Wednesday, July 05, 2006


So I have this friend the neophyte gardener. Two years ago she walked into my back yard, pointed to a lavender plant and said "what's that?" Since then she's bought a house (actually a garden with a house attached), and spent the next two years reading all the gardening books she could get her hands on. She now rivals Hortus Third for gardening information. She happened on to a plant she called Whirling Butterflies which I'd never heard of - turns out to be a gaura. Now, a few years back I'd tried a Siskiyou Pink gaura and in my usual fashion, tried to fit it in where I needed it to grow, rather than where IT needed to grow. Disastrous results as usual. So I never gave another thought to gaura until the aforementioned neophyte kept telling me how impressed she was with her Whirling Butterflies. When I saw it for myself I was hooked. And I happened to have a spot where gaura would like to grow.
I couldn't find Whirling Butterflies on the day I just had to have it so settled for Geyser White gaura from Lowe's. The flowers DO look like butterflies perched on the end of long wand-like stalks. I know this is so because while putting together a last minute bouquet for a co-worker I added some gaura as an afterthought and the co-worker said, "These flowers look like butterflies!" Well I was pretty darn pleased.

Geyser White, despite its name, has a pinkish base to each white flower, and the leaves inexplicably have some purple spotting on them. This is not a new rust disease in my garden, but is common to gaura apparently. Now if I could just spot a butterfly alighting on my butterflies.


Salix Tree said...

Oh, I really like those! I will have to try those next year, I looked in my seed catalog, and they seem easy to grow. What spot did they like in your garden?

LostRoses said...

Hi Salix, I have several of the gaura in full sun all day, and a few others that get varying degrees of sun and shade. They're all thriving and don't seem to be picky about being in heavy clay soil (which is all I've got!. I've noticed that the older flowers turn totally pink even though they start out white, so that's something to keep in mind.

My friend the neophyte gardener is on her second year with these and she reports that once established they don't need much water. I bet you'll really like these!