Wednesday’s Walk Part 1

HELLO FOLKS!!! It has been a while since my last post so I thought I would do an update. I am calling this post Wednesday’s Walk but it was Thursday before I started writing it. SO, I thought about calling the post “Wednesday’s Walk, Thursday’s Thoughts”. By bed time Friday I still hadn’t finished. NOW is is “Suddenly Saturday” so I think I will post Part 1. Part 1 is about the plants in the beds around our house. Part 2 Will be about the plants in the beds next to the old foundation in the other yard, the shade beds, in front of the chicken house and the potted plants. Part 3… I also took photos of the garden which will have be still another post. BUT, by then, the photos may be a week old so I may maybe I should take new photos of the garden.

When I went outside to take photos early Wednesday afternoon I started with the “so called” Lobelia cardinalis. These are growing on the right side (east side) of the side porch which is on the north side of the house (just in case you get lost). I never grew Cardinal Flower until this year and I was really expecting RED flowers and the tag just said Cardinal Flower and Lobelia cardinalis and the photo was red. I was so disappointed when they opened and were PINK!!! SO, what is this PINK flower? Lobelia cardinalis f. rosea. There is also a white form called Lobelia cardinalis f. alba. The “f.” stands for form or forma.

I notice that while somewhat drought tolerant, the flower stems start bending over when they need water and in intense sun. There are three plants in this spot but the one in the back was slower growing. And, YES, I do need to get some grass pulled AGAIN.

The other plants growing to the right of (and behind) the Lobelia are……

The Hardy Ageratum, Floss Flower or whatever you choose to call them. Scientifically known as Conoclinium coelestinum. It was formerly known as Eupatorium coelestinum as named and documented by Carl von Linnaeus in 1753 in Species Plantarum. These are very tough plants… They seem to come up mainly on the left side of the steps so I always move several to the right side. This year they went a little wild…

Dad got his start of these plants many years ago from his mother’s sister. SO, I call them Conoclinium coelestinum ‘Aunt Inez’ in her memory.

On the right side of the steps, past the Conoclinium is the… OH CRAP!  I forgot to take a photo of the Lavandula dentata (French Lavender).

SO, the above photo of the Lavandula dentata was taken today (Friday) instead of Wednesday with the rest of the photos. This French Lavender is doing very well but may have done better in more sun… I think next spring the Achillea millefolium in this bed needs to be moved.

There was also a Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Red’ (False Sea Thrift) in the bed but the Conoclinium’s aggressive takeover killed it before I could make the rescue.

In the corner, which I am finding out was NOT a good idea, is the new and “going to be AWESOME”…

Hosta ‘Empress WU’. I mentioned previously this is probably the LARGEST growing Hosta cultivar to date. In time it will be HUGE. Something chewed on it’s leaves a coulee of weeks ago but haven’t bothered it since. I never had any snail or slug issues in this bed, but I have never grown Hosta here either. The leaves of the Hosta ‘Empress WU” are thick which makes them slug resistant (that is what I have read). This was where I wanted to plant a Hosta ‘Empress WU’ for quite sometime but I did not want to pay the price. Luckily I found this one for $11.50 locally. The problem is, I had already planted the….

Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ which is doing very well. In time, which may also take a few years, this Colocasia will be HUGE!!! The leaves are a lighter green and somewhat different shaped than the….

Colocasia esculenta. I have had the predecessor of these girls since 2009. I have learned a lot about the Elephant Ears over the past 8 years thanks to them. They always produce plenty of kids to experiment on. That didn’t sound right, did it? I mean, I have plenty to plant here and there in different light conditions to see what works best. Believe it or not, if you plant them in more sun and give them LOTS of water they will get HUGE faster. For those of you who have not planted Colocasia esculenta, they are cheap and easy to find. There are many recipes for Taro but I haven’t tried any yet. I am somewhat reluctant because I am still thinking about the myth that says they are poison. Ummm… Just don’t eat them raw PLEASE! These girls grow fast in the right conditions and spread. I know, I kind of sorta already said that. Even though the Colocasia gigantea had a head start, the Colocasia esculenta on the left caught up with it very FAST. Now they are in a race to see who can grow the biggest and have the largest… leaves.

The Coleus ‘Spiced Curry’ has been a show stopped with it’s colorful leaves. I keep calling the Coleus but that actually their common name now and it has been for a VERY LONG TIME. Actually, there are about 70 synonyms for the correct scientific name (I lost count going down the list), Plectranthus scutellarioides (L.) R,Br., which was given to this plant by Robert Brown in 1810. It was first named Ocimum scutellarioides by Carl von Linnaeus in 1763 (in the second edition of Species Plantarum). There are around 40 Coleus synonyms, but it was named Coleus scutellarioides (L) Benth. in 1830. Besides, Coleus is much easier to say and spell.

The only other Coleus I have this year is the dark and mysterious…

Coleus ‘Songbird. I probably should have pinched about 10″ inches ago but I kind of like to let them do what they want. Does that make me a bad parent? The color in real life seems to be much darker than this photo shows. Umm… I need to work on the grass, huh? Actually, there is a neat grass growing in this flower bed that I let grow a little. I think it is called Nimblewill (Muhlenbergia schreberi). OH, who comes up with these names?

Now, lets to to the south side…

The south bed is looking really good now. There have been a few issues, though. The Delphiniums are not looking so well now and the Lupine’s… Well, they are no more.

Let me back up a little bit to the….

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ (Jerusalem Sage)… It is doing very well now considering his late recovery from the weird winter and spring temps. It is still a long way from it’s usual size but at least it is alive and well. I doubt it will flower this year.

Next to the Phlomis is the…

Baptisia x ‘Lunar Eclipse. Still growing and looking very well and no sign of pests. BUT, no buds either. This plant is part of the Prairieblue™ Series and is a complex hybrid of Baptisia alba, B. australis, B. leucophaea, and B. tinctoria. Developed by Dr. Jim Ault at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois. Maybe it won’t flower until next year. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Among the plants in this corner bed on the south side are the…

Salvia coccinea-Scarlet Sage. There is a pink one right next to it and several others to flower. These come up from seed every year but they don’t spread that much. There will be red, pink, and some that are almost white.

Of course all along the wall…

Celosia spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’. This plant needs no introduction because it will just barge right in. They are my favorite Celosia because they get tall, produce LOADS of flowers and their leaves. Beautiful dark green and maroon! The reason the plants are taller on this end is because they were transplanted first. The others will catch up. If you have a place in the sun, like in a neglected corner, and can make a little bed, plant some of these. You won’t have to worry about that corner anymore. They will come up every year from seed and you can even have hundreds to share.

Next in line… Well, I didn’t take photos of the Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue or Rose’ because they need some attention. So, next in line as far as photos go…

Kniphofia uvaria-Red Hot Poker. They are doing good but GEEZ!!! They are growing new leaves, are heat and drought tolerant, but GEEZ!!! Can they grow faster?

Next in the center row, on the other side of the Crap Myrtle…

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Denver Daisy’. This plant always looks so bright and cheerful! This Black-Eyed Susan was bred by crossing native Rudbeckia hirta with Rudbeckia ‘Prairie Sun’ by Ernst Benary Seeds to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Denver, Colorado

Next, in the front row, is another one of those great plants that you will love at first, but after a few years they may get under your skin in a different way…

Talinum paniculatum-Jewels Of Opar. Now, folks, these are just getting started good again and just barely starting to flower. A good friend of mine gave me a start of these, two plants, in 2012. I brought them with me when I moved here in February 2013. He had quite a patch of these and said they really spread from seed. Well, my two plant got HUGE and had so many flowers it wasn’t funny. When the seeds pods started forming I would cut them all off. STILL, in the spring of 2014, hundreds came up. I transplanted some here and there but last year I don’t think any even came up. Luckily, quite a few came up this spring here in the south bed AND a planter behind the old foundation in the other yard. SO, I transplanted several this year along the border in this south bed… SO, there will be lots of jewels (that’s what I call the seed pods) and thousands of seedlings next spring. I mainly like this plant because of it’s thick chartreuse leaves. It produces hundreds of tiny pink flowers on tall stems.

Next… Old favorite and popular herb with a new twist…

Echinacea purpurea ‘PowWow® White’. There are 9 species of Echinacea that all have lavender flowers. An old white cultivar, ‘White Swan’ has been around for many years. In the past several years, a lot of new colors and shapes have been developed. I have several on my wish list. I think the PowWow series was developed by PanAmerican seeds and they claim that they produce more flowers per plant than any other seed grown Echinacea. Well, they have bloomed non stop since I brought them home and I like the fact that their petals droop like the species online some cultivars.

And the…

Echinacea purpurea PowWow® Wild Berry is one of only two Echinacea that have been named an All-American Selections winner (2010).  The other is Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’® (2013 AAS Winner), from Keift Seeds, which comes in a wide variety of colors including rich purple, pink, red and orange tones to lighter yellows, creams and white. ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ also won Europe’s FleuroSelect Gold Medal award for garden performance.

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherokee Sunset’ has been a good performer here in this hot south bed. I noticed when I was taking this photo that the plant to the right, which I avoided in the photo, needs some attention. Probably a good dose of water would help, too.

In some of the photos you are probably noticing the Marigolds… I put A LOT of the Marigold ‘Brocade Red’ in this flower bed but they aren’t flowering that well here yet. You will see more of them later in this post from a different location.

Next is a plant I bought in 2009 that is still going strong…

Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ (‘May Night’) has been AWESOME. Always one of the first perennials to emerge in the spring and almost maintenance free. You have to deadhead them from time to time to keep the flowers coming. My computer kept trying to spell it x sylvestnis… This is a hybrid cross between Salvia nemorosa and Salvia pratensis and I think I have been incorrectly calling it a Salvia nemorosa… This plant is also sometimes referred to as Wood Sage, and a few other names, but the latin meaning for sylvestris is “of or pertaining to forest or wood”. It does not spread very fast because the seeds are sterile.

Next, and as always, beautiful…

Buddleja ‘White Profusion’-Butterfly Bush. LOADED with flowers for sure! Some day I guess I will have to go out and remove all the flowers that are turning brown. I usually do that a couple of times during the summer so it will continue to attract butterflies. The spelling of this plant can get somewhat confusing as it is also called Buddleia and Buddlea. Buddleja is botanically correct. No matter what you choose to call it, it is still the Butterfly Bush and one of the finest plants on the planet. I STILL have not found the right spot for my new one, Buddleja ‘Pugster Blue’. It is STILL in the pot.

Then, next to the Butterfly Bush is my favorite shrub…

Nandina domestica-Heavenly Bamboo. It is hard to choose what a favorite of anything is because sometimes tastes and opinions change. One gets tired of certain foods that was one their favorite dish because they ate it so much. I spent several years in Mississippi with LOTS of Nandina and I never grew tired of them, or trying to control their growth rate. I had my own way of pruning them to keep them looking great. There are many cultivars that don’t grow quite as tall, but this one is a VERY OLD one that I brought from the mansion in Mississippi. Ummm… I am working on the Mystical Mansion and Garden page. It isn’t a draft, so you can look at and read what I have added so far.

NEXT the east corner of the south bed…

Rosmarinus officinalis-Rosemany. This smelly herb is really looking good and getting taller. It could probably benefit from a little shearing. I remember a friend of mine had a HUGE Rosemary along her house in Mississippi. I had started doing their yard work and I was really impressed because I had never seen an actual Rosemary in real life until then. It was so huge and treated just like her other shrubbery. I sheared it with the hedge clippers…

Next is another smelly herb….

Origanum vulgar-Oregano. There is something about the smell of Oregano that turns me on. I don’t why, but I feel like stuffing a few leaves up my nose. This plant needs some shearing, too, so that it will bush out more. BUT, I can’t do that yet! It has flowers!

I will tell you one thing, though, this is one stinky corner! Rosemary, Oregano and Marigolds…

Also in this corner bed is the…

Liatris spicata-Blazing Star. The other one’s flowers have already turned brown. They are supposed to prefer more fertile damp soil, but it is doing pretty good in this spot. I certainly would not call it fertile and it is far from damp. You know, when have a foundation dug and they use “fill dirt”… I didn’t even mix any of the “good stuff” in this spot. But you know, that old red dirt in this spot seems to grow stuff pretty well.

To the other side of the basement steps…

Zinnia… OK, I am fired! This small area between the back porch and the basement steps had my wheels turning in the spring of 2013 when I moved back here. I had plans… I was going to have a 2-3 foot bed along the walls and a table along the porch for cactus and succulents. I was going to brick the center walkway… BUT, that didn’t happen, or hasn’t yet. Some day… This area is hard to manage even though it is so small. There is some Bermuda Grass that is a small problem in the spring but this time of the year it is the CRABGRASS (Digitaria sp.)!!!

Did you know that Digitaria exilis (White Fonio) a species of Crabgrass are even used as food in Africa? The seeds can be toasted, ground and used as flour and fermented to make beer? Since the seeds are so small, it can be very difficult to dehusk. Then there is that other crass, darker green than crabgrass with similar seeds, that is so hard and tough that even the mower almost chokes out (even with a small clump). I don’t know what it is called YET!

Around the porch in the corner next to the air conditioner is a spot that usually grows a very good weed. I don’t know what the name of of it is yet, but some day I will look for them. I decided a few years ago I wanted to plant some kind of mint in that spot. So, this year I found…

Nepeta x faasenii-Catmint. It is doing very well in this unamended ol’ red dirt. It has not stopped growing, never complains, is very heat and drought tolerant. It didn’t even get upset with the weeds wanting to come for a visit (which I pulled up before i took the photo).

It has been flowering non stop since I brought it home, so I guess it likes it here. It would be really nice if it spreads as well as the weed that was living here. Don’t worry, we still have plenty of weeds. But what is a weed actually?

OK, that is it for this post. If I don’t publish it now it will be next week already. Part 2 is coming soon! Take care, stay happy, healthy and be prosperous. Just in case you forgot… GET DIRTY!



2 comments on “Wednesday’s Walk Part 1

  1. Jim R says:

    You certainly have a wide variety of plants. I assume you have name stakes for them all. I saw them in a few photos.

    Your intro was funny about how you kept getting delayed and changed the title of the post.

    It’s been very hot and humid the past week or so. There has also been quite a lot of rain. Some places in NE IA got 6-10″ a couple of nights ago. We had a storm here that threatened to drop a funnel cloud. It didn’t, but it did rain hard. Not far from here there was hail. I hope your weather is quiet.

    Have a good Sunday.


    • Hello Jim! It seems like the more plants i have the more photos I take. Then the posts get longer and take more time. I always enjoy writing posts, though, and usually I have to do some research along the way. Then I learn something, too. I like to keep tags with the plants even though I know their names. You know, when you go to a meeting and there are a lot of people you don’t know… Name tags help to get to know each other. SO, maybe keeping tags with the plants help them to get acquainted, too. The other reason is because it helps me to remember where plants were planted in the spring before they come back up. Some are very slow, you know, while others come back quickly. I don’t keep tags with the annuals, though. I keep tags with the potted plants, even though some are to faded to even see their names. Cactus and succulents… OH, they have to have tags because some of them look alike, there are to many to remember, especially their scientific names.

      The weather here has been HOT for sure. Around midnight it started thundering here and rained about a half inch. 6-10″ is a lot of rain! We haven’t had anything that severe around here for quite some time now. Just hot and muggy for sure.

      Thanks for the comment, Jim! Good to hear from you as usual! Stay safe, keep cool and GET DIRTY when you can!

      Liked by 1 person

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