Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Snapdragon Tree

Chilopsis linearis
Desert Willow

Derived from the Greek words cheilos meaning "lip," and opsis meaning "resembling," referring to the flowers.

I have this planted in the side garden by the street. Its about 6' and 3 years old. A great plant that is drought tolerant and puts on a great flower show. Because of Portland being on the edge of zonal denial, I have always feared that this plant would not make it, but it is doing great. Its even planted on an exposed east area and is brave against the gorge wind. I have read listings from others that are in low zones that are growing this and not having any problems.

A large, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub or small tree native to southwestern North America and northern Mexico that is capable of growing to a height of 30 feet. The narrow leaves are reminiscent of willow leaves. The Penstemon like flowers appear in May (later here) and keep coming on until September or frost are 1 1/2" to 2" in length, showy, fragrant, and colors range from Pink, Rose/Mauve, Magenta (Pink-Purple), Bright Yellow, Purple, and White/Near White.

USDA hardiness zone (6 root hardy) 7 to zone 9

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sharon Pollen

Hibiscus syriacus

The bees have been working on the Rose of Sharon tree like crazy. Its a tree I planted about 3 or 4 years ago and is at a height of about 10 feet now. I have never liked it, because it is not the color I was told it was (lite pink was on the tag). I was wanting a lite pink or white with a pink center. Lite purple a dime a dozen..........The one thing about the flowers is they remind me of Hollyhocks, which is another plant I have never had luck with. I even tried the hardy Hibiscus here and it died. I do not care how hardy they say they are, they are not!

The Rose of Sharon flowers in late summer to fall when few other shrubs are in bloom. Flower colors include blue, pink, red, lavender, purple, and white, depending on the variety. Most varieties grow 8 to 12 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide.
The flowers are produced on new wood, so prune in early spring to shape and reduce size. If you prune the shrub back to 2 to 3 buds per branch in spring, it will encourage larger flowers. Plant in a location for full sun to light shade. The Rose of Sharon prefers heat, and do well even in hot humid weather, also tolerating some drought, once established. Native to India and East Asia, it is the national flower of Korea.

USDA hardiness zone 5 to zone 9

Friday, August 12, 2011

Crab Spider

Always lying in wait for a meal. I'm surprised that this little creature is on a flower that is so bright. You would think that it would want to be hid better. Last year I found one on the white Phlox in the back garden, blended in so well I almost did not see it. Come to think of it I wander how I did find it?
The larger females (typically white) have the ability of slowly changing color from white to pale green or yellow and back again depending on the flowers on which they find themselves! Red markings on the abdomen can also change in size or even disappear. The males are darker and smaller.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Better Late Than Never



How could I forget a Daylily like this..................That's what happens when it blooms later than the others and planted in the back garden tucked away. I bought this variety three years ago and it is really stunning this year. When it is stated that it takes plants about three to five years to really get comfortable where they are planted, its true. Flowers on this variety will be up to 8" wide on plants around 24" to 36" in height. The ruffled edges, pink tones, the chartreuse throat, and a faint fragrance is a wonderful combination. Barbie in Pink is also a rebloomer. If you want to see some of the most outstanding colors and flower form combos visit Frank Smith Daylilies by Pete Harry.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Kwanso Daylily

Oops! I have one more Daylily, it blooms a little later than the others. Maybe it wants to be the center of attention? Its called a Kwanso Daylily, a orange double flower with watermarks. The colors are amazing and very different than other Daylilies we are so use to. The flowers are on the larger size and the plants are an average height and width. I know that there is a variegated foliage of this Daylily available on the market. What a combination!
I did purchase a variegated Daylily called Golden Zebra from the new nursery Finch & Flora in the Hollywood area, but it has a yellow flower and the plant looks like a Spider plant. It has not bloomed and will probably have to wait till next year to see the flowers, there are no buds showing.

USDA hardiness zone 3 to zone 9