Sunday, October 31, 2010

Indian Summer Black-eyed Susan

Indian Summer Black-eyed Susan
Rudbeckia hirta 'Indian Summer'
(rud-BEK-ee-a) (HER-tuh)

Happy Halloween to everyone celebrating it. There have been more scary movies on TV than ever and I have been watching a lot of them. The gardening season should be officially over tonight as there is a freeze alert for all of Connecticut. Luckily all of the tropical foliage plants have been put away and all the freeze means is cleaning out the containers and the blackened annuals.

Speaking of container plants, Today’s Flower Rudbeckia hirta 'Indian Summer' has been great in a pot. It started blooming in the spring and still had a lot of flowers when I left work on Friday. A little deadheading here and there was all it took to keep going. It didn’t even get regular watering. Most references listed it as an annual but it has come back in the spring for a couple of years now so I am officially designating it as a perennial. The flowers are lovely, really big and colorful.

Here comes November, ready or not. This quote kind of sums it up for me.

“No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, - November!”
Thomas Hood 1799-1845

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

Here is Sunday’s Bonus flower:

Garden Phlox
Phlox paniculata ‘Orange Perfection’
(floks) (pan-ick-yoo-LAY-tuh)

I am not sure who named this plant but it really isn’t that orange. It can get a lot of pink in it depending where in the garden it is located. The color issue aside it did well blooming and seemed to be fairly mildew resistant.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Neon Trees

Neon Trees
At the P.C. Richards & Son Theatre
Tribeca, New York

Yesterday was historic for me. I clicked on one of those “Congratulations You’ve Won” emails and I had truly won something. Two tickets to see the band Neon Trees at the private theater in Manhattan. I had forgot about entering the contest and it was a pleasant surprise to win. Karen shocked me when she agreed to accompany me (just not her kind of music) and we left soon after getting the email. The theater is cool and is located at 32 Avenue of Americas in a huge 27-story Art Deco office building. The architecture is amazing as was the lobby. The theatre has hosted some big acts for private shows including Selena Gomez, Mariah Carey, Tim Mc Graw and John Legend. It is about 60 feet long by maybe 40 feet wide and has standing room only (no seats). The ticketing process and entrance was calm and collected. We had a good spot on the side by the guitar player.

The band Neon Trees was interesting to say the least. If it had been the 1980’s I would have called them punkers or new wave but these days they are called alternative rockers (I think). They sounded really good and the set was pleasant. The band was happy to be there and so was the crowd. The front man, Tyler Glenn, really put on a show. The guitar players and bass player were also very good. How ever the real star for me was drummer Elaine Bradley. She was amazing.

They said no photography at first but everyone was snapping pictures any way. I had the Nikon P6000 but was a little too far away to get a lot of good shots. It was way too dark to try and fiddle with the settings so I used my pre programmed User settings. I had forgot how to raise the ISO on this camera so that was on automatic.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mandevilla Vine

Mandevilla Vine
Mandevilla splendens
(man-de-VILL-uh) (SPLEN-denz)
Synonyms: Dipladenia, Mandevilla boliviensis

Growing Mandevillas always seems easy to me although I just found this year that they should be grown in part shade. We have always had them in full sun and have been rewarded with a lot of flowers and good growth. My experience has been growing them in containers and I have learned to provide ample stake height. In the spring it looks a little strange with a tiny plant and an eight-foot stake but soon the Mandevilla is covering it all and it then some. This pink flowering one has been good this year. The flowers come out this lighter pink and then age to a darker rose color. My preference is for the dark red colored one and that is the one we will try and get in the future.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Orange Canna Lily

Orange Canna Lily
Canna x generalis
(KAN-uh) (jen-er-RAY-liss)

This Canna was brightening up the urban environment down in Manhattan. I know a lot of people don’t like orange flowers but ones like this that rejoice in their orangeness are hard to not like. Orange flowers for me are okay and it took me a long time to learn to appreciate them.

We only grew a few Cannas in containers this year after swearing off them for a couple of seasons. They did great and still look nice. None of that nasty brown on the leaves. They are a very structural plant that I like mainly for the foliage. The flowers are just a nice bonus when they come along. The newer varieties seem to be self cleaning so the old flowers don’t make a mess of the plants. I think that next year a few more Cannas are warranted by the performance of this years small crop. We are already trying to plan the garden for next spring. I might try and change the small rose garden in front of the house into an annual/perennial more seasonal type of planting. The roses are nice when they are on but look bad for a good part of the year.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Maidenhair Tree Fall Color

Maidenhair Tree Fall Color
Ginkgo biloba
(GING-ko) (bi-LOW-buh)

I planted this tree around 1988.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

3 in 1 Chrysanthemum

3 in 1 Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum morifolium
(kris-AN-the-mum) (mor-ee-FOH-lee-um)

Combination in the same pot.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Aster, Not Purple Dome

Aster, Not Purple Dome

This Aster was sold as the cultivar ‘Purple Dome’, which is my favorite of the fall Asters. The true ‘Purple Dome’ has a small bushy habit and a great purple color. What I ended up with is a sprawly 3 foot high plant that flopped over and had bluish blooms. Oh well, it is too bad the people selling the plants couldn’t keep it straight. Next year these Asters will be pinched several times during the season with an eye towards keeping them under control. The flowers on this Aster are okay and it would have worked out okay if they hadn’t gotten so big.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hardy Chrysanthemum

Hardy Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum 'Venus'

Yesterday I got out to the Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens in Stamford. It is designated as the Connecticut State Arboretum. We used to play around there when I was a kid and lived up the street. Things haven’t changed much there in all that time although it looked like they had cleaned out some of the gardens and were starting some building construction. I didn’t have a lot of time and most of the garden had been cut back for the season. This Hardy Chrysanthemum was still blooming and had a tag. The delicate pink around the petal points was nice. Its funny since I now live about 45 minutes north of the garden how much the fall foliage was different. Much more advanced to the north.

Here is a bonus flower since it is Sunday. See more flowers from all over the world at Today’s Flowers .

Large-leaf Princess Flower
Tibouchina grandiflora
(tib-OO-kee-nuh) (gran-dih-FLOR-uh)
Synonyms: Glory Flower

This was still blooming at Bartlett, which puts out a large and interesting collection of tropical plants each year. This plant is always a nice addition to the garden and can grow fairly large by the end of the season. We have not had any luck over wintering it in the greenhouse but that wouldn’t stop me from trying to do it again.

Daphne, was kind enough to give me a link on her Rose Gathering site. It is a great reference tool when looking for information on roses.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Eupatorium atrorubens
(yoo-puh-TOR-ee-um) (at-roh-ROO-benz)

This plant was growing in an overgrown perennial area of a new customers garden. They didn’t seem to know anything about it. So I couldn’t tell if it is a perennial or just some seedlings. I will have to be on the lookout for it next year. It has a nice flower that was still blooming up to about two weeks ago and had managed to make a nice show despite all the other growth in the area. Just about any blue flower is okay with me.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Morning Glory and Angelwing Jasmine

Morning Glory
Ipomoea tricolor
(ip-oh-MEE-uh) (TRY-kull-lur)

Angelwing Jasmine
Jasminum nitidum
(JAZ-mih-num) (NI-ti-dum)
Synonyms: Shining Jasmine, Confederate Jasmine, Star Jasmine

This is an interesting combination I came across on Maui last winter. It might be worth trying to duplicate here if I could just get my Jasmine to bloom again. It bloomed fine the first year it came from the nursery and it over wintered in the conservatory beautifully the last two winters but has failed to produce flowers during the summer. I will have to research why. To get things started I will toss a couple of Morning Glory seeds in the Jasmine pot and see what happens.

One reason I was going through some Hawaii pictures is my desperate need to get away for a few days. Hawaii is just too far to go to only stay 4 days although we have gone for 5 days before. I miss my sister and nephew but not enough to pack it up for that short of trip (sorry Heather and Gavin). We are going to look into going to either California or Puerto Rico for a long weekend. In the end price will probably determine our location.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Colorado Classic’ Dahlia

Dahlia ‘Colorado Classic’

‘Colorado Classic’ is an informal Decorative type of Dahlia. It grows tall (4-6 feet) and has large flowers (4-6 inches wide). It really has a classic pink color, which brightens up the garden.

I am having a little health issue today and need to go the doctor when I get home from work. On top of everything else I got bitten by a tick in the leg. There seems to be a resurgence recently of ticks in the garden so don’t let your guard down.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Viola x wittrockiana 'Delta Premium Pure Primrose'
(vy-OH-la) (wit-rok-ee-AH-na)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Soft Pink Chrysanthemum

Soft Pink Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum morifolium
(kris-AN-the-mum) (mor-ee-FOH-lee-um)

At a customer’s request I needed to find some soft colored Chrysanthemums for a couple of deck planters. Of course I agreed to do it even though it kind of goes against the color scheme for the season. After visiting a couple of places I was able to find these pink beauties, which were not tagged as to the variety, but fit the bill perfectly.

Chrysanthemum cultivation dates back 2,000 years and all the modern breeding has produced a full range of colors and flower types. It is the Japanese Imperial family’s emblem as well as the official flower of the city of Chicago and Salinas, California.

This is the 1,500th post on this blog and in the words of the Grateful Dead, “what a long strange trip its been.” Thanks to all the people that read this site and take time to comment on it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Green Eyed Lady Daylily

Hemerocallis 'Green Eyed Lady'

These Daylilies were blooming during the summer so I don’t remember too much about them. Luckily I had taken pictures of their signs and tags to remember the names. 'Green Eyed Lady' has been around since 1985 and is a nice deep yellow with just a hint of green in the center. It grows to about 24 inches tall.

Hemerocallis ‘Baby Bear’

Cute little very dark red Daylily. A 1996 introduction from the famous Marietta Gardens ‘Baby Bear’ is also a rebloomer. This Daylily is on a small scale both plant and flower wise but still makes a statement with its wonderful color.

Here is a bonus flower since it is Sunday. See more flowers from all over the world at Today’s Flowers .

Hemerocallis ‘Indonesia’

Is a large flowered bright yellow Daylily. It blooms during the mid-season and is about 2 feet tall. Introduced in 1978.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Prince Henry Japanese Anemone

Japanese Anemone
Anemone 'Prince Henry'
Synonyms: Japanese Windflower, Japanese Thimbleflower, ‘Prinz Heinrich’

Seeing this plant at the nursery led me to do something I hardly ever do, which is make an impulse buy. Most of my plant purchases are well researched in advance for both culture and price. The Japanese Anemones have done so well this year and in the perennial border we only have the light pink and white ones (which isn’t bad but a little drab). I thought ‘Prince Henry’ would brighten up the patch and it did. It grows a lot shorter than the species and other cultivars so it looked nice in the front of the border.

In general Japanese Anemone is a nice perennial that really gives a blast of color in the late season garden. They are easy to grow and seem to be very hardy. It must be the year because the Anemones seemed to bloom earlier than ever this season.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Love Passion Island Romance Orchid

x Potinara 'Love Passion Island Romance'

An orchid with a delicate and beautiful shading of several colors that fit into the fall season well (even though it was blooming late last spring). There wasn’t a whole lot of information on this orchid or its genus. It did have several spikes blooming at the time and was quite breathtaking.

Yesterday we were working on a new garden (new for us) on Long Island Sound. It sure was a pretty setting and the garden is going to be easy to get into shape. The highlight of the day, for me, was sitting along the jetty in the backyard for lunch. I tossed in a couple of chunks of Kentucky Fried chicken to feed the minnows of various species of fish. They seemed to like it until a couple of crabs came up and started grabbing the chicken and fighting amongst themselves. It seemed like we had our own little nature show being acted out in front of us.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Large-flowered Clematis
Clematis 'Anna Louise'
Synonyms: ‘Evithree’

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hardy Water Lily

Hardy Water Lily
Nymphaea 'Froebeli'

This photo was shot this summer using my way back up camera combo. The D70s and Sigma 28-200mm, f3.5-5.6 lens. It is a pretty good system but the D700 outclasses it. The Sigma is left over from the film days and is the longest focal length I have. It is so strange for me to use a zoom lens these days. I sometimes forget I can move the subject closer or farther away. Like the 24mm/1.8 lens that I also own the 28-200 is enormous and attracts attention, which is something that I don’t like to do when shooting.

‘Froebeli' is a nice waterlily for a small pond. It has a limited spread and is shade tolerant (it can also grow in full sun). The color is good and it shows up well against the green leaves. There is also a more red version available.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

‘Rembrandt’ Hybrid Perpetual Rose - Today's Flowers

Hybrid Perpetual Rose ‘Rembrandt’

This is certainly an old rose having been developed in 1883. The Hybrid Perpetual class of roses was an attempt by Victorian rose breeders to combine Gallica Roses with the perpetual flowering of the China roses and are considered the last stop before the modern Hybrid Tea Rose. So ‘Rembrandt’ is indeed a relic and has managed to hang on in commerce. This rose is hardy, has a strong fragrance but also has a short bloom period and can be prone to disease.

Bred by: Robert & Moreau in France, 1883
Height: 3-4 feet
Petal Count: 17-25 with large double flowers

Hybrid Musk Rose ‘Eva’

‘Eva’ is another old rose having been introduced in 1933. Hybrid Musk roses bloom in giant clusters and repeat during the season. As the bush ages it can often be trained as climbing rose. This is also a rose that can grow in dappled shade but this specimen was growing out in full sun. ‘Eva’ is a vigorous rose that is very disease resistant. The flowers start out Carmine-red and fade to a warm pink as they age. It has the traditional ‘musky’ fragrance of the type.

Here is a bonus flower since it is Sunday. See more flowers from all over the world at Today’s Flowers .

Shrub Rose 'Palmengarten Frankfurt'
Synnyms : KORsilan, Beauce, Our Rosy Carpet

Like ‘Eva’ this rose was bred by the Kordes family. It is the most modern rose of this group of three (in this post) having been developed in 1988. It doesn’t have much of a smell but does bloom profusely and throughout the season. Another good point about this rose is it is very blackspot resistant.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale Floribunda Rose

Floribunda Rose ‘Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale’
Synonyms: KORassenet, Gebrüder Grimm

Certainly a bit of a novelty with its multi-colored blooms this rose did look intriguing. Orange roses are always an attraction to me and having the little bit of pink in there just enhanced that. The lack of a strong fragrance was a bit of a bummer but the foliage and flowers looked free of disease.

‘Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale’ was bred by W. Kordes & Sons of Germany and introduced to the United States by Ashdown Roses in 2007.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Leopard Plant

Leopard Plant
Farfugium japonicum 'Aureomaculata'
(far-FEW-gee-um) (juh-PON-ih-kum)
Synonym: Ligularia tussilaginea

This interesting perennial was blooming in a garden I visited last week. It seemed too good to be true. Growing in a wet area in deep shade it had a full crop of flowers, which just brightened up the wooded area so beautifully. The foliage was interesting with random yellow spots, which gives some interest during the rest of the year. Lucky there was a tag in the ground because I would have sworn it was some type of Ligularia. That is what it was called at one time but the name has changed to Farfugium.

I am looking forward to the weekend. Hopefully there will be a few photo ops. Just got to get through the mulch and gravel job today.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Reed Orchid

Reed Orchid
Synonyms: Star Orchid

This was a pleasant surprise at work this week when we were putting the Orchid collection inside and found this little Epidendrum was blooming. It is kind of a testament to how easy these orchids are to grow. Nothing has been done to it all summer. The sprinklers have been watering the plants and I hadn’t even looked at them since late May. This picture was taken downstairs inside the conservatory, which is always a challenge even though the lighting isn’t that bad.

We put a lot of the foliage indoors just in case. I am not anticipating a frost but if it comes there will be a lot less scrambling. Some of the tropical plants do not need a frost to sustain damage. Extended temperatures in the 30’s (F) can cause enough damage that they don’t look good. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Monday, October 04, 2010

Caribbean Crush Ornamental Mullein

Ornamental Mullein
Verbascum 'Caribbean Crush'

This is strange perennial and I use the term perennial loosely since my Verbascum never seem to come up the following year. The color of these flowers is kind of brown except when the buds at the end of the stalk bloom and then they are a little yellow. I do like the hairy bits inside the flower but that really entails a very close look at the flower.

Most Verbascums get quite tall and at four feet this cultivar is no exception. The spikes come out of a nice rosette of silvery, soft leaves. It likes well drained soil and full sun. The drainage is key in having a successful run at this plant.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Today's Flower - Shrubby Cinquefoil

Shrubby Cinquefoil
Potentilla fruticosa 'Dakota Sunspot'
(poh-ten-TILL-uh) (froo-tih-KOH-suh)
Synonyms: ‘Fargo’, Shrubby Cinquefoil

This plant was living up to its ‘until frost’ blooming time last week. It really flowers best in early summer and then sporadically until the end of the season. This cultivar is far superior to the species. The flowers are a deeper yellow and its dwarf habit is nice. This plant came to the garden as a bonus mail order item when we ordered some rare rhododendrons from the west coast. It has been chugging along for the last 15 years and outlasted some of the Rhododendrons. I usually don’t recommend Potentilla for gardens since it is a leggy, somewhat ratty looking (at times) plant, however 'Dakota Sunspot' and ‘Primrose Beauty’ are two that are nice.

There is a lot of lore associated with this plant. The five leaflets per stem foliage is said to represent the senses of man. The foliage has also been used as heraldic device. It is also said if you sprinkle a few Cinquefoil leaves in your wallet or purse money will be drawn to you. Tea can be also be made from leaves (disclaimer: never tried it and wouldn’t without more research).

Here is a bonus flower since it is Sunday. See more flowers from all over the world at Today’s Flowers .

Japanese Clerodendrum
Clerodendrum trichotomum
(kler-oh-DEN-drum) (try-KOH-toh-mum)
Synonyms: Peanut Butter Shrub, Harlequin Glory Bower

This plant just sort of showed up one day and I have been enjoying ever since. It is a little bit of work keeping up the seedlings and suckers but worth it. It is a tall shrub that can be trained into a small tree. The flowers smell heavenly (bit like jasmine) and they are followed by a blue berries with a red calyx. The leaves have a tropical appearance and this plant attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Saturday, October 02, 2010


Chrysanthemum morifolium
(kris-AN-the-mum) (mor-ee-FOH-lee-um)

There wasn’t a tag on this mum but I would have loved to now the name. The two colors really made for a nice look and it seems so hard to find something that looks a little different when it comes to Chrysanthemums.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Baby Pumpkins

Baby Pumpkins
Cucurbita pepo
(koo-KER-bih-ta) (PEP-oh)

“October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen. It is the distant hills once more in sight, and the enduring constellations above them once again.”

Hal Borland, American Author 1900-1978

Seems like I always post a picture of pumpkins around this time of year. These little guys were in a seasonal display with some mums, hay bales and full sized pumpkins. This year we actually grew a couple of pumpkins although after a late start the vines climbed up a fence and eventually the pumpkins broke off the stem from bring too heavy.

Baby pumpkins can add an interesting twist to the holiday table when used as a single serving dish for soup or a bit of rice. Bake them for 25 minutes at 350 degrees and remove the seeds and you have the perfect holiday server.

Now I wanted rain but it looks like there is a little too much coming right now. This week has been tough to get anything done and today is no exception. On top of the couple inches of rain we are going to have some strong winds, which is never a good combination. The weekend is supposed to be nice.