Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ivory Zinnia

Zinnia elegans 'Dreamland Ivory'
(ZIN-ya) (ELL-eh-ganz)

Picked up a couple of these yesterday for the cutting garden. I was enchanted by the small size of the plants and large flowers. It is always really hard to find flowers for the cutting garden but Zinnias seem to fit the bill nicely. The trick is to keep them healthy looking and the modern hybrids seem to be better about that. We will be monitoring the weather and will apply some well-timed (hopefully) fungicide applications, if necessary.

Well my email was hacked so I would like to apologize if you got spam from my account. I changed the password so I hope that stops it. My Twitter and email within a couple of weeks were both hacked. You would think that people had better things to do then pick on me but apparently not.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Red and White Fuchsia

Red and White Fuchsia

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Few-leaf Sunflower

Few-leaf Sunflower
Helianthus occidentalis
(hee-lee-AN-thus) (ok-sih-den-TAY-liss)
Synonyms: Helianthus dowellianus, Naked Stem Sunflower, Western Sunflower
Wordless Wednesday 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Tropical Hibiscus

Tropical Hibiscus
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis cv.
(hi-BIS-kus) (RO-sa-sy-NEN-sis)

Unfortunately the name of this Hibiscus was not available. It sure was pretty and really good at brightening up a cloudy, rainy and nasty day. This one had been trained into a small tree and I wish it had landed in my cart but this upcoming week is the one for annuals. Our timing is a little off but there seems to be a good selection still available.

Please humor me as I post this picture of an old school bus I saw at the Santa Monica pier a while back. At first I thought it might be part of a movie shoot and then remembered that vehicles last a lot longer in Southern California and it was just on it’s route. Pretty cool when your bus stops at the beach.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

China Pinks

China Pinks
Dianthus x chinensis ‘Super Parfait Strawberry’
Synonyms: Dwarf Dianthus

This seemed like such a happy flower when I saw it at the nursery. Red and white is one of my favorite color schemes in the garden and this lines up perfectly. It is an annual plant here but you can sometimes get seedlings to return. The label said this cultivar grows 6 to 12 inches and that is perfect for a nice color carpet.

Since it is Sunday here is bonus shot of another rose. The flowers actually looked a little more yellow in real life. You can see the conditions were not perfect for picture snapping.

Yellow Floribunda Rose ‘Easy Goin’’
Rosa ‘Don Quichotte’
Synonyms: Zonta Rose 98, HARflow

Introduction: UK introduction by Harkness & Co. Ltd., 1998
Petal Count: 26-40 Petals
Fragrance: Moderate, honey
Parentage: Sport of Livin' Easy

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tropicana Hybrid Tea Rose

Tropicana Hybrid Tea Rose
Rosa ‘Tropicana’
Synonyms: TANorstar

The new roses went in the big rose garden and some how we ended up with 8 specimens of ‘Tropicana’. Three are old stock and that indicates good hardiness to me. It is such a classy and stately rose that I am happy to have a lot of them. This rose is easily in my top five of all time. The color is a little different on the second picture because that rose gets a little more shade (still mostly full sun). I briefly entertained the thought of doing some disbudding to make them all bloom at once but that timing will be to hard to pull off with the nature of this garden. They are having a huge wedding (400+ guests) there this weekend and we did everything we could to make it perfect. The roses didn’t really cooperate but were showing some color and the foliage is clean.

Well I caused quite a stir on a guitar forum that I read and post on. The topic was modifying my 1959 Fender Jazzmaster. It caused a big storm with 99% of people against it. I want to use the neck on another guitar but I half expected death threats because of that. The neck is the only thing that I really like about the guitar but it will be kept stock for now.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Day Breaker Floribunda Rose

Floribunda Rose
Rosa 'Day Breaker'
Synonyms: FRYcentury

More roses are going into the big rose garden today and this floribunda is ready as it is literally covered with blooms. The big wedding (300 people) is tomorrow and the existing roses just didn’t cooperate. They look okay but the aren’t a lot of flowers. Those couple of late season frosts/freezes just set them back too much. All the rain and cloudy weather hasn’t helped either.

‘Day Breaker’ has been an excellent performer when we have grown in the past and I hope that continues that tradition. It has nice sized apricot blend flowers that have a good fragrance. This rose won the AARS award in 2004 and was introduced in 2005 to the US.

I sure am happy this week is over. Happy Memorial Day weekend to the Americans out there. Hard to believe summer is starting.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Orange Floribunda Rose

Rainy Floribunda Rose
Floribunda Rose ‘Livin’ Easy’
Synonyms: Fellowship, HARwelcome, Easy-To-Love

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Florist Mum

Florist Chrysanthemum
Synonyms: Dendranthema

Monday, May 21, 2012

White Marigold and Red Verbena

White Marigold and Red Verbena
Tagetes erecta
(TAG-e-teez) (ee-RECK-tuh)

In honor of all the flowers we will be purchasing this week here is a pic of one of the big containers from last year. The size of the plants and the colors mixed really well in this pot. Container gardens are not really a science with me. It is much more about what they have at the time we go to get the flowers and foliage. It usually works out okay but who knows what will happen this year with the season being so weird.

Our band is officially booked for a Sunday show on June 3rd. We will be performing at Molten Javas in Bethel, Connecticut. The date got moved up a week but I think we will be ready.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Single Flowered Dahlia

Single Flowered Border Dahlia
Dahlia 'Happy Single Party'

Last year we had two of the ‘Happy Single’ series of Dahlias and both did well. This one was particularly striking because of the contrast between the really dark foliage and bright yellow flowers. It seemed to be a constant bloomer and filled its spot in the small cutting garden nicely.

Since it is Sunday here is a bonus shot. This bug was crawling on my leg in the compost area and scared the heck out of me. It was huge (about 2 inches) but turns out harmless. It is the larva that does the most damage in the garden. This one played possum for a while and after showing off my trophy I let him go. He was playing dead but after checking on him a few minutes later he was gone. The clicking was really weird.

Eyed Click Beetle
Alaus oculatus

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Flowering Quince

Flowering Quince
Chaenomeles 'Cameo'

The Estate’s flowering shrub collection is going through its cycle and as always it is a beautiful sight. This late flower on the quince caught my eye because of the color. 

In hindsight this was a quick snapshot and now I wish that I had taken the time to set up the shot better. This flower is a little beat up and not as refined as the earlier blooms, which was about a month or more ago. I wouldn’t really recommend Flowering Quince unless it was for a really big garden. They often look quite ragged by summer.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Shasta Daisy

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

In honor of splitting up a huge patch of Shasta Daises yesterday here is a photo I grabbed. It isn’t the best time to divide them but the owner had grown a little weary of just having daisies in that area. After making hundreds of smaller ones and planting them there was still a pile left over that went on the scrap heap. We added some nice Strawberry Foxglove (Digitalis x mentorensis) and some Eastern Bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana) and it looked nice and more like a perennial border. We also tore apart a big planting of Gooseneck Loosestrife (Lysimachia clethroides), which isn’t really a good plant to have and we added some Garden Phlox and Foxglove to that area. It was nice to do some just plain gardening work and it really kicked up the perennial area.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Brandy Hybrid Tea Rose

Hybrid Tea Rose ‘Brandy’
Synonym: AROcad

This rose once again made it on to the replacement list and entered the garden with a great flush of flowers. One thing you will notice about this rose is the size of the flowers. They are huge. The color is outstanding and gets better as the buds open up. The somewhat mild fragrance is also nice. ‘Brandy’ is not shy and turns into a nice, sturdy rose bush. It is a prolific bloomer and flowers through the season. Overall it gets an 8.5-9 (out of 10) on Chris’s little scale of roses.

The rose garden has perked up nicely but still won’t be where I want it on Memorial Day Weekend. Those couple of late frosts really did some damage to the tender new growth. The roses are kind of shaking that off now and starting to grow in earnest.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hardy Waterlily
Nymphaea cv.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Grape Hyacinth

Grape Hyacinth
Muscari armeniacum
(mus-KAR-ee) (ar-men-ee-AH-kum)
Wordless Wednesday

Monday, May 14, 2012

Yellow Snapdragon

Antirrhinum majus
(an-TEE-ry-num) (MAY-jus)

This is a snapdragon we saw down in Florida several months ago. It was pretty mixed with some taller reddish-orange ones. I haven't seen any snaps here this year and it seems the annual season is kind of turned on its head because of the crazy weather we have been having. Last night was not too bad but over the weekend it was quite cold here at night. In some ways I feel like we have been living in the desert because of the really hot days and chilly nights. To get the picture you would have to ignore all the rain that has been falling and is forecast for our area.

Today is rose replenishment day and the 30 roses are in the truck ready to jazz up the rose garden. The new roses are all clean and disease free right now and really should kick up the garden look. We still need 10 to 12 more roses but this load will be a good start.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Rhapsody in Blue Shrub Rose

‘Rhapsody in Blue’ Shrub Rose
Synonyms: FRAntasia

This is the second time this rose has appeared on this blog. Since it did well as a replacement rose we bought one more plant for this year. It really should be called Rhapsody in Purple but I guess there is some artistic license with the breeders. The rose does produce a copious amount of flowers in a large range of purple shades. Often there is a unique blend of colors as some of the fading blooms turn lighter colors. When the flowers are full on purple they look pretty amazing. Really dark and rich looking.

U.S. Introduction: 2007, Weeks Wholesale
Fragrance: Strong
Petal Count: 16 (semi-double)
Average flower diameter: 2.5 inches

It is Sunday again so here is today’s bonus snapshot. It is just a nice looking garden arch from Long Island. Shot at sunset in monochrome with the D700 and Nikon 80-200/2.8 telephoto lens. Too bad about that nasty lens flare but the idea was good.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Abraham Darby Austin Rose

English Rose
Rosa 'Abraham Darby'
Synonyms: Austin Rose, Country Darby Tree, AUScot, Candy Rain

My rose hunt was successful and I ended up scoring 30 bushes. It is quite a mixture (just like their new garden). Five of the 30 were Austin Roses. They will join a half a dozen other Austin types presently in the garden. 'Abraham Darby' has a slightly weird color but blooms nicely through the season including a couple of great waves in the spring. Since the garden is located on a windy, cold ridge hardiness is important and the Austins seem to be able to withstand the conditions.

Now to get all these planted. Actually moving them around is even a bit of a problem. When the roses were in the back of the pickup you could smell them about 6 feet away. I can’t wait until they get loaded into the enclosed Grand Cherokee. Scented Heaven.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Daylily Seedling

Daylily Seedling

This photo is from my personal collection of Daylily seedlings. It is one my favorites because it has good color, nice ruffled edges and is a rebloomer. Those are all good traits for a Daylily. The daylilies in my home garden have kind of grown wild now and need to be divided and hopefully sold at some point. It is a wonderful mix of plants but just like at work everything is starting to get too crowded and needs to be spilt up. Later this summer I am going to be dividing the big Daylily planting at the farm (which is all named varieties) and the owner has already consented to giving me a few of each type/color. It is a big job but well worth it.

I am on my own this weekend as Karen is off to see some old friends. On Saturday I will be purchasing the 40 replacement roses we need for the big rose garden. There were not that many losses from the winter but we have finally decided to get rid of some of the clunkers that have been limping along for the last few years. Grow or be gone :LOL: So expect some rose pictures next week.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hybrid Rugosa Rose

Hybrid Rugosa Rose
Rosa 'Therese Bugnet'

Normally I wouldn’t give Rosa rugosa the time of day because it is an overgrowing, invasive pest. Today’s selection is far from that and is a good example of breeding bringing out the best characteristics of a plant while suppressing the not so great aspects. This rose was bred in 1941 and introduced in 1950. I thought it was much younger than that. The blooms have a mild fragrance but seem to keep coming in waves. The flowers are a nice, bright, clear pink. This picture was shot with the Nikon 80-200mm/2.8 lens.

We got rain again overnight. It had to be a couple of inches worth. Yesterday wasn’t a great day to be in the garden. Every plant you touched was enough to soak you even though the actual rain had ended hours ago. It would seem that today is going to be the same thing. Today I am going to be smarter and bring a change of clothes.

Just a note to the “Send Flowers to” people that keep posting comments on this blog. I feel it is spam and will continue to delete them.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Ruffled Apricot Daylily

Hemerocallis 'Ruffled Apricot’
Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Dragon Fly and Lotus Bud

Dragon Fly and Lotus Bud
(Anisoptera) (Nelumbo nucifera)
Wordless Wednesday

Monday, May 07, 2012

White Coneflower

White Coneflower
Echinacea 'Fragrant Angel'

This is considered a purple coneflower even though it is white. I am not sure what happened to the coneflowers at the estate but most have died out over the last few years. This is something that was noticed in several other gardens that we tend to. It is surprising because they seemed to be a rock steady perennial before that. We will have to buy more to build up the stock again. My feeling on the coneflower wipeout was that winter conditions were not to their liking over the last couple of years but I am really not sure what happened.

We are off to tend to the big rose garden today. The last time we were there the roses had suffered some late frost damage. Hopefully they have thrown that off and are growing for the season now.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Lutea Tropical Hibiscus

Tropical Hibiscus
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Lutea'
(hi-BIS-kus) (RO-sa-sy-NEN-sis)

There seems to be a little discrepancy with the naming of this plant. It’s funny that I am so used to be able to zero in on a plant’s identity from its binomial name that it confuses me when a plant doesn’t fit in. This picture was taken in the parking lot of a local nursery. Fresh off the truck from California and still blooming! The flower colors were really outstanding and very eye catching.

I tend to feel guilty about taking a day off from this blog but it sometimes necessary. It is part of life now and I always try and make time for it. Today I hope to go out and take some new flower pictures. I call it “feeding the blog”. The light around here hasn’t been great but hopefully today will be a little better. Bonus flower snapshot for Sunday. This picture could have been awesome if I took a little more time with the set up. Even after some Photoshop work it is still under exposed.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Dahlia Seedling #430

Dahlia Seedling #430

It is fitting this photo was captured on Long Island as we are headed out there to attend a wedding. The trial garden had numerous beautiful seedlings and some that weren’t so great. I can’t quite remember the name of the park where the garden was located but want to go again this year.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Japanese Iris

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

This was the lone flower that we got when dividing some of the Japanese Iris at work last year. I am hoping that they will come back with a vengeance this year. You will usually find this type of Iris tucked into any garden that we build or tend to. While slightly more expensive than bearded or Siberian Iris they are well worth it. I. ensata has the largest flower in the Iris family and is a strong grower.

Speaking of things coming back I was astounded by the fact that many of the annuals we planted in containers in Manhattan last year seemed to overwinter. The Petunias, Superbells and Cannas were all growing strong when we visited the roof top garden yesterday. The Cannas weren't that unusual  but the Marigolds and Petunias were. That is the first time I had seen that in 25+ years of gardening. Nature always has surprises for me but that really floored me.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

American Flamingo

American Flamingo
Phoeniconais ruber ruber
Wordless Wednesday 

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Cherry Brandy Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan
Rudbeckia hirta 'Cherry Brandy'
(rud-BEK-ee-a) (HER-tuh)