Saturday, June 12, 2010
Hemerocallis fulva....an invasive species!!?? This time even I have to vote against the protectors of the environment
Hemerocallis fulva is a runner. Almost all of the modern cultivars we admire and grow in our gardens are clumpers. And it isn't a great garden plant. The flowers are beautiful, but they don't self-clean and the plants have already begun to look mangy even as the flowers are reaching their peak. Still, there's something about it. One of the gardens that Karen and the boys maintain has a row of these plants right down the middle. It's a wonderful garden, a splendid half-acre exactingly conceived and meticulously maintained in a part of the city where 1/4 acre is a huge garden. And they don't favor reds or yellows, certainly not oranges, yet there's a place for 50 feet of these daylilies.
Francesca Huxley had a row of them beside her driveway in Chevy Chase. I've found room for a clump in my garden though mine pales beside Marions's. The plant in the picture is part of a colony that lives more or less under the Acer griseum above the GCA circle where the path intersects the road. If you look at the picture you will se a small branch of the maple with its distinctive exfoliating red bark. We just killed back a large part of this colony, but decided to leave a small clump and I think we did the right thing.
Posted by ChrisU at 2:38 PM
Friday, June 11, 2010
Posted by ChrisU at 5:33 PM
Posted by ChrisU at 3:33 PM
Allbizia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate' and the species....we get a lot of questions about these plants
I love the form of the tree, like an Acacia on some tropical savannah, it arches gracefully, arranging its delicately dissected leaves for maximum exposure to the sun. The pink powder-puff flowers have a pleasant fragrance and attract hummingbirds.
Someone asked me today where to buy it and I don't really know. The maroon-leaves variety in the top picture, 'Summer Chocolate' is available in nurseries, but it's pretty expensive. Farther south you see it in nurseries, even a selection or two. Still hereabouts I don't remember ever seeing anything but the dark cultivar. My advice is to locate a mature tree, that's not in a park or arboretum, and dig up a small (1-2') seedling and grow it on. Expect at least two feet of growth per year for a few years. It'll be a tree in no time.
Posted by ChrisU at 2:26 PM
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Posted by ChrisU at 4:21 PM
Posted by ChrisU at 2:55 PM
I remember trying unsuccessfully, many years ago, to photograph a nest that I canoed up to on the C and O Canal. The nest was about the level of my head and the sitting hummer didn't spook at my aqueous approach, but I was unable to hold the canoe steady and take the picture. Very frustrating.
Posted by ChrisU at 2:49 PM
I read about the medicinal qualities of Angelica last week.....I missed the part about it's being a Soldier Beetle aphrodisiac
Weevils are serious pests of various plants; I associate them with their charcterist notched chomping on Rhododendrons, though they seem to enjoy a wide variety of leaves. There isn't currently any good way to control them, or at least there wasn't the last time I checked. They sure love the nectar of these Angelicas though.....there must be some way to use this weakness against them.
Posted by ChrisU at 2:43 PM
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Posted by ChrisU at 6:42 PM
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Apparently the soil had dried and was like concrete. I'm not complaining about the spring; though some areas are still retaining moisture, others are beginning to get to the point where some supplemental watering will be in order. At least for new plants.
Posted by ChrisU at 3:08 PM
It set me to thinking though, that many of the original plantings are still intact, albeit miserably so, on the far side of the watercourse; it's drier over there. Years of curators, gardeners, interns, and volunteers have addressed the wetter "China Valley side" but I have to believe those Azaleas, Nandinas, Japanese Maples, Quinces, and pedestrian groundcovers have just lingered on.
I'm sure we can do something more attractive and interesting there.....so much ground so little time.
Posted by ChrisU at 2:48 PM
This plant used to irritate me because it was one of only two native plants in all the plantings around the headhouse. Actually it still is, but Brad is extensively planting/replanting areas around the Administration Building and he is using native plants in good numbers.
Posted by ChrisU at 2:40 PM
Indian bitter melons. These I've heard of.
Chinese okra. And there were dozens (100+?) of other exotic fruits and vegetables, a good fish market, and aisles and aisles of dry and canned good from many many places. This is not a paid advertisement. This is just a cool place. The store used to be a large Giant Food store so the variety and quantity are ridiculous and as with most of these specialty grocery stores, the prices are below those at the chain stores.
Posted by ChrisU at 2:15 PM
Monday, June 7, 2010
Posted by ChrisU at 4:39 PM
Posted by ChrisU at 4:29 PM