Wednesday, April 30, 2008

ABC Wednesday - Cape Tulip

ABC Wednesday
Cape Tulip
Moraea ochroleuca
(mor-ah-EE-uh) (ock-roh-LEW-kuh)

If you are here for Wordless Wednesday skip down to the next post. Thanks for visiting.

Last week I was in no shape to post for ABC Wednesday. It snapped a streak of posts that started with the first ‘A’. I am participating again today with some ‘O’range pictures.

This first flower is a beauty. I shot this at Wave Hill Gardens in the Bronx a few weeks ago and was originally going to use it for my ‘M’ post. It fits in ‘O’ since the species name is ochroleuca and it is orange colored. It is native of South Africa and is known as the South African Iris or Cape Tulip. You will have to grow it in pots unless you are in a frost-free location.

Speaking of frost we are under a frost warning * rolleyes * here in Connecticut for tonight and tomorrow night. I am sick of that. I want to start planting.

These are some orange Tulips I saw on Sunday when I was buying some trees. They were a nice shape and color. There aren’t too many houses I garden at that I can plant Tulips because of the deer so I am always admiring other peoples.

Finally for ‘O’ here is an Oxalis flower. Normally grown for its foliage I think the flowers are pretty too.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

'Orange Dream' Japanese Maple

Japanese Maple
Acer palmatum 'Orange Dream'
(AY-ser) (pahl-MAY-tum)

This is a relatively new Japanese Maple cultivar. It is quite striking both when the foliage emerges and in the fall. Its foliage is a nice lime green during the summer. It grows to about 15 feet and has green bark. The bark is nice as it is a contrast to the foliage. I have noticed some variation in the emerging color. This one was particularly yellow with a pronounced red stripe on the end of the leaves but I have also seen specimens that emerge more orange.

This was a nice group of Daffodils I saw yesterday. Their color kind of matched the ‘Orange Dream’. I was lucky to get about 10 or 12 good pictures yesterday. I don’t think I will have the camera out today as 1 to 2 inches of rain is expected here. We certainly need it, as everything was really getting dry. I have a couple of appointments and can finish my paperwork today.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Creeping Phlox

Creeping Phlox
Phlox stolonifera 'Sherwood Purple
(floks) (sto-lo-NIF-er-uh)

This is underused hardy, beautiful groundcover. I like it for light shade and it fills in and spreads nicely without being a pain in the you know what. The color is outstanding and it blooms early adding a nice touch of color this time of year. I have been working with a customer to try and find a nice groundcover for their garden and when I saw a couple of these I had to try a few even though they hadn’t seen it. They return next week so I will know then if they like it and I can get some more. I would recommend this plant for rock gardens, borders and masses. It tolerates a wide range of conditions. It can grow in sun, shade, semi-moist or dry soil.

If you can, get the ‘Sherwood Purple’ type as the flowers are a little bigger and have a darker color. The cultivar also shows better Powdery Mildew resistance.

This photo doesn't quite do justice to the color of this flower.

Since I have about 5 new gardens I am taking care of there are lots of new plants to get to know and try and help grow to their maximum potential. When I first went to this garden I noticed they had a Rhododendron in the back foundation planting that was covered with burlap for the winter. I thought that a little odd since it seems to be a plant species that can make it outdoors without much protection. When I went back yesterday I saw it was blooming and the color was beautiful. I can see why they covered it. I don’t think I have seen this particular color before. It has a little leaf spot but I think I can cure that with a one or two well-timed fungicide applications. I had to do some emergency watering on some new trees at this house. It really has been dry here. Monday we are suppose to get some rain, hooray!

This is a cropped picture of the bud. I would love some guess as to the name of this Rhodo.
Today I am going to visit Molly’s doctor’s farm. It was nice of him to invite us over. I am going to try and sneak away for a couple of pictures after that and then tackle my mountain of paper work. We got three floral arrangements in honor of Molly this week. I had to laugh a little at this. I have had quite a few dogs over the years and I don’t think I remember getting any flowers before. They are beautiful and it was very thoughtful of the people that sent them.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Few More Ireland Shots

A Few More Ireland Shots

Please humor me as I sort through my archives. I have so much disk space on my main computer that having extra files doesn’t matter. However, on my Laptop I have an 80 gig Hard Drive and that is getting kind of full so I have to get rid of some photos. These Foxgloves were growing at the end of a long gravel road we decided to drive out on. There were sheep there and up on the hills a man was training a couple of Border Collies. You could hear the barking and whistling even though they were quite far away.

Foxglove is one of our most requested plants for perennial gardens. I have found that it is not quite perennial. It has been a bit frustrating in some aspects to get and keep them going. It is okay if they are growing in kind of a woodland setting as they renew themselves by seeding. This can be a little tricky in a highly maintained and mulched border though (at least to me). I will, of course, keep trying since if you don’t have optimism as a gardener you might as well hang it up.

This is a picture of some horse riders in Ireland. It is a snapshot but I liked the way it came out. It was surprising to see them on the beach and I just raised the camera and fired.

I am looking forward to finishing up a couple of nagging little issues on two different jobs today. That will make me feel better. I am also meeting with a potential new client. That is always interesting as you never know what kind of garden you will be looking at.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Irish Roses

Irish Roses

I am still emotionally and physically drained from the events of the last few days. Working 70 plus hours the last two weeks hasn’t helped. I came home yesterday and just kind of fell into my Ipod. I had it on shuffle and lucky no sad songs played. I have decided to just finish a couple of little loose ends at work and have a few appointments on Saturday and take Sunday completely off. Molly’s doctor has invited us to his farm for a look around and after that I am going to hopefully shoot a few pictures.

Last week I was weeding out my Iphoto library on my Laptop and snagged a few pictures that I had missed. This one is some roses that were outside a roadside pub. I am surprised it came out steady as I had few pints while inside. Ireland was beautiful. The color of the flowers were set off nicely by the green of everything. The roses particularly beautiful. I have posted some other Ireland photos and roses (use the tags if you want to see them) on this blog.

Once again I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support. This isn’t the first time that we have lost a dog but Molly was so special it seems a little harder. Thanks for the insights and stories of how you got through the loss of your pets. It as made things a little easier

This is picture I took at Dingle Harbor. It is from the same ‘lost’ roll.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

White Flowering Dogwood

White Flowering Dogwood
Cornus florida 'Cherokee Princess'

Our Molly dog went to heaven yesterday. As much as that hurts it was quite obvious that it was time to help her along. We stayed up with her the night before and her breathing was labored and shallow. She actually stopped breathing a couple of times only to start again. When she stopped drinking that was kind of a benchmark for me. We decided to call her doctor to see if we could ease her discomfort and he came yesterday morning. I have been real sad but at the same time relived that Molly is not struggling anymore. Our other dog, Ruby Tuesday the Border Collie, is stunned. She is 4 years old now and they were like sisters. I am thankful I still have a dog.

Siberian Huskies by nature are fun loving, carefree, curious, and free spirited. Molly had all those qualities in abundance. She had many other attributes that made her, as her doctor said, ‘exceptional’. I was kidding him saying that he probably said that about all dogs but he really thought a lot of her. We did too, as did most humans that knew her. I am glad that you can’t see me right now as I am very emotional.

Here is a picture of her in West Palm Beach in February of 2007. You can see she was beauty even at 11 years of age. Molly was beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. She pretty much went everywhere with us including Maine, Canada a couple of times and Florida four times. The cancer ravaged her in a few short months.

“Good night, sweet princess. Ran fast, jump high, cuddle softly and make friends, just like you always did.”

Molly, whose full name was Molokai (after the Hawaiian Island) Falcon Feather (I always give my animals an Indian name), is at peace now. Thank goodness it was probably hard work bring us all that joy, happiness and laughter.

I thought it would be fitting to post a picture of a Dogwood today. It is one of my favorite trees. I like the whole Cherokee series of Dogwoods and this white flowered one is a heavy and early flowerer.

Remember Our Love

I was chosen today
I'm learning to fly
the world took me away,
but please don't you cry

And I chose you today
to try and be strong
so please don't you cry
and don't say that I'm gone

When you're feeling alone
just remember our love,
I'm up near the stars
looking down from above.

Remember our love

In a moment you'll see
that I'm still here
beside you
you're thinking of me.

Julie Epp

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Double European Columbine

Wordless Wednesday
European Columbine

Aquilegia vulgaris 'Winky Red and White Double'

(a-kwi-LEE-jee-a) (vul-GAIR-iss)

Synonyms: European Crowfoot, Granny's Bonnet

Monday, April 21, 2008

Norway Maple

Norway Maple
Acer platanoides
(AY-ser) (pla-tan-OY-dees)

These are some pictures of Norway Maple. I have never noticed the flowers up close and I have to admit they are quite pretty. I wouldn’t recommend this tree for the garden or even planting as a shade tree unless it was an urban area. It is one of the most widely planted street trees in the US and that is because it is so tough and has the ability to withstand many of the conditions urban street trees have to endure.

It was introduced into the United States around 1760 but didn’t gain popularity until the late 1800’s. There are many (90 or so) cultivars available in all different shapes, sizes and colors. I am a little partial to the red leafed ones like 'Crimson King' and also like the variegated cultivar ‘Drummondi’, both of which have been featured on this blog before. The reasons I don’t recommend this tree is that aren’t too many plants that will grow underneath it, although I found that Yellow Archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon) does well. I also don’t like the numerous seedlings.

Last night the winner of Oprah’s Big Give was announced. It was the person whose modest garden we take of. It was fun seeing him through the weeks and as far as I am concerned it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person and family. They are wonderful people.

Molly is hanging on she is no better or no worse. She seems to be fighting so we are too. God bless that dog! I guess it is okay to talk about her here as she has thousands of hours of gardening experience from when she accompanied me to work a few days a week (at least) for the last 12 years. We call her the ditch inspector since whenever you dig a ditch she had to go down in it and check it out.

This is a species of Muscari called M. woronowii. I couldn’t find any information on it.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mellow Yellow Thunberg Spirea

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

These were blooming so well at work that I had to take a couple of pictures. They are very early blooming for Spirea and I guess it flowers early in general. After the flowers fade the foliage is a nice goldish-green and the fall color is lovely. This shrub seems pretty tough and it can get pretty big. However like most Spirea it can be sheared to keep it smaller.

We use a lot of the different Spirea species and cultivars since they are easy to grow, showy and can kick it up a notch on the color in the garden. They seem to be pretty deer resistant when they get a little older.

This photo is an emerging needles on a Weeping Japanese Larch (Larix kaempferi 'Pendula'). Most of the time when I see this plant it is staked to grow upright. I like mine to grow along the ground so they have been trained that way. It is kind of what I would call an ‘oddball’ and certainly not for everyone. I like the bright green color that contrast with the orange twigs. The yellow fall color is a nice show, also. It is a deciduous conifer, which is defined as a cone-bearing tree that loses it needles every year.

I have to work today and I have to catch up with some business correspondence.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Weeping Japanese Cherry

Weeping Japanese Cherry
Prunus x 'Snow Fountain'

Height: 10 to 15 feet
Spread: 8 to 10 feet

Friday, April 18, 2008

Two Daffodils

I don’t have much to say today. My heart feels very heavy and I have been sick to my stomach a lot. There hasn’t been much change in Molly’s condition, she seems to be able to get comfortable and is now able to walk around a bit. Having a sick dog around the house is terrible. I want to thank those that sent emails and left comments.

Here are a few Daffodil pictures I took at work this week. I don’t think I will be going anywhere to specifically take pictures and I hope I can grab enough shots at work to keep this spot going.

Remember when life's path is steep to keep your mind even.”
Horace (65 BC-8 BC)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dwarf Peach Tree

Dwarf Peach
Prunus persica 'Bonfire'
(PROO-nus) (PER-see-kuh)

I don’t know too much about this genetic dwarf Peach Tree other than I like it every time I see it. I have always wanted to grow one but haven’t gotten around to actually buying one. Long thin burgundy leaves and peaches follow these flowers in the summer.

It is hardy to USDA Zone 5 and grows well in containers. I shot this at the nursery and should of bought the tree.

Yesterday when I got home from work I noticed my dog (Molly) was lethargic and a bit clumsy. It got worse after a little awhile and by the time I decided to go to the vet she couldn’t walk. We know she has cancer and all the signs were pointing to a bleeding tumor, as her gums were ashen white.

I got her to the Vet and lucky he was working late. A quick abdominal tap and blood count test confirmed our fears. Molly looked liked she was on her deathbed. Karen and I were serious contemplating a very difficult decision. The doctor decided to do another red cell count test a half an hour later. If was down that would be terrible, if it were up then there is a slight chance of hope. It was up and Molly seemed to be getting better, some color returned to her gums, she was drinking and looked a lot more with it.

We decided to take her home and she had dinner (a good sign) and is resting at my feet as I type this. We know we could have her for a few more hours, days or months at this point. I will gladly take any time I have with her. Today she is almost back to normal.

What an emotional roll coaster!

This is an Aloe flower picture that has been hanging around I thought I would go ahead and post it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

ABC Wednesday – Magnolia

ABC Wednesday – Magnolia

If you are here for Wordless Wednesday please scroll down to the next post. Thanks for stopping by.

With perfect timing the Magnolia flower arrived this week just in time for an ‘M’ post. This first picture is a yellow form (which you don’t see that often) called ‘Butterflies’. I actually took this picture at the local wholesale nursery because the ‘Butterflies’ I have been growing for the last 20 years has never flowered. It is in too much shade and is probably too big to move now because of its location. I still hope to see a flower on it someday.

These other two photos were a something I have been experimenting with lately. Trying to get one flower in focus with a blurred background of many of the same flower. The first one is actually a double ‘M’ since it is a ‘Merrill’ Magnolia. You can see the difference of the two photos as the first one was shot on a cloudy, flat, grey day and the second was a sunny clear day.

The second photo is a different species called a Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata). These are usually one of the first flowers out around here and I think they are a tad later than usual this year. They grow as a shrubby tree and are nice for the garden since they grow slowly.

Magnolias date back 95 million years.

For a complete list of ABC Wednesday Blogs visit:
mrs. nesbitts place

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pansy Macro

"The beauteous pansies rise,
In purple, gold, and blue,

With tints of rainbow hue,

Mocking the sunset skies.
Thomas J. Ouseley

Monday, April 14, 2008

Red Maple Flower

This is a flower from a Swamp Maple. People call them Scarlet Maple or Red Maple, also. I was happy to see the trees at the farm had flowers you could actually take a picture of. Most have them high in the air like the one in my yard where the flowers start about 25 feet off the ground.

I did a post on the fall color of Acer rubrum

The common names of this tree refer to the fall color, not the leaves, which are green.

While I was working in the rose garden yesterday, which wasn’t a bad way to spend Sunday, I saw this view off to the Northeast. You can just see the farm next door. It makes me laugh when horses from both farms meet each other at the fence. It looks like they are having coffee.

I was hobnobbing with this horse yesterday. She is a multiple stakes winner and is usually quite aloof. She probably thought I had carrots again. It was nice that she came over for a scratch and a picture. This is a Thoroughbred.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Weeping Pussy Willow

Weeping Pussy Willow
Salix discolor 'Pendula'
(SAL-iks) (DIS-kol-or)

When I was buying my fertilizer I had a trip around the nursery and got this picture of a Weeping Pussy Willow. It is not my favorite weeping tree and I probably wouldn’t recommend it if you had space for just one weeping tree. They look great this time of year but seem to get a little ratty or tattered looking by the end of the season. One cultural aspect the Pussy Willows have going for them is the ability to grow on very moist and even wet soils. They are also good for forcing the branches.

I have to work again today. Sunday is nice since I am by myself and can get some small things done. I am going to be working on the roses today.

I have been getting a lot of comments lately, thanks everyone. I haven’t been great at responding to them but have enjoyed what everyone has had to say. A couple of comments made me chuckle in the last few days. This one by Garden Joy 4 for Me

Such pretty pictures again .. do you ever take bad pictures ? LOL

All I can say is yes I take a lot of bad pictures. They just never get posted here. Bad composition and incorrect exposure are just two of the problems I sometimes have. My percentage of keepers has steadily increased through paying attention to the subject and camera settings but I screw up all the time. I think I will have blooper day here in the future.

jane marie at Thyme For Herbs posted this one:

I grow plants without knowing a thing about them also. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose. I play it safe throughout most of my life and I feel the garden is one place where I can be free. It's fun to throw caution to the wind and just plant.

In my mind this maybe the ultimate gardening philosophy and it closely follows my own. Simply brilliant.

Finally Vanillalotus gave me an Excellence award. To which I say thank you very much. I always enjoy her visits and comments. They are very uplifting. Please visit her at the aptly named New Sprout . It is a nice blog that continues to improve every time I visit.

Vanilla is just going into the horticulture trade and her enthusiasm is very refreshing. I have always had a passion for things botanical and what I do for a living but sometimes I take it for granted. People like Vanilla make me stop and remember how lucky I am and for that I must give you great thanks. I will be watching your career from New Sprout, you are sure to be famous. To you, my dear, I say continue to:

Be both the gardener and the rose

I have never seen a Daffodil with a petal stuck like this. I had to get a picture.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Daffodil Bud and Flower

Daffodil Bud and Flower

I am posting this in between appointments and going to the nursery. Wow, work has taken off in a big way. A clear case of be careful what you wish for :lol: I am going to be doing a lot of Daffodil photos this season and here are a few to get the series started.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Yellow Bush Daisy

Yellow Bush Daisy

I have a confession to make. I sometimes grow plants that I not sure of the name or cultural requirements for. This is one of them. It is a tender perennial that a local nursery grows and we often use them in containers. I am not sure of the species or cultivar name but have a feeling that it maybe E. pectinatus 'Sonnenschoens'. A constant season long bloomer this flower actually over wintered in the greenhouse and since I have looked it up I now have a little more information.

I grow this plant in full sun and give it regular watering. Dead heading the spent flowers seems to help with keeping the flowers coming. It never gets too big but can turn into a 4 to 6 foot shrub when grown in the ground. Despite not knowing exactly what it was this plant has been a trouble free good performer. We could all use more plants like that.

This is a primrose colored Clivia plant that finally decided to bloom. It has been around several years and just started flowering this year. I must say that I love the color. It came without a tag but probably is a form of Clivia miniata, since that is the most popular type in cultivation. Clivias are easy to grow but are frost tender. I keep them outside during the garden season. It is nice that they give a blast of color in the late winter and early spring season.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Four from the Farm
Chionodoxa forbesii

Running late again this morning. Here are four photos from the farm’s garden. It is a windy, exposed site on the side of a ridge so spring comes a little later. I did some work in the big perennial border, which is usually cared for by the staff but I helped them divide and move a few things. The roses are cleaned up and ready to grow.

The farther out you go from the house the less garden there is but I found this little collection of Crocus blooming under the largest specimens of Dawn Viburnum I have ever seen. Only two of the types photographed well ;)

It is finally feeling a little like spring as we have put a couple of nice warm days back to back. It is still pretty cold overnight.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Moroccan Daisy

ABC Wednesday
Moroccan Daisy
Leucanthemum hosmariense 'Spring Silver'

If you are here for Wordless Wednesday please scroll down to the next post and thanks for visiting.

This plant was a mystery to me until I looked it up after taking this picture. I had trouble finding an L picture. We are right in between the seasons here. It is no longer winter but it really hasn’t been very spring-like either. We are just starting to get some flowers. This plant is an annual for this area of Connecticut, actually most of the US. It blooms much earlier than its hardy cousin the Shasta Daisy, which is a perennial.

Here is another L picture. It is the bark of a Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia fauriei 'Townhouse'). This one doesn’t grow in Connecticut either, well maybe extreme southern areas along Long Island Sound. A plant like this can add a lot of winter interest to the garden. This was taken in the Bronx, New York.

Just a note that work is becoming a little crazy right now, which is a good thing. I will try and visit everyone for ABC but I am not sure how many I get too. I am also not publishing my ABC Blogroll this week since so many of the blogs have stopped posting ABC posts. If you want to see who is posting in this weeks ABC Wednesday see Mrs. Nesbitt’s Comment section.
Mrs. Nesbitt’s Comment section.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Yellow Tulip

"Bring the tulip and the rose,

While their brilliant beauty glows."

Eliza Cook

Monday, April 07, 2008

Golden Brodiaea

Golden Brodiaea
Triteleia ixioides 'Starlight'
(try-TELL-ay-uh) (iks-ee-OY-deez)
Synonyms: Pretty Face, Brodiaea ixioides, Calliprora ixioides, Ornithogalum ixioides

This West Coast native is often sold as a perennial and it is except to us Zone 5 and 6 gardeners. I have never got it to come back so I treat it as an annual. Other experiences and viewpoints are always welcome here at Digital Flower, so if you have had good luck over wintering it I would like to know. Golden Brodiaea likes to grow with full sun and well drained soil. It likes to be dry in the summer and is nice for rock gardens. You see that this is a plant that has had a lot of name changes. Especially cool is the stripes on the buds and back of the flowers.

I took yesterday off from blogging but not from work. I had to leave early and got home late. Driving to the garden was 1.5 hours each way and that was with the light weekend traffic. I got everything done so that was good. Today I am continuing to uncover the roses at the big rose garden. The roses did well and look poised for a good season. Before this last winter the owners were having their people use an 18 inch diameter Rose Guard with compost and then they put up burlap around the perimeter of the garden. Last winter I suggested we put a foot of leaves over the entire garden and it worked. Losses went from 50 roses last year to about 4 this spring. The roses are all burnt where they were sticking out of the leaves but they are green under them. Removing all the leaves have been a chore but worth it.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Tall Cineraria

Tall Cineraria
SenecioGiovanna’s Select

Since I am running late this morning just a short post. I was visiting another blog and the person had shot some 50mm/1.8 florals so I was inspired to the do the same! This one came out the best. Like I posted on the other blog it is difficult to work with a razor thin depth of field.

This plant is an annual in my climate. It doesn’t need much care and can grow in part shade or sun. I have had them come back from seed before. Jim Ottobre from Inverness developed this particular strain. He named it after his daughter.

I am not sure what this flower is, anybody have any ideas? I shot this picture with the 60mm macro lens at F/3.3.