Monday, January 31, 2011

Magnolia 'Jane'

Magnolia 'Jane'

This is one of the two eight Little Girl hybrid Magnolias growing at the Estate. Both have turned into beautiful small trees. ‘Jane’ seems a little smaller than ‘Rikki’, which is a good thing considering where it is planted. A couple of things I like about this series are the smaller stature, darker flower color and the biggest one is the later bloom time. They often bloom about two weeks later than the other Magnolias and this allows them to usually escape any late spring frosts. ‘Jane’ is a very nice addition to the landscape and is often a bit of showstopper when in bloom. I would like to add ‘Susan’ to the collection, as I love the flower color. I will have to add that to my “need to get” list.

The great American road trip start tomorrow in the early am. Connecticut to Key West, Florida with two winter weary snowbirds, a Border collie and a Siberian husky as confirmed ticket holders. I will be updating our progress on twitter as we try and skirt yet another winter storm headed up the east coast.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

English Shrub Rose

English Shrub Rose
Rosa ‘Alnwick’
Synonyms: Alnwick Castle, AUSgrab

Another in the long list of beautiful roses brought to us by David Austin. This rose is really a nice shade of pink and has a fruity fragrance to go with the color. Here are some facts on Alnwick:

Breeder/Introduction: David Austin (UK) 2001. Introduced by David Austin Roses Limited
Petal Count: 41
Parentage: Seedling × AUSgold
Height: 48 inches (122 cm)

This rose is named after the 700 year old Alnwick Castle, Which some people may recognize as the setting for some of the Harry Potter (The Philosopher's Stone, The Chamber of Secrets) and other movies. The gardens have been restored and look magnificent from the pictures.

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

Today’s bonus flower is an Orchid bud.
Asian Corsage Orchid

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Daylily 'Eleanor Adelle Zipp'

Hemerocallis 'Eleanor Adelle Zipp'

There will probably be a few more Daylilies posted here since I have been going through some more files. Daylily time seems so far away right now. The plants in my yard have been taking a beating from all the snow. Most of them can’t even be seen but the ones sticking up look bent over and in some cases broken.

Yesterday my cell phone broke so I upgraded to a smart phone, the Droid 2 Global. I have learned how to turn it on and make a call but there looks like a steep learning curve for the rest of all the stuff it can do. Putting in all the passwords and bookmarks is going to take a while. We also shoveled the roof off again yesterday. We tied safety lines to the chimney and got it done in a few hours. Lucky the lines weren’t necessary but it was nice to know they were there.

Today I am heading down to Manhattan to pick up Karen’s repaired camera. Just for fun when dropping off the camera I asked if they could fix a 18-70mm Nikon lens that had a big scratch in the front glass. Good news! They replaced the front element and checked it out for $60. The lens is nice one but it is a cropped sensor type so it won’t be used for the D700 (which is full frame). It originally came as the kit lens with the D70s. The 18-70mm lens, which is described in more detail in this 2008 post. It is going back in the camera bag.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pink Masterwort

Pink Masterwort
Astrantia major var. rosea

Astrantia is a nice somewhat underused perennial. It is shade tolerant, very hardy and grows well in the woodland garden. It does like to be kept moist although some of the species are a little drought tolerant it is best to keep your Masterwort well watered. There are numerous cultivars available in many colors.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hybrid Tea Rose ‘Gemini’

Hybrid Tea Rose ‘Gemini’
Synonyms: JACnepal

I love this rose and it was a real pleasure to see it blooming in California when we were there in November. The color shading (which isn't really apparent from this photo) is always a pleasure to take in, as is the wonderful fragrance this rose packs. I haven’t tried to grow it here because of the reports it isn’t very hardy in our zone.

You are probably tired of me bitching about the snow but we got dumped on again last night with 12 inches (30.5 cm). It has been a snow record for a month here in Connecticut with a total of 55 inches (138 cm) for the month (old record 45 inches). That is just the official total, locally there are areas that got a lot more. Right now I am just ticking the days off until we head down to Florida. We leave in 5 days.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hawaiian Tulip

Hawaiian Tulip
Anthurium amnicola
(an-THUR-ee-um) (am-NEE-koh-la)
Synonyms: Tulip Anthurium, Tulip Flamingo Flower


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chinese Dogwood

Chinese Dogwood
Cornus kousa
(KOR-nus) (KOO-suh)

This tree has been featured on this blog several times. As a matter of fact the first ever post was on pink Kousa Dogwood. It is a wonderful tree and I was really happy when last year a customer said they had two that they wanted to be removed from their yard. We took them home and so far they are looking good. They fit right in Chris’s Garden of Castaways as I call it. Basically the garden is made up of plants from work, unwanted, over orders, cancellations and things of that nature.

Today is really cold here as we woke up to temperatures of 10 degrees below zero (F). On the positive side it is suppose to warm up a little just in time for the next winter storm on Wednesday.

Just a note to photographers I completed my back up of my 2010 photos on DVD yesterday. Even though I had done it a couple of times during the year I decided to write a whole new set of discs.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Shasta Daisy

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

Poking around the archives on my hard drive I found some Shasta Daisy pictures from May. It was a nice stand of flowers that looked nicely cared for and not ratty like some Daisy patches. We have begun using more and more Daisies, as they are a reliable showy perennial. If we could just keep the deer off them they would be perfect. Just a classic flower.

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

Today’s bonus flower is a hardy geranium. This is another plant that has been getting to the head of the purchase line at the nursery. The color is outstanding (especially in groups) and with a little care can bloom almost all season.

Synonyms: Hardy Geranium

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Winter Gladiolus

Gladiolus priorii
Synoyms: Homoglossum priorii

This is a species of Gladiolus that is native to South Africa. I had never seen it until I took this picture at Wave Hill. It is considered easy to grow and is a winter bloomer. Gladiolus seems to have really taken a hit as far as its popularity. I always forget to get a couple for the garden and they just don’t seem as available. The staking is the part that I don’t like about growing them. It is difficult to stake them and have them look right. More often then not the flowers seem to be laying on the ground or shooting out of the plant at an odd angle.

"Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts."
Sigmund Freud

Friday, January 21, 2011

Phalaenopsis Orchids

Phalaenopsis Orchid
Phalaenopsis ‘Kone Fangtastic’

Another couple of Orchids today. Both are Phalaenopsis types. There seems to be a lot of ‘Fangtastic’ hybrids but no information on this particular clone. I liked it because of the heavy spotting. That makes for a dramatic flower. Phalaenopsis are easy to grow and very popular. They desire warm temperatures and some humidity. The flowers are extremely long lasting (up to 6 months). Phalaenopsis can adapt easily to in home conditions. Full sun is something they don’t like and an eastern exposure seems to be best.

This second photo is of a nicely colored triple Phalaenopsis bloom. I didn’t get the name of this beauty.

We got another blanket of snow last night and today. Luckily not too deep and it really freshened up the look of the old snow that we have already. Yesterday Juno got loose and decided to run into the back yard. There is too much traffic to let the dogs run free here. So I had to truck through the snow to get her. In some spots there were drifts 3 to 4 feet deep. Juno is small for a Husky and even she was floundering a bit with the depth. I finally got her and when I got back to the house my boots were packed with snow. I felt like it had been a little arctic adventure.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lady's Slipper Orchid

Paphiopedilum Orchid
Synonyms: Lady's Slipper Orchid, Venus Slipper Orchids

This photo introduced me to a whole new genus of Orchids. They look kind of fancy and certainly have a fancy name (still learning how to pronounce it properly) but are very popular and widely used for hybridizing. They can be grown indoors relatively easily. High humidity, low light and moderate temperatures are the keys to having a nice Paphiopedilum Orchid. The colors that these Orchids come in are pretty amazing and new blends are still being discovered in the wild and through breeding. They are mostly native to Southeast Asia where they grow on the forest floor.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hybrid Rugosa Rose

Hybrid Rugosa Rose
Rosa 'Topaz Jewel'
Synonyms: MORyelrug, Yellow Fru Dagmar, Rustica 91

Monday, January 17, 2011

Robinson's Painted Daisy

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

Painted Daisies don’t seem as popular as they once were and we have had a lot of trouble sourcing them locally. I was able to snag a couple last year and as usual they cheered up the cutting garden. The ‘mix’ I bought seems to have been all pink but that was okay. They also come in red and white. The fern like foliage is nice even when the flowers are not blooming but I have found it is best to cut it back after the plants bloom. This will usually lead to another round of fresh foliage and flowers.

We are expecting another storm here for tonight and tomorrow. Thankfully it is mostly rain this time. We are going to shovel off the roofs on the house and garage since there is 3 to 4 feet of snow on them now and I don’t want the extra weight of 2 inches of rain on top of that.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Scarlet Avens

Scarlet Avens
Geum 'Mango Lassi'

This is a particularly nice variety of the under used perennial Geum. The delicate and complex color shadings add a lot to the border or rock garden. Every flower appears different and has its own mix of red, orange, apricot and peach coloring. They are easy to grow in most soils and can be kept blooming with a little care.

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

Today’s bonus flower is some Japanese Iris that were blooming this summer around one of the ponds at work. They are my personal favorite type of Iris. While these white ones are a little unexciting they do come in a lot of nice purples, blues and pinks.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Black and White Asian Corsage Orchid

Asian Corsage Orchid

Looking down the throat of a Corsage Orchid. This black and white and macro photo was taken with a Nikon Coolpix 5400. Right now that camera is hanging on the edge of my camera bag for the trip to Florida. It will probably not make into the bag in favor of more DSLR lenses but it is still a good camera that can produce a nice picture when set up right. This photo was taken with the monochrome setting, which I think produces the best black and white pictures.

Tonight I have a gig at the local coffee house. It is something that my brother and a few other old friends have been doing monthly for a while now. There are a still a few songs I need to practice today but I am ready to play some music.

Here is an extra colored Orchid that I lost the name on.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gloriosa Daisy

Gloriosa Daisy
Rudbeckia hirta

Somebody grew this beauty from seed and gave it to me. So I am not sure what variety it is. It is a nice double flowered type that seems to be perennial since it has lasted several years now. Rudbeckia is becoming a “go-to” type of plant for late summer color. The colony at the Estate has grown so big that we are starting to pull out the seedlings. That is one thing you need to watch out for when cultivating large groups of perennials. If you continue to move the seedlings to new areas pretty soon they take over and it is nice when they bloom but the rest of the season is a little boring.

Rudbeckia culture is easy. They like full sun but can tolerate partial shade. The soil needs to be well drained and a bit on the dry side. Deadheading the spent flowers is a good idea as it prolongs the flowering time. They can be used in the naturalized garden or borders. Propagation is by division or seed, both are easy ways to get new plants.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


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

Here is a Chrysanthemum from this fall. ‘Roxanne’ was a nice white that went all complex colors when the flowers started to fade. It was a good performer that we would have again if it is available.

It is a big dig out from the snowstorm around here. Estimates are we got around 28 inches (71 cm.). It was a record 24 hour snow fall for Connecticut. At least there wasn’t a lot of wind or the drifts would have been totally unmanageable. You couldn’t even see our Jeep Grand Cherokee under the snow luckily I knew it was under the big drift so I could dig it out.

Monday, January 10, 2011

American Wisteria Amethyst Falls

American Wisteria
Wisteria frutescens 'Amethyst Falls'
(wis-TEER-ee-uh) (froo-TESS-enz)
Synonyms: Wisteria macrostachya

You will pretty much never find me recommending Wisteria as I have had a couple nasty bouts with its rampant growth. At one house we have been fighting a Wisteria for several years as it pops up all the time. 'Amethyst Falls' seems to be answer for people who want a Wisteria but don’t want it taking over their garden. The growth rate is about half as fast as the Asian Wisteria selections.

The flowers are quite similar to the ‘regular’ type of Wisteria but they do exude a less than fresh smell. If you like Wisteria and only have a small space or don’t want a lot of work keeping it in check than 'Amethyst Falls' is for you.

I took this next picture near Herald Square in Manhattan. I thought I would post it before the spring.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Cape Daisy

Cape Daisy
Osteospermum x hybrida ‘Crescendo Primrose’
Synonym: African Daisy

It's a mixed bag on this site today. The first flower is a group of Osteospermum from the Crescendo series. As stated here before Osteospermum is a nice flower for the garden or containers. They seem to slow down a little in hot weather but other than that they are a joy to grow.

This next flower is kind of a rare variation on a popular flowering shrub here. The flowers are usually white but the pink and red varieties are up and coming. Generally one of the first shrubs to bloom here in the spring it always is a welcome sight. The flowers are fragrant and deer resistant. The evergreen foliage is nice in the winter often contrasting well with the snow.

Japanese Pieris
Pieris japonica 'Valley Valentine'
(pee-AIR-iss) (juh-PON-ih-kuh)
Synonyms: Andromeda, Lily of the Valley Shrub, Fetterbush

Today’s bonus flower is a black and white Vanda Orchid macro.

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

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Butter and Cream Senna

Senna ‘Butter and Cream’
Synonyms: Cassia cv. ‘Butter and Cream’

Spotted at the South Coast Botanical Garden in full bloom in November Senna ‘Butter and Cream’ looked fabulous. Having only seen the native Wild Senna (Cassia hebecarpa) before and that is a coarse shrub in these parts, this cultivar was really a joy to photograph. The light and dark yellow color on the flowers really worked well together. This plant is tender and benefits from being sheared back in the spring.

We are again digging out from about 10 inches of snow. It started snowing lightly in the morning but by afternoon it was heavy. At least we didn’t have the winds that accompanied our last storm. When I went out to walk Juno everything was quiet and the snow had stuck to all the trees so it was like a true winter wonderland. The digging out starts after this is posted. Yesterday I confirmed some reservations for a trip to Florida at the end of the month. That is going to give me something to look forward too.

I just wanted to thank all the people who have been visiting this blog and leaving comments. Your continued support is appreciated.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Dalina Samoa

Decorative Dahlia
Dahlia 'Dalina Samoa’

Orange flowers aren’t my favorite but over the years they have become more beautiful to my eye. ‘Samoa’ is a nice dark shade of orange and the flowers look nice growing against the dark green foliage. I have been very happy growing the Dalina type of Dahlias. They are short (big bonus, no staking) and seem to produce a lot of flowers. The color range is also good. They are mostly named after far off tropical locations, which is always fun when planting them in our cold, damp spring.

Here is another Dahlia. It looks like a Cactus type even though the tag said ‘Bishop of Oxford’. I am pretty sure that name is wrong but it is still a beautiful flower.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Prayer Plant Flower

Prayer Plant
Maranta leuconeura
(muh-RAN-tuh) (loo-koh-NOOR-uh)

This little flower represents a small personal victory for me. I have been trying to get a picture of a Prayer Plant flower for years. First they don’t seem to be very free flowering and second the flower is so small it is difficult to get a close up of.

Prayer Plants are easy to grow as houseplants or outdoors (if it doesn’t freeze). The main condition you must supply is the right amount of light. Too much light and the nice coloration of the leaves fades some indirect sun is best. It likes shady conditions and moisture.

Rainbow Orchid
Vanda Trevor Rathbone ‘Banjong’

Just to balance out the little Prayer Plant flower here is a big spray of purple Vanda Orchids.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Winston Churchill Orchid

Paphiopedilum Winston Churchill
P. Eridge x P. Hampden, 1951

Monday, January 03, 2011



Columbine flowers are always nice to have. I just wish the breeders would come up with some true perennial strains. Replacing them or depending on the seedlings can be a chore and often the seedlings don’t end up where you want them. This first flower is more of the traditional type with large flowers, big spurs and muted colors. The second shot is like the newer types with compact flowers and brighter colors. I am not sure whether or not that is a different species or just a new variety. There seems to be a few new ones every year.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Asian Corsage Orchid

Asian Corsage Orchid
Cymbidium (Via Ireland 'Delightful' x La Costa Elf 'White Princess' ) 'Winter Mist'

Always a popular flower here these Cymbidium photos are from my ‘lost’ rolls of Orchid pictures I found last week. There are about 50 species of Cymbidium Orchids and of course hundreds of hybrids and cultivars. They are native mainly to both tropical and subtropical Asia.

Cymbidium Orchids are a bit more cold tolerant than most Orchid species and they also bloom during the winter months, which is nice because they can stand out a little more at that time. They are generally easy to grow with the cultivator being rewarded with huge flower spikes that can last up to 2 months.

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

Normally I post a bonus flower on Sunday but today it is bonus foliage. This was the lone Poinsettia we had this year. IT has been reminding me of a pillow. This was shot with the natural light coming in the window.