Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Flowering Okra (Abelmoschus manihot)

Flowering Okra
Abelmoschus manihot
(a-bel-MOS-kus) (MAN-ee-hot)
Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ay)
Synonyms: Sweet Hibiscus, Edible Hibiscus, Palmate-leaved Hibiscus

This is probably going to be the most interesting flower that I saw all summer. It was planted at the Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford, Connecticut. The plant was not too much to look at (a bit tall and stalky) but the flower really captured my fancy. If it hadn’t had a sign (which I took a picture of for reference) I wouldn’t have known what it was, although I would have guessed the Hibiscus family. I actually used the flash on this photo, which is something I usually avoid like the plague. I guess it is the fear of the unknown type of thing. I think it is more like the on-board flash usually washes everything out and is difficult to control. I want a Nikon Speedlight for Christmas.

Here is a link on the Flowering Okra. They explain everything better than I could.

Here are a couple excerpts that I found interesting:

“The Malvaceae family has a number of food plants. One of these is Abelmoschus esculentus, or Okra. It is best known for its mucilaginous* seedpods which are fried or used to thicken soups and stews. However, this is a true multipurpose plant with edible leaves, flowers, seedpods and mature seeds. It is an annual and is very heat tolerant and relatively free from pests.”
“While the large yellow flowers are very ornamental, the importance of this plant is that it is one of the world's most nutritious leafy vegetables because of its high protein content. The leaves are tender and sweet and can be served raw or steamed (leaffor life).”
(This series is being compiled by Colleen Keena from Queensland, Australia, Kristin Yanker-Hansen from California, USA, and Marcos Capelini from São Paulo, Brazil.)

1. Resembling mucilage; moist and sticky.
2. Relating to or secreting mucilage.

Yesterday I got a little too much sun. It started out as a low-grade headache and then I got sick to my stomach. Luckily it was at the end of the day. I also might have been partially dehydrated. I think it was from pole pruning most of the day, which required looking up at the sun. I most definitely got sunburned on my forehead, which for me is a little unusual. I feel better this morning but it looks like another hot day. It wasn’t as bad as the time a couple of years ago when I got too much sun and became disoriented on the way home. That was scary. It just goes to show that even people that work outside all day and are used to the sun can feel the effects.

Here is an interesting Lily I saw blooming at Bartlett.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Gooseneck Loosestrife (Lysimachia clethroides)

Gooseneck Loosestrife
Lysimachia clethroides
(ly-si-MAK-ee-uh) (klee-THROY-deez)

This plant isn’t for everybody. It is way too invasive to be used as an everyday garden plant. It is good for certain areas where it can be allowed to spread. It isn’t good for borders, rich topsoil areas, areas adjacent to lawns and small gardens in general. My plants are in a rock planter but I still have to keep a careful eye on it. It is a really wet area and it can’t spread in two directions. I usually pull up any runners that are going outside their area a couple of times a year. I don’t have any mercy for them and I never plant them anywhere else in the garden or throw them in the compost. The flowers are attractive and a bit novel and they appear in summer when I welcome the color. I also love the fall color of this perennial. It is a great mixture of red, yellow and orange, really super. Carefully consider using this plant and if you don’t have the time or urge to maintain it get something else.

This week I am continuing the pruning job I started on Friday. It is a nice garden but it has been let to run amok a bit. I am removing some plants and severely cutting back others. After that we are going to do some planting. I want to see what it looks like when it is all cut back. I have become a real journeyman with dealing with mature gardens. There is definitely a whole different approach you have to use as compared to getting a garden established.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Spice Island Foxglove

Digitalis ‘Spice Island’

This Foxglove probably isn’t new to anyone else but me but this was the first time I had seen it. It was obviously re-blooming because I could see the stalks that had been cut off earlier. The color is nice, a little strange but agreeable. The couple of references I found on the net said it was a perennial but only time will tell that. Basically I will believe that when I see it. I did notice the price was almost twice as much as the ‘regular’ Foxglove. I wish I had looked at the foliage closer as the websites I visited said the foliage is ‘felt-like’ and ‘evergreen’. I think this one is going to have to be tried out to get some first hand observation of the characteristics. This is the best thing I found on ‘Spice Island’:
“A new evergreen foxglove that just doesn't know when to stop blooming! Unique and stunning peachy-yellow flowers are lightly dusted inside with nutmeg. They bloom on numerous densely-packed spikes which branch from the base of the plant, providing continuous color from summer into fall.”
Big Dipper Farm (scroll down to see 'Spice Island')
It looks like a really cool nursery and website.

Foxglove is such a classic garden plant that I always get requests for. The only thing is that I don’t like planting a lot of biennials in people’s gardens, as they need to be replanted. They generally don’t seed since we use mulch on almost everything. I just make sure they know that they require a bit more interactive gardening then standard perennials and that if they have a wonderful show of Foxglove one year they may not have any the following year.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Olympic Mullein (Verbascum olympicum)

Olympic Mullein
Verbascum olympicum
(ver-BASK-um) (oh-LIM-pih-kum)
Synonyms: Greek Mullein, V. longiflorum var. pannosum

I saw this plant blooming at Wave Hill. It looked like a majestic perennial. The hairy leaves and flower stalks were quite tall and I liked the color of the flowers. I haven’t had much luck with Verbascum it always seems to be monocarpic. It has only come back once for me and then it died after flowering. I am not putting them down and now that I have seen this plant I might be tempted to try again. I am not going to give any growing tips because I don’t seem to be able to grow it. I do know some people that have been successful with Southern Charms Verbascum and I love the delicate color of those flowers. I have secretly always wanted to grow Arctic Summer Verbascum.

Here is the same flower with an Oriental Beetle (Anomala orientalis) crawling on it. These things were all over the garden this year. Here is a link to a Wikipedia article:
Oriental Beetle

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Rose of Sharon Bud (Hibiscus syriacus)

Rose of Sharon Bud
Hibiscus syriacus
(hi-BIS-kus) (seer-ee-AK-us)
Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ay)
Synonyms: Althea, Althaea syriacus

Most gardeners are familiar with this great summer flowering plant. I bought about 20 of them and planted them in one area and it is just a riot of color right now. For a lot of years the deer kept the flowering down but they also made the plants bushier and more compact (trying to make a positive here). I have since taken to pruning them hard in the spring to keep them from being overgrown. There seems to be a nice range of colors and flower types available now. I am partial to the blue ones but like them all. I have seen them grown as a shrub, a tree and a hedge so they seem pretty versatile. Looking around the net I noticed a lot of people complaining about the seedlings and that plants are late to leaf out. I haven’t had a lot of seedlings but the ones I am growing are named varieties so they maybe sterile. As far as leafing out late I have never noticed that (it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen) and I guess if I had it planted in front of the house that might be problem. Those are minor problems in my mind. The color these shrubs provide are worth it.

Both of these pictures are leftovers from trying to find something that started with the letter ‘A’. I also took this picture of Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima). I had a post on Alyssum awhile back:


This is a purple cultivar called ‘Oriental Night’. I bought a few growers packs of seed (it is like 25 packets) and spread some here and there, in situ.

I think this last picture is a Crab or Flower Spider (Thomisus spectabilis) sitting on a Coneflower. It is a master of disguise and ambush. This is the first time I have seen one at the Estate in over 20 years but from what I understand they like to keep a low profile. I took a few pictures of him (her, actually) and when I went back to show the person I was working with sure enough she was munching on a small fly. Unfortunately that picture didn’t come out. Here is a link for more information:
spiderz rule.com

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Moosewood Maple (Acer pennsylvanicum)

Moosewood Maple
Acer pennsylvanicum
(AY-ser) (pen-sil-VAN-ih-kum)
Synonyms: Striped Maple, Whistlewood, Goosefoot Maple

I wanted to post a Wordless Wednesday but some of the people over at the Blog Catalog Forum want to start a group effort called ABC Wednesday. It is a nice very knowledgeable group over there. So the theme is easy, just photograph something that starts with ‘A’ the first week, ‘B’ the second week and so on. I thought it maybe interesting and give me a reason to go and make sure I shoot a picture on Tuesdays. Of course I found several plants with the right starting letter and maybe posting a few more over the next couple of days. It is open to anyone so if you feel like joining in by all means do it!

'A' is for Acer.

The genus Acer is an important one to gardeners. It is rich with ornamental trees and even some shrubs. There are only a few I don’t care for like Norway Maple and Silver Maple but those are far outweighed by the ones I do like. Like today’s tree. I don’t see it growing in gardens too often and I wonder why. It is a handsome smallish tree (15 to 20 feet) that likes to grow in moist part shade. I often use them in shade gardens. Wikipedia says it is considered the one of the most shade tolerant deciduous trees. The foliage is large and the lobed leaves grow in pairs. Fall color is a nice clear yellow. The whitish striping does seem to be most pronounced on the younger branches, the twigs are a nice coral color.

There are about 20 species of Striped (aka Snakebark) Maples and this is the only native to North America (Minnesota to Nova Scotia and south to Georgia). Its common name is derived from the fact that Moose love to eat it. I am glad that hasn’t transferred over to the deer as they seem to leave it alone.

Here is a list of participating blogs. I'll add more when the others post their 'A' photo.

my tropical escape.com

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Meadowsweet (Filipendula 'Kakome')

Filipendula 'Kakome'
Synonyms: Double Meadow-sweet, Dwarf Meadowsweet, 'Kahome'

I took these pictures at the nursery in Long Island though I have been growing this plant for several years. I have it sited in a part shade moist area and it seems very happy. I know it can grow in almost wet conditions also. I like it better than Queen of the Prairie (Filipendula rubra) and Queen of the Meadow (Filipendula ulmaria) mainly because it is a dwarf form (12 inches) that doesn’t flop or sprawl. It has been in the garden a long time and hasn’t needed to be divided yet. The flower and foliage color is good and it has shown deer resistance. The flowers are corymbs that look a lot like Astilbe.

Here are a couple more pictures from the ferry. There were two Jet-skis that were putting on a show riding up the wake of the ferry. It was better entertainment than the usual feeding Doritos® to the sea gulls. To be fair I wanted to post the power plant that is on the Port Jefferson side of the ferry trip.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata 'David')

Garden Phlox
Phlox paniculata 'David'
(floks) (pan-ick-yoo-LAY-tuh)

This is a beautiful cultivar of Garden Phlox. It is the most resistant to the dreaded Powdery Mildew in my experience. The bright white blooms are fragrant and don’t need staking in my garden. Phlox is such a classic flower and it is nice to see it in the border. It does need good air circulation and it is best to water the plants at the base. I wanted to find out a little more about Powdery Mildew and I found these pages:

Plant Clinic Cornell.edu

Garden Guides.com

Thankfully it hasn’t been a bad year for PM. I haven’t seen it on the usual suspects, Bee Balm, Lilac, Phlox or Roses.

This is another Phlox that I am growing. I think it is ‘Laura’ but it might be ‘Little Boy’ as the tags got all mixed up. I found pictures with both of the names on the net.

I went to Long Island to buy some perennials on Saturday and everything was blooming out there. I took the ferry and passed the time shooting a few pictures. I don’t know why my circular polarizer kicked in so well on this shot but the sky really wasn’t that color. Normally I try and avoid Converging Verticals but in this shot I thought they would look good. Of course I couldn’t really get them to converge when I wanted, just when I don’t.

I had a little fun in Photoshop with this one. I made the bottom of the photo B&W and kept the sky in color. This is the big power plant that you see when you leave the ferry terminal on the Bridgeport side.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sunrise Coneflower ( Echinacea 'Sunrise')

Sunrise Coneflower
Echinacea 'Sunrise'

This is another of the ‘Big Sky Series’ that Richard Saul at Itsaul Nursery in Atlanta, Georgia has been developing. This is my second year with this particular plant so it wintered over in Westchester County, New York. Although our wacky winter probably wasn’t the best to judge its hardiness on. I actually like the color and size (plant) of ‘Harvest Moon’ better but I have had no luck growing those. I might try again but after you have been burned by a plant a couple of times it is hard to keep buying it. I am just considering it for a more protected location. ‘Sunrise’ has been growing out in the open and has been mingling with the regular Purple Cones. It is quite tall and can seem to hold its own among the purples. It seems to have been blooming for an awful long time, which I have read is one of the traits of the Big Sky Series.

I planted a Coneflower garden last year and holy mackerel did they grow. It is a small border that used about 10 different types in and it just went crazy. When I saw it I thought that it was just too much but the customer was happy, ecstatic actually, so I thought well what the heck. There are several hundred flowers out in that garden now.

I know some garden purists don’t like the new Coneflowers and I have seen some disparaging remarks about them but I like most of them. They liven up the summer for me and just goes to show how far plant breeding has come.

I am taking the boat out to Long Island today to get some perennials at the wholesale farm. I need to get two Crape Myrtles out there too. I have a client that wants to try them in New Canaan. I will be visiting a couple of retail places for those. I am going to try and get them from the ‘Indian Tribe’ series from the U.S. National Arboretum. They seem to have increased hardiness as I have a couple growing at the estate and one in Darien. I must remember to site them in one of the warmer microclimates in the garden.

This is a weird abstract of a backlit Banana leaf.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Red Daylily (Hemerocallis)

Red Daylily

Inspired by 1-2-3 Go Garden’s great collection of Daylily photographs and Ki’s post on July 18th I decided to try and take a picture of the nicest Daylily at the Estate. We don't have a lot of different cultivars for two reasons. One, the people don’t live there in the summer and two, the amount of deer we have. There are a few nice ones and I got the nifty fifty from White Flower Farm a few years ago but they are pretty much planted around the house and in the courtyard for protection. Like I said this red is the nicest and I think I bought at a Wave Hill plant sale many years ago. It got transplanted several times and finally has found a home next to the greenhouse and just behind the Weeping White Birch (Betula pendula 'Youngii'). I took a close up too.

Just a quick post as I got in late last night. I went to a Chef’s Table at a local restaurant and went for a couple of nightcaps after. The Chef’s table is fun and delicious. Two fellows that own a local restaurant cook a private dinner for just a few people that have bought tickets in advance. There were 16 people last night and it was an intimate fun evening. They make it personal which is nice. They are thinking of doing it every month and while I don’t think I would go every time I would certainly go again.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

'Oregold' Hybrid Tea Rose

'Oregold' Hybrid Tea Rose
Synonyms: TANolg, Miss Harp, Silhouette, Anneliesse Rothenberger

This rose blooms best during the cool weather though it was chugging along last week with a couple of flowers last week. It is good performer though seems a bit tender as I have had to replace it twice after the winter. I don't do a lot for winter protection for my roses and usually have a couple of losses after the winter. I think this because most of these roses are rated for USDA Zone 7 and my gardens are on the edge of 6 and 7. 'Oregold' has a mild fragrance and a petal count of 25-30. Its parentage is 'Piccadilly' × 'Colour Wonder' and has a good pedigree with 'Peace', 'Tropicana' and 'Crimson Glory' roses in its lineage. Bred in Germany it won the AARS Award in 1975.

I think I have said before that I have really warmed up to yellow flowers over the course of my career. Some of them are amongst my favorites now. Who would have thought that. Yesterday’s Wordless Wednesday featured a couple of nice yellow flowers and I thought I would carry it on today. Yellow roses symbolize friendship and caring according to Rose Meanings Explained.

Since I have heard the phrase “Yellow Rose of Texas’ hundreds of times I decided to look up just who or what that meant. Everybody out there probably knew already that it is a song and here is a snip of an article:

"The Yellow Rose of Texas" is a song about how a slave named Emily Morgan helped win the battle of San Jacinto, the decisive battle in the Texas Revolution, on April 21, 1836. According to legend, Emily was a mulatto slave owned by Col. James Morgan, of New Washington, Texas, who was kidnapped by soldiers under the orders of Mexican general Antonio López de Santa Anna. She was reportedly brought to Santa Anna's tent, where she entertained him sexually throughout the day of the battle. The distracted general supposedly failed to put his troops on alert, and when the battle began, the Texans caught the Mexicans by surprise. In fact, however, "Emily Morgan" was a free-born black woman named Emily D. West, who worked as a housekeeper at the New Washington Association's hotel. No evidence supports the story of a tryst with Santa Anna.

One of the earliest versions of "The Yellow Rose of Texas" dates back to the first administration of Sam Houston, who became president of the Republic of Texas in 1836. A handwritten manuscript of the song, now in the A. Henry Moss Papers in the Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin, was allegedly delivered to one E. A. Jones.”

Read the rest here:
Handbook of Texas Online

This second rose is the Hybrid Tea ‘Sunny Delight’. I really don’t know too much about this rose as I took this picture at a nursery. I took the picture with the idea that I would look it up when I got home because I only want to buy disease resistant roses at this point but I couldn’t find much information on it. It looked pretty though with a big flower and delicate shading.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa ‘Orange Form’)

Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus
Opuntia humifusa ‘Orange Form’
(op-UN-shee-uh) (hew-mih-FEW-suh)
Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ay)

Synonyms: Devil's Tongue, Low Prickly Pear, Opuntia mesacantha
Opuntia italica, Opuntia rafinesquei, Opuntia fuscoatra, Opuntia allairei, Opuntia cumulicola, Opuntia impedata

I really wanted to take a picture of this plant blooming the last couple of years and never got around to it. This year on July 3rd I did it. I almost missed it as these are from the last couple of blooms. It is a fun plant to grow and seems quite hardy. It is not invasive in my garden it as made a nice little clump, sometimes dying out in the middle and crossing the little dry riverbed they are planted in but always keeping within reason. The areas that died out filled in again. This Cactus is native to the Eastern United States and grows well in Connecticut. In the winter it turns a little brown and shriveled but bounces back nicely in the spring. It is easily rooted with the pads. There are usually a couple of large spines on each pad but be careful of the Glochids or hair-like spines. They can cause irritation hours later. A fun, novelty type plant with beautiful flowers. This is the orange form.

This patch of Cactus is growing next to a Weeping Blue Spruce. I am not sure how the two ended up together but I think I planted the Cactus first in 1988 and when we did a big renovation on the gardens I moved the Spruce there in 1997 with the idea that I would transplant it back into the new gardens but I must have forgot. It reminds of the time I was visiting some wineries in Sonoma Valley and at one place I had a little too much to drink so I asked if we could take a walk out in the vineyard which had a lot of ornamental plants scattered through it. They said sure and after awhile I came upon a row of Palm trees that had Colorado Blue Spruce alternately planted in between them. I think that was one of the weirdest combinations I had ever seen. I would love to live in a climate like that. Although I would probably be run out of town because of my prodigious water use.

This is the flower of a Gold Sword Yucca (Y. flaccida 'Golden Sword') that is next to the cactus and Spruce. It had a couple of nice what I use to call candelabras but have since found out that they are actually a raceme inflorescence. Since the petals and sepals (three of each) are similar they are called tepals.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Allium grande?

Allium grande?

This was growing in a friend’s garden and he said it was Allium grande (that could be wrong). I searched the net and only found a few vague references to the name. It wasn’t in the couple of plant books I consulted either. One net reference said it was Ornamental Garlic but that appears to be a different plant of just a general moniker. Anyway it was a great looking plant that was about 2 feet tall and had spear-like bluish foliage. The flowers themselves were about 2 to 3 inches across. I don’t usually come across plants that stump the Internet but this is one unless it is a different species of Allium. Anybody have any ideas?

This is some Lavender that is blooming at work. I don’t remember the cultivar (I’m full of information today) but it has a slightly darker flower and is a little taller than the normal types. It is funny that it is blooming because I was just about to tear it out and start over with something new since it has not performed well. This year it is stellar maybe it knew it was on the bubble.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day
July 15, 2007

I have wanted to participate in Bloom Day for a couple months now. I love seeing what is blooming in different areas. At the Estate and the other gardens I am in charge of there are literally hundreds of things blooming so I went for a few of the things that I had taken pictures of. I wanted to get this post up so I may try and add a few things later today.

What a wonderful year for Roses we had. There are a few still hanging on. This first one is a David Austin variety named ‘Heritage’. It has slowed down but I wanted to post it since I have so enjoyed it this year. I went into the rose garden on Friday just to see what was blooming and a couple of the varieties were still going strong.
‘Iceberg’: strong white bloomer.

‘Strike it Rich’: I featured this on another post. I can’t say enough well about this new rose. I highly recommend it. It had the most flowers of any rose in the garden right now.
‘Love and Peace’: This one combines two of my favorite roses. Still had a half dozen nice flowers as of this week.
‘Mr. Lincoln’: An oldie but it is still blooming very well in the heat.

Numerous shrub roses. This one is ‘Seafoam’. You can see it has started to mingle with my Korean Silver Fir. Very nice white and loaded with blooms.

This next one is a new plant for me, Monarda citriodora. It seems to have numerous synonyms including Lemon Bee Balm and Lemon Mint. It grew in a wildflower mix so I am not sure if it is an annual, perennial or biennial. Only time will tell that though I will encourage it to reseed. I think I like it better than the regular Bee Balm I have been growing. Although this year is the first year in many that the perennial species has not gotten Powdery Mildew.

My Gaillardia Oranges & Lemons has been blooming steady for weeks now. It is on the downward curve right now but still had flowers. It is the longest blooming of the Blanket Flowers that I have seen. Wonderful plant and I have been enjoying the various shades that the flowers come out on the individual plants. I want to see what it does after I cut it back.

There are hundreds of Coneflowers out now. I have been planting the various new ones as well as growing a lot from seed. Here is my favorite white. Echinacea purpurea 'White Lustre' has done well and I have enjoyed the contrast with the pink Coneflowers.

I love Zinnias but had given up growing them because of the numerous cultural problems. This is the second year that I have grown ‘Dreamland Red’ and have been pleased with its disease resistance and blooming capabilities. Red flowers seem to be really hard to capture with my digital equipment so I have taken to slightly underexposing them and then running them through Photoshop. I don’t have it down quite yet but this method seems to help. I wanted to share this with the Zinnia lovers out there as a good cultivar that doesn’t get too tall (10 inches) and is a prolific bloomer.

I haven’t quite seemed to figure out how to grow consistent Hydrangea macrophylla in Connecticut. This is a planting of about 18 plants that ring a driveway. I added the Boxwood for some structure during the winter. This planting blooms well maybe 6 out of 10 years and this year is an ‘on’ year. Rather than trying to turn them all blue I sprinkled some Aluminum sulfate randomly through the plants. It gives an interesting range of colors. My thoughts are that it is a combination of having a not too cold winter and not pruning the dead stalks off until well after bud break is the key to success.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Golden Bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Worcester Gold')

Golden Bluebeard
Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Worcester Gold'
(kar-ee-OP-ter-iss) (klan-don-EN-sis)
Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ay)
Synonyms: Blue Mist, Blue Mist Spirea

I am not sure if you are suppose the cultivar name like they do in Massachusetts, ‘Woo-Ster’. This plant failed a couple of times for me until I found out it needs good drainage to survive. Since I have figured that out it has been happy in my garden. It needs sun to have the best foliage color, which is more chartreuse then golden. It often fades to a lime green later in the season and in more shady areas. Which I know to a lot of people who use gold foliage plants is an undesirable trait. Personally I don’t mind if a plant does that but I guess it could screw up someone’s design if it changed color. The flowers are a great hue of blue and are long lasting. They attract bees and butterflies in good numbers. The foliage is also aromatic and it has shown good deer resistance here in Connecticut and Westchester County in New York.

Another thing I have learned about this plant is not to cut it back too early in the spring. What appears to be dead will sometimes spring to life. You can treat it as cut back shrub or a semi-woody perennial if you want but I prefer just enough trimming to keep it neat. In USDA Zones 5 and 6 it can sometimes be burned down to the ground in a bad winter. Don’t despair, it is root hardy and should send up new shoots. Claude Palmer of St. John’s Nurseries discovered this cultivar in Worcester, England.

I am a big fan of the ‘regular’ Blue Mist shrub. It has grayish-green foliage and the same flower color. Some of the newer cultivars even have darker blue flowers. I usually sneak a couple of them into designs because they give color in the late summer.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Wrong Named Rose

Wrong Named Rose

I think I got ripped off. I bought this rose as ‘Sexy Rexy’, which is supposed to pink but when it started to bloom it was blood red. Oh well, this is a nice rose and so far it has been blooming well. It is small rose but it has a good petal count. I think I will go back to the nursery and ask for a refund. I going to try and keep the rose too. I know this nursery has a sign that says, “all plants sold are true to name” (something like that) and I am going to call them on it. I don’t think it going to be a problem as I am good friends with the salesman and know the owner pretty well. The tags probably just got mixed up but still it isn’t fair. I first thought maybe it was the understock growing from below the bud union but the shoots are clearly above the graft so that isn’t the problem. This rose is too nice to be rootstock anyway.

The roses are still blooming fairly well. I always keep my eye on which types and varieties do well in the heat. I will try and publish a list of them on the 15th when I try and do the Blogger Blooming Day this month for the first time.

I am pruning so much stuff at work. I was pruning an American Holly Tree (Ilex opaca) that is growing way too big near the side of the house. This type of Holly needs to be planted where it has plenty of room to grow and this one isn’t. Luckily I have been kind of keeping a handle on it over the years but it is till pretty big. While I was cutting the top out of it I was looking up and of course the branch came down and hit me right in the head. That hurt! I had to feel my head and face to see if there was any blood. Nothing but a little soreness, some anger and a little remorse for not being smarter about the whole thing. In my defense I was jammed up against the house and had nowhere to go as the branch came down. I got the Holly and the Carpinus done. That is what I had set out to do. I also did one of the big patches of Forsythia, the Deutzias and the large groups of Azaleas. Today is more pruning as I tackle the Weigelas, some of the Crabapples and the big Blue Hollies.

I have found it nearly impossible to identify an unknown rose unless it is a common one. I am going to try though. They may know what it actually is when I speak with the nursery and if I fund out I will post it. It is much redder than 'Hot Cocoa'even though the second picture looks a bit like it. All in all I think I like this rose better than ‘Sexy Rexy’. Imagine that.