Saturday, July 18, 2015

Subtlety is not an important element in summer gardens in DC

Crape myrtles from the top: 'Centennial Spirit', 'Catawba', 'Cheyenne'

Crape myrtles are part of the reason!

It's pretty easy to find 'Catawba' in nurseries. As much as I love the others, they aren't as easy to come by. I planted 'Centennial Spirit' about 25 years ago. It was advertised as reaching 3-5 feet. It's a good bit taller but is easily kept to 10-12 feet and has a useful upright form. 'Cheyenne' is a better red, to my mind, but spreads out more. Again, it is easily kept in bounds. 'Osage', the crayola purple in the middle, spreads with age. It's another nice medium sized variety.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Emmenopterys henryi in bloom at the US National Arboretum

Emmenopterys henryi USNA 60687 H

This plant and its siblings took tremendous hits from the abnormally cold winters of 2013-14 and 2014-15. They looked doomed. much terminal dieback, leaves thin, sickly with both dead and chlorotic areas making up much of the leaf surfaces. The trees honestly looked as though they were dying from severe root or vascular damage. It didn't look like they would survive. Their death seemed a foregone conclusion. We took cuttings and waited. Well, what a difference a year can make! I've never seen the leaves or branches with such vigor and I've known them almost all their lives. The large dead terminal shoots (some >10 feet long) appear oddly out of place on such clearly healthy trees!

It was grown from seed wild collected in 1988 on Huangshan Mountain, Anhui Province, China. While the flowers are attractive and fragrant, I like it almost as much for its richly green deeply veined leaves on red petioles.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Very Impressive Rocks

These came in last week so I'm a bit remiss in this post. They're headed for the renovation of the Japanese Pavilion at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. They will be plinths upon which trees will be displayed. Sure are big!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Daylily Collection at the US National Arboretum

The eagle has fledged, literally I mean, not code for anything. So the road is open through the Boxwood and Daylily Collections. I stopped by this morning and took a few pictures. The collection is beautiful and, like so many of our collections, empty of visitors. I would be depressed to put on such a performance only to be ignored but they flower on cheerfully pretending they don't care.

The frilly bi-colored double is an odd flower.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

This was so cool we kept it over the winter

I swear this hibiscus had a name when we bought it from Home Depot last year. I remember 'Tropical Sunrise or Sunset or something...'. Karen remembered 'Maui....' None of them seem to be names of cultivars of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. I guess ultimately it doesn't matter. Someday I'll find out!

I did see a number of photographs that are clearly the same flower and a number that are somewhat ambiguous. The Central Florida Chapter of the American Hibiscus Society has a wonderful capture on their home page but it's not labelled! Come on! Since our Florida house is in central Florida, I'll eventually join this society.

If you go online and look at images of H. rosa-sinensis cultivars you'll see photographs of amazing multi-colored pinwheel flowers, ruffled flowers, dark purple flowers approaching black: all sorts of outlandish types and colors. You almost never never see those in a nursery or box store. Except last year Home Depot carried this plant.  Logee's used to, and still does,list a good selection of these exotics; we've grown our share of 4" plants to 4 feet.