Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hyacinths Inside and Out with Storms on the Way

Hyacinths are blooming in the greenhouse, in the house and outside in the yard.

 Blue Jacket in the Greenhouse

China Pink outdoors

When hyacinths bloom, so do Daffodils.

Narcissus. All Daffodils are Narcissus but Tazettas are the ones
we commonly refer to as Narcissus.

In the greenhouse again. These are ready to share with friends.
These were chilled from early October to early December.
Next year bulbs need to go in to chill in September as soon as
bulbs are available if we want Christmas bloom.

In the house among the orchids.
A single Hyacinth can perfume a room.

Outdoors. These have sparse blooms because they are recovering from
forcing last year. Given another year, they'll be full again.
When florets fade, I pinch them off leaving the green stem
because it helps make chlorophyll. The plant will  go
into the ground outside in good soil up to the bulb neck
to bloom in subsequent Springs for a long, long time.
As I post this, the storm is 177 miles away.
We watch its progress with everything fastened down
outside as winds increase.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Winter's Seeds for Autumn Wildflowers

Meadow, prairie, savanna -- we just call it a pasture. The north end of the farm is where the better wildflowers grow and the Butterfly Wood arises.

 I went ahead of He-who-mows to mark with red ribbons five little Native Persimmon trees to leave
 along the fence. Here you can see the fate of a Privet that was not marked. He also left a Pine.

Cutting brush prior to harrowing a fire break along the fence
I gathered seeds of my favorite fall wildflowers to scatter where few or none are growing.

Silk Grass, Pityopsis graminifolia

Agalinis purpurea, purple False Foxglove

Elephantopus tomentosus, Elephant's foot
I left seeds on every stalk to self-sow. Last fall we had an abundance of the plants above.

Rabbit Tobacco was scarce. When I spied a clump underneath this Live Oak, I quickly gathered the whole thing.

Rabbit Tobacco, Gnaphalium obtusifolium or Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium
This plant has an aromatic scent.
I scattered the Ganpahlium seed heads along the south side of several trees in the area similar to where I found this one, in hopes we'll have more next year.
Here are links to the wildflowers in bloom
Gelsemium sempervirensm Yellow Jessamine
On the way back to the house, I thought to watch for yellow blooms on the
ground along the field road signaling Yellow Jessamine high in the trees.
Imagine my surprise to find this one sprawled over a low bush!
I think it's early, maybe not. We've had uncommonly warm days.
Storms are predicted for Wednesday.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

White Camellias

The first camellia plants were brought to America in the late eighteenth century from Asia. Over the last 200 years, they have proven to be dependable additions to the Southern landscape, growing and blooming with minimal care during mild winter weather.

Hard freezes ruin open blooms; tight buds open when warm weather returns. Bloom ends usually toward the end of March, a few persist into April until hot weather blasts the buds. 

This is the only white Camellia species in my garden.
I do have a second plant, a sucker from the root of the original plant.
Its flowers look the same as these.

Friday, January 25, 2013

From now to Spring, It's Daily Discovery

When I went out to try out my cardstock photo background again today, I found treasures. Some required the backboard; others are exciting just as they are.

Erlicheer daffocils are open!

Elicheer, dramatic with a black background.
Fringes of white Loropetalum.

Fringes of fuchsia Loropetalum.
As exciting as it is to find fringes here and there, the big show comes when the entire
Loropetalum trees are in full bloom in the landscape.
Graptopetalum in bud, ready to bloom. The rosettes of the plant look like flowers so it's funny
to see its own tiny flowers also that ghostly grey.

Graptopetalum  and Sedum acre between stones with chickweed starting.
I weed out chickweed when I have time. Hot sun in late March will take
out this obnoxious winter weed.

The biggest surprise, a yellow Daffodil in bud among Lantana.
We still have to go through February with its history of some hard freezes.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Seedling Camellias

Two of the ancient Camellias that I showed yesterday are parents to 6 seedlings in the garden.

The seeds were stuck in the ground some years ago underneath some azaleas. A couple of years passed and I forgot about them until I one day I noticed little plants about 10 inches tall.
They thrived when moved to better locations.
First bloom on this one this season. Many more buds.
I'm guessing the pollen parent of this one as Blood of China.

both the above were on this bush:
 I can look at each seedling and guess the pollen parent. This one had to come from Mathotiana.
I am giving it a 'garden name' of Mary 'Stelle for the sister in law who planted Mathotiana here, because it is pink and looks like a rose.
An oak limb fell on this bush and took off all the branches on the right side. They were full of buds. I broke off the buds and stuck each piece in the ground in hopes that one or two might root.
There are two seedlings more yet to bloom, a pink and a red.
I couldn't help myself when seeds got ripe last summer.  I planted 9 in this tray.

Two Camellia seeds have sprouted, the one on the right just this week.
The joy of growing is why I garden. Many of my plants have a history, either from this place or from another garden as a cutting or a seedling. 
I spent this morning pruning more boxwoods and grooming 'Reine des Violettes' rose, not to mention combating cat brier. There is much work here. I may call in the bull dozer before warm weather.
'Reine des Violettes' had some dead canes, and some long canes that needed pulling over and tying to stakes to encourage buds to break along the length.  I do love roses with a spicy fragrance.

Reine des Violettes, November, 2009.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ancient Camellia japonicas

The flush of Camellia sasanquas has passed. There's only one here, an ancient white tree. It rains petals constantly forming a carpet that looks like snow, starting about Thanksgiving.

Just before this white finishes blooming, the white C. japonica beside it starts to open.
First blossom is exciting before it even opens.
There are other ancient Camellias here, huge things, here for fifty years, planted by my Mother-in-law. She used to send me back to Atlanta with a plastic bag filled with blooms when we would visit.

This is the gaudiest.

Mathotiana, or Rubra. It has several names.
Blood of China. This Camellia is a shy bloomer until late spring, when warm weather sometimes
blasts the last blooms.

Camellias here have no fragrance, except for the faint scet of tea in the rain when Camellia sasanqua blooms. What scents the air in a Camellia garden in January is Tea Olive, Osmanthus fragrans.
The tiny blooms of Tea Olive are noticeable across the garden, a heady
scent of lemon.
A separate post will display seedlings. Seeds saved from some of the ancient Camellias have produced different blooms. It was a casual project with exciting results for a beginner.