It's been more years than I can remember since Anne Acker gave me a clump of this plant known as Snow In Summer. This year it's putting on a beautiful show at the corner of the horse barn where it's cascading down the bank.
And speaking of plant gifts, this Summer Lilac was also a gift. We accompanied John Peet into the field beside his old farmhouse to dig up several plants that day but this one has given us - and the butterflies and other pollinators - great joy every spring.
Snow-in-summer (Cerastium tomentosum) is a perennial flower that gets its common name from its blooming habit. It blooms profusely in the early summer, with a blanket of notched pristine white flowers that suggest a fresh snowfall. But the name does not tell the whole story. This ground cover, a member of the carnation family, is just as admired for its delicate, woolly, silver leaves as for its charming flowers. These leaves spread a mat of foliage from which flower stems rise in late spring/early summer. Snow-in-summer spreads quickly by reseeding and by producing runners when grown in favorable conditions.
Summer Lilac: Growing to heights of 12 feet and having spreads of up to 8 feetin diameter, the summer lilac is a large shrub. The flowers grow in long panicles, or branching flower clusters. The small blooms are noted for their fragrance.