Plants I'm Growing--First Blooms: Penstemon Heterophyllus, Rose "Cocktail" (2011)
First blooms of 2011 on the pretty blue penstemon Penstemon heterophyllus and on the rose called "Cocktail." The penstemon is a variety I've seen blooming wild in northern California and Oregon by the roadside, but it has done very well in the garden here, despite (because of?) getting very little water or attention. The bright blue flowers have a beautiful, almost iridescent purplish sheen to them. Cocktail has been a reliable bloomer as well, with very cheerful bright red, single flowers with beige centers.
I'm surprised to see that I don't seem to have records for either Penstemon heterophyllus or "Cocktail" in 2010 or 2009, so I can't say whether they've bloomed early or late this year. In any case, they're pretty.