Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Taking a break from the stifling outdoors, here is an indoor project of mine:
Thursday, July 26, 2007
This appears to be a normal version of the odd flower. Notice the distinct 3 sepals and 3 petals with 6 stamens!Did the lilies find some radioactive compost or what???
Sunday, July 22, 2007
The LA hybrids are taller and have larger flowers. They are actually a cross between longiflorum and asiatic lilies, having the upright-facing flowers of the asiatics and trumpet shape of the longiflorums. The Texas A&M university horticulture website says that these are hardy to USDA zone 5, but my lilies are living in a raised bed in a zone 3-ish yard (we are in zone 1b with a good microclimate). Obviously, these lilies are very hardy.
"Lemon Pixie" is another shorter lily, or "pot lily" variety. A friend's dog ate all the blooms off this one couple of years ago. His act was obvious from the telltale pollen all over his nose. He was fine, demonstrating that this lily must not be toxic to dogs! I also have this lily in a barrel planter, where it has overwintered two winters and seems to thrive. This defies all hardiness rules!
Asiatic Lily "Lemon Pixie"
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Being double-flowered, it doesn't look as neat and tidy as those other daylilies that I see all over garden blogs this time of year. It looks more like the daylily that was out frolicking all night with its questionable friends, mindless of its smudged makeup and crazy hair.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
I was hoping that I had some purple poppies on the way, and here is the first one! This is Papaver somniferum, an annual poppy with no particular variety name.
Here is a perennial that always looks good in its peak flowering season: Campanula carpatica "Blue Clips", the Carpathian bluebell. I also have "White Clips". They stay compact, get smothered in flowers, and can be easily divided in the spring to make more of them. Deadheading them is a bit tedious, but does result in more flowers. They can be started from seed, but I mainly just get more from division.
A view through the Delphiniums (D. x elatum "Summer skies"), which are at full bloom.
The baffling part is that they didn't eat any of the blooms or the neighbouring aquilegia (which flowers purple, though it finished blooming a while ago). I sprayed some permethrin on the plant and cut off the majority of the remaining branches. If the plants don't grow some leaves again by winter, they probably won't survive. I can't believe it. Just as I get all the colors in that bed to match, some pest strips an innocent flower of its leaves!
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Last winter, I picked up two packets of Papaver somniferum seeds that were supposed to be deep purple and light purple. They were open-pollinated according to the packet, which explains why my purple poppies started blooming pink! They have a light purple cross at the center, and the pink color looks great against the glaucous foliage. The blooms are smaller than those of most oriental poppies, but the plants are quite tall and the flowers show easily from the back of the border.
I have several more plants left to bloom, so hopefully I'll still get some purple ones. I'm thinking of spreading the seeds around at the end of this year, so that I'll have enough to make some poppyseed baked-goods next year.
Resident-lawnmower-man's family has a red peony-flowered version of these breadseed poppies on their farm and the kids remember eating the seeds right out of the dried seedpods, savouring their nutty taste. They always remembered to save a few however, making sure to spread seeds around for the next year. Their mother recalls her amazement as the poppies would mysteriously take over new flower beds, not aware of her little seed-spreaders.
This is one of the easiest attractive flowers I have grown, considering that I just threw the seeds on the ground as soon as the snow melted. Poppies apparently thrive in poor conditions and I'm hoping they can scare off the dandelions that currently live in some of the marginal areas.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Otherwise, the first of my oriental lilies, daylilies, and poppies all had their first flower today! It's like Christmas day for a gardener! I'll take pictures the next time it isn't rainy and overcast.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
However, I want to buy some new dark brown pots to match the trim of the house. Hopefully, we'll get to civilization before Wally*mart sells out.
Some sources say this miniature black-eyed susan is an annual and others say it is a perennial. Regardless, it is kinda cute.
Speaking of the tropics, here is Musa acuminata "Dwarf cavendish", a banana plant. The main difference between this one and my indoor ones is the wind-torn leaves on the outdoor plant, which makes it look more like an authentic banana. For a good time, I could pot up a dozen of these on my upstairs deck, sit out there sipping lemonade and think about the only thing that makes this better than a tropical country: the mosquites don't carry malaria. (That's the only thing positive I can say about the mosquitoes). I'll bring the banana back inside in September
This is a new annual for me: Lantana. It does well in hot, dry conditions in poor soils. Immediately I thought of it for my hanging baskets! It flowers all summer and would be perennial if I lived in Florida. This one is "Bandana pink". Flowers initially are yellow and age to pink.
Lantana Bandana series Pink
Saturday, July 14, 2007
My delphiniums are coming into full bloom. I am impressed that they haven't fallen over despite a tremendous rainstorm two nights ago.
The "Rock Garden"I like how the creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum) has filled in the blank spots and now has delicate purple blooms. The creeping thyme grows so easily that I wouldn't feel badly if I decided to rip it out and plant something else in its place. I works well as a "filler".