Sunday, March 29, 2009


One in the Greenhouse, one in the Garden. Amaryllis are easily forced in pots; in warm climates, they are almost fool-proof in the garden. These bloomed this week, and are a similar cultivar, identified only as 'Red.'

Another bulb that I forced was labeled as 'Pink' and bloomed a darker crimson red than these.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fleeting Beauty

Poppies were not meant to bloom in the rain.
At 10am these were beautiful.
By 4 pm, they looked like soggy socks.
Blowing in the wind, before the rain.

Friday, March 27, 2009

What Blooms Next?

'George Tabor' azalea on left; 'Pink Pearl' on right

As the rain pelted the garden this morning, I pondered on the next shrubs to bloom. Still blooming with the Azaleas are Tea Olive and Loropetalum. They've been joined by Spirea, Sweet shrub (Calycanthus) and Philadelphus. Mock Orange will take up where the dogwoods leave off, with another month of white blossoms. Soon to bloom will be Oakleaf Hydrangeas, from which I hope to coax rebloom by deadheading the blooms instead of leaving them to dry.

Summer's blooming shrubs include Vitex, Hydrangea, Gardenia and Roses. Killed to the ground, Tecoma stans will be returning with its yellow bells and I hope to see Pride of Barbados return as well. I started seeds, just in case. Loropetalum will rebloom in August, a good choice for gardeners to zone 7 whose soil is not tolerated by Azaleas.

There are others from which to choose; these are just some of my favorites.

And the Rains Came Tumbling Down

Before yesterday's rain, Buffie rolls down the hill between new foliage of Hydrangeas, toward a border of Stokesia.
Buffie checks out a bumblebee visiting 'Pink Ruffles' azaleas.

Yesterday we waited for rain, which finally came, a whole inch. Today the rain came again with winds, tornados to the north and south of us. Fallen petals form a carpet under the dogwood trees. I can hardly wait to see what quick growth emerges following the rains. There are still late planted lilies which have not yet emerged.

I planted little clumps of gladioli here and there earlier in the week: solid purple Flora and purple and yellow Comet. I had a careful list in my pocket of what went where. I always get the bags mixed up, not that it matters.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Daffodils are Winding Down

Pink Charm
Except for the bulbs newly planted last fall, which always bloom a little late, most of the Daffodils are finishing up, many already deadheaded. Triandrus daffodils are among the last to bloom, and some jonquillas.

Here's what's blooming now: Azaleas, wisteria and loropetalum.
Full Pictures will follow later.

Friday, March 20, 2009


New daffodils for this year included Tahiti, a double. Doubles sometimes blast or revert to single in our climate, but it was packaged with Ice Follies, a favorite. Ice Follies went into the pink rose bed.

Tahiti is blooming with white Sweet William and yellow corydalis. Poppies in this bed are about to bloom, orange California poppies first.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

White Wisteria

Purple wisteria has been here for more than fifty years. I can't remember when I first noticed that we also had white wisteria. It just showed up one year.

I keep all the wisteria pruned in a way that it does not climb the trees or fence. Otherwise, I prune it creatively. The white has bloomed ahead of the purple. There is a wonderful fragrance that permeates the whole garden.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Persian Shield

Collage of 2004 pics; click for larger view.

Time to move cuttings from the greenhouse, once spaces are planned in the flower beds. Persian Shield looked shabby all winter. Once the days lengthened, it began to put on new growth. Some of the pieces bloomed, something not usually seen in the garden.

I searched 2004 pics for the combinations I tried that year, when I first planted strobilanthes. There's a whole row of plants. I want it better distributed among suitable companions. Pictured are some of my favorite combos, with reds, pinks and blues.

The first place I'm planting Persian Shield is among blue hydrangea bushes.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

You Should Be Here Next Week

Click for the big view.

The Garden isn't ready, but I made some pics anyway, since the puppy was willing to pose among some flowers.

Corydalis, the first azaleas, dogwoods not quite in full bloom with loropetalum, wisteria -- and did you see the very first orange California poppy which is coming on the heels of daffodils?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day


GBBD is tomorrow. Blooms are busting out all over, here. Nothing has reached that state of lushness that demands photographing.

  • White wisteria is nearly open, the first hanging bunches.
  • Azaleas are not quite open, more tight buds than not.
  • Daffodils are mostly on the way out, except for Thalia and Hawera, which are just showing color and an occasional bloom.
  • Peaches are blooming, pears have some blooming limbs, not a big show yet.
  • Loropetalum is nice. Better in person.
  • Oh, the lilies coming out of the ground! No buds yet.
  • Hyacinths have mostly passed their prime, except for a few fat blue stems. You've seen them already.
  • I planted out two big pots of wax begonia in full bloom. I ruined their photogenic potenial when I took cuttings to root.
  • Dogwoods are white, but not fully open for the big show with the azaleas.

    If you were here, I could show you all kinds of neat things.
    Happy Bloom Day, tomorrow.
  • Thursday, March 12, 2009

    Berms and Stones

    Since I moved to the Flatlands, I seek out any stone and any elevation of earth that I can. This concave rock came from the field nearby. It was turned over; hardly inspiring. It sits like a misshapen bowl when turned the other way. I asked for some scoops of soil to shore it up. I added peanut hay to hold the dirt in place.

    Now I'm planting. It's hardly inspiring as a work in progress, so I haven't made further pics since this December series when I made a reference photo for every garden bed.

    When I divided the kniphofia, I placed one here. today I added 5 clumps of bulbine that carried over in the greenhouse. Below the Bulbine, I added some clumps of Purple Heart. Some of it had grown lanky, so I took new cuttings to encourage it to thicken up before it trails down the slope. I've marked spots for 3 clumps of Vetiver grass. Vetiver needs thinning elsewhere.

    Such wonderful weather for planting out, with care to remember that we're not yet past the last frost dates (usual date and the REAL date).

    Wednesday, March 11, 2009

    Black Pearl Peppers

    I sowed some seeds of Black Pearl ornamental peppers today in plastic 6-packs in a flat. Watered; went to get plastic to put over them. Buffy chased Ikey, who jumped into the chair, onto the potting bench to escape along the back of a bench and -- stepped right into one of my plant cells! Calmly, I got more mix, more seeds, and once the cell was full of medium again, planted two more seeds into the wrong cell. I think I finally got it right. It's worse than having toddlers, because these two can jump and climb, at least Ike can.

    I like Black Pearl because the leaves are dark, the blooms are purple as shown and the fruits are black instead of green, turning red when they are ripe.

    Tuesday, March 10, 2009

    Girl Group Girl on Fox TV

    Our friend Glynis from Garden Web is the pretty blonde who teaches the gardening class in this video.

    Video courtesy WAGA-TV, Atlanta

    Click on 'My Fox' in the center to play the video.

    Monday, March 9, 2009


    Sometimes a plant just gets taken for granted. I've had Iberis since 1973, when my neighbor who had great wads of it in front of her house let me take cuttings. They easily rooted in a little vermiculite and I don't know why I haven't rooted dozens since. I think there are 7 clumps out there.

    An evergreen perennial, it is well behaved. After it starts blooming in spring and lasts to hot weather, it can be cut back with pruning shears to a nice green clump.

    Vagaries of Erlicheer

    One of the earliest daffodils in my garden, Erlicheer got ready to bloom during a really warm January. February came bringing hard freezes and the blooms blasted. The empty sepals are brown and dry. When I reached to snap one off, it gave a little pop the way morning glory buds used to pop when we were children bent on making noises. Maybe dry weather affected them as well.

    Sunday, March 8, 2009

    Pig Lilies

    I thought Calla Lilies were exotic and hard to grow. Exotic, yes, hard to grow, not so very. After I read they're called 'pig lilies' in their native habitat, I tried them. They require oceans of water to do well. They were great in the greenhouse in a plastic pot with an attached saucer. The Callas in the garden died back after a hard freeze. They need rain to sprout out again.


    I'd much rather plant where flowers are to grow and bloom. Tropicals require starting early, however, so they have more time to bloom once the weather gets really warm.

    Today I spotted the ferny leaves of Pride of Barbados in one of the cells where I planted those seeds. Some agastache, or snapdragons, too tiny yet to identify which, sprinkled themselves over into the Pride of Barbados cells. They will require plucking out and potting up elsewhere.

    Purple datura is growing like the weed it is. There is a bare spot out front that can accomodate at least 4, maybe more. Candlesticks are slowly appearing. I gave up on the dark sedum seeds, bought a nice full pot and stuck cuttings into those cells.

    I keep pulling off rooted pieces of things while I'm grooming bed. They're too precious just to toss, so I have little cuttings rooting here and there: a bit of oregano, more dianthus, rosemary that I clipped to flavor potatoes and had two springs left.

    Friday, March 6, 2009


    Year before last, I bought two pots of agapanthus and planted out. Last summer, only one had a single bloom. I've read not to disturb them, but they weren't all that happy, so I dug, divided and replanted, with the help of Buffie, my able assistant, who pulled them up twice.

    Instead of two single clumps, they're now 2 groups of three each. Some little pieces off the side went into a pot to grow on.

    I'm trying not to plant out things, in case of frost. Only a week until our 'last frost date' but a week plus a month until the last date I've seen killing frosts. The urge to move things out and into the ground is very strong.

    Sunday, March 1, 2009

    I get excited when the daffodils bloom. Actually, except for the new bulbs, which are mostly just now peeking out of the ground, I could just use previous years' pictures. Here's a sample of this years' early blooms.

    Juanita, a shy bloomer

    Pink Charm just starting to bloom, with Sailboat

    Yellow Trumpets in the Rock Beds

    Tete a Tete