Gotta Garden

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

Lilies on Parade

Doubles I Say

A few doubles today...

Daylily Clump of the Day 7/7/06

Elegant Candy....a candy sort of day, I suppose.

Daylily of the Day 7/7/06

Dewberry Candy looking especially fetching.

They're listening (or don't talk in front of your plants)

Since I cannot stop buying daylilies and I live on a small plot of land (mostly house and steep hill, although I do try to use the hill) to expand is becoming rare. So, as I walk around, I note daylilies that...well, let's just say...don't quite make the grade. Very hard, as I like to give them all a chance, but there are so many to try!

At any rate, Halls Pink has been on my hit list. It's an old daylily (not that that is bad), has a small bloom (I'm mostly fond of the biggies and doubles and spiders...okay, most everything but the smalls), doesn't appear to be registered, and just isn't particularly exceptional.

Then it does this...which if you don't know, the bloom on the right is a polytepal...pretty neat! An extra petal and an extra's like it was just trying so hard to show me something special! It was particularly interesting with a regular blossom on the left, so the difference is quite apparent. I don't recall it ever doing this before. (It heard me! "No, don't dig me out")

Willow Oaks Daylilies

On the top, Sparticus Adorned and, on the right, Malaysian Monarch. Just a couple to excite the senses, lol!

More from Willow Oaks

The top two pictures are just some of the daylilies lined out. There are even more back on the "back forty", as they say. The bottom picture is a view of some of the display beds.

Willow Oaks Farm

Yesterday a group of us Mary's Gardeners made our way to Willow Oaks Farm. I've been visiting Willow Oaks Farm for several years now. It is one of my favorite daylily places. The owners, Bruce and Marie, are always lovely and their daylilies are reasonably priced, strong and well grown. I take them home and they don't miss a beat.

Even though I have many daylilies for my small yard, I don't think I have ever been to Willow Oaks and not found more that I couldn't live without. Visiting is like candy to a sugar addict!

They do have a website (under construction):

And, because I still struggle with posting of photos, I will end this one and attempt some more photos in another post.

Daylily Clump of the Day 7/6/06

Lavender Illusion

Daylily of the Day 7/6/06

Artistic Web

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Some You just Gotta Grow...

Yellow or Golden Stargazer Lilies...beautiful, but oh so hard to get....These are finally attaining their beauty after a few years. I have ordered them from at least three sources (maybe four) and this is the only one that appears to be it...the others are very nice lilies, but not a yellow or golden stargazer.

Helinium Mardi Gras....just blooms and blooms...and looks like a party, don't you think! Gorgeous with yellows and oranges, even purple!

Another lily, probably Shocker, with an agastache grown from seed (third year, it's quite the shrub this year), and a self seeding (and thankfully returning) Rudbeckia Prairie Sun. Not hardy, as are the other two, but so welcome! We'll cross our fingers that it continues to like the environment and keeps returning (this is its second return visit).

Daylily Clump of the Day 7/5/06


Daylily of the Day 7/5/06

Samar Star Fire

(very hard to just pick one; one of these days, I'll just have to have Daylilies of the

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Daylily Clump of the Day 7/04/06


Daylily of the Day 7/4/06

Innocent Blush:

Visit to Andre Viette's Farm and Nursery

It wasn't my first stop, but it was certainly the best one. I was down around Charlottesville for the Open Gardens on Sunday and thought I would check out Andre Viette's Nursery. He's familiar to me as a radio voice that I catch bits and pieces of on Saturdays (sometimes his son, Mark, too).

The day was scorching hot. I saw the rows of daylilies blooming as I approached and their welcome told me I was close. I passed a beautiful brick home with lush gardens and there, right there, was a small sign which directed me to the business. More signs told me where to park and I did. Getting out, I took a quick look around and was told that Andre was giving a lecture on daylilies right then. Eager to hear, I took a short walk down (led by very helpful staff) and took a chair under a shady tree.

There was Andre with the voice I recognized but now I could attach a face to it. He was showing and talking about tools for gardening. He moved on to sprays and sprayers. I learned that he waters for 24 hours straight, maybe three times per month. Those are certainly long deep waterings! Everything looked wonderfully healthy and green. It gave me pause as I remembered that I thought I had deep watered when I let the sprinkler run for an hour in one place.

The chat was amusing and informative. Andre told us he had now infected us with daylily-itis after he showed us the ease with which we, too, could create our own daylily beauties. It wouldn't take much convincing for me as I am already interested and the 200+ seedlings on my back deck are testament to it.

After speaking, we were thanked for coming, invited to wander any and all of the gardens, and reminded that there was cold water and tea above for us. There were handouts to pick up and Andre was willing to answer questions.

That's the way to run an Open Garden, don't you think! I did wander and take pictures. I've visited other gardens that become nurseries that appear to be a hobby run amuck (affectionately), as a front yard or a back yard becomes taken over by pots upon pots. Not here. This was more someone who lives their work and just walks out the door to it. The gardens were gorgeous, the greenhouses neat and tidy, and the sales areas were well stocked.

Okay, I confess. I did buy a few things...just three, which is remarkable for me. I had been meaning to replace one of the newer coneflowers that didn't return for me this year. It's a particular favorite called Sundown. Large pots of healthy flowers made it easy to choose one. After seeing how those light leaved hostas light up a shade area, I opted for one called Orange Marmalade.

Finally, as time was running on, I limited myself to just the daylilies potted up, thinking this would make it easy for me. It did. I had thought I wouldn't buy any, but I can't resist large...and large and pink was a match. It will join around 500 companions in my garden (I do love daylilies).

I did enjoy my time at the Andre Viette Nursery and Farm. As I drove away, I enjoyed (again) looking at all the blooming daylilies (many hybridized by the Viettes).
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