Saturday, July 25, 2009

Confederate Jasmine and a Hummingbird Nest

Confederate Jasmine
Trachelospermum jasminoides
Synonyms: Star Jasmine, Rhynchospermum jasminoides

The Star Jasmines have been a big success despite the weather. This is the first year I have used this plant and it has really just been a pleasure to have in the garden. We are using the three plants in big pots. They came already trained on little trellises. The plants haven’t really grown much taller but they have been flowering non-stop. The beautiful fragrance is probably one of the most refined that I have ever smelled in the garden. About a half and hour after we put them in place the owner came out and asked what the wonderful smell was. The smell had been wafting in the windows of the house.

There is a mixture of things growing under the Jasmines and they have all seemed to coexist well. There are Petunias, Million Bells, Sweet Potato, Verbena, Angelonia and a few other annuals. Confederate Jasmine is hardy to USDA Zone 8, which is about 10 degrees F. That isn’t going to make it around here, which is really too bad. I am going try to bring it inside but something tells me it isn’t going to like the heat of the greenhouse.

Every once in awhile I come across something extraordinary at work. There isn’t much that is shocking or awe inspiring from a discovery point of view anymore. However this week there were two things that were wondrous. The first was one Monday when after reaching into a buried irrigation valve box I felt something slimy. It turned out to be a Giant Garden Slug (Limax maximus). It was about 5 inches long and an inch wide. Easily the large slug I had ever seen. Earlier in day we were wondering where the Petunias went (they were almost totally eaten) and this discovery made it much clearer. Here are a couple of pictures of the second lesson nature’s classroom showed me.

This is a Hummingbird nest. Using a ladder and a 20 foot pole saw we were pruning the lower limbs off some American Beech Trees yesterday. When cleaning up the mess I noticed the little nest. It was quite amazing in construction and sorry about the quality of these photos but it was the best I could do under the circumstances. The second photo shows some of the lichen shingling. There was quite a bit of spider silk used on the outside. I am not sure what the inside was made out of but it was soft, tightly knitted and looked cozy.


tony said...

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Autumn Belle said...

We, Asians, love jasmines. We love the fragrance and we use the flowers as offerings to deities and we also string them into a garland to welcome VIPs or as altar adornment. We also wear the flowers on the hair.

Suzy said...

The hummingbird nest is awesome...I saw one in a tree at a friend's house, but couldn't get close enough to tell what it was made of...
Thanks for the info!