Gotta Garden

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

My Last Orchid in Bloom.....

Still, though, the blooms should last a good while. There's one more bud to open. These are thought of as "easy" orchids and I guess the fact that it has surved several years (for me) is testament to that! It's not nearly as reliable a bloomer (for me, again) as my faithful dendrobium.

Today's blooms (inside, of course)

African Violets: Top one is a double with gorgeous sparkly petals and as if that wasn't enough, check that varigated foliage (worth having for that alone)...called Fisherman's Paradise.

Bottom one has huge blooms, most interestingly varigated and is called Ness Midnight Fantasy.

Both are very nice and good bloomers!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Welcome Visitor

Look what I found this morning on my daylily seedlings! How he (or she) found his way there is a mystery; any clean up, however, is welcome.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

December 16, 2006

Snowdrop (left) and Hellebore (right)

December 16, 2006

Sweet Box (bottom) and Winter Daphne (top)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Last Daylily of the Season

My last bloom, Sergeant Major, new this year...normally wouldn't expect it to bloom in October!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Coming Full Circle

Some time ago, maybe even a few years, I read an interview/article with Peter Strauss (the actor, Rich Man Poor Man, Miracle Grow products, etc.) in a gardening magazine. Not really surprising, he is an avid gardener. Mr. Strauss talked about the series of phases a gardener goes through...I really wish I could remember them all...but it was something like the first one is where you're just excited about it all, plant things found in the garden know, mostly common things. Then, you move into the I-have-to-have-one-of-everything phase. From there, it's the collector's phase and a disdain for the common plants. Last, you're back to the tried and true, the faithful plants, and the plants which make your heart sing...whether they're common or not.

Okay, now I might have missed a stage or two or not expressed them exactly right, but you get the idea. Before reading this, I hadn't really thought about gardening in stages or the gardener growing through stages. However, as time has passed, I have felt that I have moved through stages, maybe even these stages.

For example, I'm definitely through the I-need-one-of-everything stage. For years, I enjoyed going on my plant expeditions, as I have liked to call them, searching out new plants, different plants, unusual plants, etc. I have a new appreciation for others growing these their gardens, in public gardens, or just on a fortunate garden visit. No longer do I feel the compulsion to source one out for myself and grow it in my own humble test gardens. I'm happy to take a picture of it or even just admire it.

So, where I am I? Between two stages, right now, I think. Still the collector in that I am daylily silly, although I sense the grand collecting in that area is cooling a bit (space, you know, is at a premium...and I'm eager and excited to work with seedlings). I also have a greater appreciation for plants that are easy to please, the workhorses that give and give.

Recently, I dug out four Rose of Sharons (harder than I thought it would be!), three butterfly bushes and two Fairy roses...and that's just to start. The barberries, the nandinas, the rhododendron that started this blog, a lilac, a witch hazel, and two snowball virburnums are also on the hit list. Some to clear space for my daylilies but some just because my infatuation with them has waned.

Fall is here now as I write this, finally finishing it up, and with this change in seasons, I am enjoying the changes in the gardener, too.

Friday, August 04, 2006

How's Your Parsley (or why you plant more than you need)?

No, these are not "Parsley Bugs"! Lol! I heard that at a Butterfly Gardening lecture I attended (which reminds me....I didn't post about that, did I? Something else for the 'to do' list.). If you are interested in butterflies, these little guys are signs of success. In fact, if you look above the bottom one, you'll see parsley totally eaten. They gotta eat, you know.

These will turn into, hopefully, beautiful swallowtail butterflies. I don't really garden for butterflies, but I've always found if you plant parsely...they will come! Which is one reason I have lots of parsley....plenty for sharing. Parsley seems to reseed pretty easily. Right now I have scores of it in with my iris (that's where this one is, actually). I probably need to eliminate some of it...but when I saw these guys, I didn't have the heart.

While I'm on the subject, I really grow parsley for the beneficial insects it brings to my garden (and to eat, natch). I let it go to seed because those tiny flowers bring out the garden warriors...they fight the bad bug battles so I don't have to. You should try it!

Iris 'Immortalilty'

Just when I've having serious thoughts of taking out bunches of the iris (for daylilies, of course)....look what I see today:

Thursday, August 03, 2006

National Cathedral Bishop's Garden

This is such a lovely garden. Located in Washington, D.C., it truly is a national treasure. It has everything...except maybe daylilies (hehehe)....and I don't really want to clutter it up with words. Just have a look. (Special thanks to DH for suggesting it and then taking me there!)

National Cathedral Bishop's Garden 5

National Cathedral Bishop's Garden 4

National Cathedral Bishop's Garden 3

National Cathedral Bishop's Garden 2

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Feast for the Eyes

In a effort to just show how big Look Here Mary is, I've gone a bit wild and picked a number of blooms. Look Here Mary is in the top photo, left front...big yellow!

Look Here Mary....

I've just come in from outside, wanting to catch the early blooms before this amazing heat sets in...and look what I saw! This is Look Here Mary's first flower open and it is a wowser! I love big daylilies anyway...just to give you some perspective, those are oriental lilies peeking from behind...and they're not small.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Taking the Heat

These three photos were taken today around 6:00 p.m., after a day in which temps reached into the triple digits. These daylilies look pretty terrific, don't you think? Let me tell you a bit about them:

From the bottom: Orchid Corsage, just blooms and blooms. Excuse the spent blossom, but I have been attempting some pods. We'll see. In the middle: Glorious Appearing, one of three Bell beauties I have this year...all have been winners. The top: Victorian Lace, a Stamile daylily that really seems to live up to the hipe. Talk is it will win a Stout medal and from its performance here (first year), it's been one of the best. My only complaint is that it's not an EMO (early morning opener).

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Recognize This?

This is Heliopsis 'Loraine Sunshine'...actually a seedling. Who knew it seeds itself around? I think I have it in about five different places now. Good thing I like it.

Here's some information about it that is from the Blooms of Bressingham North America site:

"Sunflower Heliopsis (also called "False Sunflower") is among the first of the summer’s yellow daisies to bloom. Sturdy stems do not require staking and provide excellent cut flowers. A stunning sport with unique variegated foliage, ‘Loraine Sunshine’ was found by Brent Hanson of Rhinelander Floral Co., Rhinelander, Wisc. It is named in memorial for Loraine Marks, a valued employee and great gardener whose happy, cheery personality always brought sunshine to her work and those around her."

Always interesting to know about a plant, don't you think?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Chuck Hayes Gardenia

What, you may wonder, is the big deal about one single gardenia blossom?? I'll tell you. Gardenias are terribly difficult here and after surviving two zone 7 winters, this is my very first blossom from Chuckie! I'm so excited! (And, to think I almost missed it.) Alas, I see no other buds...but one can hope.

You can't see it, but there is a Kleim's Hardy behind Chuck Hayes. Also has made it through a second winter, but doesn't look quite as chipper. I'm thinking it doesn't get enough sun, but not sure I am brave enough to move it. Will ponder this. It is enough for now to finally have a gardenia bloom on its own in my humble garden!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Tony Avent on Hostas

Last Wednesday on my way to parts further south, I attended a lecture by Tony Avent of the famous Plant Delights Nursery on Hostas. Wow! Usually, I attend a lecture and just sit there, listening and taking it all in. They are often quite good and I learn things. Well, let's just magnify that by a power of 15! I couldn't take notes fast enough. Thank goodness there were handouts that I scribbled all over the back of, trying to capture what was, to me, amazing information.

Let me just say that Mr. Avent turned what I thought I knew about hostas on its ear. Shade plants? Think again. Dividing your hostas? Think again.

I learned that hostas are not woodland plants but rather prairie plants or meadow plants. In both cases, they do get some shade from the hotter sun by grasses and other taller plants. They usually prefer a cooler sun (morning) and the larger the leaf, the more water they'll require. The more white in a leaf, the more sun they need to produce chlorophyll (since they have so little green area). And, hear this: Hostas don't like dense shade.

As you might expect, he had fabulous slides. We were told that the best new plants come from mutations; very few are from genetic outcrossing. Hostas mutate very readily.

And, for me, information that was particularly noteworthy: tissue culture is very good. Originally, some of it was done poorly, resulting in plants that had mututated being released as a particular named variety (which they weren't...due to the mutuation). But, done well and culled properly, tissue culture is a good thing. This was rather startling as in the daylily world, it is greeted with great disdane and any inferior plant is thought to be tissue cultured. On another tact, having attended a lecture last year from a USDA scientist, I learned about tissue culturing from that perspective and Tony's lecture reinforced that knowledge. Things to think about.

So, those Patriot hostas (name comes from the Patriot Missle...did you know that?!) that you've grown in dense shade that whithered away...guess why. Too much shade and probably not enough water.

As to dividing, there really is no reason to, unless your clump is quite old (10-15 years, maybe) and has gotten woody in the center. I've never seen that, so that answers that question. But, be careful dividing. One attendee asked why her beautiful clump of Striptease seemed to have lost its nice white stripe. She divided it into several clumps (to have more) and none appear to be as nice as the original. Did it just need time? Was it just recovering from being divided? The answer both shocked and amused me. Just as something stunning can occur from a mututation, something nonstunning can also occur. And, sometimes that $35 plant can mutate into a $5 dollar plant...and according to Tony, that sounds like what happened to her plant. Yikes. By the way, Striptease was spotted in a group that came into Merrified Garden Center and was grabbed by someone knowledgeable there who took it home (I didn't get his name...) who introduced it to the rest of us. I love Merrifield Garden Center, so that was a piece of trivia that I enjoyed. I'm also going out to look at my Striptease to see how it looks!

Sigh. My Striptease must be a Striptease Isn't...very narrow white stripe. Okay, chin up...that just means another reason to stay on the hosta hunt!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Indulging Myself

Since I'll be gone a few days, here are some 'extra' images to view:

Alicia Rose Kissed, a spectacular blossom...quite the poly;
Ruby Spider.... doing that spider thing; Big Kiss.... not quite getting the doubling; Prissy Frills; Song in my Heart....huge blooms that open well; Liquid Sunshine; Admiral's Braid....and, last but certainly not least....a favorite grouping, lol, Riley, DS, and Kobe.

Daylily Clump of the Day 7/11/06

Gold Card....huge flowers that make an impact in the garden.

Daylily of the Day 7/11/06

Palace Garden Beauty

Monday, July 10, 2006

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Daylily of the Day 7/8/06

Desert Icicle...a daylily with attitude.

Daylily Clump of the Day 7/8/06

Pink Peppermint

Friday, July 07, 2006

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