Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pink Roses

From Collages

At top are Heirloom and Angel Face
The middle are all of Gene Boerner
Bottom two are Rose de Rescht in front of Pink KO, and Belinda's Dream at right

A Week Makes a Difference

Lilies and More Lilies

I'm eagerly awaiting lily blossoms. New buds are forming, some are swelling. My favorite lily is an Orienpet named Orania, named for one of the muses. I think I might need to move some of my lilies to more sun.
This video discusses orienpets, how they are produced and at the end, how to make more lily bulbs by scaling.
Must Have Lilies

Video from The Oregonian

Monday, April 27, 2009

Lemon Grass

Pentas and Lemon Grass with Butterflies
Pentas and Lemon Grass with Butterflies, last August

Cymbopogon is one of the grasses I like to grow; no seeds, no mess, just pretty blue-green foliage in a bed with roses and pentas. I kept some sprigs potted up in the greenhouse in winter for the delight of Ike the Cat, who liked to chew on Lemon Grass when he went there to nap. I planted out the potted ones today.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Michelia Figo

The first Banana Shrub I ever saw was not in bloom. "When it blooms, it will make you want to eat a banana sandwich," said the son-in-law of Mr. Smith, who had a little nursery in Cairo, GA.

The biggest Michelia that I know about is on Ichauway Plantation, there since the early years of Mr. Woodruff.
Susie under the Banana shrubs.

Flower and buds of Michelia figo.

There are some big, old banana shrubs in town in Chason Park. I still don't have one.

Essential Plants for a Southern Garden

Tom of Seventh Street Cottage asked this question on Garden Web. He named Camellias, Azaleas and Roses; Tea Olive, Althea and Okra as Quintessential Plants for a Southern Garden, asking for other favorites.

I put a little Poll on Dotty Pants Blog with a long list of my favs. Please Click on the Dotty Pants link, look on the righthand sidebar and check your favorites. Let's see what the top plants may be in addition to the ones Tom named.


Shirley Poppies

Bright orange California poppies continue to bloom, they are the longest lasting.

Coming into best bloom now are Shirley poppies or Corn poppies. Papaver rhoeas, these are the red Flanders poppies of Memorial Day.

I've been flagging the plants with a bit of green surveyor's tape to mark the different colors. Pictured are red with a white center blotch, red with a black blotch and a white with palest pink edges. There are different shades of pink and yesterday a magenta poppy opened.

Pale pink seed mixtures are available. One is named for Sir Cedric Morris who used to walk the fields searching for softer colour variants of P. rhoeas.

If the pictures look a little odd, it is because I held the camera overhead the blooms for a better view. The white reflected the sun so I took its picture under my sunhat. The little pink flowers are Laura Bush petunias, which give you an idea of how tall these poppies are.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Nacogdoches and other Rose Delights

Once called 'Nacogdoches,' renamed by TAMU as 'Grandma's Yellow Rose' and known to us as the 'Chicken Rose,' it's a beauty.

This is 'Angel Face' -- I think. If not it's 'Heirloom.'

Rose de Rescht, very fragrant and finally blooming.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Upper Garden

The Oval Lawn, surrounded by plants with buds, but few blooms except for dianthus and some newly planted pentas on the north side.

The ubiquitous Knock Out, which was a gift from Mary Daniels, along with a little wrought iron Monkey, five years ago.

West end, the center grassy paths. What looks like grass is crocosmia, tons of it.

Tangerine Bulbine and Purple Heart beside a big rock.
In the background is a big live oak that shelters the Aquarium Garden on the near side and the Fairy Garden on the far side, with hydrangeas in the middle.

There are two pink Queen Elizabeth blooms 6 feet in the air. QE grew from a cutting that I mistook for a mini rose and planted too close to flowering pomegranate. I let QE grow straight up; now I have to prune and perhaps move her.

Lilies in bud are everywhere. I can hardly wait!

To the Devil and Back

Planted Parsley seeds today. Old folks said that parsley has to go to the Devil and Back before it germinates. I think that it takes about 2 weeks. I find it hard to believe the Devil is a week away; I thought he hung around all the time.

This time I had better sense than the time I planted parsley next to the birdbath. When black swallowtail larvae covered the parsley, birds swooped in for dinner and a drink. These are tucked in over next to some nectar plants.


I planted zinnia seeds too, and transplanted 3 gaillardia from the herb garden into the Sunset Bed near orange roses and other delights.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

One Last Poppy

When I posted the Poppy Primer, I didn't have a good pic of my lone Iceland Poppy (Papaver nudicale). I think of Iceland Poppies of coming in citrus colors, so I call this one 'Grapefruit' color.

The local Big Box store had them in pots today, I think a little late for planting out, since they are so sensitive to the heat. Many of the pots were already wilted beyond repair.

My lone Iceland Poppy is growing with 'Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow' viola that I grew from seed, and two volunteers, a solid purple, and a yellow and purple Johnny-jump-up viola.

Larkspur (Consolida ajacis)

Look closely at the right hand photo on the right edge of the flower stalk, you can see the little 'bunnies' looking down.

This isn't Larkspur, but Salvia farinacea, great with orange roses.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Peace, Joy and Love

'Peace' rose was introduced during the era in which I was born. Later a climbing sport was identified, which is what I grow. I have to choose whether to hack back the grapes, or hard prune the roses, as they share an arbor.

A Glimpse of Roses

Belinda's Dream was a gift from Janie. I added a Sweet William in exactly the same shade, next to the bunnie's butt. Bath's Pinks are great companions. I look forward to the lilies blooming, Elodie and Algarve, despite the pets' help.

Knockout, the original, blooming in the Upper Garden. Pineapple Sage has been added to this bed, a perfect color match.

Sweet William makes a good companion to roses. This one is a perfect rose color. Rose de Rescht, planted nearby, has not bloomed yet.

The Chicken Rose, or Grandma's Yellow Rose as TAMU dubbed it, blooms in a bed with other yellows, and white. The white blur behind is white pentas. Susie brought me the first white pentas I've had, perfect for this spot.

The Wildflower Garden Gets Wilder

Poppies wax and wane. Following the poppy show comes Silene, or Catchfly. Curiously, the sandier end has blossoms already. The richer middle has bigger, heartier Silene foliage but no blooms yet. Toadflax continues and Venus's Looking Glass is starting with pretty purple blooms darker than the toadflax. Wild oats are starting to go to seed; more pigweed is apparent and needs pulling. Black eyed Susans that I transplanted are taking hold. I'm looking at bringing in yarrow, if it rains.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hazards of Buying Perennials in a Bag

Sometimes I succumb to the siren call of the pretty picture on the front of a bag of little roots.

This daylily was supposed to be 'Little Women' and fit well with Lullabye Baby and Fairy Tale Pink. The eagerly awaited first bloom was not pink with a red halo.

I scooped it up and moved it to the Long Rock Bed to blend happily with other yellows and a border of Purple Heart.

You would think I would learn.

Laura Bush petunias

Once these started in my garden, I've had them for years. Great reseeders. The color never changes.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


There are dozens of boxwoods here, in all shapes and sizes. Continuous pruning goes on; I'm always behind. I found this you-tube demo by Pearl Fryar, an extraordinary gardener and topiary artist. What an inspiration!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Poppy Primer

Papaver rhoeas
Flanders poppy, corn poppy

Shirley poppy

Papaver nudicale
Iceland poppy
The only Iceland poppy I have, shedded its petals today. There's another bud. These are better suited for a cold climate. They have the most delicate appearance of all, I think.

Eschscholzia californica
California Poppy

Papaver somniferum

Fringed Poppy

Peony poppy

Breadseed Poppy

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sweet William and Pretty Daisies

Mama used to tell a family anecdote about her Uncle Bob saying when asked about a flower in the yard, "Well, Sister Stella would call them Sweet William, but I call them Pretty Daisies." Bob's wife was named Daisy; Stella's husband was Bill.

Today in the garden, my favorite pretty Daisy is blooming, an old pink species Gerbera, here for about 40 years. They were in bloom in front of the porch when my SIL died in 1973. They've moved about some since, but they've kept going. Another South African flower, they like the climate here and bloom in part shade.

The biennial Sweet William goes on forever, self-rooting cuttings and reseeding. I frequently plant new seed, sometimes saving seeds from the dark flowers, sometimes from the white. I like the auricula-eyed blooms, too. The darker flowers have a stronger fragrance. None are so fragrant as their relatives, the Pinks, which I showed yesterday.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dianthus for Butterflies

Azaleas are about spent, except for 'Alabamense' native. Poppies and roses are blooming, neither of which attract butterflies. The main attraction here is dianthus, both Sweet William and Bath's Pink. Three spicebush swallowtails were nectaring on this patch of Bath's Pinks this morning. Dianthus will hold us over until blossoms of Silene and Verbena bonariensis, which will bloom soon.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My World: Ponds after the Big Rain

View the whole World at My World Tuesday Issue XXVI

Mayhaw Pond; small trees on left are Mayhaws.

The first two are the pond; the third is water standing after several inches of rain fell. It is not permanent. Notice the Spanish moss, which grows where the humidity is high.