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. says

    I love balloon flowers. I love the colors of yours! I was just telling my husband after reading Katie’s blog yesterday that I need to get back on the flower garden train.

  2. says

    I planted three of these around my Maple tree in my front yard about four years ago, and I adore them. Mine bloom for most of the summer. I have always thought they were called Balloon flowers.

  3. says

    I know them as balloon flowers; an old-time perennial. They don’t really open much, if I remember them right, just sort of stay that way until they droop.

  4. says

    Definitely balloon flowers. They come in that pretty purple-blue color, along with white and pink. The blue seems to do the best here in VA ( Charlottesville). Once they bloom, prune them back just past the spent blooms and they with bush out and bloom again and again.

  5. Patti says

    Love these, so pretty in the pink vase. I like to cut leaves from my ferns and pair them with any kind of bloom (geranium, butterfly bush), then put all in a blue mason jar on the patio table for a simple centerpiece.

  6. Karyn says

    I kind of like purple ring pop, because that’s the first thing they reminded me of too! Not that I get my kids a ring pop every.time.we’re.at.the.store because at $.57 a pop it gives me a blissful half hour of shopping without anyone fighting. I’m going to be looking for these blooms next year to add to our perennial garden!

  7. Karla says

    That is one of the great things of the first spring/summer in a new house. We had so many cool flowers that made me so happy when they bloomed! I left most outside but the ones behind the house like hot pink peonies and blue iris’ came in the house with me!! Those are some cool flowers!

  8. Kana says

    I love these flowers! My mom had a lot of them in her garden when I was a kid! They actually pop open if you squeeze them and make a really cute “pop!” noise – although I’m sure this is horrible for the flowers as my mom hated it when I popped them. But I couldn’t resist.. It’s like popping bubble wrap!!

    • Jackie says

      It doesn’t really hurt the flower to pop it open by squeezing it gently. It should feel kind of full though like it is about ready to open, otherwise it doesn’t make that cute little popping sound. My mother-in-law is a Master Gardener and she taught me this little trick. Little kids love it.

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