There are some pretty flowers planted just outside the door that I go through at work that I see every day that make me happy- little pink and white blooms from the genus Gaura, common name Whirling Butterflies.
Ever since I first studied this genus in college, it's reminded me of my sister Laura. I think the first connection was just the similarity in names, but something about the common name reminds me of her, too. Laura is a dancer, as you can tell from reading her blog, and I'm sure if I asked her to, she would dance like a Whirling Butterfly for me.
Another fun plant that I've encountered often this summer is Cotinus coggygria, the Smoke Tree. We saw one at the zoo sat week and my cousin Christie decided that it needed to shave.
And lastly, I am quite pleased with my new houseplants, including a 5 1/2 foot tall palm and a tradescantia plant that is so bushy that it looks like it has a fro. Since a common name for this tradescantia is wandering jew, we named it Father Abraham, but we're still taking bids for a name for the palm. Meanwhile, I am being sadly reminded that nasturtium are not intended to take the full heat of the afternoon sun, as mine are looking rather faded and shriveled. And I can't convicne my basil to grow very fast. This has been a learning year for the balcony garden. Next year I'll be better prepared.