Monday, April 30, 2012

Calla Lily

Calla Lily
Zantedeschia aethiopica
(zan-te-DES-kee-uh) (ee-thee-OH-pik-uh)

Keeping with the California theme of yesterday here are a couple more Californian plants. The Calla lily was blooming all over the place and when I came upon this one I was reminded of the Calla I found growing way, way out in the woods on Kauai. It was such a perfect specimen and so beautiful but 3 miles into the woods.

A friend of mine once took a couple of Callas home from work and planted them in his garden. I was like “good luck with that” since they aren’t hardy in this area. The plants seemed to beat the odds and have lived in Norwalk, Connecticut for several winters. I was at his house the other night (band meets there) and I noticed his Cairn Terrier butt deep into one of his flower beds and sure enough he had totally dug up the Callas. We carefully put everything back together and will hope for the best.

This plant was almost a little alarming looking. Kind of a “Seymour” look to it. Its geometry was stunning as was its color.

Variegated Century Plant
Agave americana var. marginata

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lady's Slipper Orchid

Lady's Slipper Orchid
Paphiopedilum haynaldianum

For the last several months this site has been relying on outtakes and archive materials as it has every winter of its existence. The folder I have been using is called “To Be Used 2011” and it has gotten so I don’t even want to look in there again. So a new folder has been started with 2012 replacing the 2011. Today’s Orchids were photographed in California and were growing outside in kind of a lean-to greenhouse. It was a nice collection of unusual species. All of these photos were shot with the Nikon D700 and 60mm nikkor-micro lens.

Since it is Sunday again here is a bonus snap of an unknown Orchid. The color scheme and design of this flower gave it an almost scary look. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fox Tongue Melastoma

Fox Tongue Melastoma
Melastoma sanguineum
(mel-LAS-toh-muh) (san-GWIN-ee-um)

This shrub was spotted in Central Florida blooming with abandon in the middle of winter. It was new to me and it must have been fascinating because I took about 12 exposures of it. It was growing in the Tropical Stream Garden at Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando. I was just sitting remembering my afternoon there and how beautiful everything was. It got down to 36 degrees (F) last night here and we have another freeze warning for tonight. A frost warning would be a lot more welcome as it seems a little late for heavy freezes at this point. Oh well I will just pick up the pieces afterwards and move on.

Melastoma is considered invasive in some areas and grows into a large, broad shrub. It likes shady (out of the sun) and moist well drained soil. The evergreen foliage is quite nice as well.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pink Climbing Rose

Climbing Rose

This unknown Pink Climbing rose is from last year. The roses seem a little slow this year and an inspection at the big rose garden revealed some late frost damage. It is still getting really cold here at night and that isn’t encouraging the roses to grow. This clear pink climber sure was a star in the garden and hopefully this year it will be the same. The farm has a large collection of climbing roses and they seem to be almost biennial in their blooming habit. They bloom every year but seem to have more flowers every other year. I do not believe they are modern roses, which may contribute to their blooming cycles.

Today is the last day on a large masonry project we have been working on the last two weeks and it has been exhausting. It is a large circular stone outdoor fire pit and it is really testing my skills to the max. The big party starts on Friday so everything has to be ready at the end of today. I also have band practice and that usually goes late so I probably won’t be worth much tomorrow. We booked a couple of local gigs for June and July and there is still some work to be done before we are really ready. Learning this song has been giving me fits:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pansy Orchid

Pansy Orchid

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fancy Daylily

Hemerocallis 'Barry Matthie Seedling #12'

This Daylily is not an official cultivar just a beautiful seedling I saw out on Long Island. As I remember the day it was about 100 degrees out and I was the only one looking and snapping photos of the Daylily and Dahlia gardens. The flowers still looked fresh even under the conditions. This Daylily is like most of Mr. Matthie’s selections, fancy and a bit breathtaking. The color shading and ruffles combined to make it stand out from the crowd of other Daylilies trying to get my camera’s attention.

Well we finally got some rain yesterday and last night. It was the perfect type of rain. Hard but not fast enough to run off so the ground is soaked and it really feels like spring out there now.

Sunday, April 22, 2012



These are some strange tulips from work. They started out blooming yellow and then turn orange as the flower ages. It is quite a big contrast between the stages. In the next photo one tulip bloomed a couple of days later and was still yellow. The name is lost but these tulips grew strong and flowered heavy. The color change is good once you get used to it.

Thankfully it finally rained here last night and you could certainly feel the refreshed atmosphere outside. The pollen seems less obtrusive and that is welcome. We have a lot more rain forecasted for tonight and I do hope it comes true.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Flowering Crabapple

Flowering Crabapple

Here is a quick post about a lovely crabapple tree blooming at the house we are working on right now. The tree is full size and has been pruned to shape over the years. It has a slightly different flower color than most crabs being a little pink and a little pastel. Overall when you look at the tree it gives a nice pink radiance with a hint of red from the emerging foliage. Later the leaves turn all green.

Crabapple flowers here can be ruined by heavy rain but we haven’t had any of that for months, so they are having a great year. None of the buds got any winter damage either so it has been a banner season for them.

It is the first Saturday at work for this season. We are working on a stone outdoor fire pit that has to be done by Thursday.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Common Lilac

Common Lilac
Syringa vulgaris
(si-RING-gah) (vul-GAIR-iss)
Synonyms: French Lilac

This is a rare flower from my home garden. What is left of the garden after the October snowstorm. What the storm didn’t take out the deer seemed determined to finish off. These Lilacs were on the property when I moved here and are huge. Big enough to cut arm loads of flowers when they are blooming. The insides of the plants were crushed but the outer branches are blooming now and it is always pleasant. There is one white lilac amongst the purples but it doesn’t seem to bloom as well as the others. We have been collecting the seedlings and making a small forest of the shrubs but they seem to take a long time to get to blooming age.

Did anyone watch Selena Gomez sing a song on Dancing with the Stars this week? I only watched since she was performing her new single, ‘Hit the Lights’. It was nice to see her with her old band, which has been broken up for a few months now. Her new guitar player was playing a *gasp* Fender® guitar. That ups his coolness factor with me. I don’t know how long this video will be on you tube but here is her performance:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Creeping Phlox

Creeping Phlox
Phlox subulata
(floks) (sub-yoo-LAH-tuh)

Every few years conditions seem just right for this colorful groundcover to shine. It is a literal carpet of color right now. After flowering it generally creeps back into garden obscurity until the following year. It seems happy to be growing in a crack in sidewalk and other kind of rough areas and doesn’t seem to flourish in rich soil garden borders. It is a nice plant for this time of year.

This second picture is a white form that has blended nicely with Sedum ‘Dragon’s Blood’.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wide-leaved Bellflower

Wide-leaved Bellflower
Campanula latifolia 'Brantwood'
(kam-PAN-yoo-luh) (lat-ee-FOH-lee-uh)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Baltimore Oriole Daylily

Hemerocallis 'Baltimore Oriole'

Daylilies with this deep of a color stand out a little above the Hemerocallis crowd. The petals are a rich red and have a good structure. The flowers can measure up to six inches across and have a deep yellow throat. We are going back to Manhattan today with a load of plants to complete the spring clean up. There are several Daylilies on board but none as striking as 'Baltimore Oriole'. The garden owner goes for lighter colors so we bought some pastel and more muted types.

Our foray into the big city last week was the first time we ever worked down there and not received a parking ticket even though parking in the neighborhood has been reduced by about half due to construction. Hopefully we can continue the magic this week.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

White Foxglove

White Foxglove
Digitalis purpurea 'Camelot White'
(dig-ee-TAH-liss) (pur-PUR-ee-uh)

A slightly different twist on a garden classic. The white flowers on this cultivar are nice and I have found they mix well with the standard pink/purple types. Although it is recovered from a separate species of Digitalis I would like to thank them for helping to keep healthy as my daily dose of Digoxin helps control my heart rate.

Currently we are building up a big patch of Foxglove at work. It isn’t the white flowered type but has been steadily (with our help) seeding into a larger area. Transplanting the seedlings has proved tricky but we haven’t given up on it yet.

Since it is Sunday here is another plant that has been steadily increasing its space in the garden but not in an annoying way. It has taken over what I call "hard luck ground” and is happy despite the conditions. I am not sure what species of Allium this is but it is really a nice plant.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Red Barberry

Red Barberry
Berberis sp.

Normally I don’t like posting invasive species on this blog but the red version of this plant doesn’t seem to be a heavy seeder. This is not one of the nice horticultural types of Red Barberry but it is in the garden so I have to deal with it. The yellow flowers are really small and usually hidden amongst the leaves and thorns but this one was standing out on the top of the plant. Red Barberry can provide a nice foliage color during the season and in autumn they often look nice with a mixture of red, orange and yellow fall colors.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mellow Yellow Spirea

Mellow Yellow Spirea
Spiraea thunbergii 'Ogon'
(spy-REE-ah) (thun-BERG-ee-eye)

This shrub is forming a nice patch after being transplanted around the yard several times. Every move has set it back a little bit but I think it has finally found it’s home and is happy. The white flowers are set off nicely against the bright golden foliage this time of year. Later the foliage color fades a little but still provides a great gold accent in the border.

Well I am all set for my gig on Saturday thanks to Chris at Hot Rod 6 Strings. He has been working on my guitars for years and I have always wanted to buy one of his custom guitars since such care and love goes into their creation. Maybe some day but for now he is providing expert help on the modification and set up of my dusty old guitars. He is the first person to take the neck off my 1957 Fender and found it dated 5-57 (all old Fenders are dated on the neck and electronics). He set up the whammy bar, which is more technically known as a tremolo arm. It's a fun part of an electric guitar that is a metal lever attached to the bridge of an electric guitar, used to vary the pitch of a played note. He also redid the electronics on my new guitar adding a tone control and toggle switch for selecting the pickups. Everything was done great at a fair price and in my quick time frame.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

White Dogwood

White Dogwood
Cornus florida
(KOR-nus) (FLOR-ih-duh)

Here are a couple of abstract shots. The Dogwoods are just starting to come out here and this picture was snapped of a half open flower. There is a little greenness to the flowers when they emerge and also when the flower is fully out they keep a slight green tint never really becoming pure white. It is one of my favorite flowering trees and Dogwood season is always special here. One reason I love them is they are a slightly smaller tree than most growing to the perfect manageable size of about 20 feet (sometimes taller). The mixtures of colors on the native trees are usually amazing to me also. Some have more green; others have a little pink and or cream color.

I hope the flowers make it through tonight’s forecasted scattered frost. We can’t seem to win with this weather. It is so dry right now that it is causing distractions like holding up our installation and transplanting schedule. It is not often you find me praying for rain but this is one of those times.

Here is another abstract of a flower making its debut on Digital Flower We used to grow them as annuals but gave up after several years of mixed results. I love the flowers and boldly shaped and spotted foliage. Not sure what flower petals are stuck inside the flower but thought the pink added a little pizzazz to the photo.

Golden Calla Lily
Zantedeschia elliottiana
(zan-te-DES-kee-uh) (el-ee-ot-ee-AH-na)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Dahlia ‘Dr. Capel’

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sunny Gerber

Gerber Daisy
Gerbera jamesonii
(GER-ber-uh) (jay-mess-OWN-ee-eye)

Monday, April 09, 2012

Moroccan Daisy

Moroccan Daisy
Rhodanthemum hosmariense
(ro-DAN-thee-mum) (hos-mar-ee-EN-see)
Synonyms: Chrysanthemum hosmariense, Leucanthemum hosmariense

This is a nice little daisy that holds the dainty flowers above it’s finely cut and silver foliage. It is hardy to +15 degrees F and often blooms in the winter. It can bloom during the summer but not as heavily. Considered a sub-shrub Rhodanthemum is a short (4 to 12 inches tall) spreading plant that can form a dense mat. It has average water needs and is easy to grow.

We are off to Manhattan today to tend to the gardens downtown. it is super windy here in Connecticut and I can only think that wind will be amplified as we head into the concrete canyons of New York City.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Poor Man's Azalea

Pansy Flowered Geranium
Pelargonium x domesticum 'Purple Majesty’
(pe-lar-GO-nee-um) (doh-MESS-tik-um)
Synonyms: Regal Pelargonium, Martha Washington Geranium, Poor Man's Azalea

We couldn’t resist getting a couple of these flowers for the pots we planted last week. The touch of almost black makes these plants stand out. It is nice when an exotic flower is easy to grow and these plants do well in the conditions we have been experiencing. It dipped below freezing last night but the light wind seemed to keep any frost from forming. The containers are in a very protected location so I wasn’t worried about the annuals. Geraniums shouldn’t really have a problem with that and they also seem to be enjoying how dry it is right now. After the epic rains of last summer and fall we are in need of a good dousing.

Since it is Sunday here is a bonus snapshot of one of the designer Pansies we planted. This ones color is a little more subtle then most of the flowers in the mix. It was a good mix of red, white and purple. 

Viola x wittrockiana
(vy-OH-la) (wit-rok-ee-AH-na)

Friday, April 06, 2012

Mismarked Dianthus

Dianthus hybrid

This was going to be a simple post about Dianthus ‘Ruby’s Tuesday’ but that is not this flower. It was marked as ‘Ruby’s’ but when it bloomed it had a lot more pink in the flower than that cultivar. Oh well, it is still a nice Dianthus. This is a flower I would rather look at then grow. They are pretty much an annual or biennial in my book. However if you located them right they can last longer than that and if you are really lucky they will form a colorful carpet for a few years. Over watering and overly rich soil are the main culprits in their not succeeding well.

Today I am going to buy a pair of gas powered hedge clippers probably the most misused piece of equipment in the history of horticulture. My use is to quickly knock off any of the errant growth on the seemingly miles of Boxwood hedge I take care of. After that anything else is pruned with hand pruners. It takes more time but gives a more natural appearance.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Gerber Daisy

Gerber Daisy
Gerbera jamesonii
(GER-ber-uh) (jay-mess-OWN-ee-eye)

Yesterday while purchasing some Pansies this Gerber was sitting on top of a nursery cart full of hundreds of the daisies in full bloom. Even though it is a super busy and big wholesale nursery I had to pull my cart over and get a picture of this pale rider as the sun lit it up from the back. The cart was dripping with snobbism and the flowers seemed a bit haughty. I have to admit it was a beautiful sight to see the daisies in such colors and at their peak.

We also scored some Nemesia, Bacopa and Ranunculus for some big containers, the pots came out nice and all they have to do is make it through tomorrow night when a brief period of freezing weather is expected. The flowers have been acclimated at the nursery so we will just have to wait and see what happens.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Pink Delphinium

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

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Siberian Iris

Siberian Iris
Iris sibirica
(EYE-ris) (sy-BEER-ah-kuh)

Monday, April 02, 2012

Bermuda Beach Petunia Hybrid

Petunia Hybrid
Petunia 'Supertunia Bermuda Beach'

To celebrate our 2,000th post here on Digital Flower here is a brightly colored Petunia. These days due to the colorful, low maintenance habits of Petunias they have once again gotten on the “okay to plant list”. The Proven Winners selection of ‘Bermuda Beach’ is a low spreading type of Petunia that keep blooming all season. Now we have already seen a couple of slugs out this year and they are the absolute nemesis of Petunias. So that will have to watched carefully and if the slug population explodes like it can some years that will require a lessening of the use of Petunias this year.

I can’t believe this blog has gone on for as long as it has. Thanks to all the interesting people joining and commenting. Sometimes I just want to stop posting because of the time involved but it hasn’t happened yet. This site keeps me wanting to take my camera out everyday and that is a pretty amazing boost to get out there shooting. I hope you have enjoyed the flowers and other pictures that have been posted and maybe, like me, have learned something along the way.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Nancy Regan Hybrid Tea Rose

Hybrid Tea Rose ‘Nancy Regan’
Synonyms: JACurnam

While there isn’t usually a desire to post a specific flower on this blog today I did want to post a couple of roses. Both were shot at the big Botanical Garden in Orlando. My visit was on a spectacular day and the rose garden sure added to that. I was struck by the complex blend of color shades on this rose. The flowers were not large but had a pleasant scent.

Since it is Sunday here is a bonus snapshot of another hybrid tea rose. The flowers again had a beautiful blend and this particular rose was emerging at a funny angle.

Hybrid Tea Rose ‘Princesse de Monaco’
Synonyms: MEImagarmic, Grace Kelly, Princess Grace, Preference

It seems to have a lot of synonyms but has been around since the early 1980’s. A sweet smelling rose that grows on a short compact bush. It also has nicely shaped buds.