Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Blue Geraniums

Blue Geraniums
Geranium pratense 'Hocus Pocus'
(jer-AY-nee-um) (pray-TEN-see)

A different variety

Monday, June 29, 2009

Red Bee Balm

Bee Balm
Monarda didyma 'Jacob Cline'
(mo-NAR-da) (DID-ee-muh)
Synonyms: Oswego Tea, Bergamot, Firecracker Plant, ‘Jacob Kline

Normally Bee Balm isn’t my favorite perennial but this year it has turned out nicely and is putting on quite a show. This variety gets tall (48 inches) and spreads rapidly (mint family) but it is easy enough to keep in check and doesn’t seem to need staking. You can pull out the spreading parts and replant them or chuck them.

The flower is really red and I never noticed the red bract like leaves that have preceded the flowers. They are almost as nice as the flowers themselves. ‘Jacob Cline’ can start looking a little ratty towards the end of the season and I often cut it down completely at that time. Same thing if it gets the powdery mildew. The cutting doesn’t seem to hurt it. It seems to grow in part shade also although it flowers less. This flower definitely attracts hummingbirds.

Here is a link to a Wikipedia article on Monarda . It has some interesting information on the uses of Bee Balm.

After a long absence I am doing Ruby Tuesday again this week. I just haven’t had the right shot at the right time. See more Ruby Tuesday at Work of the Poet.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Nepal Cinquefoil

Nepal Cinquefoil
Potentilla nepalensis 'Miss Willmott'
(poh-ten-TILL-uh) (nap-ahl-EN-sis)
Synonyms: Potentilla

This is one of the non-shrubby types of Potentilla. It has strawberry like foliage that can form a groundcover mat about 12 inches tall. The flower color is exceptional but they are small, maybe an inch in diameter. It likes full sun here and moist soil. There is a bit of a novelty effect since not many people have this plant in their gardens.

There is a lot of lore associated with Cinquefoil. One is if you take an egg and drain the contents and refill the shell with Cinquefoil leaves it will protect your house from evil spirits. It works better if you gather the leaves during the waxing moon. :lol:

Since it is Sunday and that means some extra flower lovers via Today’s Flowers here is a new Coreopsis variety I recently saw.

Threadleaf Coreopsis
Coreopsis 'Sienna Sunset'
Synonyms: Tickseed

'Sienna Sunset' is unlike any other Coreopsis I have seen. The color is amazing. It was developed right here in Connecticut at Sunny Border Nurseries. It grows to 12 to 18 inches tall and like other Coreopsis doesn’t require a lot of care when growing in the garden. It takes average soil and much the same as most perennials enjoys well-drained soil. It is best to shear them after their first wave of blooms and they come back strong with a second wave of flowers.

For more flower pictures from around the world check out:
Today’s Flowers . The links open at 1400 GMT.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Japanese Iris

Japanese Iris
Iris ensataActivity
(EYE-ris) (en-SA-tuh)

The Japanese Iris are blooming. Well they are trying to bloom. There was a really nice dark purple Japanese Iris blooming at work and by the time I got around to taking a picture of it is was getting totally beat up by the rain. I doubt I could’ve captured the richness and vividness of the electric purple color of the flowers even if the weather had been nice. The day before the sun was hitting it and it looked kind of blue, purple and black.

We had a huge line of thunderstorms move through yesterday afternoon. It affected other parts of Connecticut worse than my area in the southwest. I have all the locations of the various gardens I tend to on basically street level radar. If you use weather.com and go to your local area and then the weather in motion link to zoom to US addresses for the radar. So as the storms progressed I could see what was happening at each house.

There was this light pink Japanese Iris blooming at work. It really had the subtlest shadings of color. Its flowers were smaller than the dark purple Iris but still good sized.

The first Japanese Iris picture posted is the cultivar “Activity’. It was blooming at the nursery when I was picking up the Daylilies. I would have bought it but it had actually already almost totally flowered so I couldn’t justify the price. The purple veining on the flower always gets me. It grows to about 30 inches tall.

Japanese Iris has been posted here before. Use the label button to see those posts.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Alaska Shasta Daisy

Shasta Daisy
Leucanthemum x superbum 'Alaska'
(lew-KANTH-ih-mum) (soo-PER-bum)

This is one of the oldest Shasta Daisy cultivars and it is still around so that says something about it. There has been a couple out in the garden for long time so it is truly perennial for us. The flowers are up to 4 inches across and make a good cut flower. My only problem with ‘Alaska’ is that it does get quite tall (30 inches) and can be prone to flopping. I have always wanted to try pinching it early in the season to reduce the height but always forget. Maybe next year. It is a self-seeder and the seedlings are easy to transplant. It can succeed in hot and dry soils so it can be a bit of a problem solver. If you remember to dead head the first flush of spent flowers it will often bloom again later.

Sometimes I think this site should be called Daisy flower pictures.com instead of Digital flower pictures. There have been a lot of Daisies posted here. I find it to be a very photogenic group of flowers. Technically it is an easy flower to shoot as the blooms are held relatively upright and the flower itself is flat. That means it doesn’t require a lot of thought about the depth of field. The white color seems to make getting the right exposure easier, too.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Early Bird Gold Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan
Rudbeckia fulgida 'Early Bird Gold'
(rud-BEK-ee-a) (FUL-jih-duh)

This flower was blooming at the nursery and it looked good. I started to grab some and then remember the person whose house I am working on right now doesn’t like Black-eyed Susans. That is okay because after reading up on this plant I will be planting some of them soon.

This Rudbeckia is a new genetic development that was discovered at Dupont Nurseries in Louisiana. It consistently bloomed up to two months earlier than 'Goldsturm' and often blooms two months after it. Since it is not day-length dependent it can bloom in the spring in some places. It grows to about 24 inches tall. The flower was the ‘standard’ color and the petals seemed just a little thinner than most cultivars of fulgida.

Rudbeckias are easy to grow in well drained soil. If you give them some organic matter and water they will grow better but it is not necessary. They can grow in dry and lean soils also. Black-eyed Susan are also easy to divide and often have seedlings if you are looking to increase your supply. A good plant for the border or naturalized areas of the garden.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pansy Flowered Geranium

Pansy Flowered Geranium
Pelargonium x domesticum 'Elegance Jewel
(pe-lar-GO-nee-um) (doh-MESS-tik-um)
Synonyms: Regal Pelargonium, Martha Washington Geranium

Monday, June 22, 2009

Japanese Maple Foliage

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

This is an interesting Japanese Maple. The partially rolled leaves really give it a unique appearance. I planted two of these several years ago in two different gardens. In one garden the tree was almost completely eaten by the deer and has been trying to come back. The other tree has turned into a very handsome specimen. It is about 9 feet tall and would be a lot wider if it had more room to grow.

This tree is named after The Trompenburg Arboretum in Rotterdam, Netherlands. It grows up to 20 feet tall with a wide spread. The purple/red leaf color is superb and holds up well throughout the summer. Fall color is a bright crimson and is worthy of note.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Corona Cherry Magic China Pinks

China Pinks
Dianthus x chinensis 'Corona Cherry Magic'
Synonyms: Chinese Pinks, Dianthus

This little Dianthus has been blooming for a couple of weeks now. The flowers are a mix of red, white and lavender and you never know what it is going to come out with next. The shading is quite striking and the flowers are considered the largest for Dianthus. It grows compactly to about 9 to 12 inches and the foliage is an attractive gray-green. So far it has survived one winter and I hope it sticks around since it makes a nice edging plant but I have feeling it is biennial.

Dianthus like moist but well drained soil with some organic matter but can be adaptable to other conditions. In my experience if your Dianthus is located in good position they flourish with minimal care. They can struggle if things are not to their liking.

Here is an extra flower since it is Sunday and that means its Today’s Flowers. This is an easy group for me to participate in since there are usually flower pictures posted here anyway. I like browsing the various posters flower and garden shots from around the world. The links open at 1400 GMT.

Check it out here:
Today’s Flowers

This second picture is from a little cutting garden we planted in Greenwich. It is a Dinnerplate Dahlia, which can get huge flowers that are up 12 inches across. This one is called ‘Babylon Bronze’ and so far is the most floriferous of the Dahlias but the others are starting to catch up.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tahiti Sunrise Dahlia

Decorative Dahlia
Dahlia 'Tahiti Sunrise'

This is one from the 2009 Dahlia garden at work. It was an impulse buy and wasn’t even in flower when purchased. It has turned out all right so far. We have been enjoying all the different color combinations and shadings in the flowers. It is suppose to top out at 36 inches tall and it is close to that already so we will see what the final height is but I think it is going to be a little higher than listed. This flower is aptly named as it does remind me of a sunset. It is considered a Semi Cactus type and you can see that a little on the background flower.

Spring is over and summer starts again. Here in Connecticut the weather has been absolutely miserable and we having the 7th wettest June on record. It is one of the wettest I can remember and more rain is forecast for today. We are again planting a lot of Impatiens and I hope to get them in before the deluge.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Skywatch Friday - Yellow Balloon

Skywatch Friday - Yellow Balloon

This balloon is actually tethered to the ground and you pay to float up over the San Diego Wild Animal Park. At first I thought of going up but it was a little pricey and I just wanted to keep my feet on the ground that day.

We upgraded are business computer to a new Imac yesterday so there was a lot of networking to do with the other machines. We got a Maxtor Central Axis one TB (1,000 gigabyte) Network Storage Server also. It isn’t really a time to be upgrading but some of our computers were still on System 8 if you can believe that (released 1998). Things just keep getting more and more incompatible so it was time. The Maxtor can back up the Macbook Pro from my office so it has a dual role. It is a little difficult getting Karen up to speed on the Mac and setting everything up. I got a little headache and had to stop for a while but everything will run a lot smoother in the long run.

Here is another San Diego sunset picture. * sigh *

Visit Sky Watch Friday for more skies around the world.
SkyWatch Friday Home Page

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cucumber Magnolia

Cucumber Magnolia
Magnolia acuminata
(mag-NO-lee-uh) (ah-kew-min-AY-tuh)
Synonyms: Yellow Cucumber tree, Mountain Magnolia

From this page on the Western North Carolina Nature Center website by H. Clay Smith I learned that Magnolia acuminata is the hardiest and most widely distributed Magnolia native to the United States (8 species). It is also the only species native to Canada. It can grow to over 80 feet tall and can live for 120 years. It is considered one of the latest flowering Magnolias.

This picture was taken earlier this spring and the size of flower and the creamy yellow color was beautiful. It makes a handsome landscape specimen. The foliage can be 12 inches long and the 2 to 3 inch long ‘cucumbers’ add some novelty interest. Some of the cultivars of interest to the gardener include 'Butterflies', 'Yellow Bird', and 'Elizabeth'.

Ugh, another one to two inches of rain is expected here today. Here is a photo of the whole flower.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Peach Trailing Verbena

Trailing Verbena
Verbena 'Lanai Peach'

This Verbena has been a big hit this year. The color is special and there isn’t really another annual that has this particular shading. It fits the interior color scapes of a lot of ‘our’ houses so it nice to bring those colors out to the garden.

The Lanai Series has done well for us in previous years. I think we have used the red, purple, bright pink and burgundy ones. It has always been a showy free flowering plant that didn’t have any problems. Definitely on my annual recommend list. It does well as a bedding plant and in containers.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Todays Flowers - French Hollyhock

French Hollyhock
Malva sylvestris 'Zebrina'
(MAL-vuh) (sil-VESS-triss)

Striped flowers always seem to capture my fancy and this one is no exception. French Hollyhock seems to grow best in lean soil that is well drained. They self seed profusely and the mother plants usually die out. It has over wintered for me before but I really don’t count on it. It is well worth it to grow it as annual as it blooms all season.

This is a wild rose that was blooming alongside a road into an industrial park that I was turning around on. I just decided to grab the camera and hop out of the truck and take a picture. It had a hint of fragrance but I am not sure if that wasn’t from having literally thousands and thousands of the same flower blooming all along the road. This flower wasn’t much to look at from afar but when viewed up close it was easy to see that it was really beautiful including the touch of blush and the way the stamens are arranged.

Since last Sunday I included a Peony picture here is another of the Peonies growing in the garden. This one is called ‘Gay Paree’. You can see the colors are great and they grow on about a 30 inches tall plant. It has a good fragrance. There is only one of these in the garden and it has been a little slow to develop but usually has a couple of flowers. It is considered an Anemone flowering type.

Here is a list of common names for Malva sylvestris from The Malva (Mallow) Pages

English (Australian): Tall Mallow

English (British): Common Mallow

English (American): High Mallow

French (Jersey): p'tite mauve

Spanish: Malva común, Malva Silvestre

Portuguese: (Brasil) Malva Silvestre

Italian: Malva, méiba, nalba, riondella

Romanian: Nalba de culturä, nalba de padure

German: Kultur-käsepappel

Dutch: Groot Kaasjeskruis

Swedish: rödmalva

Norwegian: Apotekerkattost

Finnish: Kiiltomalva

Estonian: mets-kassinaeris

Czech: sléz lesní

Slovak: slez lesný

Slovene: Gozdni slezenovec

Croatian: Sljez crni, Sljez divlji

Serbian: crni slez

Hungarian: Erdei mályva, mályva, Papsayt

Welsh: Hocysen Gyffredin

Basque: ziga, zigiña

Maltese: Hobbejza tar-raba

Korean: Dang-a-uk

For more flower pictures from around the world check out:
Today’s Flowers .

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Miss Mary Garden Peony

Garden Peony
Paeonia lactifloraMiss Mary
(pay-OHN-ee-uh) (lak-tee-FLOR-uh)

This peony was introduced by William H. Krekler in 1967. It is a really nice red single flowered type. These pictures were taken in my friend’s garden and I guess I had never visited when this peony was blooming. He has been dividing it and keeps planting the divisions down the side of a long stonewall. There were a lot of flowers in the patch last week and it gave an overall very nice effect.

If you like Daffodils this site may be of interest:
First Daffodils

There is a lot of beautiful photography over there. The landscapes that the Daffs are growing in are better than the flowers in some instances.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Butter and Sugar Siberian Iris

Siberian Iris
Iris sibirica 'Butter and Sugar'
(EYE-ris) (sy-BEER-ah-kuh)

Siberian Iris is one of those plants that is truly a fool proof perennial. It is so easy to grow over a large range of conditions. This Iris prefers wet to even boggy soils but can grow in dry lean soils too. The patch of ‘Butter and Sugar’ had some nice color variations. I am not sure if this comes with the flowers aging or they come out that way. Either way it looked very nice. It was introduced in 1976 as the first yellow and white Siberian Iris hybrid.

Here is a second Siberian. This one is called ‘Caesar’, I think. There was a huge planting of this and overall it was amazing to see. There were probably a couple of hundred flowers. This was taken a couple of weeks ago as Siberian Iris blooms here in Connecticut in late May. The light wasn’t great that day and before I even made it back to the truck a big thundershower started. Even though it was about 4 o’clock in the afternoon it was almost dark. The yellow in the background of the second picture is SpireaGoldmound’.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer Daisy

Summer Daisy
Argyranthemum frutescens 'Molimba Mini Yellow'
(ar-ji-RAN-the-mum) (froo-TESS-enz)
Synonyms: Argyelsin, Marguerite Daisy

This little Marguerite Daisy has been blooming continuously since we planted it a couple of weeks ago. I have been deadheading it even though I had read it wasn’t necessary. It is quite short for a Daisy, as it has only grown to about 8 inches tall. The color is nice and sunny and the foliage is finely cut and a handsome green.

Work is still really going strong and today we are planting 13 dozen 7 inch impatiens pots as well as some perennials to cover where the bulbs bloomed. I have three more planting jobs lined up so I hope this rainy cool weather holds out for a little longer.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rose Periwinkle

Rose Periwinkle
Catharanthus roseus
(kat-uh-RANTH-us) (RO-zee-us)
Synonyms: Vinca, Cayenne Jasmine, Madagascar Periwinkle, Old Maid

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Semi Cactus Dahlia

Semi Cactus Dahlia
Dahlia 'Yellow Happiness'

"Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful:

they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul."

Luther Burbank, botanist 1849–1926

Monday, June 08, 2009

Shamrock Flower

Shamrock Flower
Oxalis 'Charmed Wine'

This is really a foliage plant for full shade. It likes some bright indirect light but it can easily get scorched by the sun. The foliage color is amazing and the flower color is almost the complete opposite color, which is an interesting contrast. ‘Charmed Wine’ is part of a series of Oxalis from Proven Winners.

I haven’t tried this one but saw a big block at the nursery. It was looking a little leggy and probably could have used a cut back. This plant is perennial in USDA Zone 8 and above. It likes moist soil and a good fertilizer regime.

This upcoming week looks busy as we try and cram in all of the little jobs that we didn’t get done this spring. It is time to start thinking about summer projects.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Today's Flowers - Louisiana Iris

Louisiana Iris
Iris 'Bold Pretender'
Today's Flowers

This Iris was introduced in 1983 and still looks good today. The color combination is nice and it is a good bloomer. Louisiana Iris are quite hardy and really needs a moist site to survive and be happy. In fact it can grow right at the edge of the pond or in boggy conditions. It blooms in early summer. This one gets up to about 36 inches tall. It is a great color to have in the Iris collection.

This second flower is easily recognized as a Columbine. It is a new introduction to the Music Series called ‘Red and Gold’. It has large flowers and intense colors. Columbine is sometimes not perennial around here but usually seeds itself so you still have some long after the mother plants have gone. Like the Louisiana Iris it is native to the United States and the species Aquilegia caerules is the state flower of Colorado. In fact it is protected there and the law prohibits “digging or uprooting the flower on public lands and limits the gathering of buds, blossoms and stems to 25 in one day. It is unlawful to pick the columbine on private land without consent of the land owner.”

Since it Sunday and that means Today’s Flowers so here is an extra shot of some Peonies. We have been working at a garden that has a lot of different cultivars and they are really doing outstanding this year.

I have to work today as the business we are landscaping is closed so I am not sure how many people I will get to visit.

For more flower pictures from around the world check out:
Today’s Flowers .

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Goblin Blanket Flower

Blanket Flower
Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Goblin'
(gay-LAR-dee-uh) (gran-dih-FLOR-uh)
Synonyms: Indian Blanket, Kobold

This is the first time ‘Goblin’ has been featured on this website although a couple of other Gaillardia have appeared before. Since there were no ‘Orange and Lemons’ Blanket Flower to be had at the nursery I tried ‘Goblin’ instead. My ‘Oranges and Lemons’ didn’t come back at all after last winter. That is like the third year in a row, which leads me to believe it is truly annual or biennial in Connecticut’s climate.

Hopefully ‘Goblin’ will come back for at least a year or two but just in case I am going to enjoy it for now. It has nice bold flower colors and delicate looking foliage. At 10 to 12 inches tall it is best suited for the front of the border. One unusual feature is the flowers are really big they are supposed to be the largest of any Blanket Flower.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Home Run Shrub Rose

Shrub Rose
Rosa 'Home Run'
Synonym: WEKcisbako

It has been awhile since a rose was posted on this site. We have been doing a lot of planting and I thought I would grab a picture of the two ‘Home Run’ roses we put in. I was going to get two red ‘Knockout’ roses but they had a little disease setting in so I remembered a friend had recommended ‘Home Run’. It turns out that ‘Home Run’ has it’s own website at Weeks Roses. Click here to see a slideshow about ‘Making a New Rose’. I found it quite interesting.

This next rose is a large flowered climbing rose called ’Don Juan’. It was really red and the color in this picture doesn’t show the shadings to almost black in the flower color. It had a nice fragrance. Jackson & Perkins Co. introduced this hybrid tea rose to the United States. It was developed by Michele Malandrone (Italy) in 1958.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Rieger Begonia

Rieger Begonia
Begonia x hiemalis
(be-GON-yuh) (hy-EH-may-liss)

Rieger Begonias are a little finicky to have in the garden but they often make great houseplants. I took this picture while picking up some plants at Ace Begonias. There was a whole greenhouse devoted to Begonias and it was a very colorful tapestry. This flower was probably the most different as the shades of flower color was leaning towards orange and yellows on most of the other plants.

When Otto Rieger developed a hybrid between wax and tuberous Begonias the Rieger Begonia was born. A few things I have learned about growing these Begonias; don’t over water and if the plants are outside they need pretty much full shade (some indirect light is okay). You also have to watch for pest and diseases. They really don’t like the summer heat and are best with about 70 deg. F days and cool nights. They are a popular winter annual in the right climate.

Here is a link to a Michigan State University on how to care for a Rieger Begonia as a houseplant.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Pink Peony Bud

Garden Peony
Paeonia lactiflora
(pay-OHN-ee-uh) (lak-tee-FLOR-uh)
Wordless Wednesday

Monday, June 01, 2009

Star of Persia

Star of Persia
Allium christophii
(AL-ee-um) (kris-TOF-ee-eye)
Synonym: Allium albopilosum

Yesterday was the Garden Conservancy’s Fairfield County Open Day. I wished I had known about it earlier. It was also Westchester and Litchfield County Open Days. We did get to one garden and it was quite beautiful. It was collector’s garden, which is just perfect for me. There were no restrictions on photography and there was a gorgeous collection of plants. I hadn’t seen this Allium in quite a while and remembered how nice it is.

Alliums are becoming more and more popular. They are a good plant to have around and there are numerous types for the garden. We planted 48 Gladiator Allium last year and, as usual, had a perfect success rate. I will have to order some Allium christophii next fall.

Star of Persia gets to be about 24 inches tall. The flower heads are amethyst pink and often over 8 inches wide. This particular one had a flower head that was 10 to 12 inches wide. There was only one plant/bulb and it really effective poking out from underneath a Weeping Kousa Dogwood. Normally solitary flowers aren’t as attractive as a group but this flower is interesting and big enough to pull it off.

Two other attributes to plant are the ability to grow in poor soil and their deer resistance. They also make long lasting cut flowers.

Since the garden had a lot of beautiful flowers and plants here is an extra picture. This Rhododendron was pretty amazing. Since it was quite windy the taller trees were making changing shadows over the peachy/white flowers. They were glowing when the sun hit them. I noticed it from across the yard.