Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mr. Lincoln Hybrid Tea Rose

Hybrid Tea Rose ‘Mr. Lincoln’
Rosa (RO-zuh)

It is always fun to cover a classic here and this rose is one. ‘Mr. Lincoln’ grows with a typical hybrid tea form and can get a little tall and thin if left to its own devices. Overall the wonderful color and fragrance win the day for this rose. It can get diseased but is fairly resistance for one of the older roses in the garden. If you like red roses “Mr. Lincoln’ delivers a powerful punch.

‘Mr. Lincoln’:
Type: Hybrid Tea
Introduction: 1965, Conrad Pyle Roses (Star)
Petal Count: 35
Fragrance: Yes, strong
Parentage: Chrysler Imperial (Hybrid Tea, 1952) × Charles Mallerin (Hybrid Tea, before 1947)

Antirrhinum majus 'Rocket Mix'
(an-TEE-ry-num) (MAY-jus)

This little gaggle of snapdragons was fun to see. This flower seems to be making a resurgence despite some urban legends about its cultivation. I have to admit I was surprised to see it blooming so nicely after all the heat we have had. This is one of the taller types.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Blue Heaven Hydrangea

Bigleaf Hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Blue Heaven'
(hy-DRAIN-juh) (mak-roh-FIL-uh)

Another in the big range of new Hydrangeas I have been seeing. This one is typical in that it blooms pink if the soil isn’t conditioned. This plant really had a deep blue color and that is only partially rendered here.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Star Cluster Tickseed

Coreopsis 'Star Cluster'

This is a new introduction (2010) to the Big Bang Series of Coreopsis. The delicate shading and general refinement of this flower looked good. Coreopsis is a nice perennial that can handle some tough conditions and still thrive. There are many types that are useful in the garden. 'Star Cluster' is the result of intensive breeding and is a combination of at least 8 different species. A real mutt by the sounds of it. The cooler the blooming temperatures the more colored ‘eye’ the flowers have. In autumn the purple can appear on the outer edge of the petals too. There is probably a technical term for that but I don’t know it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cherry Laurel

Cherry Laurel
Prunus laurocerasus 'Otto Luyken'
(PROO-nus) (law-roh-KER-uh-sus)
Synonyms: English Laurel, Common Laurel

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

White Hybrid Tea Rose

Hybrid Tea Rose
Rosa 'John F. Kennedy'
Synonyms: President John F. Kennedy, JFK

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cattleya Orchid

Cattleya Orchid

This is an old shot of a Cattleya Orchid with some nice lighting. It was shot with my 5MP compact camera. The file size is a joke compared to the newer cameras but at least it didn’t have to be crushed down to fit here. Cattleyas are some of my favorite types of Orchids and they always seem to enchant me with the big flowers and heavenly fragrance.

Short post here today because we are having massive thunderstorms this morning and I only turned on my computer to post this.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Red Ginger

Red Ginger
Alpinia purpurata
(al-PIN-ee-uh) (pur-pur-AH-tuh)
Synonyms: Opuhi Uteute, Gengibre Rojo, Tahitian Ginger, Ostrich Plume

While wistfully rummaging around in my archive of Hawaii photos this picture from the Hawaii TropicalBotanical Garden on the Big Island. The garden was one of my favorite botanical places I have visited on earth, so far. The Island of Hawaiʻi was amazing to in general. It is the largest island in the United States and almost the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. Eight days was not nearly enough time to fully investigate its beauty but what we did see was impressive. We especially enjoyed the city of Hilo. It is quite funky in places (in a good way) and gave bit of a feeling of a tropical Greenwich Village without the vague hint of sophistication that neighborhood in Manhattan seems to retain amongst even the worst chaos.

This flower is identified correctly I think and was quite beautiful. Blooming under a shady and humid canopy of Palms and other large trees it did stand out. I don’t know much about Gingers but they seem to come in a variety of shapes and sizes. I am also sure I would find them of use if gardening in a tropical area. They have struggled in the greenhouse.

Since it is Sunday again here is a bonus snapshot also from the Hawaii “roll”. The HTBG had an amazing display of Orchids growing outside and most were in full bloom.

Phalaenopsis Orchid

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mandevilla Vine

Mandevilla Vine
Mandevilla x amabilis 'Moonlight Parfait'
Synonyms: ‘Monite’, Mandevilla x amoena

For the first time in many years we are not growing any Mandevilla. The spring stock just didn’t look good and I am slightly happy to be free of the maintenance that this vine takes. From my experience this pink one is not as easy to grow as the red flowering one with glossy leaves, which is actually a different species of plant. You can see the fungus already setting in on this one and it hadn’t even left the nursery yet. To be fair to Mandevilla I have never grown one in the ground just in containers.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Aloe sp.

There are over 400 species of Aloe ranging from miniatures to 40 foot tall trees. They are popular for both landscaping and pot cultivation. All species are native to Africa but have spread around the world now. These are actually Aloe buds and they open up and little yellow flowers protrude from the ends. I was wondering why I have so many Aloe photos and then realized that they bloom in the winter, which is the only time I get to go to their tropical habitat.

We are in the process of installing a big vegetable garden for someone right now. There are lot of angles in the beds so they miters are tricky but I am happy to be doing it. The owner has wanted one for many years and this is the year it finally gets built. Too bad about the heat wave we are having but we are muddling through. Building something is always fun and exciting and this project is no different.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Wordless Wednesday

Monday, June 18, 2012

Florist's Cineraria

Florist's Cineraria
Pericallis cv.

The flowers on this plant are fairly amazing. This one was received as a gift and has been blooming for several weeks. You can see the older flowers in the background as they get kind of a wine color. The newer flowers are much more red like the one in the center. It is very tender (USDA Zone 11) and is consider a tropical. I am not sure what to do with it once it stops flowering other than shear it off and try and start all over again although my feeling is that it is an annual. They like cool, moist conditions out of the way of drafts. Overwatering and some insects are the main root cause for not having success.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Crimson Pointe Purple Leaf Plum

Purple Leaf Plum
Prunus cerasifera 'Crimson Pointe'
(PROO-nus) (ke-ra-SEE-fer-uh)
Synonyms: Cipriozam, Cripoizam, Crimson Point, Purple Cherry Plum

This tree is a columnar selection of Newport Plum. It was blooming early this spring and kind of caught my attention. Later I saw it at two other nurseries for sale. So I went from never seeing it to seeing three times in two weeks. It is a narrow tree that has deep merlot colored foliage and a profuse amount of white flowers. I have to admit for a thing with columnar type trees. In their space they work great and can be a real problem solver. This tree grows 20 feet (6.09m) tall but only 5 (1.5m) feet wide. I think we are poised to see a lot more of this tree.

Since its Sunday here is a bonus snapshot of a very early Lily. L.A. lilies are a hybrid between Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum) and Asiatic hybrids. They usually have large, fragrant flowers that are good for cutting. There seems to be literally 100’s of different cultivars now.

Longiflorum-Asiatic (L.A.) Hybrid Lily
Lilium 'Princess Amelia'

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Falling in Love Hybrid Tea Rose

Hybrid Tea Rose
Rosa ‘Falling in Love’
Synonyms: cv. WEKmoomar

We haven’t had time to fully evaluate this rose but so far it seems good. The flowers are so classically shaped and have a strong rose fragrance. This might be the perfect pink cutting rose and that is what we want it for. Here are a few facts on ‘Falling in Love’:

Introduction: Carruth, 2006. Weeks Wholesale Roses.
Petal Count: Around 25
Fragrance: Yes, strong rose and fruit
Parentage: Moonstone x Marilyn Monroe

I have to admit I cringed a little when adding more Hybrid Tea roses to the garden. They were joining the unruly mob of existing Teas. So far everyone has been behaving and producing a lot of flowers. The big tour is one week from tomorrow.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Octoberfest Grandiflora Rose

Grandiflora Rose
Rosa 'Octoberfest'
Synonyms: Lantern, MAClanter

This rose has been a wonderful addition to the big rose garden this year and it is a little hard to be a standout amongst so many great varieties. The colors on this one are pretty amazing and so far it has had a lot of flowers. The rose garden in general has been doing better but needs more sunny days. 

It was funny when while taking my own advice to “stop and smell the roses” a couple of beetles that had been hiding in a flower crawled out onto my face, which of course led me to brush off the bugs with a great flourish. My co-workers really found that hilarious and I guess I did too upon later reflection.

Here are some details on Octoberfest:

Breeding and Introduction : Samuel Darragh McGredy IV, introduced (US) by Weeks Roses as ‘Lantern’, 1999.
Parentage: 'Louise Gardner' × 'New Zealand'
Petal Count: 25
Fragrance: Moderate, fruit

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Phalaenopsis Orchid

Phalaenopsis Orchid

There hasn’t been an Orchid posted here in quite awhile. This white beauty was in the big display at a local wholesale nursery. Even though I find the prices high it is nice to know you can always go there and get a couple of fresh, blooming Orchids. The selection is good and they rotate out the ones that are past their peak. I once went behind the large greenhouses and found maybe 50 or 60 Orchids in the dumpster. It took all my will not to pull them out and try and save them.

The Orchid collection at work, which had been slowly dwindling had a bit of a resurgence after all the propagating we did last fall. We got a decent crop of flowers and some new plants and they are outside for the summer.

We are starting a fairly large installation at another house today. It is a big vegetable garden with raised beds. Of course the beds all have mitered joints. It took some time to locate non-pressure treated timbers for the construction but we were able to get a mix of White Pine and Hemlock for the job.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Yellow Hybrid Tea Rose

Yellow Hybrid Tea Rose
Rosa ‘Hotel California’
Synonyms: ORAsoglo
Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Burgundy Iceberg Floribunda Rose

Floribunda Rose
Rosa 'Burgundy Iceberg'
Synonyms: PROse, Burgundy Ice

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dark Blue Verbena

Dark Blue Superbena
Verbena hybrid
Synonyms: ' Usbenal8'

Sorry to be posting so many annuals but that is pretty much my life right now. Today we will planting the 16 dozen mixed (mostly Salmon Pink) in front of the house in Greenwich. It's a little late but I have never seen a season that the timing was as messed up as this year. Gardening on a large scale is all about having your timing down and this year it just hasn’t happened.

I really love this type of Verbena. It blooms it’s head off all season and can seem to deal with the various crazy weather that happens here during the summer. It can get real dry and still come back when watered. A container of Lantana and Verbena could live out in the desert if it had to.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Japanese Iris

Japanese Iris
Iris ensata 'Variegata'
(EYE-ris) (en-SA-tuh)
Synonyms: Iris kaempferi 'Variegata'

The Variegated Japanese Iris is having a stellar year. It seem that some years it doesn’t get any flowers or just a few weak ones. This color purple is not to be ignored. Personally these are my favorite type of Iris and they always seem to find a way into my gardens. All of the other Irises have bloomed (some a couple of months ago) so these can be thought of season extenders for Irises. The flowers are large (one of the biggest in the family) and long lasting. One good thing about Japanese Iris is that it can grow in very moist and boggy conditions. It also grows in part shade but my experience has been crummy vigor and a lack of flowers under shady conditions. This plant has the green and white leaves I think there is one with green and gold leaves too (flowers are light blue).

Since it is once again Sunday here is a bonus snapshot of another Japanese Iris that was blooming yesterday at work. This is a named cultivar that has solid green leaves. I had been watching the almost elaborate unfurling ritual with interest for the last couple of days but was happy to see the flower actually blooming.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Treasure Flower

Treasure Flower
Gazania rigens
(gay-ZAY-nee-uh) (RIG-ens)
Synonyms: Gorteria, Gazania splendens

These flowers were literally screaming at me to take them home at the nursery and it worked. We bought a half a dozen 4-inch pots and they seemed to outclass every other flower on my cart. I really try and give a flower at least one chance to grow well. These plants went into containers on a Manhattan rooftop (7 story building) and at a nice estate in Greenwich. While most New Yorkers would love to spend the summer in Connecticut, especially being coddled at an estate, I am interested to see which group does better.

One very attractive feature about this plant is it doesn’t need much water after establishment. Even though the containers are on drip irrigation lines it seems difficult to water enough so the plants are wet without swamping the whole pot. Flowers that like it on the drier side usually always do better under the conditions.

Gazanias are not real available/popular around here but you are starting to see them more and more. On with the experiment.

Thanks for everybody who helped with Flower ID. Dianthus it is!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Unknown Flower

For the first time ever (I think) the flower featured here is unidentified. It was spotted at a local nursery and didn’t have any tags although the latest rage seems to be putting the ID on the pots (wasn’t there either). Perhaps someone out there can tell me what the name is. I am guessing it is some sort of Dianthus (Sweet William) or Phlox. The colors were amazing with a deep, deep red with the white edges. Several of the pots had solid white color flowers.

We are off to our Manhattan account today to plant the rooftop containers and do any general maintenance in the courtyards. Just in time to see the Space Shuttle that arrived at the Intrepid museum yesterday (we will be driving by). Some of the annuals on the roof lived through the winter including some Marigolds and Petunias. I hadn’t seen that one before but have come to the conclusion if you deal with nature on a regular basis nothing should surprise you.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Hardy Water Lily

Hardy Water Lily

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Shrub Roses

Shrub Roses
Wordless Wednesday

Monday, June 04, 2012

White Lantana

Lantana camara 'Denholm White’
(lan-TAN-a) (kuh-MAR-uh)

This post was from yesterday only with everything going on I forgot to post it. We are buying a lot of Lantana this year since it seems so durable. It can grow in the lightest water areas of the garden. Puckering up and losing a few leaves is usually what happens when it dries out but Lantana can quickly snap back to life if watered in time. Other than it’s smell it is plant that quickly forms a mat of color and blooms all season. This is the third time white Lantana has been featured here but the first time for this cultivar. It is really white when viewed from a distance and the little yellow centers become more apparent on closer viewing.

The gig went well yesterday. We got told to turn it down a few times but that's rock n’ roll. Our next show is July 13th, which is a Friday night. We are taking a couple of weeks off from practicing since the bass player needs knee surgery.

Usually Sunday’s post has a bonus snapshot so here it is for Monday instead.

French Marigold
Tagetes patula 'Janie Yellow'
(TAG-e-teez) (PAT-yoo-luh)

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Purple Paraguay Nightshade

Royal Robe Paraguay Nightshade
Solanum rantonnetii 'Royal Robe'
(so-LAY-num) (ran-ton-NET-tee)
Synonym: Lycianthes rantonnetii 'Royal Robe'

Purple flower lovers will go crazy over this shrub. It has some of the richest purple coloring I have seen. It’s funny because I always thought this plant was classified as a vine but it is considered a tropical shrub. We have grown the white flowered version of this and while it looked a little ummmm unkempt during the season and grew like wildfire it was nice to have. There is also a variegated version with white flowers.

Tomorrow is the gig and I am a little on edge about it. Everything will be fine but that doesn’t stop my worrying about it. I am bringing three guitars including this one. “Gomez” is a personal favorite and a heck of a guitar. 

For Christmas 2001 Karen kept asking me what I wanted for Christmas. I was in a good place and didn’t really want anything but she kept asking. Finally I barked, kind of kidding, “ I want a Fender Telecaster, a sunburst one (my favorite finish)” and forgot about it. Well she went down and saw my friend at the local Sam Ash (huge music store) and had him pick this one out for me. There it was under the tree on Christmas morning and I didn’t have a clue. Ever since then we havng been having a love affair. All of the electronics have been upgraded to high output so it really screams now. It also plays nicely on softer stuff. A classic in the making.

2001 Fender American Standard Telecaster
Sunburst finish
Seymour Duncan Pickups
Hot rails mini humbucker in the neck position and Quarter Pounder single coil in the bridge slot
Upgraded wiring, jack and control plate

Friday, June 01, 2012

Dalina Grande Panay

Decorative Dahlia
Dahlia 'Dalina Grande Panay’

This was is one of the massive loads of annuals we bought yesterday. I spent all day going from one farm to next. Apparently I am not the only one with messed up timing this year as there was a good selection of flowers and a lot of customers. Getting what I needed was easy but there wasn’t enough room to carry everything in the truck so I will be going back to claim some more prizes today. Getting everything planted by the weekend is going to be tricky but possible.

Dalinas are nice to have in the garden. They don’t require staking and seem pretty free flowering. Of course they do not have the flower size that most of the regular Dahlias do but make up for it by producing a lot of flowers in a good range of colors. This one is going into the cutting garden along with some Zinnias, Cosmos and Annual Asters. Some of the perennial asters and mums from last year survived the winter so they are in the mix too.

It is the month of June,
The month of leaves and roses,
When pleasant sights salute the eyes,
And pleasant scents the noses.”
Nathaniel Parker Willis