Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Spring Marches Forward


This camellia is planted in the back garden next to the house. This shrub has always been odd, it bloomed the first year that it was planted. Now three years later it has decided to bloom again, because I told it at the beginning of the season if it did not bloom it was gone! Yes, plants to listen........I love the red color of the flowers against the deep green leaves of the shrub. Across from it I have a double pink (tagged but I can not remember the name) that has always been a reliable bloomer since it was planted. This year it is covered in buds, it will be very pretty when it blooms out. They'll be perfect to take inside to enjoy.

Camellias often bloom during the cool season, varying according to the species. Winter blooms are common, flowers appearing October-March. Blooms on camellias range from pure white to dark red, as well as yellow. Some cultivators have multi-colored or variegated flowers! Flowers can be saucer shaped single flowers or double blooms. Peony form camellias have ruffled double blossoms. Being shrub sized woody perennials, compact cultivators are suitable for ground cover, raised bed or container planting. The foliage is dark green and glossy adding evergreen interest to the garden. The shrubs are typically upright or slightly weeping in their growth habit. Camellias are native to eastern and southern Asia, from the Himalaya east to Korea and Indonesia.

USDA hardiness zone 7 to zone 9

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hey There........

Here come the Hellebores.............they are my favorite winter flower. Its a sign that good things are coming. Even if we still get a freeze, their little heads droop but when it warms up they perk right up. The colors that these flowers come in is an amazing rainbow. White, yellow, pink, rose, wine, black, green, apricot, fringed in a different color on the edges, painted on the inside, single or double flowers. They have names like Black Diamond, Ruby Wine, Golden Lotus to name a few. It's almost endless. Be sure to add a couple of them to your shade garden.

USDA hardiness zone 4 to zone 8

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Whatever the holiday is.....

This is a plant that is blooming in the greenhouse at work. Beautiful red color of flowers and quite a few flowers on the plant. Also have a white tinged with pink that is also blooming, I'll take a photo of it and post it in the next couple of days.

The common holiday cacti (Thanksgiving Cactus, Christmas Cactus, Easter Cactus) comprise several closely related species in the genus Schlumbergera often called Zygocactus in older works. Commonly cultivated, numerous cultivars have been produced ranging from red, pink, lilac, purple, and peach to white and can appear in massive numbers on a single plant. They are originally forest cacti, growing as epiphytes at elevations between 3300 to 5600 feet above sea level in the Organ Mountains north of Rio de Janeiro in southeast Brazil, South America. They are called Flor de Maio (May Flower) in Brazil. Many modern holiday cactus cultivars are hybrids between Schlumbergera truncata and S. russelliana, first hybridized about 150 years ago in England.

Holiday cacti can be propagated quite easily by removing a single segment and planting it a quarter of its length deep in a pot filled with slightly sandy soil. It helps to put some kind of rooting hormone on the base of the cutting. Place the pot in a well lit area (but not in direct sunlight) and keep the soil moist. The cutting should begin showing signs of growth after two or three weeks. I have a tray of cuttings going in the greenhouse right now.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hey Bud.........

Syringa vulgaris 'Primrose'

No matter how cold it is getting here, the plants are setting buds already. This is a Primrose Lilac that is planted out in the front garden. As you can see it has lots of buds, hopefully it will bloom this season. Last Spring I had no flowers, but of course it was only its second year in the ground. Third time is always to be a charm...........The Primrose Lilac is a creamy yellow that is so light in color that it is white. It is the only "yellow" Lilac there is and takes about 5 years to start showing any yellow. Take a look on-line at pictures of the Primrose, I have never seen any in person that yellow. Thank you Photoshop............... A deciduous woody shrub that will take partial shade to full sun. Upright in habit to 8' to 10' and spreading as wide. Bloom time is early to mid-Spring.

USDA hardiness zone 3 to zone 7

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Happy New Year and lets have some warmth..................All the fountains are frozen, 2 birdbaths have heaters in them as well as the 2 water bowls. So at least there are a couple of places for the birds to get water. I feel sad for the Hummingbirds that came in to the back garden this morning to use the small fountain. I turned all of them off as soon as the cold weather hit. They absolutely love that fountain for bathing, guess they have to stay dirty for another couple days. I'll have to check around and see what kind of a heater there is for small fountains, if they are made and available. Everybody stay warm!!!!!!!!