Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Tropicals are Coming, the Tropicals are Coming!



I've been waiting all winter.

Bradley Evans moved dozens of display plants from their winter quarters to the North Court of the Administratin Building at the US National Arboretum I'm psyched. The displays get better and better every year. I donated a few of those plants years ago including the Bismarckia and the red pineapple.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Beltsville Library Nostalgia!

A good number of years ago. I renovated this little courtyard garden at our local library. I maintained it for a few years afterward.  Between my hip going south (now corrected with a full replacement) and the fact that the building was closed and fenced off for renovation for two years, I'd not seen it for a while. I stopped by yesterday and it looked goodMelwood does the maintenance. Melwood is great. They train people, variously challenged, to do horticulture/gardening. They've done a good job here. The 'Autumn Bugler' re-blooming iris looks good. It's a division from our planting. I love this plant and we've given away countless pieces!

The nandina need cutting back. The 'Heritage' birch visible on the right sucks all the water out of the bed. Alliums have multiplied a bit. I put them in around 2011. The broom on the left side loves the heat and aridity. The innocent looking perennials between the alliums are Symphyotrichum oblongifolium  'Raydon's Favorite'. They also love heat weather and dry soil.

Some of the oddities I'd put in didn't seem to still be there like 'Basjoo' banana, various hedychiums, a cestrum. The needle palm, Rhapidophyllum hystrix was still there though. The time I was there was wonderful, but I'm just going to be a visitor from now on!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Carolina Jessamine climbing a Crape Myrtle Trellis


Hey, the crape myrtle (a ~15+' Dynamite) isn't leafed out yet so we let it's branches do double duty as scaffolding. The Gelsimium never seems to build up enough mass to interfere with the crape myrtle. It's not really noticeable after Dynamite leafs out. Carolina Jessamine, Gelsimium sempervirens, was not a hardy plant for me 30 years ago. This selection, 'Margarita' was released as a hardy form and surely enough, we've had it here for 10 years or so. The last two winters were fairly harsh by 7b standards. Obviously the vine is happy, all buds living and flowering. 

As a National Arboretum person, I hate to admit to growing a non USNA CM in my private garden. I almost always prefer Don Egolf's USNA introductions, but I like this variety because it's so narrowly upright. And that garish harsh red really works for me in the summer. We tried the same variety in our Florida garden and the humid summers resulted in so much leaf disease that the plants are permanently defoliated.

Takane hybrid: one of a series of crosses between Calanthe discolor and Calanthe sieboldii


The Japanese Woodland (part of the Asian Collections at the US National Arboretum) is beautiful this spring whether you stoop to visit the plants individually or just ramble through.
The golden plant in the right mid-ground is the bleeding heart from the previous post.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Golden Bleeding Heart: This one's way over the top but hey, it's spring!


It's not even Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart'. Name change: Lamprocapnos spectabilis 'Gold Heart'.  I'm too old for this.