid September---the end of it's blooming season in zone 5---my two lobelia cardinalis (both fallen and "deformed") created a glorious mess in the front garden!
gardening cardinal flower lobelia cardinalis, flowers, gardening
It all started with two healthy lobelia cardinalis bought at Mounds State Park native plant sale in early May, 2014. Unfortunately, I didn't get them in the ground for another 6 weeks. The one in the center of the pic was over 4 ft tall when planted and the one in the lower lefthand corner was much shorter---later, I figured out that the growing tip had been broken off.
gardening cardinal flower lobelia cardinalis, flowers, gardening
The tallest one started blooming first and I feared the other was going to be stunted and look too weird this year.
gardening cardinal flower lobelia cardinalis, flowers, gardening
Uh, oh...probably because it was soooo tall and rootbound when planted, the tallest one fell over after a heavy rain and was lying across the spirea Goldflame.
gardening cardinal flower lobelia cardinalis, flowers, gardening
I didn't get outside to get it staked up, and within a few days, the main stem had fallen into the spirea and was sprouting new growth along the (now horizontal) stem. Determined, to do what nature intended, the new growth quickly started blooming. Now, if I staked it, it would definitely look weird. Besides...this was becoming interesting!
gardening cardinal flower lobelia cardinalis, flowers, gardening
The shorter of the two started catching up in height. However, instead of one stem---there were five! Another mistake worth replicating!
In the lower left hand corner you can see off shoots blooming where the tallest one bent over.
gardening cardinal flower lobelia cardinalis, flowers, gardening
The spirea Goldflame in full bloom with Cardinal Flower---you don't see that every day!
gardening cardinal flower lobelia cardinalis, flowers, gardening
Another heavy rain...and the second Cardinal Flower fell over. With it's five shoots it started sending out off-shoots all over the place. Some mixed in with the black-eyed Susans.
gardening cardinal flower lobelia cardinalis, flowers, gardening
Some blooms grew up through the asters, "September Ruby."
gardening cardinal flower lobelia cardinalis, flowers, gardening
These mistakes created interesting vertical elements (along with the butterfly weed's vertical seed pods) all throughout a larger area than they would have otherwise.
Cool!
gardening cardinal flower lobelia cardinalis, flowers, gardening
No matter where they grew---or how they fell---the hummers loved them!
gardening cardinal flower lobelia cardinalis, flowers, gardening
Bloom where you are planted and even if you fall over...keep reaching for the sun!

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4 of 11 comments
  • Douglas Hunt
    on Sep 16, 2014

    May lobelia happily wend its way through your garden for a very long time.

    • Tandy Arnold
      on Sep 16, 2014

      Thank you, @Douglas Hunt You know next year it's going to really take some courage for me to purposefully knock some over! Lol...I'll have to review the pics when the times comes.

  • Jeanette S
    on Sep 16, 2014

    This is sooooo pretty. I have seen so many different colors planted together this year that I told hubs, "next year I am going to go to the nursery and get one of everything in every color!"

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