Sunday, July 29, 2007

Butterfly, Green Thumb Sunday

Tiger Swallowtail on Agastache blooms. The large leaves are Cassia (candlestick plant), host for yellow Sulphur caterpillars, of which I've only seen one. Marigolds are favored nectar plants only when there's nothing else, I've noticed.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pink Spider Lilies

Pink Spider lilies, known as 'naked ladies' or Lycoris squamigera. That's blanket flower in the left background. I found a pearl crescent butterfly on the blanket flowers.

Three Black Swallowtails on pentas.

Monday, July 23, 2007

White Trumpet

White Datura, fades after a single morning. The white trumpets are spectacular, if you get out there early.

This may be what Mama planted and called Angel's Trumpets. They're fragrant and beautiful, but all parts are poisonous.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

String Lily

This morning I was surprised to find this crinum blooming among the elephant ears by the birdbath. Given to me last year, no name, just a 'lily' - turns out it's a Crinum americanum, known as String Lily.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Grandmother's Purse

Here's Grandmother's Purse:

Here's Grandmother's Hanky part way out of her purse and gold spilling out:

It's a good thing Barb on Garden Web didn't show us this before Sunday, or the Butterfly Fairy and I would have pinched every crape myrtle bud on the place. You pinch the mature but still tight bud at the stem end and it opens to reveal Grandmother's hanky; pulling out the hanky reveals Grandmother's 'gold.'

Monday, July 9, 2007

Butterfly Fairy

As we toured the garden yesterday butterflies fluttered around pentas and porterweed in the long beds on each side of a grass path.

The little visitor exclaimed, "It's a BUTTERFLY Garden!" as butterflies fluttered toward her. She went home with a paper bag of 'Rose de Rescht' petals secured at the top with a huge tissue paper rose.

Children fair as meek-eyed angels,
Garlands in their locks entwined,
Down into the flowery valley,
Singing, dancing, gayly wind.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Smells Like a Rose

Rose de Rescht

My first baby was like playing dolls for my friend Linda and me. Linda bathed and powdered him and cooed, "Smells just like a rose."

The rose above is another of my babies, a rooted cutting of 'Rose de Rescht' which truly does smell like a rose.

It is believed to be a rose bred in the mid-1800’s when many other Portland Damasks were created, rediscovered around 1945 in Persia and brought back to commerce under the name ‘Rose de Rescht’ for the area where it was found. The collector who brought it back told the Rosarian who propagated it, "Mine's better."
Well, Miss Nancy, mine's better, too.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Chamber Bitter

One of the most obnoxious weeds in my garden, phyllanthus urinaria. Searching for a public domain photo, I noticed a web site in Indonesia touting it for everything from AIDS to liver disease. The site excuses the exorbitant price of $180 US because "...there are no plantations for phyllanthus urinaria. Nowhere in the world. And the herb would not survive the seasonal weather of the US farm belt."

Whahahahahahahahaha! Every summer I have a regular phyllanthus plantation right in my flower beds. Little more than a soup can full costs a hundred and eighty dollars? Grandmother starts a yarb biz; I can see it coming.

Photo later.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Secrets to Success

  • Well prepared soil with exceptional drainage.

  • Start with good plants from a reputable source: your own seed started plants or from a reputable nursery.

  • Close planting. The plants shade out weeds that might navigate the mulch.

  • Faithful watering. Deep watering a few times a week, spot watering of the wilters.

  • Fertilizing on a schedule if the soil is not well amended.

  • Regular grooming to remove unattractive leaves or other ugly parts.

  • Absence of predators: Enough 'good bugs' to override the 'bad bugs.'

  • The right microclimate, or, right plant, right place.
  • Monday, July 2, 2007

    Flaming Torches

    Tithonia, direct seeded:

    Bath's Pink, division propagated; Marigold, saved seeds, transplanted; Crocosmia, corms by division; Vitex, rooted cutting:

    Verbena on a Stick

    Verbena bonarensis and datura from seed, surrounded by foliage of two kinds of dianthus and alternanthera propagated by cuttings.
    V. bonairensis(seeds, transplanted), hamelia and zinnias (seeds, transplanted) in the wannabe red border, plagued by drought.