Friday, February 26, 2016

Aspen Dahlia

Semi Cactus Dahlia
Dahlia 'Aspen'

We grew this Dahlia a couple of years ago and last season it was again a good performer. It looks a bit like a pinwheel especially with some wind. The twist in some of the flower petals is somewhat variable and that adds to their charm. ‘Aspen’ was taller than advertised peaking out about 36 inches (91cm).

I haven’t been crazy about white flowers lately but these Dahlias are really a pure and bright white.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Friday, February 19, 2016

Dusty Red Rose

Dusty Red Rose
Try as I might to remember and keep the naming of the roses in the big rose garden straight they always seem to get mixed up. I thought this one might be ‘Hot Cocoa” but there isn’t enough orange in it. It also grew and flowered better than that variety. Even with the confusion we enjoyed the dusty red flowers this bush produced.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Perky's Bat Tower

Perky’s Bat Tower
Mile Marker 17
Lower Sugarloaf Key, Florida

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-Eyed Susan
Rudbeckia fulgida
(rud-BEK-ee-a) (FUL-jih-duh)

I decided to post this flower since it reminds me a little bit of the sun, which we need around here. After getting an extended snow and ice storm last night it is raining hard now with up to an inch expected. That’s after our weekend battle with sub zero temperatures.

Black-eyed Susans are a wonderful true perennial that gradually increases it size in the garden. It’s not fussy but needs a good amount of sun to do best.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Wall Rock Cress

Wall Rock Cress
Arabis caucasica
Synonym: alpina subsp. caucasica

An alpine perennial Arabis is especially good for rock gardens and the edging of borders. It forms a nice mound of foliage and a early spring a carpet of flowers. The flowers are fragrant and remind me of Sweet Alyssum. There are many species available but this one seems to be, in my experience, the most available.

Like most alpine plants there is a requirement for good drainage. The winter drainage is most important for keeping a patch going but it will not tolerate poor drainage in the summer either. It’s low maintenance only requiring a light shearing after blooming and we raked it out at the end of the season.

In this picture on the timbers that forms an edge of a rock garden. The Rock Cress has grown right up to the wood and formed a carpet.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Happy Patch of Daisies

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

Remembering encountering this patch of daisies is easy since it imparted a warm and happy feeling. Some of that was the struggle over several seasons getting them to cooperate. This year I decided to feed them in the early spring while I was literally fertilizing hundreds of different trees and plantings and it worked out well. The flowers seemed more numerous, sturdier and there were no pest problems. I can see the patch is headed for dividing in a season or two.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Golden Bleeding Heart

Golden Bleeding Heart
Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart'
(dy-SEN-truh) (speck-TAB-ih-liss)

This plant is always a treat to see in the spring. It exhibits a modern twist on an old classic. The color of the foliage is a little variable, which I haven’t been able to figure out if that is related to parentage or the amount of light it gets in the garden. It’s handsome even when it is in full chartreuse shady glory. The flowers are large and traditionally colored.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Japanese Kerria

Japanese Kerria
Kerria japonica
(KER-ee-a) (juh-PON-ih-kuh)
Synonyms: Japanese Rose, Easter Rose

It’s not often that this blog covers a plant that hasn’t been featured here before but today we have one. Japanese Kerria was off my list of fun, good stuff to grow for several years now. After several tries at getting a nice patch of this going I pretty much gave up. Then a funny thing happened to me. We were working at a house in Scarsdale, New York and I happened on a specimen growing on the side of the yard. There were a lot of yellow flowers covering the weak wooded canes and it looked great. The stems of this plant are lime green, which I am finding is becoming a desirable trend for the garden and landscape now.

This shrubby perennial is best planted in an spot where it can fade in and out of the landscape. It can crawl over rocks and other plants but is not invasive in this area. Kerria flowers well in part shade and will grow in full shade if it has to. There are three basic forms of Kerria, the most popular and usually easiest to obtain is the double flowered, 'Pleniflora’ type. There is the single flowered one (pictured here) and a kind of uncommon white flowered form also.