I have decided to join the blogging craze. I am looking forward to taking a moment to find out a little more about the plants I have been photographing. I hope to explore all aspects of plants, flowers, trees and other garden related topics. Sorry about having to watermark the photos but there are a lot of people using them without permission.
It’s kind of whacky picture day here at Digital Flower
Pictures.com. I was just going through some old shots and found a couple that I
liked. The weather here today is terrible and it was fun to look back at some
travel pictures. The first one is from the world famous Tucson Botanical Garden. The structure had some tender plants inside. I would recommend a visit
if in the area.
Common Coral Tree Erythrina lysistemon
Synonyms: Cry Baby Tree, Lucky Bean Tree
This is just an oddball shot of this tree blooming in San
Diego, California. They were all over Hawaii too, especially the big island.
The color contrasted nicely here.
Hybrid Tea Rose ‘Brandy’
Registration name: AROcad
Breeder: Swim and Christensen
Parentage: First Prize X Golden Wave
Awards: 1982 AARS Award winner
This has been a great variety of rose. The weather here
somewhat cooperated with rose growing last season. By the looks of it the
winter won’t be too harsh on them either. I will probably go out and check
today as some of the bushes maybe waking up. I have noticed several plants
whose buds are starting to swell. I like to remove the heavy mulch from roses
as they emerge. There are a couple of Witch Hazels (Hamamelis)
in full bloom now and they seem to be fairly reliable for February bloom here
in Connecticut. The recent really cold temperatures didn’t seem to have a great
effect on their floral show.
The second photo here caught an interloper on one of the
petals. An adult spotted cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata), which I
didn’t realize was such a pest. It chews up the flowers, leaves and pollen of many
species of plants, particularly loving members of the Sunflower family. There
is usually minimal damage unless present in large numbers.
Clematis is one of the vines we always get requests for but
not many people know how to grow it.After 30 years of trying I have to admit I am still a bit stumped but
have developed some general rules for success. One thing that these plants seem
to like is a ‘hot top, cool bottom.’ Which implies exactly that, the roots like
to be shaded by other shrubs or mulch but the leaves need a lot of sun to
Each type of Clematis seems to have it’s own likes about
flowering on new wood or getting cut back completely. Often times the varietal
names are lost so you have to guess what they want. My way is to wait until
spring and see what part of the plant has been killed by winter and prune to
that spot. It is also a plant that I install slightly deeper then most other
plants. Covering one or two buds under the soil seem to help it establish
This 2010 introduction is from Raymond Evison, who has been
breeding and introducing Clematis for over 50 years now. They have some very
distinctive and showy types. Raymond seems to be one breeder that doesn’t rush
varieties to the market, which is a welcome change.
Clematis is generally a pain in the butt to grow but is one of
those plants if it likes the conditions it grows very well. If it doesn’t like
them it struggles and eventually peters out. They are also subject to Clematis
wilt, which often takes the plant out just before it flowers. The only way I
have found to slow the wilt down is with a couple of well timed fungicide
applications early in the season and that doesn’t always work. In general you
can help the plants by watching your watering timing and keeping the area
around the stems clean (good fall clean up). The fungus kills the top but
usually leaves the roots alive.
I am actually starting to plan my spring now. I have been
working for an organic landscaping company and learning about some different
ways to take care of plants. One customer wanted their perennial border spiffed
up and the owner loves bold colors. Echinacea is always a “go-to” plant for me
and it does well in borders. It seems to be able to grow organically.
This very blog has railed against all the Coneflower
breeding that has been going on down in Atlanta, but the market seems to shake
out the lame attempts at new cultivars. I really try to keep an eye out on
gardening trends but my strategy is mainly to wait before adopting new ideas.
This coneflower has been out for a couple of years now and seems to be sticking
around. Most of the time it really gets to be about availability and this plant is
available. It certainly meets the bold color specification. The color is one
seldom seen in the garden.
Here is a link to a page with some new flower varieties for
2017. Can you see the color trend? I guess I would try that PUFF Vanilla Coneflower. I have
found the white ones a little harder to grow.
Considering I shot this waterlily picture indoors with Karen’s
35-70, 2.8 Nikon lens it came out pretty good. I could have probably used a little more
This flower kind of represents a growing trend of indoor
water features that seem to keep popping up. Previously confined to greenhouses
or conservatories they are now merging into people’s houses. We were taking
care of two of them last year and had a bit of a learning curve on them. When this
flower bloomed it was a small personal victory and despite the environmental
conditions it was growing in.