Monday, August 30, 2010

Bloody Mary Flower

Bloody Mary
Silene coronaria 'Angel's Blush'
(sy-LEE-nee) (kor-oh-NAR-ee-uh)
Synonyms: Lychnis, Mullein Pinks, Rose Campion, Bloody William, Lychnis coronaria

This plant has seemed to undergo a name change to Silene from Lychnis. There has been a large patch at the Estate for many years and I always try and spread the seed each year. There seems to be a good variation of blush on the blooms. There is everything from pure white to almost all pink on my flowers. They bloom about the middle of June.

This plant can grow in some hot and dry conditions and doesn’t seem too fussy about soil. The foliage is a short rosette of pretty silver foliage with the flower stalk getting up to about 24 inches. It doesn’t need staking. It appears to be biennial for the most part but there are always enough seedlings to keep the group going and expanding at a nice (not invasive) rate. I always allow the seed pods to dry before collecting them and that seems to work well.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Happy Chappy Groundcover Rose

Groundcover Rose
Rosa 'Happy Chappy'
Synonyms: INTERhappy, INTerpachy, TG2480
Parentage… Seedling × INTerdust

Although this rose is technically a groundcover rose the only two times I have seen it was in a small tree form and growing in a container. It was looking good both times even though it was well into the season. The range of colors was quite interesting and the shading on the blooms was intricate. Both owners of this rose reported good to excellent disease resistance and the foliage looked pretty clean to me. The only complaint was periods of non-blooming but I must have just caught the plants during a happy time. This rose was impressive to me even though I am not a big fan of tree roses.

Peter Ilsink of the Netherlands bred ‘Happy Chappy’ in 1999. It made its way to the United States via Jackson and Perkins in 2007. It has a slight fragrance and a pedal count of 5.

To see more flowers from all over the world at Today’s Flowers . The page opens for linking later today.

As usual here is a bonus flower for Sunday. This Tropical Hibiscus was blooming at the Central Park Zoo yesterday. I had both the D700 and the P6000 cameras. This one was actually taken in monochrome with the little P6000. Now that I getting the hang of the little camera I really like it. It is pretty dependable to take at least a usable photograph but quite often exceeds my expectations.

I hadn’t been to the CP Zoo in many, many years. Since it was my little nephew’s first time in Manhattan we thought that would be a good destination. He really enjoyed it and was happy to take his first train ride ever. Our 5-year-old grand daughter also accompanied us and a good time was had by all.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dwarf Hollyhock

Alcea rosea 'Queeny Mix'
(al-KEE-uh) (RO-zee-uh)

Besides having colorful double flowers this Hollyhock is the shortest growing that is commercially available reaching only 24 inches tall. This makes it an instant winner in my book. Although Hollyhocks have been a staple for the back of the perennial border for a long time the ‘Queeny’ series can be used in the middle of the border without the need for staking. It also blooms earlier than the regular Hollyhocks and is suitable for container cultivation.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Eternal Snow Reed Stem Orchid

White Reed Stem Orchid
Epidendrum ‘Eternal Snow’
Synonyms: Star Orchid, Crucifix Orchid

This plant stumped Google and that doesn’t happen to often. I took this picture at an Orchid Nursery in Hawaii and remember being very surprised to see a white Reed Orchid. Before seeing this one I had only seen bright colors like orange, yellow and red. The white was a nice change. The flowers are small but make up for that by blooming in groups.

Epidendrums have been featured here before see this post for more information on the genus and some cultural information.

I am glad it is Friday as there is a busy weekend coming up. I have to get my little nephew his first train ride. There aren’t many trains in Hawaii where he lives (unless you count the rather lame Sugar Cane Train).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Golden Beauty Orchid

Doritaenopsis Sin-yaun 'Golden Beauty'
Doritaenopsis (doh-ry-ten-OP-sis)

Since it has been a while having some Orchids posted on I thought this beauty that was blooming at work would be nice. The Orchids have really enjoyed being outside and under the sprinklers and ‘Golden Beauty’ decided to celebrate and give a couple of flower spikes. It is named correctly as it has a nice almost golden glow to it.

Doritaenopsis Orchids are easy to grow and not fussy. The genus is a hybrid between Doritis Orchids and the common Phalaenopsis type of Orchids. The crosses usually end up being a little more compact than a typical Phalaenopsis but they often bloom for longer periods of time and are generally more colorful. They like bright but indirect light and not too much water.

Doritaenopsis is abbreviated as Dtps., which is much easier. This particular Orchid was introduced in 2002.

My sister and nephew are visiting from Hawaii and a little bit of me was wishing I were visiting them. It is a lot of fun having a 2-year-old running around the house. It is amazing what he can get into.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pink Zinnias

Zinnia elegans
(ZIN-ya) (ELL-eh-ganz)

Zinnias having been doing well this year proving that they are heat and drought resistant. These pink Zinnias sure brighten up their little part of the garden. I am not sure which of the seemingly 100’s of cultivars available these particular flowers are. I usually judge Zinnias by their height and I would call this one a medium grower at about 12 to 18 inches. Zinnias can range from 6 inches tall to up to 48 inches. Growing the shorter ones is usually better as they don’t get all floppy but these pink ones seem to have pretty stout stems and haven’t needed staking.

Here is another picture of the guitar goddess, Orianthi. Taken at the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset, Massachusetts on Friday.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Appleblossom Grass

Appleblossom Grass
Oenothera lindheimeri 'Pink Cloud'
(ee-no-THEE-ruh) (lind-HY-mer-ee)

This is a great perennial that blooms during the summer and well into the fall. I never knew the common name was Apple blossom Grass or that it was member of the Oenothera genus. ‘Pink Cloud’ is a really deep pink compare to the other pink Gaura. The white forms of this plant are nice too. While some people might not like the wispy appearance of the foliage and plant the flowers are sure to win a spot in their hearts. They look a lot like little butterflies especially when twisting in the wind.

does not require special soil and is quite happy in lean soil on the dry side. It works well in the middle or back of the border. I sometimes deadhead mine but it isn’t really required. Good drainage is necessary as is full sun exposure. I found out the hard way not to plant this flower in the fall in northern regions. It is best to get it established during the season.

See more flowers from all over the world at Today’s Flowers .

Here are a few extra pictures from the concert we attended on Friday night. It was a triple bill and we both agreed that the acts were so different that it was a little weird (they have a record label in common). Watchers of American Idol will probably remember Allison Iraheta. She didn’t win but did well in the competition. She came out first and did a short set. Wow, she really sung her heart out. I don’t think I have seen such energy emanating from a stage in a long time. Next up was the reason I went to see the show, Orianthi. She is the future of rock guitar playing and didn’t disappoint. She is cute but is a talented singer and vocalist and she can ‘shred’ a guitar. The headliner was Adam Lambert, also an American Idol star. Not knowing what to expect from him, this was the Glamnation tour after all, was kind of fun. He put on a really good show and has a great voice. His band was also excellent. His fan base is deeply in love with him and they showed it. Here are a few shots from our seats shot with my point and shoot camera. Photography was allowed, however, only with non-professional type cameras. It was too dark to try and set up the cmera manually but I did remember to raise my ISO a bit.

This first shot is Orianthi with her band (Vivi Rama, bass and Brian Chiusano on guitar)

Adam Lambert with Monte Pittman (from Madonna’s touring bands and Prong) and Tommy Joe Ratliff on bass. The acoustic interlude in Adam’s set was great.

I am disappointed I didn’t get a good picture of Allison. I was basically dumbstruck by her performance, think of a hybrid between Janis Joplin and Pat Benetar (Joplinensis x Benetartis :lol: ). I did mange this noisy, over saturated shot.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bronze Leaf Dahlia 'Fata Morgana'

Bronze Leaf Dahlia 'Fata Morgana'

This maybe a case of a plant being labeled wrong as the other pictures of ‘Fata Morgana’ I have seen have been more orange and have a little different petal structure. If that is the case than this flower could be a true Fata Morgana, which is defined by Wikipedia as “an unusual and very complex form of mirage, a form of superior mirage, which, like many other kinds of superior mirages, is seen in a narrow band right above the horizon. Although the term Fata Morgana is sometimes incorrectly applied to other, more common kinds of mirages, the true Fata Morgana is not the same as an ordinary superior mirage, and is certainly not the same as an inferior mirage.

No matter what the name it is a nice Dahlia that has been happily growing in a large pot in the container garden. The Bronze leaf types of Dahlias are always nice to have and these flowers look good against the dark base of the foliage.

Since today is my birthday and I am really happy to have made it another year (health events notwithstanding) we are going to see my favorite new guitarist, Orianthi Panagaris as she performs on the Adam Lambert Glamnation tour. I have front row tickets! Thanks every one for your support.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ruby Red Grapefruit

Ruby Red Grapefruit
Citrus x paradisi 'Ruby Red'
(SIT-rus) (par-ih-DEE-see)

This a partial shot of my crop of Ruby Red. We picked and ate one yesterday and it was delicious. It had way more juice than the store bought type. This tree is about 15 years old and is not much to look at. Lets just say it has undergone substantial pruning several times. We have had fruit before but never 8 or ten at the same time. I am beginning to worry about the branches being able to support the weight of all of the fruit. Behind the fruit in this photo is a Mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata), which also has a bumper crop this season.

Grapefruit is considered a hybrid between the sweet orange and the pummelo fruits. It was discovered in Barbados in the 1700’s and was first brought to Florida in the 1820’s. After the introduction of the first patented cultivar (‘Ruby Red’) in 1929 the Grapefruit became an agricultural success. The United States leads the world in production with over 1.5 millions tons produced in 2007, primarily grown in Florida, Texas, California and Arizona. The name Grapefruit was given to the fruit because of the way it grows in clusters similar to grapes.

It is possible to grow Citrus in Connecticut and other than watching out for insects and having to have the trees under glass in the winter it is fairly painless. Our Myers Lemon tree has been producing for years, although it doesn’t have anything this year. I am going to try and buy a few ‘regular’ orange trees for the conservatory at work and see what happens. It will probably take a bit of research to figure out what varieties are best.

Just to add a flower picture for today here is the Floribunda Rose ‘Black Cherry’. Introduced by Jackson & Perkins in 2006 this is our first year with this rose. This flower has faded a bit but the bush itself has been producing fairly well all season. The color is a real nice red and the foliage has remained clean. It does look like it needs a little fertilizer in this photo. It has a nice but light fragrance and the flowers are on what I would call the smaller side.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer Snapdragon

Summer Snapdragon
Angelonia angustifolia
(angel-on-ee-a) (an-gus-tee-FOH-lee-uh)
Synonyms: Angel Flower

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Purple Tiger Floribunda Rose

Floribunda Rose
Rosa 'Purple Tiger'
Synonyms: Impressionist, JACpurr
Year of Introduction: 1991
Parentage: Intrigue X Pinstripe

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer Flowers

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

Here are a couple of groups of summer flowers to brighten up Monday. Variegated Garden Phlox is a classy plant. It seems to grow a bit weaker than the regular Garden Phlox but certainly can hold its own in the border or en masse. The delicate pink and white shading of the flowers is always interesting and it seems to be fairly disease resistant.

Just about every one knows this next flower. It is a super reliable bloomer and always looks good this time of year. I just have to find a way to keep the deer away from them. Luckily they hadn’t descended on this patch yet.

Black-Eyed Susan
Rudbeckia fulgida
(rud-BEK-ee-a) (FUL-jih-duh)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Miss Ruby Compact Butterfly Bush

Compact Butterfly Bush
Buddleja 'Miss Ruby'

This is another new (2007) Butterfly Bush with a compact habit. It doesn’t seem as dwarf as ‘Lo & Behold’ but it is a lot smaller then the species. Two things I found remarkable about ‘Miss Ruby’ were the flower color and the silvery foliage. The bright color of the flowers is nicely set off by the foliage. This plant was developed by Dr. Dennis Werner of the J.C. Raulston Arboretum in North Carolina.

‘Miss Ruby’ was certainly doing its job as it was covered in Butterflies. Our population of Butterflies seems really high this year much to the delight of my coworkers. They really get a chuckle out of seeing me trying to photograph them skipping from flower to flower.

See more flowers from all over the world at Today’s Flowers .

Since its Flowers from Today here is a bonus flower.

Exotic Impatiens
Impatiens hybrida ‘Fusion Infrared Apricot’

It seems really hard to get the Exotic Impatiens but they are well worth having. These flowers really glow in the shade. I wish the plants were more floriferous but they have been holding up well in the heat.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tradewinds Breeze Tropical Hibiscus

Tropical Hibiscus
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Candy Wind'
(hi-BIS-kus) (RO-sa-sy-NEN-sis)
Synonyms: Queen of the Tropics

These two members of the Tradewinds Breeze series have been nice to have in the garden this year. ‘Candy Wind’ is just a classic shade of pink and the plants have stayed smaller but do have kind of a desire to be more vertical than some of the other types of Hibiscus. Considered a tender evergreen shrub Hibiscus rosa-sinensis originates from Southern China and is now considered extinct in the wild. Lucky that it has been planted around the world and is staple of tropical landscaping.

This yellow cultivar is ‘Sunny Wind’ and it also has great color. The composition of this photograph is not stellar but I wanted to include since it is part of the Tradewind series.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hardy Hibiscus

Hardy Hibiscus
Hibiscus moscheutos ‘Turn of the Century’
(hi-BIS-kus) (mos-KEW-tos)
Synonyms: Swamp Mallow, Rose Mallow

This is the second Hibiscus here this week. This one is a little different since it is the hardy type. I hadn’t seen ‘Turn of the Century’ before and loved the coloration of the flower. From a distance it looked a lot like a cross but when viewed closer you could see the colors blended together a little less distinctly.

‘Turn of the Century’ is a tall plant that likes full sun and adequate moisture. Under ideal conditions it does not need staking. The flowers are slightly smaller than some of the really huge Hibiscus but are still large. Always a stunner in the garden.

Yesterday while driving by the reservoir I saw a Hardy Hibiscus blooming in the weeds along the banks of the lake. Now that is a cool wildflower.

Ugh, they were already bringing out the Christmas stuff at the nursery.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dwarf Panicle Hydrangea 'Little Lamb'

Dwarf Panicle Hydrangea
Hydrangea paniculata 'Little Lamb'
(hy-DRAIN-juh) (pan-ick-yoo-LAY-tuh)

I stumbled on this Hydrangea while at White Flower Farm and must say it blew me away. Its smaller stature with the big puffy flowers was perfect. Developed by Jelena DeBelder in Belgium ‘Little Lamb’ was introduced in 2002. It has the smallest flower petals of any Tree Hydrangea but when they are all together making up the flowers you really don’t notice that they are small. This Hydrangea is also very hardy, being able to make winters in USDA Zone 3. The flowers can fade to a kind of pink in the fall regardless of the soil ph.

It has been quite a week so far. On Monday while making a call on my cellular phone I decided to sit on a garden bench next to a large container of Salvia ‘Black and Blue’. I noticed a kind of buzzing next to my right ear and when I turned around to see what it was there was a Hummingbird about 4 inches from my face. It flew about a foot away and stopped and looked at me before flying off into the big Golden Privet about 20 feet away. We were both surprised and it was the best look I have ever had at the marvelous little creature.

Later that day I was sitting in the same chair that I have used for lunch for many years. After a while there seemed to be quite a few yellow jackets flying around me. I got up and looked and there was a giant underground nest right below the chair, about 6 inches from my backside. Luckily I didn’t get stung but realized one wrong move on my part would have stirred up the whole nest. Needless to say I finished my lunch somewhere else.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Asiatic Primrose

Asiatic Primrose
Primula capitata 'Salvana'
(PRIM-yew-luh) (kap-ih-TAY-tuh)
Synonyms: Capitata Primula

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

White Daylily

White Daylily
Hemerocallis 'Lady Elizabeth'
Synonyms: Lovely Lady™ series
Introduction: 1999

Monday, August 09, 2010

Variegated Tropical Hibiscus

Variegated Tropical Hibiscus
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Snow Queen'
(hi-BIS-kus) (RO-sa-sy-NEN-sis)

Since everyone seems to post their Ruby Tuesday on Monday I thought I would too. This variegated version of Hibiscus was living in Manhattan. The heavily white splashed foliage was a nice foil to reddish flowers. It is said that with the leaves change color as they age but I didn’t notice that. I did notice that each leaf had its own pattern of white. The amount of variegation can change with the amount of light intensity. This really should be the perfect summer for tropicals as it has been exceptionally hot. We have been watering all our container plants almost every day and some of them still seem a little stressed out.

It doesn’t look like there is any relief on the weather front for this week so that means a lot more dragging of hoses. The irrigation systems are barely keeping up with watering and the system at the Estate has been running pretty much 24 hours a day. You can really see any problems with the systems right now. If the heads are not delivering enough water it shows up quick. The dry line along the edge of the beds and woods is very apparent right now too.

To check out everything red go to:
Work of the Poet/ Ruby Tuesday.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Dwarf Butterfly Bush

Dwarf Butterfly Bush
Buddleja davidii 'Blue Chip'
(BUD-lee-uh) (duh-VID-ee-eye)
Synonyms: ‘Lo & Behold’

This is great new plant. It solves the problem of having Buddleja in the border without it growing enormously. This is the second year I have seen it but the first that we have actually planted it. Both of our plantings have formed a little carpet of color in an area that was previously carpeted by Juniper. In both cases it has been a 100% improvement. ‘Blue Chip’ is also on the list to replace some regular Butterfly Bush that has completely over grown its spot in a small border. Even after I was ready for it and cut the plants down to about 18 inches tall in the beginning of the season this just seem to encourage them to grow taller. You may have trouble finding the 'Blue Chip' variety, we were lucky and local nursery had 10 of them this spring (I bought them all). As a new introduction (2007) I am going to give this plant an A+ and five stars.

See more flowers from all over the world at Today’s Flowers .

Since it is Sunday here is the bonus flower. It is Variegated Canna Lily that has ben growing in a container with the dark red leaf/flowered ‘Australia’.

Canna Lily
Canna x generalis 'Striped Beauty'
Synonyms: Bangkok, Christ's Light, Minerva

I would describe ‘Striped Beauty’ as a semi-tall Canna. It is nicely proportioned and a good bloomer. I had given up on growing Cannas a while back because of the virus but couldn’t resist their bold foliage and flower colors. So far, with fingers crossed on virus this season.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Bear's Breeches

Bear's Breeches
Acanthus mollis
(a-KANTH-us) (MAW-liss)

To me this is a lovely perennial but to a lot of gardeners (especially in warmer climates) it is an invasive pest. I find the huge foliage and tall flower stalks to be architecturally beautiful and haven’t had any problems with rapid spreading of the plants. This plant grows in both sunny and shady areas and is not particular to soil type. It can often colonize a rough or bad area in the garden and is handy for that purpose. The leaves and flowers stalks do have thorns so be careful when working around Acanthus in the garden.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Orange Roses

Orange Roses

This name of this orange is unknown to me. It was a literal explosion of color. Orange roses are relatively new to rose growing (compared to the other colors) first making the scene in the early 1900’s after breeders combined yellow and traditional red roses. They soon became very popular. The color palette for orange roses ranges from red-orange to soft coral and the flowers are used to symbolize an attraction or the desire to peruse a relationship with the recipient. They an also signify pride and can be given for graduations and other accomplishments.

I am glad that it is Friday. Hopefully the weather won’t be as hot and humid over the weekend. Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Two Yellow Daylilies

Hemerocallis 'Northbrook Star'

These Yellow Daylilies are from a couple of weeks ago. The nice thing about ‘Northbrook Star’ is the flowers are huge. This specimen was growing nicely I the shade with just a little sun filtering down to the flowers. It was a nice splash of yellow in the shade.

This picture of ‘Statuesque’ was me playing around with a very shallow depth of field. This is a tall Daylily and a more golden brown than the first Daylily in this post. It was introduced in 1956 and is 12 years older than ‘Northbrook Star’.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Monday, August 02, 2010

Sargent's Crabapple

Sargent's Crabapple
Malus sargentii
(MAY-lus) (sar-JEN-tee-eye)

This is another picture from spring. This Crabapple has beaten the odds growing in thankless conditions to turn into a handsome specimen. Sargent's Crabapple was hybridized at Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum in 1892 and is named after their first director, Charles Sprague Sargent.

This tree doesn’t grow as tall as some crabs but it does grow wide. I would call it more of a shrub form than a tree. Kind of grows more like a Viburnum. The apples are a shiny red. The only knock against his tree is that it flowers and fruits heavily every other year. It seems to have good disease and pest resistance. There are a couple of other cultivars worth noting in the sargentii species including the dwarf ‘Tina’ and the little larger and much newer ‘Candymint’.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Common Dandelion

Common Dandelion
Taraxacum officinale
(ta-RAKS-uh-kum) (oh-fiss-ih-NAH-lee)
Synonyms: Leontodon taraxacum, Lion's Tooth, Bitterwort, Chicoria, Fortune-Teller, Wild Endive, Puffball, Pee in the Bed, Blowball, Cankerwort, Swinesnout

This flower is the bane of lawn gardeners but after taking this picture I decided to find out a little more about it. Its first mention is by doctors in the Middle East in the 10th and 11th century although its history in China probably goes further back than that. It was introduced to North America by European settlers and found the ground to their liking. It chief medical use is for liver and kidney complaints. It is also used for salads, beer, wine and honey making. The plant contains calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium. The next time I am eradicating a large number of dandelions I will certainly have a little more respect.

“The miracles of nature do not seem miracles because they are so common. If no one had ever seen a flower, even a dandelion would be the most startling event in the world.”

See more flowers from all over the world at Today’s Flowers .

For today’s bonus picture here is a shot of a white Crabapple and some Mother’s Day red azaleas blooming this spring at one of the houses we take care of. No one could pull in without commenting on the combination. The Crabapple variety is unknown but it was very fragrant.