Thursday, December 31, 2009

Orange Oxalis

Oxalis massoniana
(oks-AL-iss) (mas-soh-nee-AY-nuh)

This cute little plant was blooming in the Alpine House at Wave Hill. The color was striking and the light was slanting in at the right angle. Many gardeners consider Oxalis a noxious weed but there are many of the 800 species that are nice in the garden. Some of those types have been featured on this blog this year.

This South African native often blooms as a complete carpet of 4 to 5 inch high flowers. There are some reports that it actually grows better in the controlled environment of a container (as this was). I couldn’t find the hardiness of this plant so if anyone knows feel free to chime in.

I want to take this time to wish everybody a Happy and Prosperous New Year. In some ways I am happy to close the books on this decade and move into the new one. It is a Blue Moon around here tonight. Here is a link to Wikipedia about the Lunar Phases, which is something I hadn’t thought about in years. It was a good refresher for me. There is also a Winter Weather Advisory in effect for snow and rain. According to , “A Winter weather advisory is when a significant winter storm or hazardous winter weather is occurring, imminent, and is an inconvenience.” The storm is to be followed by a blast of really cold air, sigh.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

Black and White Flower Conversion

Black and White Flower Conversion
Daylily ‘English Witch’

Normally the black and white flower pictures that appear on this site are shot in monochrome. This one was converted from a color photograph to black and white using Nik Software’s conversion software. There was kind of a yellow color cast to the color photo that just wouldn’t go away so I decided to try and convert it.

‘English Witch’ is a reblooming Daylily that grows to about 26 inches tall. The flowers measure 4.5 inches and it is a tetraploid type. A tetraploid is, according to Daylily

“A daylily either has 22 or 44 chromosomes. A diploid has 22 chromosomes and a tetraploid has 44 chromosomes. A tetraploid daylily will generally have larger flowers, larger plants, and better flower substance than a diploid. A diploid can have large flowers, large plants and great flower substance, although if the same diploid plant is converted to a tetraploid, the plants' characteristics will be enhanced.”

Tomorrow’s flower will not be a Daylily!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Daylily ‘Role Model’

Daylily ‘Role Model’

Since finding a couple of cards with Daylily photos from the summer with a lot of good pictures on them here, at the risk of being a little insipid, are a few more. The first two pictures are a nice kind of pinkish cultivar named ‘Role Model’. You can see from the group shot that it has large flowers and is a heavy bloomer.

The second flower is a macro of a cultivar that I didn’t get the name of. Since I have heard there are over 50,000 Daylily varieties forget trying to figure it out. If it is not a common one than you really have to try some research.

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

This is the last Today’s Flowers of the decade. I would like to wish all the participants a Happy New Year and a great decade coming up. Your visits and comments here have always been appreciated and I am looking forward to seeing your flowers this week and in the future.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Double Flowered Daylily

Double Flowered Daylily
Hemerocallis 'Frances Joiner'

This Daylily is considered a rose blend but it looks a little more like an orange blend to me. It has won numerous awards including The Ida Munson Award for best double daylily in 1993. It has large (5.5 inches) slightly fragrant flowers that are borne on 28 inch scapes (a scape is defined as a long, leafless flower stalk coming directly from a root). ‘Frances Joiner’ is a diploid rebloomer.

Here is a link to FAQ’s about Daylilies: FAQ

That should answer a lot of the questions about Daylilies. I find it a good reference.

I hope everyone’s Christmas dreams came true. Karen got me a new Ipod, which quadruples the capacity of the old one. I also got the new Alicia Keys CD. For once I didn’t ask Santa for anything photography related. My gear seems to be in a good place. For the future I am looking towards getting the 24-70mm 2.8 Nikon lenses and the 70-200mm 2.8.

We made it through Christmas and it is now on to New Years and then to spring!

“Another fresh new year is here . . .

Another year to live!

To banish worry, doubt, and fear,

To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me

To live each day with zest . . .

To daily grow and try to be

My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity

Once more to right some wrongs,

To pray for peace, to plant a tree,

And sing more joyful songs!”

William Arthur Ward (1921 – 1994)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tropical Santa

HemerocallisTry It

Merry Christmas to everyone. This Daylily looked a little bit like the season. It is a red blend that grows to about 26 inches tall and flowers well. It was hybridized in 1972 by the great Daylily breeder Frank Childs. Who among hundreds of other cultivars brought us the beautiful ‘Catherine Woodbery’.

This tropical Santa was spotted in Paia, Maui. He must be hot with that jacket on. I think this is the only Santa I have seen wearing sandals.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Candy Cane Chair

Candy Cane Chair

Ruby Tuesday
See more Ruby Tuesday at Work of the Poet.


Monochrome Water Garden Plants
Wordless Wednesday

Apricot Foxglove

Digitalis purpurea 'Sutton's Apricot'

This is the first year we tried ‘Sutton’s Apricot’ in the garden and it did well. The color was a nice addition to the regular Foxglove and the Strawberry ones that we planted. I treat all Foxglove as annuals although the Strawberry Foxglove (Digitalis x mertonensis) looks like it may have lasted as it was still alive when the snow came. The Apricot type is much taller and straighter than the Strawberry ones. I dutifully let them go to seed and even scraped the mulch up underneath so the seeds would hit soil and not the mulch. We will see what happens and if any come back.

The Apricot color does kind of liven up a shady area and if you like the pastel types colors this plant would be perfect for your garden.

We got the last big push here before Christmas. I still have some shopping to do but mainly I am waiting on the UPS guy as I ordered almost everything on the internet.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Poison Arrow Vine

Poison Arrow Vine
Strophanthus preussii
(stroh-FAN-thus) (PREW-see-eye)

Today’s Flower is a native of the tropical part of West Africa. It doesn’t tolerate cold temperatures (doesn’t survive below 40 deg.F) but can be grown as a houseplant in colder zones. Preuss' Strophanthus is kind of a shrubby vine that can reach 10 feet tall under the right conditions. The flowers have a light and pleasant scent. I am including the second picture not because it is a good picture but for you to see the interesting tentacles or hair that the flower develops. The common name comes from the use of the sap on arrow tips in its native realm.

As a bonus here is probably the nicest Daylily I saw all year. Part of the Woodside Nursery stable of beautiful Daylilies this flower knocked me out when I saw it.

Hemerocallis 'Bridgeton Elegance'

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

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Orange Dahlia

Dahlia 'Neon Splendor'

This Dahlia came in marked ‘Neon Splendor’ but appeared to have a little more color then most pictures of the cultivar. The flowers were nice and the plant grew pretty well considering our rainy and gloomy conditions this summer. It really produced a lot of flowers and they looked good wedged in between ‘Babylon Red’ and ‘Tahiti Sunset’ in the Dahlia Garden. If your going to grow orange flowers it might as well be intensely colored like ‘Neon Splendor’.

It is time to batten down the hatches around here. The forecast keeps changing but it looks like 8 to 12 inches (20 cm - 30.5 cm) of snow for tonight and tomorrow. Ugh, high winds too. There is a blizzard warning for Long Island and that isn’t too far from here. Granted they are stuck out in the ocean but I have the feeling it is going to be bad around here. In some ways the impending storm is worse than the actual storm and aftermath. I always get a little sense of impending doom when, like this storm, it takes so long to get here.

Just to make sure I checked what conditions have to be met for a Blizzard Warning to be issued. From here is the definition. It doesn’t sound too good:

Blizzard Warning

Snow, strong winds and low temperatures will combine to produce a blinding snow, deep drifts and life threatening wind chill. This means temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit/6 degrees Celsius and winds above 35 mph/56 kph.”

This is another Dahlia shot from the summer.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Baby Sun Lanceleaf Coreopsis

Lanceleaf Coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata 'Baby Sun'
(kor-ee-OP-sis) (lan-see-oh-LAY-tuh)
Synonyms: ‘Sonnenkind

This plant was spied at a local nursery and looked quite impressive growing in the pots. Smaller and shorter than most Coreopsis it looks like a good choice for the front of the border. According to the reading I have been doing on ‘Baby Sun’ it is like the other Coreopsis in the fact that it likes dry, lean type of soils. It also should be deadheaded regularly to prolong the blooming period. Division should be done every two to three yeas and that is best way to propagate ‘Baby Sun’ if you want a uniformed appearance. Growing Coreopsis from seed is easy but can produce variable results.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Two Roses

Large-Flowered Climbing Rose
Rosa 'Fourth of July'
Synonyms: Crazy for You, WEKroalt, Hanabi, Climbing Fourth of July

Here are two roses introduced in the 1990’s. ‘Fourth of July’ is a good producer with a nice scent. It’s coloring makes it a bit of a novelty but the fact that each flower is different is interesting. My “Fourth of July’ seems to be growing more like a bush than a climbing rose. Maybe this year I will let it grow out a bit more and see if it will climb up the fence around the rose garden.

‘Easy Going’ is a floribunda rose that was introduced in 1998. It was discovered as a sport of ‘Livin Easy’. It has been featured on this blog once before. It is an easy to grow rose that seems resistant to black spot.

Tuesday was the last day of the gardening season. I hope to have some notes on the past year coming up soon. Yesterday I had to go to the dentist for a multiple extraction. What a way to start the off-season.

To see more rose photography visit this album:
Rose Photos at Digital Flower

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Coral Chrysanthemums

Coral Chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemum x morifolium ‘Christine’
(kris-AN-the-mum) (mor-ee-FOH-lee-um)

Here it is December and I am already raiding the archives. This mum was from the fall and I really liked its coral-red color. It bloomed fairly well even though we planted it a little late and there was 4 or 5 inches of rain in our cold October.

When I looked up information on this mum the plant patent came up. There is some interesting information included in the patent but I am only posting a link since some it is a little technical. I did kind of remind me how different growers look at a plant then us end users.

Here is a link to the patent:
United States Patent PP08988/Christine

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Japanese Camellia

Japanese Camellia
Camellia japonica 'Tama-no-ura'
(kuh-MEE-lee-a) (juh-PON-ih-kuh)
Synonyms: Common Camellia

This dainty little Camellia was blooming in the Conservatory at Wave Hill. The colors were striking and the very shiny green leaves were helping showcase the flowers. Someone burning charcoal in the woods discovered this wild hybrid, named after the historical fishing village in Japan. It is easy to root and also hybridizes easily.

We can’t grow Camellias outside in Connecticut. Even the so called ‘winter hardy’ ones don’t make it. They do well in pots and containers but are prone to insect infestations when grown inside. That doesn’t stop us from keeping a few around. It is always a welcome sign that spring is around the corner when they start to bloom.

Since it is Sunday and that means Today’s Flowers here is an Orchid that was blooming at work.

Taking pictures inside the greenhouse is always a challenge.

I have officially shut down the old Digital Flower and have opened the new one. It still at the same address:
The New Digital Flower

It still needs a lot of work and the captioning is taking a long time. There are a lot of flower pictures, foliage, insect and travel photos on the site. Just like a garden it is a work in progress.

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

Saturday, December 12, 2009

More Sedona Snapshots – D700

More Sedona Snapshots – D700

Here are a few more snapshots all of them were taken with the D700 camera and the 105mm and 50mm lenses. The first shot is some Sycamore leaves that were still hanging on in the late afternoon sun. The light at that time of day seems a little more magical in Sedona then it does at home. It must be all the earth tones that surround you. Not just in the landscape but in the building materials and decorations. This is one of the few botanical photos I scored on the trip.

This was taken behind some of the stores on Main Street. I don’t know if it is called Main Street but it should be. The road is actually State Route 89A. Again the late afternoon sunlight was working. All the rocks have names but I only found out a few of them.

This third shot was going down some stairs at an outdoor gallery. It was a quick snap as the figures seemed like they didn’t want their pictures taken. It is hard to describe and not scary. More regal than anything else.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sedona Snapshots

Sedona Snapshots

All of the pics in this post are from the Coolpix P6000. The camera did well for its first serious outing. It sure is nice to have a little camera that has a wide lens. The yellow Snapdragons were probably the brightest looking flowers we saw in Sedona. There was much more dry/frozen type of plant material than flowers. This next picture was an interesting seed head I found along Oak Creek. It was nice and bristly. The color is almost perfect for Sedona it fits right in.

Here are some more dry leaves from along the creek. It was fun and a little noisy to walk through them. There are several species of leaves and it was a little weird that there was hardly any color among them.

This picture was taken at the Sedona Airport at sunset. That is West Sedona in the foreground. One thing that is nice about the little camera is you can take a picture like this and then focus on a subject that is one inch away if you like. About ten minutes after snapping this photo it was dark.

Tomorrow I hope to go through some of the snapshots from the D700 and post them. Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sedona Skies

Sedona Skies
Skywatch Friday

The scenery in Sedona was amazing. This first photo was taken on Schnebly Hill Road on our drive from Flagstaff to Sedona. We just happened to stumble on to the road and later found out it is considered one of the top scenic drives in Arizona. For the first few miles it is relatively flat and meanders through a Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) forest with grass under the trees. Later the grade and the road surface get rough. Each switchback turn reveals views of the dramatic red rocks and Oak Creek Canyon. There are not any guardrails and my stomach was getting a little queasy with the 1,000-foot drop offs that were right next to the edge. Lucky we were in a Jeep, as a car probably wouldn’t have made it. This photo was taken outside of the truck with the D700 and the Nikon 50mm/1.8 lens.

Karen wanted to visit a couple of the energy vortexes while we were in town. Reluctantly and a bit skeptical I decided to accompany her. We went to the Boynton Canyon and Long Canyon Mesa Vortex, which is considered to be one of the strongest. Since it was early in the morning we were alone on the ¾’s of a mile trail. Without knowing how close we were to the Vortex I was having a lot of trouble catching my breath. It was a moderate climb to the top of the knoll and I was thinking that I shouldn’t be that out of breath. Right before stepping on the flat area (of the vortex) I literally couldn’t breathe but once on top of the knoll everything returned to normal and I was wasn’t even winded. It was quite an experience and you will not find me doubting the energy at these types of places anymore. This picture was taken a few minutes after arriving at the Vortex. The sun was poking through the clouds with shafts of light landing here and there in the valley.

Here are some more of the rocks. This picture was shot with the Coolpix P6000 right from the Main Street of Sedona while Karen was shopping. The lens was set at 26mm.

This was the view one morning right from the deck of our room at the Southwest Inn. It wasn’t a fancy place but it was clean and well kept up and we got a nice deal on our stay there. This dawn was worth it alone. It went on for about 45 minutes and I was watching it right from bed.

Tomorrow I want to post some snapshots from around Sedona. I saw a funny expression when I was in town. It may be true!

'God made the Grand Canyon but He lives in Sedona.'

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

Monday, December 07, 2009

Variegated Algerian Ivy

Variegated Algerian Ivy
Hedera canariensis 'Gloire de Marengo'
(HED-er-uh) (kuh-nair-ee-EN-sis)
Synonyms: Canary Island Ivy, North African Ivy, Madeira Ivy

This was one of the most colorful plants we have seen in Sedona. It was almost completely covering a large wall and added a lot to the earth tone of the stucco. It was nice to see as it is not that hardy in Connecticut. You can grow it there but a lot of times it will die back to the roots and doesn’t really have a chance to get very big by the end of the season.

There have been a few Pansy plantings but they have all looked a little beat up from the weather. Here is a nice red/purple one.

There are a lot of these statues, wall coverings and other artworks all over. This has been really enjoyable. You never know what is going to be around the corner. This one looked old but I’m not sure. The plant was a Gold Dust Tree (Aucuba japonica).

These pictures were all shot with the Nikon Coolpix P6000 compact camera.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

White Bat Flower

White Bat Flower
Tacca nivea
(TAK-kah) (NIV-ee-uh)
Synonyms: Bat Head Lily, Devil's Whiskers

This is the strangest flower I have seen blooming in quite a while. It was flowering in the Wave Hill Conservatory last week. These pictures were taken with the Nikon Coolpix P6000. The close up was taken with in the macro mode, which allows for extreme close focusing (less than an inch, 0.8 cm).

There wasn’t a whole lot of information on the internet about this flower. It does seem to grow from seed as there were several sites offering seeds. Apparently this white form is a little more rare that the black Bat Flower (Tacca chantrieri).

Here is a link to the best web page I found on Tacca:

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