Friday, March 28, 2014

Oh this Looks Bad! - Callistemon Edition

I'm still sick over Callistemon pallidus. It was the oldest and most established of my Bottlebrushes.

I'm trying to not give up hope just yet.

But this can't be good.

Poor thing!
That can't be good either!
Even the bud tips are crispy :(

For the Love of Jane

'Jane' was my bargain wooden-pallet rescue.

I found her in 2009 at Farmington Gardens and when I saw her on the sale pallet for $10, I had to rescue her.

She wasn't much to look at when I got her, but over time she's developed into a pretty young thing.

I admit that she's become a little bit of a pet project and I have been using my pruning skills (or lack there of) to keep her well trained and in check size-wise.

In her summer wardrobe of leaves, I've been playing with removing branches to give her a more open "layered cloud" look (some might say sort of like a really big bonsai, or some might say slightly "poodled").

She always had a bit of an odd lean to the side, but I've come to appreciate her curves. It may just be that she's very courteous, leaning away from the lawn for me to mow easily around her.

Jane will always be beautiful in my eyes.

The new;y opened flowers are luscious in the fading light.

Magnolia x 'Jane'A member of the "Little Girl" group of hybrid magnolias developed in the mid-fifties at the U.S. National Arboretum. Hardy shrub or small tree. Impressive reddish purple flowers outside, white inside opening late in spring to avoid frost damage. Flowers are a gorgeous tulip-shape with a lightly lemon scented fragrance. Leaves are dark green and somewhat leathery in appearance. Great choice for any accent, specimen, or border use. Grows 10-15' high. Grows best in full morning sun and partially shaded afternoons. Prefers rich, moist, and well-drained soils


Jane's many arms.

Jane amongst the flowers.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What's Blooming in March?

Come on Spring!

Enough with the cold nights and rain during the day, or being sunny during the day when I'm at work and then raining when I get home.

Let's have some days (or a good, solid week) in the 70's already! Geesh! Is that too much to ask?!?

Camellia japonica 'Scented Treasure'
Assistant Yvee rolling on her frisbee?!?

Ah well. I get out when I can.

I mowed the lawn last week in between rainy days. It felt good to get the mower out and get the grass cut. At least the mower started without too much complaint. It was too sloppy to edge the grass - will have to save that for later.

I weeded a bit and pulled some dead things out. A lot of the bush sage, thyme, scabiosa, and newer phygelius seem a bit on the dead side of things.

There are still a lot of plants that I can't make the call on yet (alive vs dead). I pulled out one dead looking cape fuchsia, out only to see it has new growth just emerging, so I popped that one back in the soil. 

On the bright side - I bought several new plants and even some dahlia bulbs already to fill in the holes. Dahlias? I never buy those - what was I thinking?!?

There is a lot in bloom though and it feels good. Change is in the air! 

It's going to be a good plant season - I can tell! 

A wonderful little ground cover I forgot the name of? Update: Cardamine trifolia (Trifoliate Bittercress)
Pieris with Edgeworthia in the back. Lots of buds on that tree peony!
Camellia japonica 'April Remembered'
Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)
Borrowed scenery
Daphne x houtteana blooming.
A new tree peony for 2014  - Paeonia suffruticosa 'Koukamon 皇嘉门'
The new foliage on Paeonia suffruticosa 'Black Panther黑豹' is stunning.
Pieris japonica 'Valley Valentine'


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spring is Springing!

It could be 63 degrees this afternoon - the hottest day of the year!

The sun is beckoning, calling my name, making me want to fly the (work) coop. So many things to do in the garden.

I need to mow the lawn, feed the fish, and check out everything coming up in the garden!I haven't selected what I am going to grow in the vegetable garden yet or bought my seeds.

Tomorrow's high is predicted to be 64 (cough, cough). 

Wow, my forehead sure feels hot (cough, cough). I might be getting a temperature.

I feel like I'm coming down with something (cough, cough).

There's nothing worse than missing work and having to stay home for a late spring cold (cough, cough).

Friday, March 7, 2014

First Trillium Already?!?

Wondering through the garden yesterday, I was surprised to see my only Trillium kursbayashii already up out of the ground and ready to unfurl it's whirl of leaves.

The larger Trillium grandiflorums are barely poking their little heads out of the bark mulch and I haven't noticed any of the other varieties making an appearance yet either.

I bought this seedling at the Lan Su Chinese Garden's 2012 spring plant sale from a local grower. I bought small, as these babies can be pretty pricy, especially for larger/older plants, so I knew it would be a few years before I saw blooms.

This will be the first year it has bloomed! 

Trillium kurabayashii (Giant Purple Wake-Robin) — Stem erect, with large sessile leaves at top. Leaves to 6” long, 5” wide, mottled with dark brown. Flowers sessile above leaves; sepals lance-shaped, green, often marked with purple, 2–3” long, held horizontally. Petals erect to spreading, oblong, widest near middle, 2–4 ½” long, dark liver red, often becoming twisted with age. Grows in rich moist soils with deep humus, near coast. Can form large colonies.