Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Orange Glow Vine


Orange Glow Vine
Senecio confuses
(sen-NEESH-shee-oh) (kon-FEW-sus)
Synonyms: Mexican Flame Vine, Pseudogynoxys chenopodioides, S. berlandieri, Pericalis
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Pink Spring Tulip


Pink Spring Tulip
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With the amount of rain we are getting here it is going to be quite a while before the Tulips bloom (thi picture is from last spring). Kind of hard to get the season going when they are torrential downpours every couple of days. We have had seven inches of rain this month already with up to 8 more inches forecast for the next two days. I have to keep putting off appointments for looking at work because it is just too wet, cold and windy out there. The local weatherman thought he was funny this morning saying that this storm, if it were snow, “would be about 60 to 80 inches”. That would be about 200 cm for the metric people. Looking on the bright side I am glad we don’t have to deal with that. It is not forecast to be below freezing although it did drop to 17 deg. F here over the weekend. Sorry I don’t mean to be venting here but it is a little discouraging. The other day at work all of the daffodils were bent over and most were pressed into the mud from the rain.

"The tulip's petals shine in dew,
All beautiful, but none alike."
James Montgomery
Scottish poet and journalist
(1771 - 1854)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Two Different Orchids


Asian Corsage Orchid
Cymbidium Mother's RubyDehlia
(sim-BID-ee-um)
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Cymbidium Orchids are easy to grow and put on a nice show when flowering. They like to be kept moist and in a partial shady location but do need some light. Generally they seem to like a little coolness especially at night to start flowering. I have found repotting every couple of years is helpful. If you are successful these types can get quite large and often have a big spike of long lasting flowers. This shot is from the 2010 NYC Orchid Show.

Vanda Pakchong Blue "Ben"
(VAN-duh)
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To me Vanda Orchids are some of the most dramatic both for the size of the flowers and the colors that they come in. A blue or purple Orchid always looks good to me and the spotted patterns are always nice to look at. This particular Vanda was really nice to see and marvel at. The almost black labellum was amazing. Vandas are easy to grow and I think the key is mimicking the conditions of their home in the tropics during June to September. This means a lot of sun and water almost every day. The plants will often reward you with several flower spikes of long lasting blooms.


For more flower pictures from around the world check out:
Today’s Flowers .

Friday, March 26, 2010

Iceland Poppy


Iceland Poppy
Papaver nudicale 'Garden Gnome'
(puh-PAY-ver)
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This oddball flower was part of a group of Icelandic Poppies we planted in the perennial border last spring. It was kind of an impulse buy and plant because the owner of the garden wanted a few Poppies. This type wouldn’t be my first choice because I just can’t seem to get them to last and sure enough after flowering they died. Even though it is sold as a perennial from now on they are being officially treated as annuals in our gardens. This particular flower made it all worthwhile as it was a curiosity and was fawned over.

After scouring the Internet for the reason that this flower had two colors on the different petals I drew a blank. There has to be a scientific reason for it but Google didn’t turn it up (could have been the search terms). It did yield this interesting article Color in Flowers by Dr. Leonard P. Perry, Extension Associate Professor at the University of Vermont Extension Department of Plant and Soil Science. It is the kind of thing that can sidetrack me when doing research for this blog.

Iceland Poppies are often used as mass planting in the fall and make a tremendously colorful carpet of reds, yellows and oranges. It can make a nice change from Pansies and Mums. They can be used early in the spring also and are often forced to bloom early. While they like full sun the heat of the summer often shuts them down completely. If you like the garden classic of the Poppy flower give these a try and I hope you have better luck than I have.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rose of Sharon Lavender Chiffon

Rose of Sharon
Hibiscus syriacus 'Lavender Chiffon'
(hi-BIS-kus) (seer-ee-AK-us)
Synonym: Notwoodone

Even though this plant is a summer bloomer I thought posting it was appropriate since we are about to prune the Rose of Sharon collection at the Estate. This cultivar of Hibiscus caught my eye while trying to buy a large Japanese Maple. It looked different and worth several pictures of which this was the best. I didn’t get the Maple, as the cheapest one the nursery had was $3500 and they went up to $10,000. My budget is about $1800 and I will certainly be prowling around through he spring shipments looking for ‘my’ tree.

It turns out that this Rose of Sharon is different and is part of a new (2000) class called Anemone Flowered types.

These new cultivars were developed by Dr. Roderick Woods, an amateur breeder from Cambridge, England. While Dr. Wood’s breeding goal was to develop a superior pink flower, he stumbled upon a totally new flower shape, best described as anemone-like. The blooms have the typical five big petals of a single flower but are adorned with a puff of petaloid stamen in the center of the flower. The flowers are truly unique and beautiful. Woods was about to trash a batch of seedling (the flowers weren’t pink), when Ian Dickens (curator of the Nation Hibiscus collection) luckily rescued two unique plants with tremendous potential. These two new selections, called Lavender Chiffon® ‘Notwoodone’ and White Chiffon® ‘Notwoodtwo’ have since won both Gold and Silver medals respectively from the Boskoop Royal Horticulture Society in the Netherlands. Having been developed in England, the plants exhibit strong growth even in a cool weather climate.
w
The previous passage was provided courtesy of Proven Winners. I love plants with a bit of a back-story and ‘Lavender Chiffon’ has a good one. If you have time surf around the Proven Winners website. They are supplying more and more interesting plants to the trade. Their efforts are usually intriguing and constantly showing up at both my local retail and wholesale nurseries.

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This rose of Sharon, which is not the tropical type of Hibiscus, but a very hardy (-20F) version that we northern gardeners can enjoy. They get quite tall and can be trained as a shrub or small tree form. My backyard is full of them from all seedlings and now I try to remove the spent flowers before they go to seed. In general they are an easy to grow, low maintenance plant that gives a nice blast of color when you need it, in late summer. In the big garden we generally reduce them by half this time of year and since they bloom on new wood it doesn’t affect the flowering.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Samba Guzmania

Guzmania
Guzmania lingulata 'Samba'
(guz-MAN-ee-uh)
Synonyms: Bromeliad
Click Here for a Larger Version

Another tropical plant but this photo was shot locally, in a friend’s greenhouse. Until now I would have just called this a Bromeliad but now see that this one of 100 species in it’s own genus, Guzmania. They are primarily air plants and native to the tropic regions of the world. ‘Samba’ is of course a cultivar (cultivar = cultivated variety) and is patented. It’s parents were a cross between two unreleased seedlings owned by a nursery in Assendelft, the Netherlands.

‘Samba’ was selected for it’s intense yellow bract color, compact growth habit and long flowering habit (up to 6 weeks). They can be easy to grow indoors but you do have to watch the watering and amount of light on a seasonal basis. Don’t take my advice, because I haven’t been able to get them to reflower indoors :lol:.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Shower of Orchids Vine

Shower of Orchids
Congea tomentosa
(KON-jee-a) (toh-men-TOH-suh)
Synonyms: Wooly Congea, Wooly Shower Orchid
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This plant had me totally fooled until doing some research on it. First it is actually a vine but I would have sworn it was a shrub. Second the wholly parts are actually bracts (modified leaves) and not flowers. The flowers are what is called inconspicuous and are borne in the center of the bracts. They have appeared to have gone by in this photo.

This plant is a tropical only growing in frost-free areas of USDA Zone 10-11 (35 °F and above). It is a native to Southeast Asia but has become naturalized in he warmer areas of the world including some parts of the United States (like Puerto Rico). Despite its common name it is not related to Orchids. It belongs to the Verbenaceae or Verbena family (ver-be-NAY-see-ee).

Since the Congea picture was taken on Oahu I thought I would include these two landscape photos. The first one is Chinaman’s Hat Island off the North Shore. According to Wikipedia it is actually named “Mokoliʻi” and “is a 12.5 acre, 206 foot tall basalt island one-third of a mile offshore of Kualoa Point, Oahu, in Kāne'ohe Bay, Hawaii. Geologically, it used to be connected to Oahu before erosion cut it off. It is also known as "Chinaman's Hat" for its likeness to the straw hats Chinese immigrants wore. Wedge-tailed Shearwaters are the only species of bird that nests here; previously there were a few."

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"Mokoliʻi is open to the public from dawn to dusk. On weekends it is somewhat a popular secret with tourists and locals. It can be accessed by kayak, boat, surfboard, or by swimming; depth soundings are only four feet on its west side. [1] This may be dangerous during any other time or inclement weather. The area is home to stonefish and sharks are often seen around the island, often in early mornings.”

I had read about the island before seeing it and wanted to get a picture. While pulled over on the busy highway taking this shot and having the P6000’s battery dying I turned around and saw this scene. These mountains were amazing and at the base was some sort of ranch, which was opened to tourists. There were raising fruit and vegetables and offering tour up into the fields. The fog seemed to be swirling around the tops of the peaks as we drove up the road presenting different views of the steep terrain. Imagine having that as a backyard view.

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For more flower pictures from around the world check out:
Today’s Flowers .

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Oakleaf Hydrangea Fall Color


Oakleaf Hydrangea
Hydrangea quercifolia
(hy-DRAIN-juh) (kwer-se-FOH-lee-uh)
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On December 5th Oakleaf Hydrangea was posted on this site. There were also a couple of pictures from Sedona, Arizona on that post. So when skimming some files from last fall I found this different fall color picture of Hydrangea and I also knew that I had this other picture of Cathedral Rock ready to go.

Oakleaf Hydrangea is usually nice to have in the garden. The flowers aren’t as familiar to people as the more common types of Hydrangea but are nice. One reason I like them is the plants are not as water hungry as the lace caps or mop head types. So in summer the Oakleaf often look better if your garden is a little dry. This type of Hydrangea has three seasons of interest summer: flowers, fall: leaf color, winter, nice bark. The deer do seem to like to nibble them.

Yesterday was our first day back at work and I have to admit I am a little whooped. The garden was in pretty good shape from the winter although I have found that there are two types of damage to look out for this time of year. There is the surface and easily apparent damage and the more subtle underlying things that you noticed only on very close inspection or later when the malfunction cannot be missed.

The first thing I noticed was the broadleaf evergreens (rhododendrons, holly, Andromeda, Mountain laurel) foliage was not brunt. That is a sure sign that the winter wasn’t that bad and although this winter seemed to go on forever we didn’t really have a lot of super cold temperatures here in Connecticut. We also had a nice blanket of snow, which provided insulation for most of the winter.

There were quite a few flowers out including all of the normal early spring stuff (Crocuses) and with the beautiful weather there seemed to be a lot of pent up energy just waiting to burst forth. The buds on most plants didn’t seem to be damaged so hopefully it will be a nice spring.

To everyone, Have a great first day of Spring!

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This next picture is from Sedona, Arizona and is a view of Cathedral Rock. It is a beautiful area of Sedona and you can hike up to the gaps of the rock. I found they trail along the river (creek) to be fascinating but didn’t get much from the Vortex located in the area. Here is a good reference site for the Cathedral Rock area and all of Sedona.
Gateway to Sedona

Friday, March 19, 2010

Decorative Dahlia ‘Mulloy’s Moment’


Decorative Dahlia ‘Mulloy’s Moment’
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Back to the flowers for today both on this blog and in real life. Today is our first formal day back at work and we will be working a bit on the Dahlia Garden among other things. I like turning over the garden or even double digging it this time of year. That gives it time to settle down nicely before planting. ‘Mulloy’s Moment’ wasn’t a super exciting dahlia last year but it did produce flowers all season. It was nice just having a plain white colored one in the garden.

Here is another Dahlia from last year, ‘Sir Alf Ramsey’. Despite it’s formal name it was a bit of an unkempt grower. It tried to get very tall and flop over but with careful and diligent staking we were able to keep it looking good. One thing about ‘Alf Ramsey’ was the flowers seemed to have variations among themselves. The lavender and white mixture was slightly different even on the same plants.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Van Gogh's Postman: A Portrait of Joseph Roulin, 1889


Van Gogh's Postman: A Portrait of Joseph Roulin
Oil on canvas, 1889
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This painting is from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. It is great that you can go right up to famous canvases like this and use your camera. The only restriction that I know of is using your flash, but that is pretty much a given at any museum. There are a couple of areas that you can’t use your camera, usually the photography collection (which BTW is pretty amazing) and some of the newer exhibits.

Since this blog uses a lot of flower pictures and the winter has been very long the supply of new photos I have is dwindling. When I was at work on Tuesday there were some signs of life out in the garden, like some Crocus, Dwarf Iris and a lot of swelling buds so I feel like I just have to make it a week or two before there will be enough flowers out to get some new images. Our area is recovering from several bad storms including the one last weekend that had several inches of rain and winds as high a 75mph. There are a lot of people still out of power in the lower part of our county and driving around is an adventure a there are still trees blocking the roads, bring your chainsaw if you want to get groceries. Lucky the gardens we visited had relatively minor damage, just a couple of trees blown over but they were small. We will be picking up little sticks for a long time though.


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So back to the Van Gogh painting. This painting is part of the famous series of six paintings and to 2 drawings that van Gogh made in Arles, France in a eight-month period in 1888 and 1889. It was a critical juncture of the artist’s career and Joseph Roulin became a sort of brother to the artist during the time that mental illness started to affect Van Gogh. Someone with an Art History education could probably explain this better than I have and most of this information is well documented on the net so if you want to learn more bout the postman series you can find some of it here:
MoMa.org

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Indian Magic Flowering Crabapple

Flowering Crabapple
Malus 'Indian Magic'
(MAY-lus)
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While looking through some old pictures from last fall and trying to do some hard drive house cleaning I came across this photo of ‘Indian Magic’. The tree was planted several years ago and each year it has had a few more apples but nothing that prepared us for the season of autumn 2009. It was completely covered with the tiny orange-red fruit with maybe a thousand times the apples of previous years. Nothing about the year said that it was going to crop like it did. The flowering of this tree in the spring was good and it usually has been but not spectacular. The rose red and white flowers seemed normal and certainly our rainy, gloomy garden season last year didn’t seem to portend any great fruit or berry crops. That is one thing I like about gardening and nature you can never quite figure out what is going to happen. Sometimes you can guess correctly about what is going to happen but often times mother nature throws a curveball and shows you something that you thought previously impossible or not plausible.

‘Indian Magic’ is what I consider a small stature Crabapple gaining a final height of about 15 feet tall and you can keep it less tall with pruning. It does seem to want to grow wide and can become up to 15-20 feet wide at maturity. This can also be kept under control with pruning. The number one factor in Crabapple cultivar selection, for me, is the disease resistance of the type. “Indian Magic’ was not selected on this basis (it was what they had at the nursery at the time) but I seem to have got lucky because it has stayed fairly clean over the years and turned into a handsome specimen. I am sure that the birds were having a feast most of the winter on these apples and hopefully a couple of bully Blue Jays didn’t try and take over and hog the crop. They are just too noisy. One other thing I wanted to add about Indian Magic is that it gets pretty nice fall colors (orange, red and yellow mix).

This rose photo was on the same ‘roll’ as he Crabapple from late October 2009. It is either ‘Easter Basket’ or ‘Flirtatious’. Both of which I have found to be ‘good’ roses to grow.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lokelani Rose - Maui's Official Flower

Lokelani Rose
Rosa damascena
(RO-zuh) (dam-ASK-ee-nuh)
Synonyms: Maui Rose, Pink Cottage Rose
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Little did I know that when I clicked his picture I also clicked a little Hawaiian history. I remember being shocked at finding a Rose amongst the lush and astonishing vegetation. It turns out that this rose is the official flower of Maui. According to this website: http://www.aloha-hawaii.com each of the Islands has an official flower, which differs from the State flower (yellow Hibiscus). The Territorial Legislature recognized Maui’s Rose in 1923 although cultivation of this plant goes back to the 1800’s when it was first introduced to the Islands. This rose had a wonderful fragrance that made taking it's picture even more enjoyable.

Maui is a large Island (2nd largest in the chain) with dimensions of 48 miles (76.8km) long and 26 miles (41.6km) wide, totaling 728 square miles. From experience it can take, most of the day to navigate around the entire island. About 120,000 people call Maui home making it the 3rd most populated of the Hawaiian Islands. One of the most notable attractions on the island is the 10,023-foot Haleakala Crater. That elevation makes it the third largest dormant volcano in the world (depending on how you measure it).

The crater is an amazing sight, a natural wonder with a moonscape that leaves an impression. It is also home of one of the rarest plants in the world the Haleakalā silversword (Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp. macrocephalum) which is a very handsome silver gray kind of succulent looking plant. I have never seen it in flower but hope to one day. The ride up the to the summit is a long one that passes through several climate zones and offers some beautiful hiking spots along the way. If the weather is right you can literally drive through the clouds to get to the top. Be careful because there can be snow and ice, too.

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This next picture is a bonus for Today’s Flower. I am not sure of the identification; maybe someone could help me out, but think it may be a type of Kalanchoe. I shot it with a shallow depth of field after being inspired by a favorite photographer of mine. She will know who it is. This plant was growing in huge patches of one garden that I visited.


For more flower pictures from around the world check out:
Today’s Flowers .

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Odontocidium Orchid


Odontocidium Cantante 'Pumpkin Patch'
(oh-don-to-on-SID-ee-um)
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This Orchid was blooming at the show last week and I really liked the color scheme. It would be perfect for autumn. The plants were attached to the columns in the Conservatory with several mixed types of unusually colored Odontocidiums. It was the humid part of the building so after coming in from the cold outside my camera was a little ‘foggy’, but not as bad as it has been in the past. Lucky this Orchid was near the end of that part of the building so it had already cleared up by the time I shot this picture.

Odontocidium type Orchids are a cross between of the 2 Orchid genera Odontoglossum and Oncidium and enjoy temperatures between 75-85 degree F. day and 60-65 degrees F. at night. They also like bright light and a good deal of humidity. Watering should take place when the medium becomes slightly dry. I have found them to be fairly easy to grow and get to rebloom indoors although the flowers don't seem to last as long as some of the other popular types. This hybrid has slightly smaller flowers than most of the Odontocidiums I have seen but the spike itself was quite large and had several flowers out and also several buds ready to bloom.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Basket Fern

Basket Fern
Drynaria rigidula
(dry-NAR-ee-uh) (rig-ID-yoo-la)
Synonyms: Oak Leaf Fern, Bird’s Nest Fern
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Here goes a limited description of this rare fern. It has up to 14 other botanical synonyms, which can give you a little idea about how technical the discussion could get. Basically the fern is considered native to Australia, New Caledonia, and maybe the island of Papua New Guinea. Some people also think it is native to SE Asia and parts of China.

This was growing as an epiphyte attached to a Palm tree, which is defined as “A plant, such as a tropical orchid or a Staghorn fern, that grows on another plant upon which it depends for mechanical support but not for nutrients. Also called aerophyte, air plant.” It however can also grow as an epilithic, “plant that grows on rocks or stony soil and derives nourishment from the atmosphere.” I guess that makes it pretty flexible except that it loves moisture and that narrows down where it can grow a bit. It is a big fern with some of the green fronds extending up to six feet in length. I have included the color version to see the dry papery fronds. They were weird to touch.

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I really feel like our trip to Hawaii was a botanical treasure trove of both rare and common tropical plants. It was a great learning experience for me. I have to put all the pictures that came out together and do some printing. Not looking forward to that.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ruby Red Spikemoss



Ruby Red Spikemoss
Selaginella erythropus 'Sanguinea'
(sell-lah-gi-NEL-uh) (er-ee-THROW-pus)


This cool looking groundcover was planted on the steep (sheer, actually) hillsides that are at the entrance to the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden in Papaikou on the Big Island. The red feathery stems and green leaves made for a dramatic sight. We saw other types Selaginella growing at the HTBG and other places on the islands. It usually appeared to be a neat and fun groundcover. It kept reminding me off some of our evergreen trees shrunk down to miniature size. Mostly it looked like some sort of Arborvitae or Cypress.

Red Spikemoss grows to be 4-6 inches tall and likes a shady, moist soil. It spreads under the right conditions but not rampantly. It is hardy to USDA Zone 7 but can be grown in a container and over wintered indoors in colder climes.

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Visit Sky Watch Friday for more skies around the world. The links open later in the day.
SkyWatch Friday Home Page

Here is a photo of a San Diego sunset from early 2009. We were treated to this just hanging around the Tourmaline Surfing Park in the late afternoon. An unexpected beauty.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Macy's Pride' Shrub Rose


Shrub Rose
Rosa 'Macy's Pride'
Synonym: ‘BAIcream

Introduced in 2003 to commemorate the100th anniversary of Macy's department stores. This is from Last year's garden.

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Pink Fruiting Banana

Pink Fruiting Banana
Musa velutina
(MEW-suh) (vel-oo-TEE-nuh)
Synonyms: Elvet pink Banana, Hairy Banana, Baby pink Banana, Guineo rosado
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This Banana was a new one on me but appears to be very popular with gardeners in USDA Zone 8 (winter lows of +10 °F) and higher due to their ease of cultivation. They are easy to grow from seed which probably also helps their popularity. Another thing this type of Banana ha going for it is its relatively small statue (4-5 feet tall) at maturity. The fact that they can flower and fruit indoors is another nice trait.

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Oddly, the Bananas peel themselves when ripe. That can take some of the mystery out of when to pick them. Once open the fruit is usually only good for a day or two. I am definitely going to have to look into getting a couple of these for work. Since container culture is stated to be rather easy they should fit in with the other Bananas in the Conservatory.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Oncidium Jiuhbao Gold 'Tainan'



Oncidium Jiuhbao Gold 'Tainan' (巨寶黃金)
(on-SID-ee-um)
Click Here for a Larger Version

This yellow Orchid is from the show. It was amazing just for the sheer size of the flowers and spike. Its yellowness was not to be ignored. This one was can be seen in yesterday’s post of the Orchid Hut. It is the yellow on the mid-rail and the roof. The flowers on ‘Jiuhbao Gold’ were at least 3 to 4 inches each. When doing close ups it is always easier, for me, to have a larger flower. It can be more difficult to get the framing right but the details often show up better.

This next black and white Orchid is from Hawaii. There were some left over photos from the islands on the same memory card that was used at the show on Friday. There were a couple of good ones so they will probably make the rotation here in the next couple of days.

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Good news the temperatures have been in the mid 50’s here and there is the faintest hint of spring in the air. This week’s forecast looks to be for slightly above normal temps, that is something we haven’t had in quite a while.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Orchid Show NYC-2010- Part Two

Orchid Show NYC-2010
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Here are a couple of more shots from the Orchid Show. These were both shot with my Nikon P6000 compact camera. I have really begun to rely on it for any wide-angle shots and super close ups. Yesterday for ‘big’ cameras all I had was the D700 and the 60mm lens. The Sigma 24mm lens is just too big to tote around for one or two shots so the P6000’s 28-112mm equivalent lens has to take care of the wide end. There are other converter lens you can get for the camera but to me the quality is usually sub-par. Plus the fact that you end up futzing around with the add-on lenses instead of shooting pictures.

The first picture is a replica of one of the towers from the Castle of the Royal Force in old Havana that has the bronze statue La Giraldilla atop of it. Here is a link to a brief summary of the Castle and the statue (see the third paragraph) destination 360.com. It really added a touch of realness to the show and it was fun to see in the water garden that welcomes visitors to the Conservatory at the NYBG.

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The second photo is a small hut that was festively adorned with a lot of Orchid flowers. It was nice since you could actually go inside and look out. Karen took a picture of me inside (which thankfully will not be appearing on this site) and she was happy since I looked good-humored inside there. My illness has been harder on her in some ways than me. She is the one that had to find me and that has left a bit of a haunting picture for her. This little house did kind of look like something you might find on a farm in Cuba or even some parts of the United States. It again added a lot to show and it would make a great potting/tool storage shed!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Cuba in Flower: The 2010 New York Orchid Show



Cuba in Flower: The 2010 New York Orchid Show
Degarmoara Flying High 'Stars 'N Bars'
Degarmoara (day garmo-ara)
(Mtssa. Jet Setter) x (Odm. McNabianum)
Click Here for a Larger Version

Today was a special day for me. We attended the 2010 New York Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. It was my first adventure ‘outside’ of my small local area and at first I didn’t feel up to it but once I saw the flowers I knew it was the ‘right’ thing to do. This year’s theme of the show is “Cuba in Flower” and all though I have never visited the Island it did have a very Caribbean feel to it. It was lush and full of flowers. There were these giant Orchid arbors this show and they were just spectacular. Even though my mind said that they were probably impossible in nature the flower displays had a very natural look to them.

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The 2010 show had more and different kinds of Orchids than year’s past (I have attended the show the last few years) although remembering from year to year can be a little difficult. I have to give the show two big thumbs up. It was imaginatively thought out and well executed. Definitely a bit of cure for those extra long and dark winter blues.

There were a few flowers out and about in the outside garden including Dawn Viburnum, Witch Hazels, Adonis and that was indeed a happy sight to see. It is suppose to warm up here over the next week and that will certainly help with our early bloomers.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

'Lady Beatrice Stanley' Reticulated Iris


Reticulated Iris
Iris reticulata 'Lady Beatrice Stanley'
(EYE-ris) (reh-tick-yoo-LAY-tuh)
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It will be probably be a few more weeks until these babies are up and blooming. Depending on the weather they can often bloom in February but not with a winter like this year. This picture was taken March 28, 2007 with Karen's Nikon D80 body and 60mm 2.8 Micro-Nikkor lens.

These Iris are fun to have in the garden. There several hybrids and varieties available including a dark purple, light blue and white. The color blue of ‘Lady Beatrice’ is a color you don’t get too often with flowers so it is a nice way to start out the season. The dark purple of I. reticulata 'Violet Beauty' is very special. The flowers are fragrant but need to be smelled up close, which isn’t always easy when the flowers are only a couple of inches tall. The deer do eat these and often wait until they are up and flowering before grazing them off. If you are going to make a planting of these type of Iris (order early in the fall from my experience) don’t be shy on the amount as they look much better in large clumps and drifts then little patches. They will multiply slowly under the right conditions (not too much water).

Monday, March 01, 2010

Two Yellow Daylilies



Two Yellow Daylilies
Hemerocallis Atlanta Gem’ and ‘Honey and Spice
(hem-er-oh-KAL-iss)
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'Honey and Spice' Daylily Click Here for a Larger Version

Just to try and break up the Hawaiian/tropical flower routine that this blog has fallen into here are a few Daylilies from the garden last summer. ‘Atlanta Gem’ was introduced in 1989 and has been in the Daylily border for a couple of years. Each year it seems to expand and bloom better. ‘Honey and Spice’ is a lesser proven cultivar although it did well last year. The color on ‘Atlanta’ seems a little more sure of itself and is more ‘crinkly’ along the edges which is something I find very desirable in a Daylily flower. Both of these hybrids grow to about 36 inches tall and there isn’t anything that distinguishes one from another until the flowers come out. ‘Honey and Spice’ does try to rebloom a little bit but it isn’t as good at it as some of the other cultivars like ‘Happy Returns’.