Thursday, June 29, 2006

Astilbe or False Spirea
This is a wonderful perennial for the garden. It is native to Asia. Astible is always listed with the shade garden plants but does quite well in sun. There are many types and cultivars available. This picture wis from Battery Park in lower Manhattan. The gardens are wonderful there. They have really done a lot of work. The construction is still going on. I got to see the Statue of Liberty and the Sphere, which is the sculpture that was at the plaza at the World Trade Center. It survived remarkably intact. Just a short entry today, as I am getting ready to go to Ireland tonight. I won't be posting for a week.

Daylily Seedling

Daylily Seedling

I got this daylily from White Flower Farm in their 'nifty fifty' package. It was 50 daylily seedlings they had grown in their fields but not selected to put on the market. This one (I know it's a macro) has great color. They have taken a long time to develop, but it has been worth it. Daylilies are an interesting bunch. They can be grown in zones 1-11 (Caribou to Miami) and are easy to grow. The flowers only last one day, often blooming from sunrise to sunset. The culture of Daylilies in the United States started in the 17th century with the import of the orange colored species H. fulva from England. You can see it has made itself at home on the side of our roads. There are now over 60,000 registered cultivars. I planted a lot of daylilies this year and the choices were mind-boggling. I will probably be taking some photographs of the different varieties that I planted. Today I went to Manhattan to B&H Photo for some small equipment. I could have ordered it online but I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted. I hope tomorrows picture will be from NYC.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I took this picture at work today. I think I will use this bee picture for the contest. The garden I was working in is overgrown. The season here has led to unprecedented growth. I was cutting all day and didn't really get anywhere. One thing about gardening that amazes me is not what you have to put into a garden, it is what you take out. I hauled tons of debris to compost heap today, and that is just one day!

Monday, June 26, 2006

This is a picture of a Bumblebee (Bombus pascuorum) and an Aster flower at Wave Hill in the Bronx. I went on Sunday and was there a good hour and a half until the heavy rain set in. I wanted to get a picture of an insect for the photo contest at The Photo Forum ( Conditions were certainly difficult, but I got this picture and one other that was kind of good. Probably not a winner, but the the contest is fun to enter anyway. You usually get some good feedback from the other members. Bumblebees are an important part of garden life and the flowers at Wave Hill were full of them. The gardens looked great and as usual, there were many plants that I didn't know or hadn't seen before.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Helichrysum bracteatum (hel-ih-KRY-sum, brak-tee-AY-tum)
There are over 600 species of Straw Flowers. They belong to the Aster family (Asteraceae). A little less than half of the species originate in South Africa. The culture of Straw Flowers dates back to the Egyptians. I have found them to be a bright addition to the garden and containers. They seem to like it a little on the dry side, or at least a very well drained area. They come in a range of yellow, white and red. Some of the types have medicinal uses and, of course, they are highly prized as an everlasting dried flower.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Heart Throb Pink Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa "Heart Throb" "Schmred")

This is a pink Heart Throb® Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa "Heart Throb" "Schmred") I photographed at work. They are a great tree. I have been following a thread on the UBC forums on pink Kousa. It seems things are a little confused about the origin of the pink cultivars. I have found this tree to be of stout habit and exceptional beauty. My growing experience with this tree and 'Miss Satomi' have been very easy and rewarding. The longer the tree has been planted, the more pink it becomes. It also needs a good bit of sun to have the most flowers.