Monday, June 30, 2008

Ivy-leaf Geranium

Ivy-leaf Geranium
Pelargonium peltatum
(pe-lar-GO-nee-um) (pel-TAY-tum)

For Ruby Tuesday I have an Ivy-leaf Geranium that is really red this time. These plants are great for containers and seem to be getting better with more introductions. There are some really beautiful shades available. This one only came with a generic tag so the variety is a mystery. I generally try and find cooler conditions for my Ivy-leafs because they can stall, bloom wise, a bit in the heat of the summer. They are really worth having in the garden and seem to flower most of the winter inside the Conservatory, which is an added bonus. This was shot with the 60mm Nikkor-Micro lens last week.

I have been to a wedding in Caribou, Maine and it was nice. The wedding seemed like it was the only dry time during the whole weekend. It is probably the longest time I have been away from my computer in quite a while. It was fun to see all my wife's family, they all always treat me like part of the family. When I did manage time for a few pictures and it wasn't raining I was trying out the new Sigma 24mm/1.8 Macro lens. It was on the camera exclusively. It is an impressive and effective lens to me but will certainly take getting used to. The focal length seems a little better than the 50mm/1.8 and so does the focusing distance. I’ll post a few pictures over the next two days. Digital Flower Pictures had its two-year anniversary the other day. What an adventure!

I took this shot of a red VW bug with the new lens. The nice thing is a cropped it by almost half to hide the license plate (didn’t know the owner) and it still a pretty wide photo. Color doesn't seem like it going to be a problem with this lens.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Roman Chamomile

Roman Chamomile
Chamaemelum nobile
(kam-AY-mel-um) (no-BIL-ee)

This was a cute little patch of a Roman Chamomile I saw growing in Stamford. This plant has quite a storied history and many medicinal uses. I would like to try some in the cracks of stonework sometime.

I am away to Caribou, Maine for the weekend. There probably won’t be any internet access so I am going to try and set up a post for later in the weekend using the auto-post feature of Blogger for the first time. Should be quite an adventure! Have a nice weekend everyone.

If you want to know more about this plant try this page:
Moutain Valley Growers/Chamomile

Thursday, June 26, 2008

White Phlox

Phlox paniculata 'Junior Fountain'

This little phlox only got to 18 inches tall but really bloomed its head off. It was a pleasure to have in the garden this year. It looks good in front of the Taller Garden Phlox and has good disease resistance.

I really have a lot going on before we head up to Maine for a long weekend and a wedding. Still waiting for my new lens. It had better come today, the anticipation is killing me.

After much consideration I have decided I want a new dog. The pups were born a couple of weeks ago. If you want to see her click here.

She looks like a little hamster. We are trying to think of a name. Does anyone have any ideas?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

White Cactus Dahlia

White Cactus Dahlia ~ Wordless Wednesday

Red Rose on Ruby Tuesday

Red Rose on Ruby Tuesday

Floribunda Rose ‘Show Biz

This rose was actually mismarked as ‘Sheer Bliss’ in the rose garden. After some research I figured out it was ‘Show Biz’. There three of these plants in opposite ends of the garden and all of them are doing well. It is really a heavy bloomer and has some of the reddest new growth I have seen. It always seems to have a lot of flowers and buds. One thing that is great about ‘Show Biz’ is that it stays short, about 20 inches tall. Somebody had enough sense to plant it in the front row so the taller roses don’t block it.

Exhibition name: ‘Showbiz
Registration name: TANweieke
Synonyms: Bernhard Däneke Rose, Ingrid Weibull
Breeder: Mathias Tantau, Germany (1981)
Parentage: Parentage: ‘Dream Waltz’ × ‘Marlena
All-America Rose Selection, 1985
Royal National Rose Society (RNRS), Gold Medal, 1985

Yesterday was a funny day. We have been working planting a huge garden. I was hired as an installer for my brother’s new design firm. Things started out a little slow but we have hit our stride and yesterday we really planted a lot of things. When I got home I thought my camera was broken since it wouldn’t turn on. It turned out the battery was dead but I didn’t know that before I ordered this
Sigma 24mm f/1.8 EX Aspherical DG DF Macro lens . I also ordered some batteries, one for the D70 and one for the Coolpix 8400, a 2 GB Compact Flash card and a sensor cleaning kit. My wife was saying “Why are you ordering a lens when your camera is broken?” I just had faith. Then I figured out my camera wasn’t broken so it worked out. Right after ordering the lens I checked my email and saw that there was an order for two 16 by 20 inch museum canvas prints, which covered the cost of the lens. If the person who ordered these is a reader of this blog I would like to say thanks, you really made my day! All in all a pretty good day.

Monday, June 23, 2008



Petunias have been doing very well this year. There seems to be more colors and types every time I turn around. The breeding has done this genus well as they are more carefree and free flowering then ever.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sun Star Flower

Sun Star
Ornithogalum dubium
(or-ni-THOG-al-um) (DOO-bee-um)
Synonyms: Snake Plant, Yellow Chincherinchee

This picture was actually taken this spring. A friend of mine grew this little flower in a pot. It really was a wonderful shade of orange. A native of the Cape Province of South Africa this plant can be a bit of a chore to grow from what I read. It is considered perennial but this person was growing it as an annual and felt if it reappears next year, great, if not it is going on the compost heap.

Here are some more climbing roses from the farm. The smell almost made me dizzy.

I haven’t been taking my camera to work so there isn’t a lot of new flower pictures to post. Even if I had been taking it since it is a new house there aren’t a lot of flowers yet. That is why I dipped into the archive for this flower.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Two Roses

Two Roses

Here are two roses from the big rose garden. The first is a Floribunda named ‘Outrageous’. It has some beautiful blending of the colors and is a fairly large rose. It does seem to get blackspot but I have managed to keep it clean this year. In 2000, this rose was chosen as Jackson & Perkins Floribunda of the Year.

Registration name: JACzap
Breeder: Dr. Keith W. Zary, US, 1998
Introduction: Bear Creek Gardens, Inc.
Petal Count: 25 to 30
Fragrance: Strong, honey
Parentage: 'Summer Fashion' × Seedling


This second rose is considered a mauve blend and is a Hybrid Tea. It has a nice fragrance and has been a consistent bloomer.

Registration name: JACbloom
Breeder: William A. Warriner, US, 1972
Introduction: Jackson & Perkins Co
Petal Count: 9-16
Fragrance: Strong, rose
Parentage: Seedling × Seedling

This final shot is some climbing roses at the end of the rose garden.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Yellow Lily

Yellow Lily

The Lilies are starting to bloom and I found this one fully out probably because it was in a very sunny location. I always find it a difficult flower to photograph but this image came out okay.

Yesterday was a tale of two houses as I worked on one house that was 13,000+ square feet and one house that was around 2,000 square feet. Funny thing was they were a few miles from each other. At the little house we planted an Azalea garden with 7 different types, a Blue Holly (Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Princess') and a 5 foot Hoopsi Blue Spruce (Picea pungens 'Hoopsi'). At the big house it was more Boxwood hedges including 100 Dwarf Boxwood. We also planted a Dura Heat River Birch (Betula nigra 'Dura Heat'), some Roses and an area of Rhododendrons and Azaleas. Today it is back to the big house to plant a Hemlock hedge (Tsuga canadensis) with 30 7 to 8 foot trees and the Perennial delivery. It is over 1,000 plants. Thank goodness it isn't a Blue Spruce hedge. Those are way too sharp. The Hemlocks are nice and soft and smell good.
(Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Princess')

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Canna leaf - Wordless Wednesday

Scarlet Flax on Ruby Tuesday

Scarlet Flax
Linum grandiflorum
(LIN-um) (gran-dih-FLOR-um)
Synonyms: Red Flax, Flowering Flax, Adenolinum grandiflorum, Linum coccineum

It’s Ruby Tuesday again and I shot a picture of this flower on Sunday for this post. I am trying to take a few nice red flower pictures and Ruby Tuesday has challenged me to try it. One thing I have tried with a little better results is to turn the color setting on my camera from Vivid to Normal.

Flax is an interesting plant. I have been growing two little patches of Blue Flax (Linum perenne) it seems to be a true perennial. I haven’t gotten many seedlings from them. This Scarlet Flax was growing in a seed tray outside of the Bartlett Arboretum Greenhouse and really captivated me.

For the home of Ruby Tuesday visit the teach .

Monday, June 16, 2008

Floribunda Rose 'Easy Going'

Floribunda Rose
Rosa 'Easy Going'

Here is a pretty rose to start off the week. It has been growing well with dark green foliage and a lot of blooms. The stems are very thorny and they are short but ‘Easy Going’ has been disease resistant in my garden. It has formed a nicely shaped bush about 4 feet tall.

Breeder: Harkness, United Kingdom (1996)
Petal Count: 25 to 30
Fragrance: Mild
Parentage: Sport of ‘Livin' Easy
Synonym: HARflow

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Garden Blogger Bloom Day – June 2008

Garden Blogger Bloom Day – June 2008

I had hoped to make this a long post but instead I have been filling print orders all morning. After not selling a picture for about a month and half yesterday I sold 10! Since all the profits go into new equipment maybe I will get the Sigma 28mm/1.8 Macro lens I have been eying.

Everything in the gardens that I tend to has been doing really well. It has been one of the best seasons I can remember. The roses have been blooming and there hasn’t been too much disease. I have picked out two from the big rose garden that didn’t even bloom last year, so this was my first look at them. The top one is 'Voodoo' a nice large orange/pink flowers and a strong scent. Here are a few facts about it:

Synonyms: AROmiclea
Breeder: Jack E. Christensen, US, 1984
Parentage: Seed: [Camelot × First Prize] × Typhoon Tea
Pollen: Lolita (hybrid tea, Kordes 1972)

This second rose is 'Spice Twice'. It is also a Hybrid Tea and the both the color and fragrance is wonderful.
Synonyms: JACable
Petal Count: 17-25 petals
Breeder: Dr. Keith W. Zary, US, 1997
Parentage: Spirit of Glasnost × Kardinal 85 (Kordes 1985)

These next three pictures are of a big wildflower planting I did in Bedford, NY. This is where using a prime (non-zoom) 60mm lens isn’t great. You just can’t capture wide scenes with it. This planting has taken 2 years to develop and it blooming waves. I have been adding fresh seed and also spreading the seed from the spent flowers.

For those who like Siberian Iris here is a dwarf cultivar called ‘Little White’. It only get about 10 inches tall and is more slowly spreading than the full size types.

Finally here is a picture of a plant that I have always wanted to grow and 2008 is the year I am doing it.

Giant Dutchman's Pipe
Aristolochia gigantea
Aka: Pelican Flower

This is a tropical species of the Dutchman’s Pipe vine. This is growing in a big container so I can move it inside the Conservatory in the winter. I had to remove the flower from the vine and took this photo with it placed on the Ruby Red Grapefruit tree. I was carrying it around at work as a pet flower. The crew got a kick out of that. It actually lasted quite long. I am sure there will be more photos of this one throughout the season.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Groundcover Rose - Flower Carpet White

Groundcover Rose
Rosa 'Flower Carpet White'
Synonyms: Emera Blanc, Ophalia, Schneeflocke, NOAschnee

This rose has pretty much lived up to the hype surrounding it. In my garden it is a profuse bloomer that needs little care, It is very disease resistant and flowers continuously through the season. I read somewhere that this rose can produce up to 2,000 blooms per season!

It grows about 18 inches tall and spreads to 5 or 6 feet wide and is hardy to USDA Zone 5. The flowers are about 2 inches across have 16 petals and a good scent.

Class: Floribunda / Cluster Flowered, Polyantha
Bred by: Werner Noack, 1991 in Germany
Introduced by: Anthony Tesselaar International
Parentage: Flower Carpet × Margaret Merril

Friday, June 13, 2008

Golden Mountain Cornflower

Golden Mountain Cornflower
Centaurea montanaGold Bullion'
(sen-TAR-ee-uh) (MON-tah-nuh)

There was recently a post on ‘Amethyst in Snow’, which is another cultivar of Centaurea montana and I thought that one was eye catching. This flower was pretty amazing to me. It is not for everyone, I am sure, but having a small patch of these would be fantastic.

The Mountain Cornflower doesn’t require a lot of care to grow. The one thing they don’t seem to like is wet feet in the winter. Other than that they seem to happily grow just about anywhere. With ‘Gold Bullion' and a lot of other gold foliaged plants you are going to want full sun for the best leaf color.

The name Centaurea comes from Greek mythology. Chiron the centaur was said to have used the flower to heal the wounds from one of Hercules’ poisoned arrows.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Blue-eyed Grass

Blue-eyed Grass

Not sure what species of Sisyrinchium this is since it arrived in the garden on its own. It is a fun little plant to grow and I will be encouraging it to spread. Apparently there is a bit of confusion of the number and naming of species as they are listed as between 70 and 150. A little research revealed that there is other flower colors available. This is the only color I have ever seen.

It is funny about the name, as it is not actually a true grass but a member of the Iris family (Iridaceae), nor does it have a blue eye. It doesn’t seem to be too fussy about where it grows. I have seen it growing in both moist and dry areas and in between rocks. It also seems to be deer resistant.

This was a little Depth of Field experiment that I was performing for my benefit but thought it might be nice to share. Both photos were shot with my D70s and 60mm Micro-Nikkor lens. I have been using Aperture Mode to shoot a lot of my recent pictures. They seem to come out better if I let the camera choose the shutter speed. It must be smarter than me :lol: The first picture is shot with a shallow depth of field (F3.3) and the second was at F9. The problem is I like both of them and can’t decide which is better. That is one reason I am posting both of them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Constellation Dogwood - Wordless Wednesday

Constellation Dogwood (Cornus x ‘Rutcan')

Geranium and Smoke Tree – Ruby Tuesday

Geranium and Smoke Tree – Ruby Tuesday

Does this Ivy leafed Geranium (Pelargonium peltatum) count as red? You would think that someone who deals with colors professionally might be a little more sure of which color is which. We have been using more Geraniums at work and they continue to amaze me with the different colors and styles available. This was taken at a nursery and I should have bought a couple because the flower was beautiful.

This second photo is a Smoke Tree (Cotinus coggygria). Most often they are referred to as Purple Smoke Tree but it is really a shrub. They always make a nice splash of color in the garden and while the ‘smoke’ is nice the foliage is the main show. Every couple of years I hard prune mine to stimulate new color and keep them a little smaller. They are easy to cultivate and will grow on a variety of soils. They are a member of the Cashew Family (Anacardiaceae) something I didn’t know.

Sorry for such a short post but the heat has been getting to me a little. I like it hot but working in the big rose garden yesterday was intense. It was blazing.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Ox-Eye Daisy and Some More Work Shots

Ox-Eye Daisy
Leucanthemum vulgare
(lew-KANTH-ih-mum) (vul-GAIR-ee)
Synonyms: Field Daisy, Marguerite, Moon Daisy

Another post where everything is growing at work. The Ox-Eye Daisies have been seeding like crazy over the last few years and I have been encouraging them to do so. Anywhere that is usually mulched is fair game. We have transplanted several hundred also.

When I wanted to learn more about the folklore of the Daisy I found these sites. The lore is certainly impressive and covers much of history and many different groups of people.

Pinkie’s Palour (Scroll down for Daisy)

I wanted to take more pictures at work but my battery died. That is a bad thing about the D70 battery, it lasts so long that you sometimes can forget to charge it. It has lasted 1200 shots when new and can still do 1000. I did squeeze off a couple before the camera wouldn’t fire anymore. This is a separate Peony area with all the same type. There are about 8 more bushes behind me in the frame. Don’t know the variety but it is one of the best I have grown. There is another Peony area with one or two plants of about 15 different cultivars.

Here is a closer view of the Peonies. I am not sure where the Foxglove came from but I have been encouraging it. There is one little Ox-Eye there and that will be like 5 next year and then 25 and so on.

This is the Driveway Garden at another house. It was one of the harshest gardening sites I have had to deal with but over the years we have managed to build it up. Without the irrigation I don’t think many of these plants would’ve grown.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Climbing Rose ‘Royal Gold’ and some Work Gardens

Climbing Rose ‘Royal Gold’
Rosa ‘Royal Gold’
Breeder: Dr. Dennison Morey, United States (1957)
Height: 10 feet
Parentage: Goldilocks, Cl. × Lydia (hybrid tea, Robinson, 1949)
Hardy to USDA Zone 6

‘Royal Gold’ is a beautiful colored climbing rose that is named perfectly. It is such a deep yellow. It also has strong fragrance. This rose has actually been trained into a pillar type, which is a first for me. So far so good.

I picked ‘Royal Gold’ because I wanted this to be a home grown post. I have decided to include a couple of garden pictures from work. You will see why they are not posted very often. I am a lousy landscape photographer and don’t seem to be getting any better. Compressing the photos to fit in this space doesn't help, either. Here a few snapshots from some of the gardens this week.

The Estate’s Mountain Laurels (Kalmia) are blooming right now. This is one of the best patches but there are many others spread throughout the garden. This picture was taken looking out from inside the garage. The Mountain Laurel goes on for about 20 more feet outside of the frame. It is funny because this is definitely one of the hottest parts of the garden. The sun is really strong here and the Mountain Laurel thrives. It makes me think that people often plant Mountain Laurel in too much shade. If you look over to the bottom right side you can see my little patch of Blue Star (Amsonia tabernaemontana) that has been growing strong for 20 years. I have never divided it and it still comes up every year. Please excuse the Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus). I shouldn’t be growing it since it invasive. There is actually a little waterfall and pond that it is growing in. It is cut down completely after it is done flowering. I am going to straighten that bird house tomorrow :lol:

These next two are a different house. I liked the combination in the first one. Both of these were taken with my point and shoot (Nikon Coolpix 8400) but I actually use the manual controls on it. I am going to try and post some more garden photos tomorrow.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Floribunda Rose 'Disneyland Rose'

Floribunda Rose
Rosa 'Disneyland Rose'
Synonyms: JACmouse
Introduced: United States (2004), Jackson & Perkins
Petal Count: 26 to 40 petals
Parentage: Sequoia Gold × Hot Tamale

This rose was in the rose garden when I took it over. It is a clustered flowered/floribunda rose. I probably would have never bought this rose but it has been a good performer. Its delicate shades orange and pink have been interesting and nice to gaze upon. Disney wanted a tough, low maintenance and I am sure a little showy rose and this one delivers. It is the official rose of The Disneyland® Resort and is planted heavily throughout the park. It is also a Jackson and Perkins New Generation rose, which grow on their own roots.

It is so nice to finally have some roses blooming.

This was a nice combination I saw at work yesterday. Kousa Dogwood and a Rhododendron blooming together. It was better after it rained and the Dogwood was actually hanging into the Rhodo but the picture didn’t come out as well.

Friday, June 06, 2008


The Peonies are blooming now. Some of them have gone by already but the main collection is now in flower. They are such a grand flower and such a classic. I don’t like the extra work of staking them but right now it is worth it. There are about 30 species of the herbaceous types and ten of the woody species. I have only grown a couple of them and they are the ones that are fairly common. Funny I made a post 364 days ago on Peonies.

Sometimes the buds are better than the flowers but this Peony was nice in both. The flower reminded a little of the sun and the bud looks a bit like an egg.

This is what I have to put with at work.
This Gibraltar Azalea is a funny one. I often forget about it until it blooms. It looks like it is giving the little Blueberry bush a hug.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Wild Geranium 'Espresso'

Wild Geranium
Geranium maculatum 'Espresso'
(jer-AY-nee-um) (mak-yuh-LAH-tum)
Synonyms: Wild Cranesbill, Spotted Geranium

This was a new variety to me and I have to say that I like it. The flower is the typical delicate beauty of the species but I think the foliage is probably the reason to grow this plant. It is dark and very nicely detailed. This cultivar was developed by North Creek Nursery (Landenberg, Pennsylvania ) from a plant they found in the woods. They claim that it keeps its foliage color throughout the summer, which sure would be nice.

Wild Cranesbill is a clump forming perennial that is easy to grow. I usually locate them in part shade or the woodland garden but they can also make a nice addition to the border. They do like some moisture to look their best. If they start looking a little ragged I lightly shear them to get some new growth. I am going to try a few ‘Espresso’ and see how they do. Maybe then I can capture the beauty of the foliage.

Speaking of foliage here is a Sweet Potato Vine that I had never seen before. Looks good as I am getting a little tired of the gold or black colored ones.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Painted Daisy for ABC Wednesday

Painted Daisy
Tanacetum coccineum 'Robinson's Mix'
(TAN-uh-SEE-tum) (kok-SIN-ee-um)
Synonyms: Pyrethrum roseum, Chrysanthemum coccineum

If you are here for Wordless Wednesday please scroll down to the next post. That is a ‘T’ also. Trollius chinensisGolden Queen’ or Golden Globe Flower.

The Painted Daisy is an old fashioned and fun plant to have in the garden. It is perennial and hardy. The flowers grow to about 18 inches and the finely cut foliage is an added attraction. I deadhead the spent flowers and have divided them in both the spring and fall. Pretty much a carefree plant that will grow in a wide range of soil conditions and full sun to partial shade.

To visit the home of ABC Wednesday click here .