Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wildflowers: Ruellia humilis

Right now, untended fields are full of blooming Ruellia humilis, or Wild Petunia.  This is the untamed cousin of the 'Katie' ruellia you see in the nursery.  It blooms from May through about October, and is variable in color:  blooms can range from almost white to very dark indigo.  Ruellia is perennial, and tough as nails -- you already know this if you've tried to remove it from a flowerbed once it's established.  Ruellia humilis grows to about 2 feet tall and will do well in sun, part sun, and bright shade.  It isn't really picky about soil conditions, either.  Ruellia is a forage plant for browsing animals and attracts butterflies and moths.  Ruellia can be very assertive, though:  plant it in a place where you know you'll always want it!


  1. I love your blog and have immediately added it to my favs! And that Gerard Manley Hopkins Poem is one of my all time favorites. Thanks!

  2. Elizabeth, that Ruellia has been fairly well behaved in my garden thus far. I'm optimistic that it will continue to be a mannerly reseeder but I still keep an eye on it!

  3. Thanks, Fougeres and Cindy, that's good to know about your ruellia. It's so pretty and so easy to grow.

  4. I'm worried that it might take over the garden so I have my pink ruellias in large pots. In the wild they're often in lavender shades, like the one you've shown.