Monday, November 29, 2010

Paris is Burning

Heuchera "Paris"

Heuchera beautiful and drought tolerant, one of the earliest bloomers as well as one of the last to flower. Flowers from Spring to Fall. This photograph was taken just a couple of days ago, before we had the first freeze. A long time for a plant to flower. Large, rose-pink flowers atop blue-green foliage with silver overlay. This variety comes from the great Terra Nova Nurseries, as well as many other fabulous varieties. I have this planted in the back garden on the north side of the big Cherry tree. It is about 14" wide and 14" high. A single bloom stem can last a couple of months out in the garden and if you cut them they will last over 12 days in a vase. It is also a great container plant, remember that this plant would rather be on the drier side than on the wet side during the growing season.

USDA hardiness zone 4 to zone 9

Friday, November 26, 2010

Stars At Work

Wax Plant

The flower cluster is from the Hoya plant that is in the greenhouse at work. It is always blooming, usually about every couple of weeks there are flower clusters on it. I love Hoyas for their unbelievable flowers that always look like they are plastic. An outstanding vining plant that is quite simple to grow if you follow the basic rules. Bright indirect light, keep soil moist during growing period, average humidity, temperature no lower than 55 degrees (60 to 65 is best), infrequent re-potting they bloom best when they are root bound.

A group of 200-300 species of tropical climbing plants in the family Apocynaceae (Dogbane), native to southern Asia (India east to southern China and southward), Australia, and Polynesia. These plants were named by botanist Robert Brown, in honor of his friend, botanist Thomas Hoy.

Viburnums the Versatile Shrub

This Viburnum is planted out in the side garden, it has been flowering all Summer. This photo was taken the day before the frost that hit. And of course I lost the tag so I can not tell you what it is, hopefully it is in the shed. I like Viburnums instead of Hydrangeas. Hydrangeas are a high maintenance plain and simple, not worth growing in my eyes. With some varieties of Viburnums you can get the flower look of Hydrangeas, like the one above which reminds of a Lace-Cap Hydrangea. A group of about 170+ species of shrubs or (in a few species) small trees. They are native throughout the temperate Northern Hemisphere, with a few species extending into tropical montane regions in South America and southeast Asia. In Africa, the genus is confined to the Atlas Mountains. Many species of Viburnum are popular as garden or landscape plants because of their showy flowers and berries, fragrance, and good autumn color of some forms. Flowers are white to cream & pink, fruit (drupe) is red to purple, blue, or black. Wonderful as background specimens in a border or smaller varieties in pots.

USDA hardiness zone 2 to zone 9

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Variegated California Lilac

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus "Zanzibar"

Planted out in the front garden by the street. When it blooms the powdery blue flowers are striking against the variegated foliage of green splashes on golden leaves. As you see it has a few blooms on it now.....Coldest November in 25 years and a few of the plants in the gardens are blooming. Have they lost their little minds, do they know what time of year it is. The majority of the species are evergreen, but the handful of species adapted to cold winters are deciduous with all species from North America. One of the best drought tolerant plants you can grow, you do not have to water them here. If you do water them you stand a chance of killing them. They do not like extra water of any kind, shape, or form. Some will live to 20 to 25 years if allowed to grow properly. A full sun exposure in well-drained to heavy clay soil. It will grow to a height of about 10' and as wide as 5'. I manicure mine so it does not take over and cover the smaller plants I have around it. I have other Ceanothus planted in other areas and they seem to do well on their without to much work. When they do go into a full bloom in the Spring the bees are thick on these plants, it is quite the show.

USDA hardiness zone 8 to zone 10

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Honeysuckle Devine


I have this shrub planted out in the front garden and every year I talk about moving it out. Yak-yak-yak. The fall color is awesome, but its a plant I'm not that impressed with after all. Bought it thinking that it was going to flower more like a honeysuckle vine, NOT even a true honeysuckle........
Northern bush honeysuckle has bright yellow flowers and glossy green foliage on a deciduous shrub that is about 3 to 4 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide. Native to the eastern half of the United States and Canada. The flowers appear in early summer and last through summer, and the foliage turns a bright red in fall.
Prefers full sun to partial shade and fertile, well-drained soil. I prune mine back to a basic framework in early spring, further for rejuvenation if needed. This shrub will sucker from the base. Suckers can be separated from the parent plants in spring and replanted if you want more. Powdery mildew can be a problem, but I have never had it.

USDA hardiness zone 3 to zone 10

Monday, November 22, 2010

Black Pagoda Lipstick

Aeschynanthus radicans "Black Pagoda"

Decide to stray away from the gardens and show you the plant life at work. Its gotten very cold, we are to have our first freeze tonight and at 9:30 pm we finally have snow. First thing today we were to have 3 inches of snow by morning (really) and it was to start at 5pm.......Thats what they were telling us.

This a tropical that we have in the office at the store. I was very excited when it started budding out. No idea as to what it was, spent a little time looking in our major plant book and looking on line for the exact photograph of the flowers after they opened. They are a beautiful color of orange bleeding down into yellow and about 3 to 3 1/2 inches long. When it is done blooming, I'm going to try some cuttings in the greenhouse here. I'm sure we could sell a few of these starts.

This is an evergreen, tropical perennial that prefers a hot, humid climate and is suitable for growing indoors. It is considered an herb, though it is a vine and can be trained as a climber. It is often used in baskets as well. The leaves can vary from somewhat large, thick and shiny to smaller and softer, to almost succulent like. Some species are nicknamed Lipstick Plant due to their long tubular flowers that resemble red lipstick as they are budding. Bob has it sitting on his desk by the window, but it is a east facing so it gets morning sun......

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dogwood color

The colors are
beautiful on the
trees again this year.
Lots and lots
of reds and reddish oranges.
With all the reds
in the leaves
it means that the
trees have had
a good growing season
and manufactured
lots of sugar.
its the
way the tree is
breaking down
the sugar. This is the
Dogwood in the
front garden,
I have a post on it
from the past. Get out
and enjoy the colors of