Monday, October 20, 2008

More about Epiphyllum Oxypetalum

Last night when I went to bed, the blooms were not fully open.

This morning I was surprised they were still wide open; the summer blooms wilted shortly after daybreak. I wonder if it is the cool night, or failure of pollination. When they opened, the greenhouse doors were closed.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ladies' Border Plant List

This link leads to a list of the plants in New York Botanical Garden' Ladies' Border, which features plants usually found farther south. The Garden is located in a south facing, protected area.


Ladies' Border Plant List

Yellow Bells in Fall

Esperanza, a Texas Superstar, has come east. Here cold kills it to the ground, but it comes back with warm weather and gives a tropical look to the garden.

I've planted it with Castor Bean and Pride of Barbados; next year I'll add stachytarpheta to the fiesta mix.

Tecoma stans and Pride of Barbados were seed grown by me.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Epiphyllum Oxypetalum & Epi Tree

The first of 4 blooms opened tonight. When I last went to check at 11 pm, the Greenhouse smelled so good it made my head hurt.

I'm still gluing bark and fern and lichens and moss to the epi tree. It's been too hot to stand on a ladder in a hot greenhouse to finish it.

A new little pump refurbished the fountain which is now under a bench among the gingers and 'Black Magic' elephant ears. A purple pentas that was almost eaten by caterpillars has revived since I potted and brought it in.

By late winter it should be a real Jungle when seeds start sprouting for an early start, so I furnished the greenhouse with a little elephant stool to hold a mossy pot of Purple Heart, an old elephant planter that Mama had that may have been a chia pet, and a parrot cookie jar.

There are live tree frogs and anoles for the amusement of Inky, who prowls behind the potting bench.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chores and Plans

Monday I tore out the rock wall on the front of the Rock Wall Bed and tapered down the front of the bed reaching to the row of 'Salmon Sheen' daylilies. I left the stones that were too heavy to roll out of the bed. By time to scatter half-hardy annual seeds, the encroaching grass will be gone from the daylilies. Kniphofia needs dividing and half the clump moved to the opposite end.

The new book on tropicals by Pam Baggett arrived today. I'm making lists of combos using what I have. It was surprising how many of the plants she recommends are already here, including Strobilanthes, Hedychium coronaria, Tecoma stans, Salvia leucantha, Canna 'Bengal Tiger' and Alternanthera ficoidea. Lantana, ricinus, pentas and curcuma are others that I grow.

I'm still working on the epi tree in the greenhouse. Maybe it will be finished before the night blooming cereus blooms. It looks as if the first blossom open will be soon. It was too hot this afternoon to climb a ladder to glue on the rest of the Polypodium polypodioides.

I dug some lilies for the Briar Patch and put them in the fridge to chill for a few weeks. Lilies tend to want to emerge early here, before they have a chance to form buds.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Briar Patch

Knockout and Pink Knockout planted this year in the rose/pink Rose Bed. I think the bunny needs lily companions in the spring, and the whole bed needs an edging of rosemary or red alternanthera. Other roses in this bed include Belinda's Dream, Rose de Rescht and Reine des Violettes.

You know I didn't think of this all by myself. Rick & Tee have a 'briar patch' photo at their daylily site with a bunny statue in a daylily bed. I thought, 'What better place for my bunny than in a rose bed?'

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Atrium Garden at Community Health and Rehab

We went to visit a relative near Panama City, FL. I thought of taking the camera, decided to take only memories because of the declining health of the resident. What I didn't expect was the beautiful Atrium Garden off the lobby of the nursing home. When I got home, I jotted down some notes about what I saw, to share.

Open air garden enclosed by the building on four sides. Double doors on the north end open into the garden. Clipped hedge along the north wall.

West wall has a display case with seasonal garden accessories: in October, fall harvest figures and faux fall leaves. Among the plants along this wall were agapanthus and what I believe to be duranta.

South wall has long raised planter with mostly purple heart -- a wall of purple heart to the ground -- and some some wandering jew. Elephant ears in the ground, peeking through the purple heart.
Large queen palm in the SE corner, other small palms around.

East wall has windows for viewing from the lobby, low plants under the window, dwarf azaleas among others. Many containers, including a Christmas cactus not yet in bud.

Center area is surrounded by a walkway wide enough for a wheelchair. There are two park benches for visitors to sit along the west wall. In the center is a live oak tree in one end, large fountain in front of the window. There was a colorful metal rooster on a post past the fountain.

Many crotons
Syngonium climbing the tree and in containers
Mexican heather
Crinums, or a similar plant.
Agapanthus, past bloom, just heads, on West wall
Impatiens around the fountain, very colorful
Different coleus plants in magenta, purples and greens
Lime and black sweet potato vines run rampant over the ground, especially on the more sunny north end.

Several different cultivars of Begonias in containers and baskets hang from the tree
Hydrangea in a large container by the window on the east wall, smaller hydrangeas in the ground.
I did not identify all the shrubs.
Persian Shield was winding down the season.

Next time I'll put a camera in the car.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Palamedes Swallowtail

Yesterday I saw a beautiful Palimedes Swallowtail, posed just so on some pentas. I watched him for the longest; here, there, everywhere, perfectly displayed. Bright gold and black, he looked newly hatched.

THEN I went for the camera and returned. He went wild. Flew high, darted through the shrubbery, zipped past the best flowers, returned to the pentas for a fraction of a second, disappeared.

I turned off the camera. He came back. I turned the camera back on. He high-fived a Gulf Frit and disappeared.

There's no photo for this post.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Yellow Lycoris!

Worth waiting for.

The red is almost done. Dry weather shortened their bloom time.

Night Blooming Cereus Moves Inside

This post is in honor of Flowerlady, who grows these plants outdoors in Florida and they climb a tree. Mine used to come into the utility room for the winter, but they kind of outgrew the space. Last year they took up the whole end of the greenhouse. This year, two are on the bench over the water barrels and one is on the floor with a syngonium. The longest limbs are hanging onto the 'tree' I set in the GH floor.

If you look really, really close there are two small buds in the first picture and one in the second. I've never had blossoms this late. If they mature, the buds should be full size in about 2 weeks.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I picked every blossom so the plants can put their energy into growing and making new blooms, rather than making seeds. Miss Ann and Miss Susan Peoples used to let me pick their pansies when I went for piano lessons. I went home feeling very rich, with a fist full of pansy faces. I thought they just indulged me; I didn't realize I was doing them a favor.