Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
Lysimachia punctata 'Alexander'
Synonyms: Variegated Yellow Loosestrife
This is a fun and colorful plant to have in the garden. It does have to be planted with care because like most Lysimachias it is an aggressive and invasive plant. I would only recommend it to intermediate to advanced gardeners. With that said this flower forms a virtual color of carpet from the pinkish new shoots to the variegated foliage and yellow flowers. It is best used where it can form a big colony and not invade other plants. It grows in a multitude of conditions and can sometimes fill in over harsh areas of the garden.
I am happy to report a few signs of life out in the garden. This winter has seemed to me to be like a time warp. Some daffodils were just starting to come out of the ground and new shoots were coming out of the Daylilies. The tree buds are also starting to get a little color and a little swelling. Its not surprising as the calendar is going to flip to March this week. Bye, Bye February, thanks for stopping by.
"The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within."
William C. Bryant, American, (1794-1878)
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Synonyms: Vinca, Cayenne Jasmine, Madagascar Periwinkle, Old Maid
Lazy Sunday so far. This beauty is annual in our area and a bit of a finicky one. When it does grow it truly reminds me of a garden aristocrat. The plants are short and don’t really spread that much. I have found they like some moisture and few hours respite from the afternoon sun. They have not done well in containers for us. This isn’t a common plant at growers around here but if you are persistent you can find them.
Today’s bonus flower picture is an abstract of a Strawflower. They are fun to grow with their bright and bristly flowers. Do not water them too much.
Synonyms: Everlasting Daisy, Golden Everlasting
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Spotted Canna Lily
Canna x generalis
This is an archive shot from California. Looking up the cultivar proved futile, as there are more and more of them to choose from. In addition to the varieties that are commonly offered there are a lot of specialty types that are available in very small supplies. The light was just right for this photo even though it was a midday picture. I guess the California sun is nicer :lol: The bee just flew into the photo serendipitously while lining up the picture. I am glad it happened that way because if I tried to focus on the bee it probably would have ruined the photo.
Keeping up with clearing out the main folder that holds pictures for this blog here is a 2003 Harley Davidson motorcycle. I just liked all the lines and chrome.
Friday, February 24, 2012
This rose presented large flowers with a complex color shading scheme. This was taken at a nursery so I have no direct experience growing it but it would be welcome in the garden. There was some scent present but you would probably not grow it for its fragrance.
Here are a few facts about Catalina Rose:
Breeder: Keith W. Zary
Introduction: 2008 by Jackson & Perkins
Parentage : Color Magic × Seedling
Height: Up to 5 feet tall
Flower Size: large, 4.5 inch diameter
Petal Count: 28-40
Since I said I would be posting a picture that isn’t a flower here is a weird house we saw on Catalina Island. Both the Island and house have a funky history. The Holly Hill House in Avalon, California.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
This tree flower was posted here in 2008. I was happy to get another shot of it last year. Crabapples are usually fun to photograph because they are slightly fragrant and if you taking a picture of one that means you are out in the spring air. Luckily the Crabapples at the Estate didn’t suffer too much damage in the epic storms of last summer and fall. ‘Cardinal’ is still a small tree so there was less of a chance for damage.
I really can’t wait for Spring. With this weather it seems right around the corner but I know March can be a tricky month. Since posting the same flower seems redundant for today and the next couple of days there will be an abstract or nonbotanical picture posted with a flower.
For today here is a picture of the Mount Soledad cross in La Jolla, California. The area is beautiful as is the cross but it is continually mired in controversy.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Chrysanthemum x morifolium ‘Sparkling Cheryl’
At a time when my thoughts are turning more towards tulips and daffodils here is another Chrysanthemum. This mum was truly a star in the fall garden last year. Often living up to its name by sparkling in the morning sun with some dew drops on the flowers. We haven’t been paying too much attention to the mum cultivars we grow since they change so often. You just have to guess by color and ‘Sparkling Cheryl’ has a wonderful orangey-yellow blend that really fits the season.
Looking back at all the Chrysanthemum pictures I have taken over the last few years shows it to be a very photogenic flower. Partially due to the wonderful seasonal autumn light we get around here and partially due to it being a colorful, heavy flowering and nicely shaped flower. I am going to keep planting and photographing them.
We quietly slipped over a million page views on Digital Flower Pictures.com blog. It is just a number but a little humbling to me. I hope everyone is getting the information they are stopping by for.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Synonyms: Angel Wing Begonia
This Begonia has really burst on the scene the last few years. They are being used more and more and to good effect. My local annual grower has been producing these Begonias in a variety of sizes. Angel Wing Begonias grow really well in containers and can add a bright spot in a shady area of the garden. I haven’t tried them as bedding plants on a large scale but my limited experience has been good with the plants forming a low mat of good color.
Since its Sunday here is the bonus snapshot. It is a picture that has been hanging around so I thought I would pot it and move out of the folder of pictures I look in everyday.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Lavender Globe Lily
Synonyms: Nodding Onion
This is a great flower for rock gardens. It has shown remarkable tenacity in growing in the pile of rocks known as the Iris bed. It has seeded in well (but not excessively) and built quite a colony. I have been dispersing the seeds when I see them. It is a nice showy color and the geometry of the flowers is pleasant too.
This two pics represent a little field experiment with depth of field. The first photo was shot at f/10 and the second at f/3.3. You can see the difference in sharpness and the background.
Tonight is the big show :lol: We will be appearing at Molten Java's new location in Bethel, Connecticut. 213 Greenwood Avenue from 8pm to about 10. This will be the band's first show and I just hope everything goes okay.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Weeping Chinese Fringe Flower
Loropetalum chinense 'Plum Purple'
Synonyms: Chinese Witch Hazel
This was my first look at this plant in a landscape situation and it is super attractive. The foliage is outstanding and sets up the little yellow flowers nicely. This specimen was growing in the Ladies Border at the NYBG. That is the area devoted to growing plants that are not really hardy in the area. Loropetalum is rated to USDA Zone 7 so it wouldn’t make it in Connecticut (maybe on the direct shoreline) but should be good in the Bronx where this was living.
The problem I have found growing Zone 7 plants in Connecticut is that you are good for many seasons until we get that one bad winter and it kills everything back to the ground. Sometimes we have multiple bad winters in a row and that really finishes things off. We had some Crepe Myrtles at the Estate for about 10 years and they were really beautiful. The 11th winter killed the tops and the resulting growth from the roots was disappointing for a couple of years after that. I had hoped that some sort of flowering shrub would develop but it never did.
Loropetalum likes partial sun and well drained soil. It has minimal water needs after getting established. There are numerous other cultvars available.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Camellia japonica 'Mathotiana Rosea'
Synonyms: Japanese Camellia
There was nothing common about this Camellia as it bloomed in the dappled shade of Central Florida. The formal flowers were big and pretty much a glowing pink. The plant, more like a tree actually, was tall and stately. Camellias are one of my favorite landscape plants but we are confined to growing them in containers in this area, which I have found difficult.
Everything here is kind of gearing up to our band’s first gig on Saturday night (18th). We are playing two sets from 8 to 10 pm at Molten Java’s.
They have moved to a cool new site, which was a major upgrade. We sound good but I am sure there is going to be a few arrangement and sound issues but I am looking forward to getting out there again. It’s fun that both of my grandchildren will be there.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Sunday, February 12, 2012
There about 1,200 Dendrobium species and numerous hybrids that are widely cultivated. Mostly native to Southeast Asia and Australia they grow in a wide and diverse habitat in the wild. Most are epiphytes, meaning they attach themselves to other plants for support only. It is not a parasitic relationship. Breeding has increased the color range and flowering time for Dendrobiums.
Since it is Sunday and Today’s Flowers here is a bonus shot of an unusual Vanda type Orchid.
Vanda ‘Robert’s Delight x Miss Rattana’
Super nice color on this Vanda Orchid. They looked like Pansies.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Blue Sky Vine
Synonyms: Bengal Clock Vine
This beauty was waiting for me in the petting zoo at Gatorland. We usually see this vine blooming when we get to Florida and this year was no different. Gatorland has really upgraded since I was last there 15 years ago. It truly is one of the few old roadside tourist attractions in Florida. It was the only place I saw live gators during the whole trip. Another interesting about these photo is it was shot using the 18-70mm zoom lens. Technically it's called the Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED IFAF-S DX Nikkor Zoom Lens.
On the D700 camera (full frame) this lens auto crops down to 5 megapixels (instead of 12) since it is built for the smaller sensor cameras. In the view finder you can see where the edges of the photo will be but it still is a little tricky to remember to use those lines instead of the whole viewfinder. The lens came as a kit lens with my first DSLR a Nikon D70s. I almost didn’t buy it to save the $99 but said what the heck. Since getting that camera I have switched over to using fixed or prime lenses almost exclusively. It was fun to have some zoom and you can see that the lens is sharp with good color rendition and you can’t ask for anymore than that.
Karen put a big scratch in this lens by accident. It didn’t show up when taking most pictures but I didn’t like it being there. After using the lens as a paperweight for a time I took it down to the repair shop and asked if they could fix it. They had the part in stock and did the job for $58, which I happily paid. They also check the lens for specifications and adjust as needed. It is a very nice lens that I am happy to see it in my bag.
I am always a little irresolute in recommending vines in tropical climates. This one was beautiful and seemingly under control and gets good reviews from people growing it. Of course I am a sucker for any blue flower.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Hybrid Tea Rose ‘Cesar E. Chavez’
Another day another rose. I am posting this picture since I slogged my back up body (D70s) and some lenses for it through the Florida sun. It ended up taking 36 pictures and quite a few of them came out nice. This was taken with Sigma 24mm/1.8 lens and it seems to be a good match for camera.
‘Cesar E. Chavez’ is a deep red rose and the color is really only partially rendered here. The shape and color of this rose is so classic. Its parents are ‘Olympiad’ and ‘Ingrid Bergman’ two very beautiful red hybrid teas. ‘Cesar E. Chavez’ was introduced to the US in 2002 by Jackson & Perkins. It could have a spot in any garden I tend to.
Thursday, February 09, 2012
Grandiflora Rose ‘Sunshine Daydream’
Synonyms: MEIkanaro, Raffaello
I would like to introduce you to a 2012 All-American Rose selection called ‘Sunshine Daydream’. This one was spotted in the small but nice rose garden inside the Magic Kingdom. The garden itself was a surprise and I was excited to see that it featured AARS roses. In general the roses we saw in Central Florida were fabulous. They were blooming seemingly everywhere. Knockout roses were leading the charge, of course, but there were plenty of hybrid teas, grandiflora and shrub roses. One type that was “missing” was the ground cover/landscape roses but they were hardly missed.
‘Sunshine Daydream’ is listed as both a hybrid tea and grandiflora rose so I don’t know what’s up with that. It looks more like a grandiflora to me. Its disease resistance is supposed to be very good, which makes it more environmentally friendly rose. It also grows tall (up to 5 feet) and bushy. The specimens we saw were clean and vigorous. There was no discernable fragrance.
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Monday, February 06, 2012
Synonym: Tabernaemontana coronaria, Crape Jasmine
This was the last plant I saw at the Botanical Gardens in Orlando. I had no idea it was a Jasmine. Now I am wishing I had smelled the flowers but there was no detectable odor from them. After a long walk through the big Camellia collection the Pinwheel flower as at the end. It grows more as a shrub than most Jasmines and had a neat rounded appearance. It is considered a nocturnal bloomer so maybe that is when the fragrance really comes out.
In Zone 10 it can bloom year round and actually grow into a little tree. The plants do have the ability to bounce back after bouts with freezing temperatures.
Sunday, February 05, 2012
The variety name escapes me on this white variety of Delphinium. There are over 300 species and countless hybrids now so it is difficult to determine. I have to admit I love the grand spikes of blue, purple, pink and sometimes white these flowers produce. I am less enchanted with growing the short lived, finicky and rangy plants. Nothing looks more classic then a backbone of delphinium snaking down a perennial border or a giant mass of them planted alone.
I am not sure why this next picture is included other than to show the massive spike. If you look near the bottom left you can see the palmate foliage, which is considered poisionous.
One thing I found out that is interesting is that French plant breeder Victor Lemoine
was responsible for the early hybridization of D. elatum after it was discovered in the Alps.
Since it is Sunday and Today’s Flowers here is a bonus shot of a yellow summer daisy recently spotted basking in the central Florida sun.
Saturday, February 04, 2012
No trip to Florida would be complete without a couple of exotic bird pictures. This is one area I was hurt by my lens selection there wasn’t anything longer than 70mm in my bag. I wanted to take my 80-200mm but thought it was just too conspicuous to use at the parks. Turns out I saw plenty of people using 70-300 and also the 70-200mm Nikon lenses both of which are pretty big. Disney really didn’t have any photo restrictions (except no flash on some rides) and that was nice. They have this amazing Photo Pass system of photographers roaming the parks and they were nice enough to use your camera or step out of the way for you to take shots.
The Green Parrot looked a little cold but came out with a big hearty “Hello” when I was taking his picture. It caused me a little chuckle and he didn’t seem to mind posing for a few snaps.
This bird is a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita). He was not as friendly but still consented to some photos.
Friday, February 03, 2012
Synonyms: California Pitcher Plant, Chrysamphora californica
This little beauty was growing at the Botanical Gardens in Orlando. As a quick review I have to say I loved spending a couple of hours amongst the vast plant collection and tranquility of the Harry P. Leu Gardens.
The rose garden and Camellia collection (one of the largest documented in the U.S.) were outstanding. There were a lot of Camellia species I had never seen before. The winding trails offered a trip through several other plant types. It looked to me that Central Florida (USDA Zone 9b) was providing the perfect climate to get lushness without sloppiness. Everything looked well tended too in all the gardens. This place provides such a nice respite from the Disney craziness that seems to exist in an alternate universe.
This was the first time I had seen a Cobra Lily up close. It is such a microcosm in the botanical grandeur that was growing all around it. There were a couple of trough gardens filled with Insectivorous and Carnivorous plants. It all looked to be on a miniature scale and this plant was quite small.
Thursday, February 02, 2012
Hybrid Tea Rose
Since it is a travel day here is just one of the stunning roses we saw here in Central Florida. The roses in general were having a great season and I gazed upon them with admiration and wonder. This hybrid Tea had such a gentle color and appearance. The strong fragrance was nice too.