Saturday, May 28, 2016

End of May: Gardenias, Brugmansias and Bromeliads

It's a joy to go outside. During the day Gardenia scent is wonderful. After dark, Brugmansia fragrance mingles with the heady Gardenias.

For anybody else, there would be too many. Not for me!

Orangy in the daytime, 
Pink and wide open at night.

Vriesea bought for $1.25. Two pups grew from it and bloomed this year.

Blooms are the little blue things.

Pink Seedling

Echinacea is everywhere. Big blue hydrangeas are in bloom. 
Oakleaf hydrangea blooms are now pinkish and drying.

Byzantine Emperor --likes a little shade.

Belinda's Dream
Roses go in and out of bloom. Sometimes I forget about photos when they are at their best.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Pink Echinacea and a Gardenia

The white Coneflower that Susie gave me year before last seeded itself beside the original plant. Naturally the new plant is a throwback to an ancestor, but not as deeply pink as the ones growing elsewhere here.

 I gave Kathy the seeds I saved last summer from the white Echinacea.
I hope that she or her neighbor will grow more coneflowers and 
some will turn out white.

White Echinacea has buds, but none open. Yet.

Blooming white behind the pink coneflower is a Gardenia or two.

Fragrance. Incredible. I bring in a bloom or two when I think of it.

These gardenias are bushes that I rooted cuttings not so many years back.  I feel compelled to plant more and more of them. They are not native. Native shrubs like Azalea 'Alabamense' and Philadelphus inodorus have shed their white blooms and gone green now.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Bloom Day May 2016

Late Spring is different to Early Spring here, it approximates Summer.

Daylilies are blooming: clockwise from upper left, Inner View, Salmon Sheen, what we call 'Granny's Old Red,' the daylily that Granny called 'Lemon Lily' and a red seedling that may have Superlative or Kent's Favorite II as its parent, and Brocaded Gown.

Byzantine Emperor

Duskywing on Lantana 

I always believe the first part of May that butterflies are not coming back this year after the first wave of Swallowtails leave when Azaleas stop blooming. I took heart this morning when I barely missed getting pics of a Pipevine Swallowtail on yellow Lantana and a Buckeye on Purple Coneflower. I did capture this Duskywing on lavender Lantana montevidensis.

Hydrangeas are coming into bloom. First to open were Oakleaf Hydrangeas.

Big Blue Mopheads are just starting.

While not in complete bloom yet, Variegated Hydrangea Mariesii Lacecap is showing color.

 'Little Gem' Magnolia had wide open blooms in the top where I couldn't reach. Here's a bud.
The fragrance is the best part. You can smell them when you can't see them.

Red Cascade is showy with hundreds of tiny roses.

Both Coreopsis and the red roses above back up to a field of corn again this year.

Gerbera Daisy seedling. I planted seeds from a white
daisy which yielded pink, pale orange and white.

Maybe by tomorrow we'll see the first open bloom on Brugmansia. 
They bifurcated this week and buds grew really fast.

Happy Bloom Day. Join all the Bloom Day enthusisasts at May Dreams Gardens.

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Beverly Hillbillies' Yardman's Truck

The Beverly Hillbillies' Yardman's Truck is what I think of as I pile clippings on the Mule.

I didn't think to start pictures before I pruned away loads of wisteria vines to the point where I could find the boxwood underneath. I caught wisteria just as it caught onto low hanging pecan limbs.

North (front) side 

Wisteria grew out the top and gracefully hung to the ground, an awesome sight in bloom but I did not enjoy seeing it, knowing what was coming. The fragrance was incredible and I could not help enjoying it.

 South side next to the fence I pruned a sort of cave until I could stoop and walk under the boxwood. Not only were there wisteria vines, I kept finding fallen pecan branches in that mass of green.

If I had little boys around, I could have just left the underneath after I cut out the wisteria and they would have a wonderful 'clubhouse' in which to hide.

Lacking children to play underneath boxwood I just cut wisteria sprouts so the tractor's root rake could slide in there and lift up a ton of mess that I didn't have to pull out by hand.  We discussed whether or not to pull up the whole thing but it would mean trying to separate the boxwood and replant, or figuring out what to put in a hole the size of two bathtubs end to end.

I'm left with wisteria sprouts to keep clipped for the rest of my life but they will be better contained. The original half dozen box, planted much too closely in a tight row had spread 5 feet in each direction forward and back. There are new boxwood on the west end more than 4 feet tall, limbs that lay on the ground and sprouted roots.

Method used here to renovate box is to cut one side leaving a facade on the other. Leaving the front half hides the uglies with enough greenery left to sustain ancient plants. They look like trees on the back side, tall enough for the mower to take care of sprouts in a 3-foot swath.

I'll be snipping and pruning for weeks, training growth as the front facade grows denser.

Next the boxwood are Oakleaf Hydrangeas that have engulfed another boxwood. that I kept pruned into a column shape. It isn't as though I have just a handful of boxwood; in the upper garden are all sizes of box where I stuck cuttings and some 'took' and some grew for years into other monsters or places for monsters to hide. Box is not static. It is always growing except for a very few weeks in the dead of winter.

This morning I took time to prune low hanging tree branches that tend to snatch the hat off the head of He-Who-Mows as he tries to go under them, two more Beverly Hills yardman loads of green to haul off.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Episcia, a Mother's Day Afterword

My mother used to stand at the register at the grocery and fumble in her purse. I do that now. I've become my mother. I open my mouth and her words fall out. Dead for 33 years, she's still with me in spirit.

Just before Mother's Day, my friend of 50 years, Katherine, came to visit. Among the delightful things she brought was an Episcia plant, Mama's favorite houseplant, related to the African Violet. It bloomed by Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

My third generation cloned tomato plant has a vine ripened tomato. I was on the way out to take a picture when I met He-Who-Mows bringing it in, afraid we'd miss it before it was overripe. Not a chance.

 There are more tomatoes.  Vines have reached the top of the greenhouse wall.

Mr. Bill Johnson's daughters came to visit last week and were amused that I learned well from Mr. Bill about rooting suckers. Tomato plants cost too dearly to just have one for a single season. Clones go on forever.

Kathy and Fay brought a huge bouquet of peonies, grown on plants from Mr. Bill's days in the fifties growing for the florist market. A flood of memories from my childhood came in the door with the fragrant blooms. I failed to make pictures of the peonies, now another memory.