Budget Blooms: What The Heck Are These?

Oops, we totally fell off with the whole used-to-be-monthly budget blooms thing. But lookie what I found growing in the jungle that is our front lawn:


Allow me to put on my best Australian nature-show voice to set the scene for you: The air is still. Not a predator in sight. Something moves in the brush. A buzzard circles overhead. Somewhere in the distance a lion roars. No wait, that’s a baby crying. And just like that I’m out of character.

I don’t know the real name for them (flower whisperer, I’m not), but I like the sound of Purple Ring Pops. So that’s how I’ve been referring to them. At first I just admired them on our way up and down the driveway. Then I thought a little snip snip was in order so I could take some of the stems inside to be ogled more regularly. Here are a few cuttings living it up on the back of the living room console table.

Sidenote: Everything looks better with a white cardboard rhino in the background (from here a while back, bee tee dubs).

I think this vase gets used more often than any other in the house (it’s from Crate & Barrel three years ago or so). Pink and purple sounds like it could sway into the unicorn/fairy princess realm… but somehow it works.

Anyone know the real name of these blooms? Have you found any fun mystery flowers – either in a field, at the farmer’s market, at the grocery store or in your yard? Do you ever have that internal debate about whether you should leave flowers outside to enjoy when you’re out there, or snip ’em and bring them inside, where you spend more time? I usually leave things outside for a few days and then can’t help myself and bring in a few cuttings. Oh and did anyone notice I snapped these pics before our frame switcheroo (mention this morning) but it just took me longer to write this post than it took John to get his done? Maybe we should add Overachiever to his roster of middle names. John Overachiever Danger Soda Petersik. I like it.

Psst- Wanna see our first cheap-o bouquet from January of 2009? And February, March, April, May, June, July, August, and September’s too? How about our 2010 blooms from January, February, March, April, May, June, and July along with one from a few months back? Can you even handle all of that glorious nature in one sitting?


  1. windylou says

    They look like balloon flowers to me. There is a scientific name for them, but I haven’t a clue what it is.

  2. Amy says

    Growing up our nextdoor neighbor called them Balloon Flowers.

    That is the extent of the help i can provide.


  3. paula says

    Hi Sherry
    I think it may be a ‘balloon flower’ not sure but it sure looks like it. I don’t know what the ‘real’ name is but that’s how we referred to them, it is a perennial.

  4. says

    These are my favourite super cheapo blooms http://annabelvita.com/hes-a-keeper – “borrowed” from a neighbour’s tree. (To be fair, it’s massive and overhangs the pavement so I consider it fair game). They were mystery for a while but I’ve since discovered it’s a mimosa. I now intend to plant a mimosa in a future garden as it was such a lovely pop of colour way back in grey march!

    • Melanie says

      Say what? That’s definitely a different kind of mimosa than I have! There’s a mimosa tree on a corner of my lot (it’s an old neighborhood and has a lot of the trees/plants that were popular in the 50s in this area), but the blooms are pink and puffy fluffed kinda like a dandelion. I’ve never seen them all yellow and smaller like yours. Intriguing!

    • WendyMI says

      Melanie, I thought Mimosas were exactly what you were describing, too. In fact, I saw them again on Desperate Landscapes last night and I am bound and determined to go get one for my yard because they’re just so awesome:


      But Annabel.. I do love those flowers and that vase… WOW! Must see if they still have them!

    • Heather says

      The ‘little yellow ball’ flowers are wattle. These flowers are our Australian floral emblem. In spring and summer, the hills around my house are covered in huge patches of yellow flowering wattle and look like a giant yellow patchwork blanket. They are members of the acacia family.

    • EmilyG says

      Mimosa trees are amazing! We bought our first house last fall and I was thrilled when I found out we have one. It’s been blooming non-stop since March. The hummingbirds and butterflies love it more than anything else in the garden. BUT it’s considered an invasive species in lots of places so often times you can’t buy them and you’re not supposed to plant them if you’re in one of those areas. Of course… if some of the seeds from your neighbor’s tree happened to germinate and they happened to end up in your garden…what a happy coincidence! ;) Even though I know i’m not supposed to, I will probably bring a mimosa tree with me if we ever move. I love them.

      Just wanted to share.

  5. says

    I had some at a last house. I tthink they are called balloon flowers. There blossom opens and looks like a little star. They are very cute.

  6. says

    That is campula. They will spread nicely and are amazingly long lasting as cut flowers despite their delicate appearance. I never saw them in Virginia (my home state) but they grow in abundance here in the Chicago area. Enjoy them!


  7. Nicole says

    Our backyard is a space we have not addressed yet and its a jungle out there. Last time I was out there some weeds bloomed and they are very pretty, who knew weeds could have such beautiful flowers

  8. Hannah P. says

    Platycodon grandiflorus :) AKA: balloon flower, chinese bellflower or japanese bellflower.

    They’re beautiful when they open too!

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