Thursday, July 31, 2008

Perennials We Don't Grow, this far South

Perennials We Don't Grow, this far South, with acceptable Substitutes

  • Aconitum (monkshood)

  • Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s mantle). –- For chartreuse color effect:

  • Margarita sweet potato vine,
    Lime mound spirea
    Sedum acre
    Chartreuse coleus
    Alternanthera ‘Chartreuse'

  • Astilbe --- Grasses

  • Brunnera --- xxxx

  • Campanula (bellflower) --- Ruellia instead

  • Delphiniums --- Larkspur, early spring; Salvia “Indigo Spires”

  • Geranium (cranesbill) --- xxxx

  • Gypsophilia --- Gaura lindheimeri

  • Japanese Blood Grass --- Ophiopogon nigrescens; New Zealand flax (Phormium)
    ‘Rubra’ or ‘Bronze Baby’

  • Lavandula (lavender) --- Lavandula intermidia or L. multifida – in full baking sun away from other plants' roots surrounded by cement or bricks. Add a handful of lime; raised bed.

  • Linum --- xxxx

  • Lupine --- Baptisia

  • Pachysandra --- xxxx

  • Peony --- Hibiscus

  • Primula --- Viola, winter to spring

  • Rhododendron --- Clerodendrum bungei

  • Syringa (lilac) --- Deciduous magnolia; Crape Myrtle

  • Anemone blanda --- Use A. Coronaria

  • Chinodoxa --- xxxx

  • Lily of the Valley --- xxxx

  • Crocus vernus --- C. tomasinianus or Atamasco lilies

  • Frittilaria --- Amaryllis; Agapanthus

  • Muscari --- Spanish bluebells

  • Tulips --- Iceland Poppies, fall planted with Violas and Snaps

  • Friday, July 25, 2008

    Tropical Blooms in the Night

    A full dozen blooms last night, in three pots of Night Blooming Cereus.
    Three buds are left to bloom tonight.

    The fragrance was incredible, even Daddy Senior remarked how good they smelled.
    Buds formed after July 6, blooming by July 24.

    Monday, July 21, 2008

    A Notion to Prune

    Hydrangeas in June, 2003

    The same view, July, 2008:

    Pruning in Progress, July, 2008:

    Pruning needs to be finished by August 1 to assure next years blooms on hydrangeas that bloom on the previous year's wood. These will likely return to the size they were before pruning. Hydrangeas never have to be pruned except to remove dead wood. Usually I remove the dried blossoms in the spring, but not this year.

    Pansy Plans

    Violas Early Spring, 2007

    Actually Viola Plans, but pansy is the more familiar term. Violas are smaller and stand up bettter in the weather, according to Graham Rice:
    An initial lesson that I took from my time spent on RHS trials judging panel is that, in early winter at least, the small-flowered pansies, which are closer in style to violas, have been more impressive than those with larger flowers. Nine small flowers look far more colourful than two large ones.

    This is why. First, the flowers of many pansies are so large that the petals simply do not have the strength to support themselves. The tops of the flowers hang over, the effect is lost. Violas, on the other hand, produce such a constant succession of flowers, if one is damaged by the weather another soon opens. And, with alpine species in their ancestry, violas are simply tougher.

    I ordered violas:
    Viola x wittrockiana Jolly Joker F2
    Viola x hybrida Penny Sunrise F1
    Viola cornuta Bambini Mixed

    Among other things Mr. Rice declares is this:

    Seeing so many winter-flowering pansies together on dull winter days led me to another conclusion: dark colours make no impact. Crimson, deep purple and dark blue, especially if they feature black-blotched faces, never really stand out, but white, primrose, sky blue and pale pink sparkle on even the most overcast days.

    He does not mention yellow, which Miss Billie says is the color to plant for wintertime; nor orange, which fits into my color scheme with the purple and orange Jolly Joker. I have another packet of blues for yet another area. I could not have too many violas.

    Friday, July 18, 2008

    Crinum Lily

    After about 8 years, this crinum has finally bloomed. I moved it a couple years ago.