Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Purple, Orange, Chartreuse, Yellow Revisited

After a bit of cooling rain, 0.15 inches, I went out to make a little tour. I'd been in self-imposed reclusion while daily temperatues hovered at 100 in the shade. Somebody killed a rattlesnake on the just beyond the south driveway. Scavenger critters took him away before I saw him.

Lighter blue agapanthus have shedded. Storm Cloud is just
showing color against a background of faded hydrangeas.
The funny little blossom on a long stem is Porterweed.

Yellow gladioli blooming in the yellow rose bed anchored by a white crape myrtle.
Pale pink nicotiana is in this bed, from 'white' seed.
Salvia leucantha in background is mounding in preparation for fall color.

Planted two years ago, dollar store bulbs.
It takes inexpensive corms a couple of years
to grow to a good blooming size.

Yellow roses continue to bloom, 'Moonbeam' coreopsis is joined
by purple periwinkles from seed planted early spring.

Faded Black eyed Susans are pulled and periwinkles quickly fill the spaces.
Madagascar periwinkle is one of the most prolific reseeders.
I pull all except the darkest purple and palest pink for best effect.
Behind the periwinkles is Lantana montevidensis facing the road.
Lantana presents a uniform front while plants on the back of the bed
come and go.

Chartreuse alternanthera is growing on nicely.

Gaillardia 'Sundance' from purchased seeds

Kniphofia stems curl when they lack water.
Pale pink just will sneak into my palette.
'Carefree Delight' roses have yellow centers.

Kniphofia with Purple Heart Setcreasea

Another Red Hot Poker with Purple alternanthera cutting

Is that more pink lurking in the background?

Crinums like oceans of water.

A closer view

Crocosmia is a thug that plants itself all over, here with
Purple Heart under 'Little Gem' Magnolia.

My favorite periwinkle with Persian Shield
Seedlings are by chance.

Crocosmia with Shrimp Plant. Hummingbirds like Shrimp Plant;
Butterflies enjoy Crocosmia.

Shrimp Plant was killed almost to the ground last winter.
It made a stunning comeback.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at /www.seedscatterer.blogspot.com in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia USA where we got a bit of welcome rain on Monday.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Natives and Wildflowers in Garden and Meadow

Common natives, Echinacea and Black Eyed Susans.

Baptisia, the native white, was splendid in the spring garden. These seed pods turned black and dry last week and I gathered them. I am going to plant the little peas inside while they are fresh.

Ratibida from seed. Sometimes there are solid yellow plants, wonderful with Salvia farinacea. 'Victoria' Salvia farinacea from seed, and cuttings from the seedlings.

When I cut off the dried blooms of Oakleaf Hydrangea, new buds and blossoms were underneath.

Butterflies found the first blooms of Phlox paniculata.

Gulf Fritallary butterflies host plant is Passiflora, above.
These are growing with lantana, below.

Edge of the meadow is a natural butterfly garden.
Lantana, passiflora and beautyberry planted themselves.

Beautyberry with bright purple berries is a hit in fall.
Butterflies and beneficials visit the flowers in late spring and early summer.

I have not been able to identify this plant with tiny blue blossoms growing in sunny meadows.
Below is a pic of the whole plant, little more than a foot tall.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at http://www.seedscatterer.blogspot.com/ in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia USA where Lily fragrance floats on the breeze and Mockingbirds scold from the grape arbor. Join us in a glass of iced Ruby Tea, dark and barely sweet, in the shade of a pecan tree.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Blooms in the Night

Epiphyllum oxypetalum Night Blooming Cereus. My Grand-Aunt Terry used to load her Cereus in bloom in the back of her Desoto and haul it around Dunwoody near bedtime to show folks too old or infirm to get out in the middle of the night and come to her house to see it. She tried every way she ever heard to preserve a blossom, failing each time. Freezing in a block of ice was the most unsuccessful. She would love that we can capture it and send all over the world just as the blossoms open.

Tuesday night we had 6 blooms to open on one plant and only one bloom on the other. The one lost some buds when I let it go too dry after buds set.

I wish you could have enjoyed the incredible fragrance along with the views.
There is one bud left to bloom in a day or two. The plant with only one blossom is already setting more buds. If we are fortunate, there will even be blooms in October after I bring them inside.

Mama used to bring hers inside the kitchen for the winter. Sometimes a shoot would go to the ceiling  searching for more light. This is a marvelous pass-along plant, worth the wait to see it bloom if you have space for one. Flowerlady has them growing outside in South Florida.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hot in the Sun, Cool in the Shade

I go outside many times during the day despite brutally hot sun. Under a shade tree, Venturi Effect assures a light breeze when I can stand the sun no longer. Pecan trees seem to be the best for cooling. Pandora's Box is blooming under a little dogwood tree, shaded in early morning by a huge Juniperus virginiana.


I'm always afraid I'll miss an important bloom. I missed first blossom on Bride Elect daylily Sunday, just a soggy sock next morning as mute evidence of a recent bloom.

In the brightest sun, Pride of Barbados is finally blooming. P of B dies to the ground here in winter and is slow to take off come spring. Just when I despair that it has decided this is the year it isn't coming back, there comes a sprig of tiny green leaflets. Esperanza has not wowed us with yellow bells yet, but they're on the way.

I planted out the only Pride of Barbados seedling that survived this spring. Covered it for a day with a wire trash basket to shade it. Removed the basket next day and watered it. Found dog tracks later where Buffy played in the mud and left the little plant askew, wilting. Replaced the basket after I straightened the plant. If you have pets, feel free to erupt in a sympathetic chortle.

We're teased daily by rain clouds which part and pass without blessing us with precious rain. I watered several beds Monday -- thunder was a ways off in the distance and it started to rain. Monday was the day! More than a half inch, much needed. There was wind Sunday night. I picked up limbs next day, proof of the wind that caused a power outage during the night.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Calms, Squalls and Baffling Winds: Summer Doldrums?

There is a new Poll on the sidebar about Blogger Template Designer. Did you set a new Template Design before the Summer Doldrums set in? I've noticed some bloggers who use a Blogspot platform have new looks to their blog. The new 'Template Designer' introduced months ago was installed on all Blogger Dashboards last week.

Summer Doldrums seem to have affected more than just the Stock Market and the Weather. Is it my imagination, or are there fewer posts on Blotanical these past few days? Inability to access '200 Most Faved' has a work-around. It might be an incentive to get accustomed to Alphabetical Lists.

Maybe it is just vacation, or the hot weather.

Maybe you were birdwatching?

  Were you picking berries, as Buffy did while I scooped up wood chips where the road crew left them piled on the roadside right of way after they trimmed trees?

Did you stop to smell the flowers?
Lilies are particularly fragrant this year in the heat.

Or maybe like me you have to pace yourself in the heat to get to all the chores. I'm trying to assure that no more buds fall off the Epiphyllums (Night Blooming Cereus) until they bloom in just a few days by keeping them well watered. Even the heat lovers like Gaillardia wilt in the heat.

Reseeded Tithonia and 'Sundance' Gaillardia

Getting the hang of the new Template Designer was not so difficult once I found out how to get it to load. I kept getting gray squares with no templates. After I read pages and pages of posts that failed to address my problem I asked a question on the Blogger Forums and someone helped me.

I figured out for myself that I didn't have to use a gaudy background from the templates. There is an option to change or omit those. IMHO,  it just slows loading. Loading time is always going to be a problem. My satellite access varies and sometimes I must skip a post that is heavy with photos and sidebar trinkets and things.

Please do take part in the Reader Survey on the sidebar of Nell Jean's http://www.seedscatterer.blogspot.com/ with its new Template.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Back to the Land of White Donkeys

For a moment you might feel transported to centuries-ago Egypt where white donkeys were a symbol of social prominence.  We're back to where Buffy slipped through the fence by the Mayhaw pond and was chased by the little brown mule, who has since been joined by two white donkeys. Buffy was not with me on this adventure, so nobody gave chase. They came to the fence and gazed at me while I made pics of them.

I searched for 'white donkeys' and found many references in 19th century writings, Biblical reference to riding a white donkey and a prose poem by James Tate about a young woman who returns to the 'City of the White Donkeys' underground where "They’ve never seen the sky, or light of any kind, never seen a sunset, so they don’t miss them. They fall in love, much as we do. They experience joy and pain and sorrow much the same,” -- the people, not the donkeys. These donkeys see the sun rise over the hill where hay is baled.

You have to listen closely at the beginning to hear the explanation of this Ibert piece (Little White Donkey) as played by David Smith.

Donkeys and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at http://www.seedscatterer.blogspot.com/ in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia USA, where we ride on an RTV to look at white donkeys.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Foliage Followup in the Heat of June

Foliage Followup is by encouragement of Pam of Digging following Bloom Day.

Finally the Cycad sent up 3 dozen new fronds.
It was badly damaged by winter cold.

I've added Purple Heart along a walkway
with Airplane Plant Chlorophytum comosum.
Airplane Plants are often seen in a hanging basket.
They fare well in the ground and are hardy here.

Graptopetalum paraguayense
Each little leaflet will grow a new plant.
I haven't found a really good spot for these,
so they are waiting in the wagon.
In the center are red alternanthera cuttings;
they turn red in the fall.

Licorice Plant Helichrysum petiolare and
Persian Shield Strobilanthes dyerianus

Late Note: Clarifying, Licorice Plant is Helichrysum with little gray leaves.
Persian Shield is the purple Strobilanthes.

Caladiums at upper left returned from last year.
Caladiums with red veins are new this year with white Wax Begonias along a shady path. 

Foliage Followup is at the suggestion of Pam/Digging.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at http://www.seedscatterer.blogspot.com/ in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia USA where it was 103 degrees yesterday.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

GBBD: June, a Month of Lilies, Roses and Hydrangeas

June! So many blooms, so little time for you to see them all. Gardenias are winding down. I posted the best of Gardenias around the first of the month. Crape Myrtles are well into bloom. They will still be blooming here next month when you visit.

Orienpet lily Orania and a white Oriental that I don't remember planting. It might be Versailles. These are the most spectacular in bloom now. Trumpets, LA lilies and other Orientals are also beautiful in June, many have already finished here.

Hydrangeas tend to droop in the heat but perk up when the sun goes down. Oakleaf Hydrangeas have finished bloom and heads are dry, visible at bottom right. Blue color gives away that our soil is acid.

Livin' Easy, a good theme for June. Julia Child, buttery yellow. Charisma, hottest color in the sun.
These are only a quarter of  what is blooming. I wanted to show you Mexican Hats, Salvia farinacea, Daylilies, Tithonia, Agapanthus, Pentas, Brazilian Ruellia and Gladioli. I know you have limited time before you move on to so many other GBBD sites. I saved back some glorious foliage for tomorrow's Foliage Followup.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at http://www.seedscatterer.blogspot.com/ in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia USA where the temperature on Monday at 2pm was 100.8 Fahrenheit degrees. My biggest disappointment is the failure of my Kniphofias to bloom.

GBBD is hosted by Carol of May Dreams Gardens. May Dreams lead to June's Realities.