Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Monday, January 25, 2016

Syrphid fly and Daffodil



Daffodil
Narcissus
(nar-SIS-us)
Syrphid fly 
Toxomerus geminatus

This photo was from the spring, which after that last snowstorm is something I can only dream about. This type of photo is kind of what I call a commando photo. The opportunity presents itself very quickly and you have to shoot from the hip. The 60mm macro lens was already on the camera and the settings were for the available light around the little patch of Daffodils. So luckily the camera auto focused fast enough to catch this little guy as he alighted on the flower.

The Syrphid Fly is a frequent visitor to the garden and is treated as a beneficial insect. They don’t seem to bite or bother with humans but at a certain stage of development they have a voracious appetite for Aphids.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Ballerina False Sunflower



False Sunflower
Heliopsis helianthoides 'Ballerina'
(hee-lee-OP-sis) (hee-lee-an-THOY-dees)
Synonyms: Rough Heliopsis, Orange Sunflower


This flower was featured here several years ago and this shot is from the same patch this year. That makes it a true perennial for gardens around here. With a slightly coarse and rambling appearance this plant has been a stalwart in the border. It has deep yellow golden color that can appear almost metallic in the right light. At a height of 2-3 feet it works well in the middle of the border or the back.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Blue Cape Plumbago




Blue Cape Plumbago
Plumbago auriculata
(plum-BAY-go) (aw-rik-yoo-LAY-tuh)
Synonym: Cape Leadwort

This plant always shows up here in the winter. They are quite often used for containers and grown as annuals around here. One of my favorite flower colors just the right shade of blue. It is recommended, due to variations, that you buy them in flower. The plant and flowers are graceful looking and can tolerate shearing.

Well it’s relatively warm out again and the weather roller coaster seems to running again full force. The broad leaf evergreens seem to be loving it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wordless Wednesday


Well not exactly a wordless Wednesday or flower pictures. The first image is from the MOMA


Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Head of a Sleeping Woman (Study for Nude with Drapery)
Oil on canvas
African period, Paris, summer 1907



New York by Gehry
8 Spruce Street
76 Stories (870 feet)
Manhattan, New York


Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Yellow Rose Bud



Yellow Rose Bud
Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Autumn Damask Rose




Autumn Damask Rose
Rosa damascena semperflorens
(RO-zuh)

Today’s rose falls into the category of Old Garden Roses and was introduced around 1810. It is a strong growing, highly fragrant rose that blooms once a season. One of the remarkable things about Autumn Damask Rose is the high degree of disease resistance it shows in the garden. The foliage can remain clean even during a big outbreak of blackspot and Japanese Beetles seem to ignore it.

If you like Heirloom Roses I would recommend Autumn Damask Rose. There is a reason it’s been around for 200 plus years. It is known by numerous synonyms.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Toothache Plant



Toothache Plant
Acmella oleracea
(ak-MEL-uh) (awl-lur-RAY-see-uh)
Syns.: Spilanthes oleracea, Eyeball Plant, Para Cress

Happy New Year!!

This is a flower you don’t see very often. I have been struggling with how describe a plant that is not used or seen often. I have been using ‘rare’ but that doesn’t really describe it very well. It is also a term that is vague and a bit ambiguous. Rare can mean rare in cultivation, rare in the wild or rare in the trade. From now on I decided to use ‘less common’ to describe some of the unusual flowers I encounter.

So this less common flower is a medicinal powerhouse and has been used to treat toothache for a long time. The leaves can also add a spicy touch to salads. I don't have any experience with the numbing sensation this flower produces so please be careful when trying it.

Acmella oleracea is a tender perennial herb that is native to Brazil and parts of India. It likes to grow in sun to partial shade (out of the strong afternoon sun) and is usually grown from seed.

One thing I learned while making this post is that the species name, in this case oleracea, means edible vegetable.