Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tropical Waterlily

Tropical Waterlily

Here is another Waterlily shot from Florida with the Nikon D70s and the 80-200mm 2.8 lens. I wasn’t used to shooting across the lily pond and being able to get a good sized picture of a flower. The lens is pretty amazing with excellent color rendition and sharpness.

This next photo is from Key West’s Mallory Square and also uses the 80-200.

My Pansies turned to mush over last weekend and need to be replaced. The owner of the house is a gardener and understands that you can get burned by trying to push the season a little. Since th flowers are for a memorial service I have to replace them on Friday (if it doesn’t snow).

Yesterday was a happy day as we scored tickets for the world’s greatest teenager’s summer tour. Selena Gomez! We were able to get a couple of meet and greet tickets for my birthday! Her she is singing her hit song ‘Naturally’.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Florida Snapshot Flowers

Silver Vase Bromeliad
Aechmea fasciata
(EEK-mee-uh) (fash-ee-AY-tuh)

Impatiens walleriana
(im-PAY-shuns) (wall-er-ee-AH-nuh)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Figleaf Hollyhock

Figleaf Hollyhock
Alcea rosea 'Peaches 'n Dreams'
(al-KEE-uh) (RO-zee-uh)
Synonyms: Antwerp Hollyhock

Monday, March 28, 2011

Garden Phlox

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

This is a tall Phlox that has a deep color. The flowers are nicely fragrant and form big trusses. A nice plant for the summer garden.

The last couple of nights have been a little uneasy for us as we made a big planting of Pansies and Andromeda last week. The temperatures just haven’t been cooperating over night. I knew it was risky but since the flowers are for a memorial service next week the work had to be done. I guess I will see if there is any cold damage to the stuff this morning.

This is a picture of some left over Chihuly glass from Fairchild Gardens.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pot Marigold

Pot Marigold
Calendula officinalis
(ka-LEN-dew-luh) (oh-fiss-ih-NAH-liss)
Synonym: English Marigold

This picture was shot in early October and you can see the Calendula was still shining brightly. Being a good cool weather plant is one of things I love about Pot Marigolds. They can really fire up the fall garden.

There are about 20 species of Calendula and they are mostly native to Europe and the North Africa region to Iran, and the entire Mediterranean region in between. They have been in cultivation for thousands of years. Many medicinal properties are associated with these flowers and the oils are used to treat a variety of maladies.

Since it is Sunday and that means Todays Flowers here is a bonus flower. Today’s Flowers for flower pictures from around the world.

Here is a plant that I hadn’t seen in so long I had forgotten about it. Quite a dramatic landscape plant the large patch at the NYBG was really a sight to see. The twigs have just enough color to add to the effect. It was growing in a bottom area that had obviously been recently flooded.

Black Pussy Willow
Salix gracilistyla 'Melanostachys'
(SAL-iks) (grass-il-ih-STY-luh)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Beallara Purple Haze ‘Jimi Hendrix’

Beallara Purple Haze ‘Jimi Hendrix’
Parentage: Miltonia Boulivot x Beallara Tahoma Glacier

Sorry about the all of the Orchid photos lately but they are the freshest pics that are on my hard drive. This Orchid is one that I had been trying to photograph for a while and I was happy to see it at the 2011 NY Orchid show. Often times when I want to shoot a particular flower it is good for me to go ahead and try to get a good photo and move on.

This flower is named after the great rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix. The color combination and size of the flower make it a true gem. It is an intergeneric hybrid.

This next Orchid is an Odontocidium type. I am not sure which cultivar it is but it had an impressive array of flowers. The bud picture shows the flower before opening. It doesn’t portend the great colors and markings of the flower to emerge.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Virginia Cup Plant

Virginia Cup Plant
Silphium connatum
(SIL-phee-um) (con-NATE-um)

It can be a bit of a struggle identifying the flowers that I shoot pictures of. Especially when it was several months between shooting and posting. This daisy had a tag with the name Silphium connatum, however it wasn’t displaying some of the key traits that they usually have like square red stems and heights of up to 10 feet tall. So that leaves it a bit if a mystery.

The clearness of the yellow and the shape of the flower make it nice no matter what the species. I usually find Silphium to be a course, kind of rangy, genus that is usually regulated to the back of the border or mass plantings in moist areas. It does attract a lot of birds and butterflies when it blooms July-September.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Two Phalaenopsis Orchids

Phalaenopsis 'Brother Pepride' x 'Brother Nobel Star'

These two Phalaenopsis are from Hawaii. The name tags were confusing since they seemed to have the complete parentage on the tag and had several names. The first one is a nice yellow, which isn’t the most popular Phalaenopsis color. The fact that it is spotted is a bonus as I really like spotted flowers.

The second Orchid is a little more typical of the species and also has a nice spotted appearance. I would have loved to visit Hawaii this winter but it wasn’t in the cards.

Our gardening season got shut down yesterday as we had a windy, rainy, cold, sleetly and snowy day. It is still snowing a little bit and there was enough overnight to cover the ground. I am sure it is just a minor set back but it is a little depressing.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Giant Crinum Lily

Giant Crinum Lily
Crinum asiaticum
(KRY-num) (a-see-AT-ee-kum)
Synonyms: Grand Crinum Lily, Spider Lily

It was a pleasure to see (and smell) these blooming in Fort Lauderdale last month. I was sure of the genus name but when I looked it up I saw there are a lot of species of this plant available to gardeners. Giant Crinum Lily follows it name and gets big. It is a stately plant that can be used as a dramatic accent plant. It actually grows from a large bulb (10-20 lbs, 5-9 kg) and likes a sheltered location in full sun (can accept some shade). A native of Southeast Asia it has become a popular landscaping plant in the warm areas of the United States.

I have been “developing” some snapshots from Florida and will be posting some the next couple of days. This first one is actually from Georgia. We loved our detour to St. Simons Island to see the lighthouse and visit some stores.

This next photo is probably a lawn weed but I liked the little purple flowers blooming in the grass. No idea on the identification of this one.

Finally here is the cruise ship Disney Magic docked at Key West. It was huge and I was happy to get the whole boat in the picture. Shot with the Nikon D70s and 18-70mm lens.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Moss Rose

Moss Rose
Rosa 'Gloire des Mousseux'
Synonyms: Gloire des Mousseuses, Madame Alboni

I had no idea that this rose had been bred in 1852 by the famous rose breeder Jean Laffy. There was a little bit of a distinctive air to it. There was a strong fragrance and that always makes taking the picture a little easier. A nice rose with a strong history.

Climbing Rose
Rosa ‘Climbing Gold Badge’
Synonyms: MEIgro-Nurisar, MEIgronurisar
Introduced: 1991 by Meilland Roses

This rose was amazing. The color was such a nice yellow. This variety is considered one of the heaviest blooming yellow climbing rose. The lack of fragrance was made up for with a statuesque appearance.

Since it is Sunday and that means Todays Flowers here is a bonus flower. Today’s Flowers for flower pictures from around the world.

Purple Wandering Jew
Tradescantia pallida
(trad-es-KAN-tee-uh) (PAL-lid-duh)
Synonyms: Purple Heart, Purple Queen

A nice groundcover for the tropical garden. This one was threading itself along the ground and the light purple flowers looked good against the dark purple foliage.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

DayDream Shrub Rose

Shrub Rose
Rosa 'DayDream'
Synonyms: BAIeam, Baieam

This rose seemed so happy when it was blooming last summer. It was just a shower of flowers. There are couple of nice things about this rose from a cultural standpoint including it is very hardy, it is disease resistant and it only grows to 2 feet tall. That combines into a nice package.

Here are some details on Daydream:
Breeder: Ping Lim
Introduction: Bailey Nurseries, 1994
Fragrance: Mild
Petal Count: 10-12
Parentage: Lavender Dream × Henry Kelsey

Friday, March 18, 2011


Delphinium elatum
(del-FIN-ee-um) (el-AH-tum)
Synonyms: Larkspur

These pretty blue Delphiniums are just a memory now but they were beautiful in their day. Always a star of the border Delphiniums never really disappoint me. They can be a little messy and need staking but it is well worth it. Delphiniums seem to be biennial in my garden with just a few stragglers coming back the following year and I have learned to accept them for that.

Today we woke up to a nice day here. A hint of spring is in the air and temperatures are forecast to rise to the highest level since last October.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick’s Day Flowers

Dendrobium ‘Burana Jade’

I thought these green flowers were good for St. Patrick’s Day. Hope you are out celebrating or going to the parade we are going to be working.

Both of these Orchids have a green tint, which is a little rare. A couple of other Cymbidiums (‘Loch Lomond’) have a green tint as do a couple of other species.

Asian Corsage Orchid
Cymbidium Enzan Current ‘Aquarius’

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Three Daylilies

Hemerocallis 'Dewberry Candy'
Introduced: 1991
Flash Photo

Hemerocallis 'Texas Shogun'
Introduction: 1984

Hemerocallis 'Scarlet Royalty'
Introduced: 1988

It's the first official day of the 2011 gardening season here. Good luck to all.

Monday, March 14, 2011



The Daylilies in my garden are about the only thing showing any signs of life. That is good since they were installed last year for the most part. If I can get plants through the winter that usually means they are established. That isn’t always the case because some plants look like they have made it only to falter when the time comes to really start growing.

This season is getting started as we have been getting some calls for work. Mostly clean up and snow damage but that doesn’t matter right now. It is good when people start thinking about getting their places straightened out. Email us if you need gardening services in Fairfield or Westchester counties.

This Daylily was blooming late in the season and may have been reblooming. I liked the color scheme and stripes.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tropical Waterlily

Tropical Waterlily

Here are two different tropical water lilies that were blooming in two different places. The pink one was at in the outdoor lily pond at The Kampong in Coconut Grove, Florida. It was our first visit to this public garden and it is really a spectacular place. In some ways it is almost the perfect Florida estate to me (only missing a swimming pool). With a large house and lot, deep water anchorage, water views and a super plant collection it pretty much sums up everything you would want to enjoy the southern Florida lifestyle. If you read the linked Wikipedia article you will see that it was the home of Dr. David Fairchild who among other things was responsible for introducing around 30,000 different plant species to the United States. I would recommend a visit to Kampong if you are in the area. This picture was shot across the pond with my new 80-200mm/2.8 lens. It was mounted on my back up camera a Nikon D70s giving an effective focal range of 300mm.

The second Nymphaea photo was taken last week in the water garden room at the New York Botanical Garden. It was nice to see them blooming indoors. The large Jade Vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys) over the water was blooming and dropping its unusually colored and shaped flowers in the water. I don’t care for the more washed out color in this cultivar (compared to the first photo) but there was something calming and delicate about it.

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

Since it is Sunday here is a bonus flower. It is just one of the Hosta types from the estate’s gardens. The leaves are plain green and unremarkable but the flowers are nice with the touch of purple and fragrance.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hawaiian Attraction Cattleya Orchid

Cattleya Orchid
Cattleya ‘Hawaiian Attraction’

The Cattleya orchids are some of the best looking in the genus. A close second to the Rainbow Orchids (Vanda) for me. This one with its pure white petals and purple labellum and nice fragrance was a winner. It was in the for sale section of the Orchid Show for $45US. Not a bad price but I couldn’t bite it off right now (wrong season) plus I know where to get Orchids wholesale so if I buy any it will be there.

Thanks for all the well wishes and enquiries about my sister. It turns out she was on Kauai and had to evacuate her hotel and spend the night in a shelter. She said everything was okay at the shelter and when she returned to her hotel there was no apparent damage. Its just the media hypes everything here so it was easy for us to get nervous. She was flying home to Maui last night so the airport was open and operating semi normally.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Coppertone Stonecrop

Coppertone Stonecrop
Sedum nussbaumerianum
(SEE-dum) (nuss-baw-mer-ee-AH-nuh)
Synonyms: Nussbaumer's Sedum

This Sedum was blooming in the Cactus Room at the New York Botanical Garden the other day. It was nice to see since I didn’t know there were tropical versions of Sedum, which is a stalwart genus for fall gardens here. I was immediately attracted to the orange/yellow foliage and the Jade plant type flowers when I spotted this. Just another treat from the NYBG’s Orchid show.

This morning we woke up to the distressing news that Japan had been hit with a major earthquake. Since my sister lives in Hawaii the tsunami warning there has me a bit worried. Normally she lives in upcountry Maui at an elevation of 1000 feet above sea level and is pretty safe from the waves but recently she has been visiting Kauai and that is much more open to damage from a tsunami. Of course it is the middle of the night there and we can’t get in touch with her. I love that she is living out her dreams out there (and its nice for us for vacations) but when something like this happens it is nerve wracking. Not only are the waves damaging but I am also worried about the chaos after an event like that.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Strawberries and Cream Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Strawberries and Cream'
(ham-uh-MEE-lis) (in-ter-MEE-dee-a)

We are going to shift gears here away from the Orchids and go to this handsome shrub that was actually blooming outdoors here this week. Witch Hazels are always nice to have out in the garden. They bloom so early and don’t seem to be deterred by the weather. This variety, which I had never seen before is marvelous. The subtle shadings of the flowers stand out on a good looking rounded shrub. The fragrance was there too. It is said to have the nice golden yellow fall color that is typical of the species.

Witch Hazels are slow growing and pretty much pest free. They like full sun but can tolerate part shade. Moist soil is best but they are not fussy about water. A little pruning to maintain shape is all that is required. There are many varieties available now in red, orange and yellow.

It supposed to rain another couple of inches here today and tomorrow. That is going to be sure to exacerbate the flooding situation we had here early this week when we got 3.59 inches of rain overnight. It was impossible to drive anywhere in town without being turned back.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Pink Asian Corsage Orchid

Asian Corsage Orchid
Cymbidium Enzan Spring ‘In the Mood’
Parentage: Cymbidium Lucky Rainbow X Cymbidium Sylvan Star

Monday, March 07, 2011

The Orchid Show: On Broadway 2011

The Orchid Show: On Broadway
2011 New York Orchid Show
Bronx, NY

Yesterday I went to the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden. The flowers were overwhelmingly beautiful but compared to previous years shows this year falls a little short. The idea of making the displays like various Broadway theaters was an interesting one and pulled off well but the loud looping show tunes soundtrack was a little annoying. I felt my Ipod could have provided a better mix of Broadway music. As usual Cymbidium orchids were the star of the show with many interesting colors and sizes. There were, of course, many other species and types for viewing as well.

Palmleaf Orchid
Spathoglottis plicata ‘Sorbet Tropical Pineapple’
(spath-oh-GLOT-tiss) (ply-KAY-tuh)
Synonyms: Ground Orchid, Boat Orchid, Phillippine Orchid

This little Orchid had outstanding color. It was off in the Special Collections Room and was putting on a nice show by itself. I had seen this orchid in Florida a couple of weeks ago and wondered about the name and it was nice to put it together.

Pansy Orchid
MIltonia ‘Saffoen Surprise x Maui Sunset’

This was my favorite Orchid in the show. Having seen both of its parents before made it special as it did the wonderful primrose color and size of the flower. This picture captured a little bit of the glow this flower had.

The show is a nice respite from this insufferable winter to duck in to see and smell all the flowers and that alone makes it worthwhile to attend. The displays are immaculately maintained and everything looked fresh. I had three cameras (which is one too many) and these shots represent each one. The Phalaenopsis display (looked fabulous) was shot with the D70s and 24mm/1.8 Sigma lens. The Palmleaf Orchid came from the D700 with the 105mm/2.8 Micro-Nikkor lens and the Pansy Orchid picture was shot with the Nikon Coolpix P6000.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Flame of Jamaica

Flame of Jamaica
Euphorbia punicea
(yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (pun-IK-ee-uh)
Synonyms: Jamaican Poinsettia

This shrub was certainly lighting up the south Florida landscape. The beautiful red bracts looked good against the clear blue sky. Native to the islands of Jamaica and Cuba this semi-shrubby tree can grow in poor soil with a minimum of water. It doesn’t take much pruning and can bloom year round. It was my first run in with this plant and it was totally captivating. There are some variations of the bract (modified leaves) color and the can range from orange to deep red. This plant is unusual in the United States and I can’t figure out why since it is low maintenance and showy.

Since it is Sunday here is a bonus plant.

Ceylon Ironwood
Mesua ferrea
Synonyms: Indian Rose Chestnut, Cobra's Saffron, Nagkeshar

This is another tree that I wasn’t familiar with. It looked nice with the red new growth but didn’t have any flowers. Typical of the botanical world it had a lot of history and medicinal purposes that you wouldn’t know by just looking at it. The tree is considered sacred in Indian culture and the flowers and aromatic bark are used in the fragrance industry. The flower oil can also have anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties. It is native to tropical Sri Lanka where it is considered the national tree with its cultivation reaching back as far as the 8th century AD.

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

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Dwarf Bottlebrush

Dwarf Bottlebrush
Callistemon viminalis 'Little John'
(kal-lis-STEE-mon) (vim-in-AY-liss)

A nice twist on a plant that is always fun for me to see (love the flower color). The dwarf version of Bottlebrush was spotted growing in Palos Verdes, California. It only grows to 4 feet tall instead of the 12-15 feet tall of the regular Bottlebrush. The foliage is a nice blue-grey and may cause an allergic reaction in some people.

This plant attracts a lot of hummingbirds to the garden and there were a couple of them flitting around the patch I was observing. Although this plant is rated for a low temperature of 20 degrees (F) there are a lot of reports of it being hardier.