Penstemon and Primroses

This post was inspired by Stacy's post called Mezzo Piano at Microcosm. I read the post a while back, but it still resonates with me.
Infrequently, my garden feels like a symphony. With the Oriental poppies raising the conductor's baton to start the bloom season. And the flowers blooming in succession. One plant taking the cue from another. This year the garden feels more like a chorus with a bunch of soloists shining momentarily in the spotlight. Now I have a duet moving to the front of the spotlight, the Rocky Mountain penstemon (penstemon strictus) and the Missouri evening primrose (oenethera macrocarpa). 

The penstemon reseeded itself in the front of the perennial bed in my backyard. To call it a perennial border would be an overstatement. Unfortunately, the wind scattered the penstemon seed directly in front of the Missouri evening primrose (oenothera macrocarpa).  In more temperant years, I would have found the penstemon homes with friends. However, the intermittent freezes and warm weather have made it inconvenient to transplant them. 

All the stages of blooming are intermingled together in the photo below. I love to watch them in the early evening and again the next morning.
Both the penstemon and primroses are so vivid in the undiffused sunlight of Santa Fe. The penstemon seem ultraviolet and the primroses fluorescent. I will enjoying seeing the interplay of this duet for a few more weeks.


  1. Lovely flowers. Actually that purple and yellow look gorgeous together.

  2. This is a pretty combo. Sundrops just opened here yesterday. They are such a happy looking flower. I need to put them in more sun though. Then they would be a lot happier.

  3. I agree with everyone's comments about the beautiful color combos. Your pictures are beautiful!

  4. What a gorgeous duet, even if your "singers" are improvising their parts in ways you hadn't expected. Those colors are really spectacular together--so vibrant and alive. Your primroses made me think of a video that Zoe at Pearled Earth made of an Oenothera unfurling--you might get a kick out of it.

    And thank you so much for the kind shout-out!

  5. @Sunray - thanks Cher! The colors are so pretty, even if the pentstemon are taking over the garden.

    @GWGT - Thanks Donna! The yellow is so positive and cheery.

    @Bumble Lush - It's my favorite time in the garden now. I'll get to see which color combos work and which don't.

    @Stacy - I watched the video last night, which was delightful and it made me beam from ear to ear. I hope other primrose lovers check out the link you posted.

  6. Beautiful combo. I like the taller plant in front. Most of my best combinations were made by nature and I was just smart enough (barely) to not intervene.

  7. Love your Duet! The harmony is fabulous.

  8. Lovely - I've never thought of the garden in musical terms before, but it's a perfect picture. I really like that. :)

  9. @Carolyn - Mother Nature won out!

    @Carolyn <3 - Can't take credit for the duet, but 'tis lovely!

    @Hanni - Thanks for stopping by! I'm never quite sure what the garden will have in store for me.

  10. Wonderful combo...love Santa Fe ...one of my fav places to visit

  11. @Donna - Santa Fe is a fun place to visit. Love living here, too.


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