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.

Got a "life list" Plant Last Week: Albuca spiralis (in the middle)

The sprial albucas are just so darn appealing. it's those crazy contorted leaves. This one is listed as A, spiralis var. "Frizzle Sizzle'. Like fingernails on a chalkboard. I haven't looked up the cultivar but my guess is this is just a marketing tag. There doesn't seem to be anything unusual about it. Oh well., Capitalism and all. sic.

 I've seen them posted dozens of times on Facebook over the past few years. Prior to that I remember only a handful of pictures over 50 years of being a succulent plant geek and lover of the flora of Southern Africa. Anyway, I was at Merrifield's last weekend with Karen buying plants for some of her jobs when there it was. I've heard Lloyd and Candy Traven were growing it at Peace Tree Farm in Pennsylvania; that may be where my plant came from. They grow some cool plants. They're wholesale but their website can connect you with retailers near you.

We grow two other Albucas in Florida; A. shawii, and I forget the other one. We never seem to be there to see flowering. Some trips we see dried foliage! I'll keep this one as an indoor/outdoor plant. It's flowering now but the spiraling winter foliage is its major asset.

(The dahlia is "Sights of Summer'.)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Crinum 'Thai \yellow' Lights up a Dark Spot in the North Court of the Admin Building at the US National Arboretum

This is not one of those crinums that you can plant deep and sneak through a 7a or 6b winter. if you have the space though, it's worth bedding out for the season and digging in the fall to winter over inside.Brad has been carrying these over for a few years now and they've grown to the point of magnificence.

The thing about tender tropicals is that you need to be able to cut them loose. A year comes when you just don't care enough to bring them in. The thrill is gone. The initial infatuation turns to indifference' you begin to resent the effort it takes to dig and move and the greenhouse space... Euthanasia by cold. Brutal, but then you grow something different for a few years and maybe the flame rekindles, you know what you're doing the next time and maybe you get back together again. .