Friday, August 31, 2007

Outtakes from ABC Wednesday

Outtakes from ABC Wednesday

Every week when I participate in ABC Wednesday I have a lot of pictures left over from that particular letter. This week I went with Foliage as the ‘F’ word (that sounds funny) and had ‘F’ruit as a back up. So I thought I would go ahead and post the fruit pictures. The definition of fruit in Botany is: the seed-bearing structure of a plant, e.g., an acorn. It was easy to find all sorts of examples of this out in the garden this time of year. I actually had many more examples of this type of thing but decided to post these. The first picture is from the Estate and is the seed capsule of Large Leafed Cucumber Tree (Magnolia macrophylla). I read somewhere that this tree holds the record for having the largest simple leaf in North America. It really adds a tropical feeling to gardens in this area as it almost looks like a Banana Tree.

This second photo is from a Fragrant Snowbell Tree (Styrax obassia). I don’t know why more people don’t grow Styrax because they are beautiful small scale trees that don’t seem to have too many problems. At least my experience with them is they are trouble free and very rewarding. They bloom a bit later than most of the flowering trees around here. This picture was taken in Monochrome with my Nikon Coolpix 8400. It is an awesome camera that has so many features I still learning about them. When they were discontinued by Nikon the price fell through the floor and I only paid $399. What a bargain. It gives you a choice of 2 different User Settings, which can be selected via the little wheel (there is probably a technical term for the wheel). You can set the various menu items for each one and toggle back and forth. I have one set to the color setting I like and the other to the Black & White settings. That makes it easy.

This third picture was taken at Wave Hill last Saturday afternoon. The Grape Arbor hangs over part of the terrace outside the little café. Sometimes it feels so weird being in the Bronx and sitting under a beautiful Grape Arbor. I didn’t see what type of grapes they were.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Locust Borer

Locust Borer
Megacyllene robiniae

We haven’t had a bug post here for awhile so here we go.

I hadn’t seen one of these bugs before and now I have seen three in two weeks. I probably just haven’t noticed it in the past. A little detective work was all it took to figure out what it was. My heart sank when I found out that that it attacks Locust trees but was lifted when I found out that it doesn’t affect Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos). I have a couple of nice specimens of Honey Locust on the Estate (including one of the unusual ‘Halka’ type) and they have really turned into nice trees. This insect primarily attacks Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) and its relatives. Those are mostly ‘junk’ trees in my mind, so they can eat all they want. Maybe the increased number of Robinia trees I saw this year is coinciding with having more borers around. It is a colorful fella that didn’t seem to mind being photographed. The emergence of the adults coincides with the Goldenrod bloom and they are right on schedule. Borers in general are a real pain in the butt. The get into everything from the Rhododendrons to the Roses and are usually hard to detect until it is too late.

Here is another view:

I also saw this colorful spider and found out it is an Orchard Spider (Leucauge venusta). I am posting this picture, not because it is the best I have ever taken but to show the colorful back. The macro lens was having a little focusing on this as it was kind of hanging out in the middle of nowhere. One end of its web was attached to the Sequoia (S. giganteum 'Hazel Smith') and a Swamp Maple that is pretty far away. I thought it was funny it was an Orchard Spider because the Orchard at the Estate was removed about 15 years ago to make way for some more garden. It was in the right area, though, very close to where the fruit trees used to be. I don’t care too much for Spiders but I am not totally creeped out by them. They have a role in the garden and this one was particularly nice looking with a weird flat web.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Foliage on ABC Wednesday

Foliage on ABC Wednesday

If you are for Wordless Wednesday scroll down to the next post. Please consider joining our ABC Wednesday group.

I caught this picture as I was enjoying a brownie and a Grown Up Soda at Wave Hill Gardens in the Bronx. If you have never been to Wave Hill it is in my mind one of the best Public Gardens in the US. It is a small, uncrowded, intimate garden in the Riverdale section. I love the plant collection and the gardeners always come up with something to impress me. The Wild Garden is a cacophony of various bulbs, alpines, perennials and annuals all together in a kind of mashed way. It all works brilliantly somehow and I am always in awe of it.

Foliage is one of the more important aspects of a garden. I love how these were working to together. Most plants only flower for a couple of weeks at the most and for the rest of the time you are looking at the foliage. That why I always try and add some color to my gardens by using colorful foliage. Some of my favorites are (not in order):

Red and Golden Barberry (Berberis)
Dark Leafed Weigela (Weigela ‘Wine and Roses’ and 'Midnight Wine’)
Blue Spruce Cultivars (Picea pungens)
Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)
Spirea (Spiraea)
Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantina)
Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) mouthful, eh?
Hosta (Hosta)
Variegated Pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis 'Variegata)

Just to name a few. They are the color gift that keeps giving. In this picture I probably would have been afraid to mix these plants together. It turned out wonderful so sometimes it takes a bold stroke to make something happen. You shouldn’t really be afraid of experimenting a little out in the garden. Try and think things through and then try and add a little twist that usually brings excitement and the payoff of having done something creative.

Just for fun here is another ‘F’ I took on Saturday when I was in Manhattan.

The Flat Iron Building

"I found myself agape, admiring a skyscraper, the prow of the Flatiron Building, to be particular, ploughing up through the traffic of Broadway and Fifth Avenue in the late-afternoon light."
H.G. Wells, 1906

Here is the list for ABC Wednesday:
(I'll post more when I find them.)

Wordless Wednesday (Silphium)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Senecio (Senecio haworthii)

Senecio haworthii
(sen-NEESH-shee-oh) (hay-WOR-thee-eye)
Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ay)
Synonyms: Woolly Senecio, Tontelbossie

I love the color of the foliage of this South African native. It was growing in a pot at Wave Hill, since it is hardy to USDA Zone 10. I am not sure how this plant fits into the Aster family but it must be from the flowers. I couldn’t find any pictures on the Internet of the flowers so I am not sure. I like gray/white plants, as they always seem to shine in the garden. I saw some Dusty Miller, Coleus and Purple Petunias mixed together the other day and thought it was quite striking.

Here is a member of the genus that you maybe more familiar with, String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus).

Monday, August 27, 2007


Plumbago auriculata
(plum-BAY-go) (aw-rik-yoo-LAY-tuh)
Synonym: Cape Leadwort

I am not going to say much about the cultivation of this plant because I have limited experience with it. I do however enjoy the masses of blue flowers. Several years ago I had a couple outside growing in pots and some of them I trained as a vine and some as a bushy shrub. I don’t remember what happened to them. I should try them again sometime. One thing I like about Plumbago is the fact it comes in so many shades of blue. I am not sure if they are cultivars or what. It reminds of the old Buffalo Springfield (anybody remember them?) song BlueBird:

“There she sits, a lofty perch.
Strangest color blue.
Flying is forgotten now.
Thinks only of you.
Just you.
So, get all those blues,
Must be a thousand hues.”

By Stephen Stills

I have a busy week ahead. People are starting to come home and I want everyone’s place to be ready. It is a lot of minor stuff but it takes times so there will be a lot of running around. With all the rain and cooler temperatures the gardens around here don’t really look like the usual tired August selves. So that will be helpful. I have a big irrigation leak that I have to fix tomorrow afternoon; that should be fun. It is a 2-inch pipe with about 4 other smaller pipes around it. Why couldn’t it have broken a few feet away where all the pipes are separated?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hybrid Tea Rose 'Peace' and Middle Name Meme

Hybrid Tea Rose 'Peace'
Synonyms: Béke, Fredsrosen, Gioia, Gloria Dei, Madame Antoine Meilland, 3-35-40
Introduced in the U.S.: 1945 by Conard-Pyle (Star Roses)
Size and Petal Count: 6 inch flowers with 43 petals
Fragrant? : Yes, strong

I took this picture to please myself. I wanted to take a group portrait of ‘Peace’ for awhile and the opportunity presented itself at the NYBG. I used my Sigma 17-70mm lens and after I had gone through the garden with my macro lens I decided to slap the wide angle on and try a few shots. I am glad I did. With photography I am always trying to challenge myself into doing something a little different (like a group rose shot). However I often find myself retreating into what has worked for me in the past (close ups).

The Peace rose has an
interesting history
and to me it was one of the most important rose of the 20th century.

I got tagged to do a meme about “for each letter of your middle name, list a fact or statement relevant to yourself or your life. So the longer your middle name, the more facts we'll have about you. If you don't have a middle name, pick one” by
avcr8teur's blog
so I thought I would play along and try it. The only problem is I don’t have a middle name (either official or unofficial). In some ways I feel ripped off about that but I guess it I have learned to live with it. Maybe I should have joined a support group to help me deal with it. Actually I am just kidding I don’t think not having a middle name has affected my life either way. Since I don’t have a middle name I decided to use the middle part of my Internet persona Digital Flower Pictures. When I started my photography website a few years ago, which was really just for family and friends, I spent a few hours looking for an available domain name. Finally I typed in Digital Flower Pictures and decided to settle on that, mainly because it was available. It has served me well and I have shortened it to Digital Flower in many cases.

So here is my list:

F is of course for Flowers. In some ways I can’t believe I actually get paid to grow them. Their beauty is fleeting and ephemeral but I still can get a special feeling from seeing the right flower at the right time.

L is for low-key. I am actually a very quiet and low-key person. Some people take this as snobbism but that is far from the truth. I spend a lot of my life observing and usually don’t say much unless I think it deserves saying.

O is for On-line. I spend a lot of time on the Internet. It is my window to the world. It is so amazing to me that I can’t even sum it up with words.

W is for Weather. I know everybody is interested in the weather. I am way serious about the forecast though. Everything at work is weather dependent in some way and I am not just talking the daily or weekly forecast. More like the seasonal trends and long range forecasts. Somebody may say, “Oh, suppose to rain today.” I will be thinking well there is a front across the Midwest but with the split jet stream the upper level winds will probably shear the front off. I will just say, “Yes, it may rain.”

E would have to be for England. I have visited many times and even lived there two different times. The first time I lived there I was a small child. It is hard to explain but I had a lot of memories that just didn’t make sense to me, as I couldn’t relate them to anything that was familiar. However when I returned as a 20 something year old I finally figured out the memories were from England. I would be walking around various places in London and I would have a strong sense of déjà vu and I finally put it all together. I hope to go back soon as I find English life a nice counterpoint to American life. I hope the Pound drops soon so I can afford to visit my friends and tour some more of the country.

R is for Roses. I don’t know if anybody noticed I have posted about a hundred different roses on my blog. For some reason I seem inexorably tied to roses. I have been actually considered stopping taking pictures of other plants and just concentrate on roses (so I could get better at it). I don’t consider myself an elitist, far from it, but I do kind of consider roses to be an elitist type of flower, especially the modern ones. In my career I have managed several small rose gardens and I was thinking this year it would be nice to someday manage a much larger patch of roses. Funny thing is I now have a rose garden with 120+ roses to take care of. In some ways it is a total nightmare and in others I have been longing for such a challenge and I certainly got what I was hoping for.

Here is a photo that is more of my signature style:

Hybrid Tea ‘Chicago Peace’
Synonym: JOHnago
Bred: United States, 1962. Graeme Johnston.
Introduced in the U.S.: by Conard-Pyle (Star Roses)
Size and Petal Count: 6 inch flowers with 45 to 60 petals
Fragrant? : Yes, mild

No one else at Blog Catalog wanted to get tagged so I guess I am on my own. I will add links if anyone else wants to get tagged.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hybrid Tea Rose ‘Marilyn Monroe’

Hybrid Tea Rose ‘Marilyn Monroe
Synonyms: WEKsunspat

I must say this rose is a beautiful apricot blend with just a hint of green. It was blooming profusely at the NYBG. It had what I consider a light fruity type of fragrance, its real beauty was in the delicate shading of the inner petals.

Parentage: Sunset Celebration × St. Patrick

Petal Count: 30 to 35

Breeder: Tom Carruth. Here is an interesting article on Mr. Carruth’s career as a rose breeder: of the Roses

From the article by Rayford Reddell, a list of Mr. Carruth’s AARS Award winning roses:

/start quote/ 'Scentimental' No two blooms are exactly alike, with petals randomly splashed with burgundy, red, cream, and white. Blossoms are fragrant as all get-out.

'Betty Boop' Single-petaled and bicolored Floribunda with shades of red and white.

'Fourth of July' Red and white climbing rose.

'Hot Cocoa' Blossoms are notably fragrant, foliage is glossy green and plants are resistant to common rose ailments.

'Memorial Day' Heavily petaled Hybrid Tea rose with strongly scented blossoms. An undisputed hit in areas with hotter-than-normal summers.

'About Face' Gold and bronze, for which Hot Cocoa served as the parent.

'Julia Child' Butter-yellow and fragrant Floribunda.

'Wild Blue Yonder' Deeply fragrant Grandiflora with red-purple blossoms.

'Strike It Rich' Golden yellow Grandiflora. Most blossoms have 30 petals each. /end quote/

For some information on the AARS Awards
click here

I have actually grown a lot of these roses and have had good luck with all but ‘Hot Cocoa’, although it does have a beautiful flower color. I haven’t grown 'Scentimental’ or ‘Fourth of July’ because I am not crazy about striped roses. I have seen them performing well in gardens, though. ‘Strike It Rich’ is one of my new favorites. In the new Rose Garden it is one of the few roses that didn’t have a lot of disease and continues to produce a lot flowers even though a lot of the roses around it were completely devastated by black spot.

‘Strike It Rich’ post

Friday, August 24, 2007

Chinese Scholar Tree (Styphnolobium japonicum)

Chinese Scholar Tree
Styphnolobium japonicum
Synonyms: 槐, Japanese Pagoda tree, Sophora japonica

This tree seems to have changed its scientific name recently from Sophora japonica to Styphnolobium japonicum. I didn’t know that until I looked it up. I photographed this tree at the NYBG last weekend. Normally the branches start too high to get an easy photograph of the flowers but this tree had some flowers at eye level. I had never seen the flowers close up and could see that it is in the Pea family, Fabaceae. It is one of the latest flowering trees in this area. There is a 40-foot tall specimen at the farm I am working on and yesterday as I was walking underneath it I heard a mighty humming noise. When I stopped I realized it had about a million bees working the flowers. It is quite a nice tree for the garden as it has a nice shape and the pinnate leaves cast a dappled shade. It is fast growing also. I planted one about 18 years ago and it has grown to about 40 feet already. It appears also to be a very reliable flowerer. It is one of the official trees of the City of Beijing.

One of the great things about taking care of the garden at the farm is all the animals. This is Caleb, aka Stinky, an Aussie that has a bit of the devil in him. Actually he is a nice, smart dog who is fun to have as a buddy.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Modern Shrub Rose 'Golden Wings'

Modern Shrub Rose 'Golden Wings'

Back to the roses again. This was a really pretty Shrub Rose. Even though it only has 5 petals, which I think makes it a single rose. A single rose, by definition has a petal count of 5 to 12 and the flowers often close during the night time hours. This rose was bred in 1956 by Roy E. Shepard. He was an outstanding rose historian and authored the book, The History of the Rose.

Golden Wings has a nice strong fragrance and since I photographed it last weekend a propensity to re-bloom. Like many Shrub Roses it can tolerate a little shade.

Seed: Soeur Thérèse
Pollen: R. spinosissima altaica x Ormiston Roy

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

ABC Wednesday

It’s is Wednesday again already. If you are visiting for Wordless Wednesday skip all these words and scroll down to the next post.

Prairie Baby's Breath
Euphorbia corollata
(yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (kor-uh-LAY-tuh)

I don’t think I have ever updated my blog twice in one day but I guess there is a first time for everything. I went to the New York Botanical Garden on Sunday to try some rose photography and while making my way out to the rose garden I had my eye out for a plant whose name began with ‘E’. I actually found several with these two coming out the best. The first one is Euphorbia corollata, which is known colloquially as Redneck Baby’s Breath. I hadn’t seen this Midwest native before but it certainly caught my attention as there was literally a million flowers on the plant. From a far I did think it was Baby’s Breath but as I got closer I could see that it wasn’t. It reminded me of a giant cloud of white flowers.

Rattlesnake Master
Eryngium yuccifolium
(er-RIN-jee-um yuk-ki-FOH-lee-um)
Apiaceae (ay-pee-AY-see-ay)

The second plant is similar to the first in the fact that it too likes dry and tough conditions. It looks like something you would stumble on in New Mexico or Arizona but it is another Midwestern plant. The long leaves are very reminiscent of Yucca foliage (hence the species name). I find it interesting for it’s common name, Rattlesnake Master. It was so named because people used to think it was helpful after one was bitten by a rattlesnake (which is not the case). There were several other medicinal uses during the 19th century none of which are used today. There is plant that is closely related to this one called Blue Sea Holly (Eryngium amethystinum) and I really wanted a picture of that to show here I couldn’t find any blooming. Both the white and blue versions some of the stems are the same color as the flower, which I found fascinating. This was my first reference to the family, Apiaceae, which is commonly known as the Celery family. Among its 300 species are some deadly plants like Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum) and some garden favorites like Masterwort (Astrantia major) and many edible plants including Parsley and Carrots. One of the identifying factors of this family is the plants have hollow stems (I know, really helpful plant trivia).

I am looking forward to seeing what the other people come up with for ABC Wednesday. I am already planning my ‘F’ shot. I wish I had more time to visit everybody’s Blog during the week. I really must put to together a list and click through it a couple of times a week. There at least 100 Blogs that I like and my approach to visiting them is a bit scatterbrained. I will again try and visit everyone.

Here are a few of the blogs joining in:
(I'll post more when I find them.)

EDITED TO ADD: Apparently Blogger doesn't seem to want to upload my list of links and my pictures. Sorry for those people that came to see the pictures and saw nothing your patience is greatly appreciated. I will have to start checking my posts on my wife's computer as the pictures appeared fine on mine.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hybrid Tea Rose ‘Signature’

Hybrid Tea Rose ‘Signature’
Synonyms: JACnor

Like yesterday this is a rose bred by another famous American rose breeder, William A. Warriner. Bear Creek Gardens, Inc introduced this Hybrid Tea in 1998. It has large flowers with some interesting color variations. It looked like a good one for long stemmed cut flowers. It had a nice light fragrance and a good petal count.

Parentage: Honor × First Federal's Renaissance

Monday, August 20, 2007

Floribunda Rose ‘Chesapeake Sunset’

Floribunda Rose ‘Chesapeake Sunset’

Get ready for some Rose photos. I got some good pictures at the Peggy Rockefeller Rose garden in the Bronx. I tried mainly to shoot roses that I don’t already have pictures of. The garden itself was in fine form with thousands of rose bushes producing, I guessing here, tens of thousands flowers. I actually ran out of memory having only brought a 1 GB card with me and I went to the rose garden last. I had to manage my memory a bit which I am not used to doing as I have several cards but only brought one with me.

Here is a blurb about the garden from:
Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden

“Surround yourself with fragrance, color, and beauty each spring (beginning in late May) and fall (beginning in early September) in the award-winning Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden. Originally designed in 1916, completed in 1988, and beautifully renovated in 2006–2007, this stunning garden now displays more than 3,000 rose plants, from exquisite antique roses to modern hybrid teas, floribundas, and shrub roses.”

This is actually from a pop-up on the site. I couldn’t figure out to get the address so I have reprinted it here in part.

I couldn’t find many references to this rose on the Internet. It is a beauty but I am a sucker for orange blends. The best I could find is that is a Floribunda Rose that was introduced in 1998. It is repeater bloomer that is hardy to USDA Zone 5. The famous American hybridizer, J. Benjamin Williams, bred this rose. Here is an article on him:
Tribute to Jesse Benjamin Williams

Sunday, August 19, 2007

NYBG Water Garden

NYBG Water Garden

I went down to the New York Botanical Garden today. I saw some unusual flowers and learned a couple of new plants. It was a quick tour with my main goal of hitting the Rose Garden. These are a couple of shots of the Water Garden that is outside the Conservatory. It was in bloom with a good collection of Lotus and Water Lilies. Lighting wasn’t optimal and it felt like it was going to rain at any minute.

I will probably be living on the photos I took today for a while. My upcoming week doesn’t really have a lot of flowers forecast. I wanted to get my ‘E’ picture for ABC Wednesday. I have a couple to choose from now. I kept my eye out for plants that start with the letter e. That was kind of fun.

I probably won’t be providing a lot of commentary with the pictures that I post for a spell. I have revived a project that I was working on a few years back. I wrote a book on the history of the Premier Gold Mine, which was along the Alaskan/BC Border. A couple of my cousins worked there. I had a deal to publish it but it didn’t work out. I have recently been researching self-publishing the book on the internet. It still needs a bit of work (bit of an understatement) and I have literally hundreds of historical photographs to wade through, again. This blog has always been mostly about the pictures so It probably won’t be a bad thing.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

From Long Island

Golden Japanese Forest Grass
Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’
hah-koe-neh-KLOE-uh MAY-kruh

Eastern Purple Coneflower
Echinacea purpurea
ek-in-AY-shee-a pur-PUR-ee-uh

Friday, August 17, 2007

White Dahlia

White Dahlia

This is another Dahlia portrait. It is actually a white Dahlia but it has a little yellow in it, which seems amplified in these pictures. I took it at the farm where the roses are growing. I spent all day yesterday removing the spent flowers and getting rid of the diseased foliage and stems. Karen had to help me for half a day to get it finished. I am cleaning up all the weeds and dead leaves, which is a job in itself. I can then evaluate the individual rose bushes themselves. Some are actually the rootstock growing around the dead grafted top. The flowers on these are kind of nice however the plant itself is much to wild growing. I am going to remove them this fall. There are also some varieties that just aren’t making it. I will have to replace them in the spring. I will be able to add some of my favorite types then. I spent last night studying up on rose diseases. I have them all over there. I am going to have to do something. They have someone spraying them but it hasn’t been effective. Pruning out the diseased part and removing the leaf litter will be a good start on getting them healthy.

This is a shot of the full flower.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

'Summer Sun' False Sunflower

False Sunflower
Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra 'Summer Sun'
Synonyms: Rough Heliopsis, Orange Sunflower, Ox-Eye, Heliopsis minor

This is a cheerful flower to have in your garden. It is a tall perennial that doesn’t need staking. It does seed so you might consider deadheading. I guess what I like about it is it gives a good show without a lot of fuss, something I look for more and more these days.

I started the task of pruning all the roses in the new rose garden am I caring for. Removing literally hundreds of spent blooms. I going to have to remember my gloves today as I was acting like a human pin-cushion. Once I get all the bushes pruned it should be a lot easier to keep them that way.

Another Kenny Loggins picture. This is the keyboard player, Scott Sheriff and Chad Jeffers playing the Dobro.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Dahlia for ABC Wednesday

Today is ABC Wednesday, once again. Seems hard to believe that we are already on ‘D’. Today was a bit of a conflict for me as I enjoyed the couple of Wordless Wednesdays I did and it is also Garden Bloggers Bloom Day over at Carol’s Place, everything seems to be happening on Wednesday. Wordless Wednesday is pretty self-explanatory and Bloom Day is where a bunch of Bloggers take pictures of what’s blooming in their garden and write a post about them. The garden I am working in right now doesn’t have too many flowers during this season and it is the same at the Estate. Everybody is at their beach houses so it doesn’t make sense to do a lot for summer.

‘D’ is for Dahlia, of course. It is one of my favorite flowers and kind of an aristocrat of the summer garden season. This is one of the ‘mixed’ Dahlias I ordered and I am quite happy with it. I was a little tired yesterday after going to the Kenny Loggins concert and doing the stonework all day. I was determined to finish and made it to the end. I fixed all of the really sunken areas of the granite terrace but I have a feeling the owner is going to want some of the not so sunken areas fixed now that they are more apparent. That’s fine with me. Stonework is not the easiest way to make a living but when you’re done at least you have constructed something solid.

Here are a couple of other posts I have made on Dahlias:

2 Dahlias

Wildwood Marie

Shannon's Magenta

Here are a few of the blogs joining in:
(I'll post more when I find them.)

If you have a post let me know and I will add a link to it.

Here a couple more from the Kenny Loggins concert.

f**&^%g blogger. i'll try it again

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Twin Butterflies

Twin Butterflies

This picture is of two butterflies on the same patch of Coneflower. I thought they lined up kind of nice. Has any else had a lot of butterflies this year? I distinctly remember saying last year that we had “hardly any butterflies” and this year there have been clouds of them. Go figure. I am almost finished with the overgrown garden I pruned out. Quite a bit of the granite terrace around the pool had sunk so I have been relaying that, then some planting and mulch and its time to move on.

I went to the Kenny Loggins concert last night. My wife really wanted to go and I was again able to score some front row tickets. I had a better time than I expected. The music was also more interesting than I thought it would be.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Polygonum bistorta 'Superbum'

Polygonum bistorta 'Superbum'
(pol-LIG-go-num) (bis-TOR-tuh)
Synonyms: Adderwort, Dragonwort, Easter giant, Snakeweed, Easter Ledges

I saw this plant growing and blooming at Wave Hill a couple of weeks ago. It kind of looked like a weedy perennial but the flowers made up for that. The number and shape of the flowers was interesting. The color was not fantastic but it was not unattractive. The foliage is a nice color green. It looks like this plant would make a good ground cover in a rough area. The family, Polygonaceae, has some noxious weeds included in it but also a few plants that I enjoy. Mountain Fleece (Persicaria amplexicaulis) and Himalayan Fleece Flower (Persicaria affinis 'Border Jewel') are two good ones.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hybrid Tea Rose ‘Sunset Celebration’

Hybrid Tea ‘Sunset Celebration’
Synonyms: Chantoli, Exotic ®, FRYxotic, Jolie Môme ®. Warm Wishes

Here are couple of more from the ‘new’ rose garden I will be taking care of.

‘Sunset Celebration’
Hybrid Tea, Large Flowered (5 inches)
Height: 3 to 6 feet
Fragrance: Mild, fruity
Parentage: Pollen: Seedling × Cheshire Life. Seed: Pot o Gold
Petal Count: 35
Breeder: Gareth Fryer. 1994
Introduced in the US: Weeks Wholesale Rose Grower, Inc. Celebrating the 100 year anniversary of Sunset Magazine

I am looking forward to growing this one as it has won numerous international rose awards. It has a lot of delicate undertones. Here is another rose. It is the David Austin Rose ‘Graham Thomas’ which I featured in it’s own post here.

I am going out to get some pictures today.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hybrid Tea Rose ‘Spellbound’

Hybrid Tea Rose ‘Spellbound’
Synonym: JACpribe

I can’t give any personal experience on growing this rose. I must say that the color and form was captivating. I forgot to smell it although I was rushing around when I snapped this photo. It is from a rose garden that I am officially going to be caring for now. It has 160 plants in it, with many types and colors. There are only about 20 or 30 repeat varieties so it really covers a broad spectrum. I am looking forward to the challenge of keeping it up.

'Spellbound' had the most ‘clean’ flowers in the garden, although one of my new favorites ‘Strike it Rich’ was a close second. This rose was bred by Dr. Keith Zary and introduced in 2006 by Jackson & Perkins and was named their 2006 ‘Rose of the Year’. Dr. Zary started work at J & P in 1985 as only the fourth breeder in the company’s long history.

Type: Large Flowered Hybrid Tea
Parentage: Ingrid Bergman × Pristine (hybrid tea, Warriner 1978)
Petal Count: 30
Fragrance: Mild. Spicy
Height: 5 feet

Here is a picture of part of the rose garden. I wish I had a wide angle lens with me to capture the whole thing, You can see it needs a little help but it is still producing some flowers. It is a lot of garden to work with and that is always helpful.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Two Orchids

Two Orchids

This Orchid was blooming at work. I was surprised to see it . I took all the Orchids out of the conservatory and just tucked them in among the tropical foliage plants that I put on the terrace. I usually don’t bother with the Orchids as they seem to be getting enough light and water. The tag that was in the pot had faded away and I couldn't tell what the name is.

I have been going over some old files from Florida in February of 2006. I saw this orange Orchid blooming at Nancy Forrester’s Secret Garden. I read a lot of complaints about the condition of the garden and the admission price but I found it a lot of fun with a good mix of botanical stuff. Not bad at all for an ‘in-town’ type of garden.
I uploaded several new pictures to my Florida Keys webpage if anyone is interested. There a few good pictures but in some respects represent an extra culling of all of the files.

Florida Keys/West Palm Album

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Red Canna Lily for ABC Wednesday

Red Canna Lily

I ordered some mixed Cannas for the container garden this year. I usually try and order named varieties but got off to a late start. This particular Canna seems to be dwarf with green foliage. What is unusual to me is the little white part in the flower. It is probably a common occurrence but I don’t remember seeing it before. The flowers on this plant are relatively small compared to most Cannas. The color is vivid red and I the camera had just a touch of trouble handling it. Another feature I like about this flower is the very thin yellow edge to some petals. You probably wouldn’t notice this if you didn’t look closely.

I think I may have a few virused Cannas (link: Canna Virus) and I will take a picture of them to post later. Just one more thing to worry about I guess. I don’t save the roots from year to year due to a lack of a suitable storage area but I may stop growing them all together if they are going to look like some of the ones I have grown this year. That would too bad as I find them a majestic plant that is a great backbone for summer borders.

It is ABC Wednesday again. Here are a few of the blogs joining in:
(I'll post more when I find them.)