Friday, August 28, 2009

Blooming Friday- My First

Some of my favorite blooms as requested by Katarina.

I wasn't sure I would even see bloom this year from Canna 'Journey's End' so I'm happy to see these flowers.

Hibiscus grandiflorus is a real treat when it starts blooming in August.

Zephyranthes 'Grandjax' has been a frequent bloomer for me in its first year in my garden. I LOVE rain lilies and these were a generous gift from a friend.

This Caryopteris incana is another victim of my pot ghetto habit but it has survived when others planted out in the garden have not. I have terrible luck with Caryopteris so I'm thrilled to have this one return again this year.

Thank you Katarina at roses and stuff for hosting Blooming Friday:)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fun with Garden Photos

I enjoy working with garden photos as much as I enjoy gardening. When I was going thru this week's photo files for blogworthy images I couldn't help but have some fun with them. This particular method of digital enhancement is currently my favorite and I would welcome opinions on it from fellow Garden Bloggers.

This is Japanese Beautyberry which has just taken on its full purple berry color this week. I did not cut this bush back at all from last season and it's ahead of my other one even though it gets less sun. The first photo has been adjusted for brightness/contrast only with a touch of sharpening.

This is my Arbor Day Foundation (noid) Crape Myrtle that is just beginning to bloom well. It's always a late bloomer. Same adjustments were made to the first photo.

I admit to not having spent alot of time grooming plants this year so you probably won't see many wide landscape shots posted here but I liked the way this turned out~ no weeding or tweaking required:)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Grand Debut

It has been a typical August week in the garden with hot temps and not much new to see except for the debut of flowers on Hibiscus grandiflorus. It seems as though the tight little flower buds transform magically overnight. I love this plant for its greyish green velvety leaves almost as much as these powder puff pink blooms. Another plus is the Japanese beetles and Sawfly larvae don't like the velvetey leaves.

Stokesia laevis 'Peachie's Pick' was divided and transplanted in several different locations in the garden last fall. The result has been a nice staggering of bloom time among the plants this summer.

My one stalk of Sedum 'Matrona' in bud. The voles ruined the original clump and this is a start over plant.

I thought I had removed Lantana 'Miss Huff' a couple of years ago but it has persisted amid the new plantings. I leave it to see who will win out.

My first clear shot of a Silver Spotted Skipper( I wish it had been captured with the newer camera).

The bunnies kept this new planting of Mexican Petunia trimmed back until recently. It's nice to finally see flowers.

Galaxy Explosion is reblooming.

This clump of Blue Love Grass didn't get a trim this year and is in full fluff.

And to finish~ my wonderful patch of Bog Sage~ still keeping the bees happy:)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

No flowers allowed...

in this blog entry. This one is all about foliage and its diversity.

I haven't had very good luck with planting Elephant Ears as perennials although I know it can be done here in zone 7b. I do have decent luck stashing potted plants in a cool dark place. They often don't come out of dormancy for me until July so I'm just beginning to enjoy some of them now. This one has been traded around and doesn't have a positive id. Garden Webbers know it as TJ's EE:)

I've had this Colocasia 'Illustris' for a few years now but this is the first leaf I've seen like this.

A combination of fuzzy and succulent~ Kalanchoe 'Jaws'

New growth on a potted Hyacinth Bean vine. I planted one in the garden for the bunnies:(

Some new growth on my Japanese Maple.

It's taken a few years but I finally have a good patch of these Hens and Chicks that my mom shared with me. The voles like them so they're a little scattered out but I like it that way.

Friday, August 14, 2009

This and That

Summer seems to be flying by me this year. I've spent precious little time in the garden this year but I'm glad that I take at least a few minutes almost every morning to capture what is happening there.

I have been less than pleased at times with Yucca 'Golden Sword' but it's looking pretty good at the moment. This enhanced photo shows it on the left with Verbena aff.xutha~ I call it Porterweed~ in the foreground. This is one of those garden views that is hard to capture just right in a photo but is pleasing to my eye as I walk around it.

The rugose texture of the leaves of Salvia madrensis~ new to me and planted recently.

Crape myrtles are such workhorses in this part of NC that they are often taken for granted by the locals. This is 'Natchez'. My pot ghetto habit has resulted in this one rooting in next to my deck so the flowers are front and center every time I step out my back door.

Bursting seed pod of Butterfly Weed~ Asclepias tuberosa

This Brugmansia has refused to die and rooted through its container which was left to the elements over the last 2 winters next to the foundation of the house in a very exposed location. This spider~ Green Lynx?~ was stationed at eye level on this trumpet and is probably still there days later.

The Perennial Heliotrope is beginning to look a little untidy but the small butterflies still love it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tender Gifts

It's no secret that gardeners are among the most generous people on the planet. Given the opportunity they will gladly share plants with others. Having said this I can also clue you in on two reasons that this is so- compulsive plant collecting and propogation. I have fell victim to both and it does make you very generous~ Here take this, please! The internet opened up for gardeners a whole new avenue for this ailment: Plant Swaps. Gardening forums have made it easy to organize these events and to even prearrange plant trades so that you know you'll be coming home with new treasures before you even leave home. The following plants came from an event organized through the Dave's Garden Carolinas forum. If you've never been to one I highly recommend it. It's like a family reunion only better because you have an interesting topic of conversation built right in.

I have limited experience with tender tropicals or houseplants. When my cats were young they would eat any plant I brought inside indescriminately so I just didn't try to grow any until recently. This is the first bloom from my first Cape Primrose~ Streptocarpus 'Falling Stars'. Upon researching I see that there are many hybrids available and collecting could be a definite possibility- if I can get this one to live through at least one winter indoors:)

I have added 2 more photos to do better justice to this tiny little flower.

This one was in bloom and gorgeous the day That I brought it home: Adenium obesum, Desert rose. I have a little more confidence in the prospect of overwintering this succulent indoors but still, wish me luck,lol.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

If you plant it they will come

I had wondered if they would find my one Bronze Fennel plant this year and as you can see, they have. To my knowledge this is the only host plant for Swallowtail butterflies that I currently grow in my garden. I should probably plant parsley for them as well but I probably would have only been feeding these guys.

I didn't have any time to take pics on Thurs or Fri morning. I did walk out to take a quick survey Friday morning and just as soon as I stopped at the first bed a huge Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly came by my head and a hummingbird stopped to drink from a spent daylily flower. It was a gentle reminder to me that the garden is not just about what photos I can capture from it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

August Blooms

I learned a valuable Blogger lesson yesterday morning: don't assume your draft has been auto saved and never use the back button while composing. It's been a whole day since I lost my first blog post so this one won't be quite the same~ my memory is not what it used to be.

I'm not sure I can really remember a summer since I started gardening with as regular rainfall as I've seen this year. I wish I could have known it would be this way earlier in the season. I would have planted more moisture loving plants.

I've never had Brugmansia to bloom before September here- usually they are very late blooming but this noid pink brug is full of blooms now.

In 2007 I bought 4 clumps of unregistered daylilies from Dan Bachman's breeding program. This one is by far my favorite. I love the animated character of the blooms and would love to give it a name but since I'm pretty sure that I didn't get all of the plant it would be best left unnamed. This is the last bloom to open this year:(

This neglected clump of Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' is showing its appreciation for the rains. It's planted in my front foundation bed and I'm pretty much a backyard gardener so I've been pleasantly surprised at its performance this year.

This is the very first bloom stalk from this Eucomis pole-evansii that I planted in 2006. Not sure if it's "sleep,creep,leap" or the rains that are responsible but I'll take it,lol.

I bought this a couple of weeks ago on the day of the Dave's Garden Roundup and PDN open house~ Crocosmia 'Walrhead'. A funky name for a gorgeous flower;)

I'm sure that I'll never again be without this plant. It reseeds agressively but is a great filler plant so I just try to reign it in occasionally~ Eupatorium coelestinum aka Hardy Ageratum or as I prefer, Wild Ageratum

Hibiscus 'Red Flyer' is still blooming too. I love this plant! The bugs leave it alone and the flowers are huge.