Sunday, May 30, 2010

True Lilies, True Love

It's that time of year. Lilies are blooming. Daylilies are blooming. Daisies are blooming.  It's hard to decide which to display.

These True Lilies are among my favorites. Not all are blooming yet. That's the wonderful thing about both lilies and daylilies. Different types bloom early, mid and late.

The near lily is Dazzle, the far one may be Easter Bonnet.

I bought a box with Stargazers this spring.
This is the first to bloom.

I don't remember planning that these would bloom together.

Regal trumpet lilies were my mother's favorite.
See the Love Bugs?

Algarve LA Lilies started to bloom as Double Knockout Roses are starting rebloom.
Elodie asiatics will be blooming in the same bed soon.

Some of my daylilies on Dotty Plants blog:

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia USA where daylilies bloom and rebloom throughout the summer. If you feel like downloading my pics do be sure to ask first.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

What Determines Your Ideal Garden?

What Defines the Ideal Garden? I read once a writer had determined that the rich spent their money on three things: sunshine, water and privacy. With ample sunshine, I expect they buy a bit of shade, too.

The south side of the Front Garden features white crape myrtle, pale yellow-green daylilies and white lilies. I added Salvia leucantha for fall purple. In winter evergreen camellias bloom pink but winter is a different season.

The opposite side has the same crape and daylilies. Added are yellow lilies, 'Moonbeam' coreopsis, Roses 'Sunny Knockout' 'Grandma's Yellow Rose'  'Julia Child 'and 'Eclipse.' Nicotiana is new from seed.

Moving to the Upper Garden, Black eyed Susans bring lots of temporary yellow.
Black eyed Susans backed with Vetiver grass whose tips bend over in the breeze.

The south side of the oval lawn features blue hydrangeas and orange daylilies.
The north side of the oval lawn has pink flowers: daylilies, roses, pentas.

The recent prolonged winter that we've almost forgotten by now damaged many Cycads in this area.

I cut off the fronds that were totally dead, leaving those with some green to produce chlorophyll for new fronds. They've finally shown themselves. I counted 36. When this cycad was a tiny seedling, its first year's new fronds were four. The next year, eight. It added multiples of 4 as it grew.

Amy asked when a garden is finished. Mine's finished. (Do you believe that?) I'm editing. Beds that seemed reasonable 10 years ago are now overgrown and need making smaller.for easier maintenance.

A Poll on the sidebar asks the ideal size of a garden. The questions do not adequately cover some important aspects. Should the garden be flat, or have terraces and contours? I like a change in terrain. Stones are important to my garden along with trees, shrubs and swathes of lawn.

Please take part in the Poll and comment.

Flowers and text from the garden of Nell Jean at in hot, humid Southwest Georgia USA.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Purple, Orange and Chartreuse -- What a Palette!

I first thought of chartreuse in the garden when I read that Valerie Easton used chartreuse, deepest purple, palest yellow and all shades of orange from pale to dark together in her garden. I immediately commenced to do that in my bright sunny front garden.

I don't copy Ms Easton's plant choices. Her PNW plants would faint and fall over here in South Georgia where summers are hot and humid.

Chartreuse Alternanthera is one of my favorite choices. It grows in sun or shade. Its only downside is that it is a compact little plant, unlike its rampant purple cousin. I have cuttings rooting, to make up for size with mass.

Chartreuse alternanthera & Salvia coccinea
Chartreuse Alternanthera in August, 2008

Every Year is Different. Last year there were purple Daturas. The year before all Daturas were yellow. This year features Duranta repens with purple blooms and yellow berries after I trialed a single one last summer. I think it will be more permanent than the Daturas.

Palest yellow, chartreuse, dark purple and all shades of orange -- an incredible palette with unlimited choices.
Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at in hot, humid Southwest Georgia USA.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May Wildflower Wednesday: Flowers in April Here

When Susie and I visited the Butterfly Lady last month I never posted the pictures of her wildflowers. I hesitated because they are a month old, then remembered that many of these same wildflowers are just now starting to bloom in states farther north so they are still timely.

This was the reason we visited, to see native azaleas in bloom:


but we were treated to the native wildflowers as well:


Wild Ginger


Typical South Georgia Garden Scene

Wild Phlox, ferns and  bluebells

Armadillos and other creatures take advantage of trees downed by storms.

Mossy stones around the little pond where butterflies and birds visit in the Neel Garden.

Blue Eyed Grass, now finished with bloom here.

I've been posting my wildflowers as I found them: Sundrops, Penstemon spp., Elephantapus foliage, Stokesia; some I cannot call the name.

Flowers are from the Garden of the Butterfly Lady. Photos and text are from Nell Jean at in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia USA where wildflowers sometimes plant themselves in delightful combinations. Thanks to Gail of Clay and Limestone for hosting Wildflower Wednesday every 4th Wednesday of the month.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Flight of Ideas: Butterflies and Daylilies

Daylilies are blooming here and there are so many to show. When I went back out for the last pics, butterflies were diving in the daylilies. Tiger Swallowtails are back. So, I will try to show just the very best of the best and most interesting.

Male Tiger Swallowtail on 'Salmon Sheen'

Female Tiger Swallowtail

Female Tigers are easier to identify by their undersides.

Of maybe 100 pics, there are usually a handful of butterflies that didn't fly at the last moment. Once when I was trying to get the female Tiger, she flew right up in front of my face on a coneflower.  Naturally at that distance she was out of focus.

Now to the rest of the daylilies.
'Dominic' is the darkest in my garden.

Byzantine Emperor

Elysian Field, a great pale yellow.

This is either Superlative or Kent's Favorite II.
They look so much alike I can never remember.

This is my own daylily, from seed collected in someone's garden.

Flowers and text from the garden of Nell Jean at in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia USA where Gardenia fragrance now fills the garden along with Magnolias.

Monday, May 24, 2010

How Dry I Am but the Garden's in the Pink

I can't get my hoses coordinated. I have extensions for the in-ground water faucets, some with Y connectors and one manifold that can feed four hoses. I repaired all the hoses that Buffy chewed, save one that I just place the leak near something that needs water.

I'm not fond of having containers because they need watering so often.
Begonias are good about waiting in case I forget them.

After I made this pic, I deadheaded some of the Spireaea.
Oakleafs are already starting to turn pinkish in the heat.

I don't remember the name of this lily, but it remains a fav.

American Painted Lady butterflies are plentiful.
While I was watering, I saw an obviously newly hatched
Spicebush Swallowtail; I could have touched it we were so near.
I saw a Tiger Swallowtail, too. It was more cautious.
While I'm watering I don't take a camera.

I'm experimenting with watermarking pics. I don't mind the occasional download, but I'm tracking some folks who are scraping. I put up some fuzzy pics a few days ago. They took them. Today I found two sites that are scraping whole blog posts. I didn't see any of mine.
There is a certain style that they seek out and they seem to prefer Blogger posts. I saw posts that I recognized from Fertilizer Friday. Another I just happened to remember from all the way back on January because it was about a garden in Florida. The scraper was obviously not from Florida nor from the USA nor Canada. The site is filled with advertising and posts from all over North America.

One way to determine if you are being scraped is to type some of your blog post titles in a search box. Scroll through the first couple of pages of results to see if your title shows up someplace besides your own blog. You may recognize yourself in sites that have your blog in their blogroll. Look for sites that have your post title, but not your blog name. Scrapers remove your blog name and give you no credit for your work while they collect money from advertisers.


Flowers and text from the garden of Nell Jean at in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia USA where Magnolia fragrance floats on the breeze, now joined by Gardenias. Flowers that wilted during the day perk up at night in humidity so thick it feels like a warm blanket. Join us in a glass of iced Ruby Tea, dark and barely sweet.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

More Daylilies and True Lilies

Daylilies are not a member of the Lily family. The botanical name Hemerocallis literally means 'beautiful for a day.'Daylilies open one or two blossoms on a scape over a period of several days. They are good companions with true lilies which hold their blossoms for a longer period of time. Other good companions for true lilies are fall blooming Salvias like S. leucantha and S. elegans which surround the ankles of blooming lilies and then grow up to hide the maturing foliage.

'Blackout' lilies blooming in a bed with either Superlative or
Kent's Favorite II daylilies, I forget which.

Small daylilies like 'Little Business' make good edging for rose beds. 
Here planted with double Knockout which is resting right now and
Rose de Rescht which has finished her rest.

Brocaded Gown daylily has companion Shasta Daisies.

This LA lily has the best traits of both its Longiflorum and Asiatic parents.

This daylily is blooming with California poppies, Larkspur, Lantana montevidensis and Purple Heart.
Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia USA where Gardenias are starting to perfume the breeze.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Herbs in Your Garden?

Do you have an Herb Garden, Herbs in Containers or Herbs tucked around in flower beds?
The sidebar features a Poll on Herbs that you may have in your garden. Please check all that you have.

I need not tell you of the joys of having fresh herbs available for cooking and other uses. Wonderful sites online and books abound with advice for creating an herb garden and using the bounty.

Because of the birdbath in the corner of my official Herb Garden, I tucked my parsley into beds where caterpillars have a better chance of survival. I stuck an oregano plant in with some perennials because I had the cutting handy. I'm about to pull up an old rosemary plant that is now in the way. Plenty of younger rosemary bushes from cuttings surround the Herb Garden.

Lavender in the the garden of Nell Jean at is wilting in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia USA where Mediterrean plants tend to faint when the humidity and the temperature reach the nineties. Join us in a glass of iced Ruby Tea, dark and barely sweet with a sprig of Mint or a leaf of Pineapple Sage.

Selected Herbs included in the Poll are from a list of Herbs to Plant in May from Garden Guide for Austin & Vicinity, published by the Travis County Master Gardener Association, copyright 2000-2002.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hairstreaks and Hydrangeas

Butterflies are plentiful now, except when I have a camera in my hand. I saw a half dozen Swallowtails yesterday fluttering around the Lantana in Nature's Garden. I got close enough today to touch an American Painted Lady, no camera in hand. When I went out to take random pics of what is blooming this afternoon I didn't expect to find a Gray Hairstreak Strymon melinus.

A precious little butterfly with spots and tails that look like a head.
When a predator graps for his 'head,' he's out of there!
I kept looking at him and wondering how he could possibly be nectaring.

Oakleaf Hydrangeas remain white and pristine, just enough rain.

Mophead Hydrangeas are starting to show some blue.

Variegated 'Mariesii' Lacecaps are among my favs.

This Hydrangea serrata was pink when I bought it, now blue.

Hydrangeas will bloom blue in acid soil.
Aluminum sulfate can be used in alkaline soil to obtain a blue color.
Follow directions carefully.
Lime will turn blues pink. I rooted a cutting in potting soil. It bloomed pink.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia USA where butterflies most often appear when there is not a camera handy.