Past Week Wildflowers

Asclepias stenophylla (Narrowleaf Milkweed) on 7-16-19. #602-1.

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. The past week has been fairly hot with no rain. I went back to check on the status of the thistles at Kevin’s farm north of town on Tuesday and Wednesday. I think I have them pretty well whipped but there are always a few I missed from before. The Bull Thistles are always a one-time shot and not that big of a problem. The Musk Thistles have been a different story. The bigger plants are all gone but small ones continue to sprout a flowering stem here and there. It is almost like they do this overnight. Supposedly they grow a rosette the first year and flower their second. Well, I can argue that point after spending two months with them. The plants that continue to shoot up flowers are less than a foot tall while earlier the bigger plants were up to around 4′ tall. It has really been an experience.

I have continued to take photos of wildflowers while I worked. There is a combination of two days of photographs in this post but I wanted them in alphabetical order. The Asclepias stenophylla (Narrowleaf Milkweed) in the above photo is getting with it now.

 

Asclepias stenophylla (Narrowleaf Milkweed) on 7-16-19, #602-2.

The bumblebees really like them.

 

Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed) seed pod on 7-16-19, #602-4.

I had to take a photo of the seed pod of the Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed). Its unique seed pods are one of the identifying features of this species of milkweed.

 

Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed) on 7-16-19.

While taking photos, a cow walked by and ate the tops right off this Common Milkweed. You can see the sap oozing out of the stems… Hmmm…

 

Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed) on 7-16-19, # 602-6.

The Common Milkweed is a very robust plant that can grow to over 6′ tall. In pastures, they don’t get that chance and this group is only around 3′ tall, possibly multi-stemmed perhaps from an earlier pruning.

 

Asclepias viridis (Green Milkweed) seeds on 7-16-19, #602-7.

The Asclepias viridis (Green Milkweed) are among the first of the milkweeds to flower at the farm then are among the first to go to seed.

 

Asclepias viridis (Green Milkweed) seeds on 7-16-19, #602-8.

By contrast to many other plants, the large seed pods are mainly filled with fluff which helps the seeds float through the air. The distance they travel depends on a few things including wind speed and the height of neighboring plants. Rain can also spoil their trip by making the fluff heavy and wet and then the seeds just fall to the ground close to the parent plant.

 

Asclepias viridis on 7-17-19, #603-3.

While there are still a few Asclepias viridis (Green Milkweed) flowering, most have gone to seed.

 

Asclepias sp. on 7-17-19, #603-1.

While most of the milkweeds are pretty easy to identify, especially when flowering, I have found one that has me stumped… When I first saw this plant and took a couple of photos, I didn’t realize what a difficult time I would have identifying it. If I had have known, I would have taken more photos and looked around for other plants like it while I was working.

 

Asclepias sp. on 7-17-19, #603-2.

If I have a plant I cannot figure out, I contact Pamela Trewatha from the Missouri State University (Springfield, Missouri). I am not sure if she is a botanist, horticulturalist or what but she maintains their Midwest Weeds and Wildflowers website and I think she took most of the photographs. She was stumped on this one as well which was very surprising. She thought it could be Asclepias sullivantii although she said she has never seen one in person. I looked at hundreds of photos online and I haven’t figured it out. This plant does not have the growth habit like Asclepias sullivantii nor are their leaves similar. There are many other differences as well that ruled out A. sullivantii. There were a few possibilities but not close enough. The one species that came close does not grow here and where it does grow it is very rare. There were no flowers on this plant and I didn’t notice any old flowers or seed pods. When I go back I will scout the area and see if there are other plants like this clump and possibly find flowers or seed pods. The spent flower in the above photo is a Red Clover…

There are several wildflower websites I use for ID. While there are milkweeds with similar leaves, some species leaves are “variable” and can be “oval” or have a slight point at the tip. However, the veining on this species leaves are not that “refined”, the tips are round, the midribs are light green (some species can have either maroonish or green midribs), and the central stems on this milkweed are brownish and not green like most… The leaves are also fairly small.

 

Cotinis nitida (Green June Beetle) on 7-16-19, #602-9.

I found a good-sized group of Bull Thistle I had somehow overlooked right in the middle of a large area. When I was getting ready to spray, the plants came to life as these HUGE beetles started flying out. It was very hot, so apparently, the beetles were farther down inside the thistles. I couldn’t get any photos at first because the beetles were moving pretty fast. Then, several feet away, I noticed this beetle along with a Japanese Beetle on a stem of an old Musk Thistle.

 

Cotinis nitida (Green June Beetle) on 7-16-19, #602-10.

The Cotinis nitida (Green June Beetle) is a pretty good-sized bug. They feed on flowers in pastures but also eat fruit. I attempted to pick up this guy (or gal) but it wanted no part of a new friendship. Beetles are not the most graceful flyers and sometimes you wonder if they even have a clue as to where they are going. These beetles sound like a small plane (very small) when they fly. When there are hundreds flying at once you might want to take cover because you will get run into.

 

Croton capitatus (Hogwort) on 7-16-19, #602-11.

This interesting species is the Croton capitatus, commonly known as Hogwort, Wooly Croton, and Goatweed. Croton is a very large genus consisting of 1,173 species (as of this post date) and this species is found through much of the United States. The Missouri Department of Conservation says there are three species of Croton in Missouri. I have two species growing on the farm.

 

Croton capitatus (Hogwort) flowers on 7-16-19, #602-13.

Their flowers aren’t that particularly interesting unless you take a closer look… The cluster of flowers consists of male flowers toward the tip and female flowers below. Male flowers have 5 tiny white petals and 10-14 anthers. The female flowers don’t have petals but have 6-9 calyx lobes which are split 2-3 times making a total of 12-24 lobes. The fruits are about 1/4” wide and contain only three seeds each. Apparently doves and quail like their seeds.

While many wildflower species have many medicinal benefits, this plant produces Croton Oil which is a powerful laxative.

 

Dianthus armeria (Deptford Pink) on 7-17-19, #603-5.

The Dianthus armeria (Deptford Pink) grow throughout the farm here as well as at Kevin’s. The flowers are so small it is very hard to get good photos of, especially close-ups. The plants are very short and have narrow, lance-shaped leaves. Although not an original US native, they can be found growing throughout most of the US and Canada.

 

Dipsacus laciniatus (Cutleaf Teasel) on 7-16-19, #602-14.

While I was walking around the area where the Cutleaf Teasel (Dipsacus laciniatus) were I noticed more flowers. I guess the photos I had taken for a previous post were their buds and now they are flowering.

 

Dipsacus laciniatus (Cutleaf Teasel) flower on 7-16-19, #602-15.

There were a lot of bumblebees on the flowers as well as a few Japanese Beetles. It was funny watching for a few seconds. It was like the bumblebees were on a mission and no Japanese Beetles were going to get in their way.

 

Echinacea paradoxa (Yellow Coneflower) on 7-17-19, #603-6.

I needed to go visit a friend Wednesday afternoon so I decided to drive by the large colony of Echinacea paradoxa (Yellow Coneflower). This is where I was going to dig some plants up this spring but… Well, it didn’t happen. Maybe I can collect some seeds later. I love the way the native coneflowers petals droop.

Ummm… While I was taking photos of the Yellow Coneflower, I noticed some really neat leaves but there were no flowers… Then later I spotted them again with flowers… The name begins with an “S” so it is farther down in the post. 🙂

 

Lotus corniculatus (Bird’s Foot Trefoil) on 7-17-19, #603-7.

I have seen this plant growing along highways for MANY years and have always wondered with it was. Usually, I don’t have time or I don’t have the camera, but mainly because I didn’t want to stop along the highway. Well, when I went to visit my friend on Wednesday I noticed them growing along a different road. Not only them but the plants that begin with the “S”.

The plants in the above photo are Lotus corniculatus commonly known as the Bird’s Foot Trefoil. Hmmm… OK, I know how common the Bird’s Foot Trefoil is but I had never seen any up close and personal until now.

The Lotus corniculatus isn’t a US native. The Wikipedia says the plant is native to parts of North Africa and Eurasia. Hmmm… I learned something. I had to click on Eurasia to find out where it was. I don’t think they taught it was Eurasia when I was in school… It is the largest continent on Earth consisting of all of Europe and Asia with 70% of the world’s population. Hmmm… I didn’t even realize Africa was considered an Asian country. Well, I got stuck reading about Eurasia so I better get back to…

Where was I anyway? Oh yeah! Lotus corniculatus!

 

Lotus corniculatus (Bird’s Foot Trefoil) on 7-17-19, #603-8.

I lost my train of thought while reading about Eurasia and kind of went blank because I didn’t know… Anyway, it was interesting.

Bird’s Foot Trefoil is grown as a high-quality forage plant for pastures, hay, and silage that does not cause bloat.

 

Lotus corniculatus (Bird’s Foot Trefoil) on 7-17-19, #603-9.

The flowers are particularly interesting. What is even more interesting is that a plant guy didn’t even realize these yellow flowers growing along the road were Bird’s Foot Trefoil! Several people have asked me what they were over the years but I never knew until now. Now I know and I am thankful. I am also thankful for learning where Eurasia is. 🙂

Ummm… The Lotus genus is a member of the Fabaceae (Pea Family) and contains 124 accepted species.

What we usually think of as a Lotus is the Nelumbo nucifera, also known as the Sacred Lotus Flower, Indian Lotus, Sacred Lotus, Bean of India, Egyptian Bean or simply lotus. It is the only genus in the family Nelumbonaceae with two accepted species. Strange the Water Lily isn’t in the same family, but they are in the Nymphaeaceae family. Hmmm…

I had to check on that because I was wondering why Bird’s Foot Trefoil was a Lotus. Then I find out the Lotus isn’t a Lotus. Double hmmm…

 

Maclura pomifera (Osage Orange) on 7-16-19, #602-16.

OK, I realize the Maclura pomifera (Osage Orange) isn’t a wildflower and maybe most wouldn’t find them that interesting. For me, though, I think they are a magnificent tree especially when they get very old.

 

Maclura pomifera (Osage Orange), 7-16-19, #602-17.

Just look at that massive trunk… This tree isn’t quite as large as the old one at my place, but it is still pretty good sized.

 

Maclura pomifera (Osage Orange) on 7-16-19, #602-21.

This tree, like most very old Osage Orange, have stood the test of time. Just think of how many high winds, thunderstorms, heavy snows, and ice they have been through. If you ever have a chance to visit a very old and large Osage Orange, look up into the tree and you can see how they have twisted and turned over the years. They tell a tale of a long life in the elements of nature and have endured them all. This tree was really talking and I enjoyed our brief visit and feeling the energy surrounding it. It is more than alive, it is A LIFE! 🙂

 

Nepeta cataria (Catnip) on 7-17-19, #603-10.

While I was spraying in a little area I had rarely gone, I noticed a plant I completely didn’t expect to see in the wild. I said, “It’s a mint! What in the world are you doing here?” Of all places next to a Gooseberry bush and Osage Orange tree where an old fence row had been. Just goes to show you just never know what you might find… Oh! It is a Nepeta catariaCatnip! They have different leaves and flowers than Spearmint.

I suppose the Catnip has to grow in the wild somewhere and there are several mints that are native to Missouri. I have just never seen any in the wild. Of course, they are members of the Lamiaceae family along with 234 other genera of aromatic and tasty culinary herbs.

 

Physalis longifolia (Common or Smooth Ground Cherry) flower on 7-16-19, #602-22.

Had I not noticed something weird about this plant, I could have easily passed it off as a Horsenettle. All I saw at first was a nearly hidden yellow flower drooping downward so I thought I would have a peek because Horsenettle does not have yellow flowers. Then I saw what else was hidden beneath the leaves. As it turns out this plant is a Physalis longifolia, commonly known as the Common or Smooth Ground Cherry.

 

Physalis longifolia (Common or Smooth Ground Cherry) flower, on 7-16-19, #602-23.

AH HA, you say! 🙂 Well, at least I thought it looks like the plant called Chinese Lantern, which is actually Physalis peruviana. Perhaps you were thinking about the Tomatillo or Mexican Husk Tomato which is the Physalis philadelphica and/or Physalis ixocarpa. Well, inside of these small lanterns is a fruit which is also edible…

 

Ruellia humilis (Wild Petunia) on 7-16-19, #602-24.

The Ruellia humilis (Wild Petunia, etc.) are growing here and there on Kevin’s farm as where I live. They seem to be growing as solitary plants rather than in colonies except for in my ditch where there are several. I think there are more in the ditch in front of the house than on the entire pasture and hayfield. While they flower over a long period, they seem to only produce one flower at a time. While one bud is beginning to open, the one before it is fading. Some information online says the flowers open in the morning and fall off in the evening. Hmmm… These plants are very easy to recognize in the wild because, after all, they are a petunia. Not saying all Ruellia species are the same, but all do have similar characteristics. Plants of the World Online currently list 357 accepted species in the genus.

Now that I am down to the mystery plant… Well, maybe I should save it for a post of its own. Just kidding. 🙂 But I do feel a nap coming on…

 

Silphium laciniatum (Compass Plant) leaves on 7-17-19, #603-13.

OK… The above photo, although taken out of numerical order, is the leaves of the plant with no flowers I saw when photographing the Echinacea paradoxa. They were by the road so apparently, their flower stems had been mowed off. I took the photo because I thought they were quite strange and unusual.

 

Silphium laciniatum (Compass Plant) on 7-17-19. #603-20.

Hmmm… I realize you are laughing at me AGAIN because anyone who has driven on most highways and backroads has seen this plant. Of course, like me, maybe you just passed them off as some kind of sunflower. I had no idea this plant had so much interest whatsoever.

Found throughout Missouri except for the southeast corner, the Silphium laciniatum is easily identified by its pinnatifid leaves, hairy stems, and big yellow flower heads. Its common name is the Compass Plant because their flowerheads follow the sun across the sky (heliotropism) like many species in the Asteraceae family such as sunflowers.

 

Silphium laciniatum (Compass Plant) leaves on 7-17-19, #603-14.

Silphium laciniatum has been used as a worm expelling, coughs, lung problems, asthma, and as an emetic. The resin produced on the upper part of the stems was chewed by Native Americans. The mouth cleansing gum is said to be fragrant but bitter.

Contrary to what you might think, the common name comes from their leaves and not their flowers. Pioneers believed that the leaves of the Compass Plant pointed in a north-south direction. The basal leaves do usually grow on a north-south axis thought to minimize intense overhead sun exposure. Of course, their flowers follow an east to west movement following the sun…

 

Silphium laciniatum (Compass Plant) flower on 7-17-19, #603-23.

The Compass Plant grow from 6-12 feet tall and their flowers can be up to 5″ across. It can take several years for these plants to develop into a full-sized plant but they can live up to 100 YEARS! Their taproots can grow 15′ deep! The basal leaves can grow to 18″ long while the upper leaves are much smaller.

So now we know these plants are Compass Plants and not just another sunflower. 🙂

 

Solanum carolinense (Horsenettle) on 7-17-19, #603-25.

Of course, this is the common ‘ol run of the mill Horsenettle (Solanum carolinense) we may all love to hate. One of its common names, Tread Softly, says a lot! While it is a member of the Nightshade family (along with tomatoes) and its fruit may look like cherry tomatoes, DO NOT EAT! The Wikipedia says:

“All parts of the plant, including its tomato-like fruit, are poisonous to varying degrees due to the presence of solanine glycoalkaloids which is a toxic alkaloid and one of the plant’s natural defenses. While ingesting any part of the plant can cause fever, headache, scratchy throat, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, ingesting the fruit can cause abdominal pain, circulatory and respiratory depression, or even death. “

I may have not taken a photo of the Horsenettle if it weren’t for the flower below which I noticed the day before…

 

Solanum dimidiatum (Robust Horsenettle) on 7-16-19, #602-25.

Ummm… As I was working I noticed something a little unusual… While I do have a lot of Horsenettle in my pastures and hayfield, some of the colonies in Kevin’s pasture have these blue flowers. While it is true that some in my pasture do have a slight tint, they are mainly all white. So, I took photos and found that these are Solanun dimidiatum commonly known as the Robust Horsenettle. While I did find it particularly interesting this was a different species, I won’t be collecting any of their seeds. One Horsenettle plant is plenty. The Housenettles are not really nettles in the sense of what nettles are. Ummm… What I mean is, they are not true nettles they are just called nettles. Kind of like the Sacred Lotus not being a Lotus. GEEZ!

I have seen a few plants that looked like the Black Nightshade which I sprayed because they looked pretty shady to me. I had one growing at the farm last year in an area behind the chicken house. I took a lot of photos of it one day and the next day it was completely gone (no trace whatsoever). I thought that was very strange that the plant grew so large, flowered and even set fruit and then the cows must have eaten it. What else could have happened to it? Maybe the Wood Chuck or a bunch of squirrels?

 

Verbena stricta (Hoary Vervain) on 7-16-19, #602-29.

One of my favorite wildflowers is Verbena. The interesting thing is that the species growing on Kevin’s farm are different than the ones growing where I live. This one is Verbena stricta commonly known as the Hoary Vervain. The species growing in my pastures and hayfield is the Verbena hastata commonly known as the Blue Vervain. I mainly noticed the difference by the Verbena stricta‘s broader leaves and larger flowers. The one thing that makes them very similar is getting photos that aren’t blurry… While Plants of the World Online list 147 species in the Verbena genus native to most parts of the world, Verbena hastata and Verbena stricta are native to most of the US and Canada.

I am finished for now because I ran out of photos. 🙂 I thoroughly enjoyed this post because I learned A LOT. I am thankful I found out about Eurasia, too!

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, and always, always, be thankful! After a week of heat and no rain, I am thankful we finally had rain this morning and as I am finishing this post.

 

 

 

 

Friday’s Find

Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed) on 7-12-19, #600-2.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well and doing your best to enjoy the summer. We have had some hot days but it cools down nicely in the evening. I hadn’t been out to the farm where I have been working on the thistles for 12 days until Thursday. Friday I made my way to an area where I had been watching a colony of plants. I had been waiting for them to flower so I could make an ID but they flowered while I was away.

While I was in the area I noticed an Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed). I have these growing along the lagoon at my house but I hadn’t taken any photos for some strange reason. This species of Milkweed grow pretty tall, up to around 6′, and have nice broad oval leaves. There is another species that is similar in Missouri but they may have gone extinct since none have been seen since 1933.

Asclepias syriaca is known as the Common Milkweed, Butterfly Flower, Silkweed, Silky Swallowwort, and Virginia Silkweed. This species was one of the earliest North American species described by Jacques-Philippe Cornut (French physical and botanist) in Canadensium Plantarum Historia in 1635. Many species of insects feed on the Common Milkweed.

Although the plant’s latex contains large quantities of glycosides which makes it toxic to livestock and humans, the young shoots, leaves, flower buds, and immature fruit are edible (raw). Apparently, it can be cooked like asparagus. I read this information on Wikipedia.

According to Plants of the World Online, there are 206 species in the Asclepias genus. It is a member of the Apocynaceae Family (family of Milkweeds) which currently contains 358 genera. Version 1.1 of The Plant List (updated in 2013) listed 410 genera and 5,745 species. It also lists a WHOPPING 10,568 synonyms (genus and species synonymous with other species) PLUS 3,928 species names that were still unresolved… Well, that was several years ago and those numbers have changed due to the effort of many botanists and horticulturalists. So many species had/have multiple scientific names. It is a continual work in progress.

 

Arilus cristatus (Wheel Bug) on 7-12-19, #600-1.

While looking at the Milkweed I noticed this assassin bug. It is the dreaded Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus). The Wheel Bug is one of the largest assassin bugs. I have seen these many times on the farm but didn’t know much about them. I found some good information on the North Carolina State Extension website. They feed on a number of insects including aphids, caterpillars, beetles, and many other problem insects. They inject their prey with a toxin that kills within 30 seconds. Their bite is said to be more painful than a wasp sting so it is best not to handle.

Debbie Roos has a great article titled Birth Of An Assassin Bug! on the North Carolina State University Extension website. The article also shows photos of their eggs.

 

Daucus carota (Queen Ann’s Lace) on 7-12-19, #600-3.

Earlier there was A LOT of Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) on the farm, and there still is for that matter. I mean, where would they go anyway? Now the Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) is flowering. Daucus carota is a member of the Apiaceae Family with carrots and 441 other genera. There are 45 accepted species in the Daucus genus.

While the Queen Anne’s Lace flowers are kind of similar in appearance to the deadly Poison Hemlock, their leaves have a mixture of tripinnate leaves, fine hairs, and a root that smells like carrots. Poison Hemlock have larger leaves and the plants grow MUCH taller. I ran across this YouTube video, Poison Hemlock Identification and Yarrow Comparision, that shows the difference between Poison Hemlock, Queen Anne’s Lace and Achillea millefolium.  While their flowers may look similar to people who don’t spend a lot of time in nature, the leaves of Achillea millefolium look nothing like the other two.

Since summer is here, it seems like the interest in “foraging” has returned. If you are interested in this, you really should invest in a field guide to take along with you, or even someone who is experienced. Ummm… Also when you do this, I suggest leaving your cell phones behind or at least turn them off. When you are out in nature, be out in nature and leave any distractions behind. Take time to be aware of the beauty and life around you. Sit quietly someplace with your eyes closed and allow your other senses to observe as well. Sometimes we see best with our eyes closed in nature. Be aware that we are all one with EVERY living thing.

 

Daucus carota (Queen Ann’s Lace) on 7-12-19, #600-4.

Flowers are used in arrangements and will change color depending on the color of the water, similar to Carnations.

Plants are beneficial companion plants attracting pollinators and improving the microclimate for some vegetables. Some states have it listed as a noxious weed and considered invasive in pastures when established.

Now for the plants I was keeping an eye on…

 

Dipsacus laciniatus (Cut-Leaved Teasel) on 7-12-19, #600-5.

I took an interest in these plants growing along the highway because I don’t have any like this at my place. I have seen them here and there, normally where there is a ditch or a creek.  It may sound strange but I had no clue what they were even after seeing their flowers but the name Teasel popped into my head on the way home. Well, I guess I must admit, the name didn’t just pop into my head. We are not alone and when we talk to ourselves we are actually talking to “them” as well. GEEZ! It is kind of hard to explain unless you have done the same…

OK, even though you might think I am a bit whacky, I will explain. Once you realize you are not alone and we have guides and Angels and so on with us all the time, when you talk to yourself you are also talking with them. They are here not only to guide us and watch over us, but they are also here to learn from us and our human experiences. They are very OLD and knowledgeable about many things. So, when you have questions about this and that, just ask. You will be surprised at how you receive your answers.

Anyway, this plant is, in fact, the Cut-Leaved Teasel (Dipsacus laciniatus). For some reason, it is a member of the Caprifoliaceae Family, also known as the Honeysuckle Family, which consists of mainly shrubs and vines. It was formerly in the Dipsacaceae Family (the Teasel Family). Plants of the World Online list 21 accepted species in the Dipsacus genus. There are a few other Teasel species found in Missouri but their flowers are a different color and their leaves are also different.

 

Dipsacus laciniatus (Cut-Leaved Teasel) on 7-12-19, #600-6.

I think they have already flowered but they are still very interesting.

 

Dipsacus laciniatus (Cut-Leaved Teasel) on 7-12-19, #600-7.

They are monocarpic, living for several years before flowering then dying. The flowers attract bumblebees, bee flies, butterflies, and skippers.

 

Dipsacus laciniatus (Cut-Leaved Teasel) on 7-12-19, #600-8.

Its leaves are oppositely arranged around the stem. The pinnately lobed leaves are around 16” long. The base of the leaves clasps around the prickly stems.

 

Dipsacus laciniatus (Cut-Leaved Teasel) on 7-12-19, #600-9.

There is quite a colony in the ditch that apparently aren’t old enough to flower. The leaves of immature plants are usually unlobed.

For more information about this plant, visit the Missouriplants.com, Its Wikipedia page, or just type in Dipsacus laciniatus. There are several state websites with good information.

Well, that’s it for this post. Until next time, take care, stay positive, be safe and always be thankful!

The New Rescue Japanese Beetle Traps

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all doing well. The new Japanese Beetle Traps came in the mail on Monday. I sent the company an email about the issues with the first two traps I bought from the local Farmer’s Co-op. I sent a link of my post to her and she said she was glad to see I had caught so many beetles but was sorry to hear about my issues with the traps. She said they had a lot of complaints about the same reason I did so they changed the design. They changed it in October 2018 although the first two I bought the first part of July were the old design. I replied with a couple of links from people who had “re-engineered” the top part of beetle traps and fit them in funnels (like the ones you use to pour oil into motors) and fit them onto 5-gallon buckets. I thought that was very ingenious and maybe they can make a kit to use with buckets.

I didn’t put the traps up until Tuesday evening because I wanted to take one to the Farmer’s Co-op to show them the new design. Well, they had a full box of the old design they just got in. I showed them how the zipper on the old design cut the bags when they were opened and closed and how the new design works. They didn’t seem to enthused. 🙂 🙂 🙂 I may have “implied” the ones they were selling were no good. Even though I said customers complained so the company changed the design. She said, “That is what they sent.” I guess they came from a warehouse and had them leftover from last summer.

 

The top part of the trap is basically the same as the old design (although not as colorful).

 

With no sliding zipper to cut the bag…

 

You just simply pull it apart.

 

It is kind of “velcro-like”.

 

To close, you just press the two sides back together. Pretty simple.

 

Then you snap the “funnel” in place.

 

I must admit, the attractant does smell pretty good.

 

The attractant slides into place at the top of the trap.

 

As you can see, packing tape doesn’t work all that well sometimes. Maybe duct tape would work better but it would be a pain removing it when you have to dump the bag. You would pretty much have to cut the bottom and retape it every time you needed to dump it.

 

All setup and ready to go next to the shade bed. I put them both where the old ones had been. I didn’t get bombarded with beetles since it was 8 PM when I hung them up.

 

I am not sure how easy it will be to reseal the bag with it hanging, so I may have to take it down and put it on a flat surface. That’s easy enough to do as long as it works.

Even though some retailers may still be selling the old version, many people don’t have as many Japanese Beetles as there are here so they probably won’t have an issue.

Well, that’s all I have to say for now. I did take a few other photos for another post. Until next time, be safe and stay positive!

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY Plus A Few Photos

Echinacea purpurea on 7-4-19, #598-1.

Hello everyone and HAPPY 4TH OF JULY! As always, the city had their 4th of July celebration at the park down the road from where I live. There was a steady stream of traffic going by most of the day. It rained this afternoon which kind of put a damper on things, but the fireworks display went ahead as planned. I must admit, they do a pretty good job for a community the size of Windsor. I can see the fireworks pretty good from the backyard which lasted about 30 minutes.

Despite it sprinkling most of the afternoon, including one pretty good downpour, I did manage to go out about 6 PM and take a few photos. I took photos all week but have been tardy writing daily posts. Ummm… How many times have mentioned something to that effect? 😐

Last July 4 I moved the plants and plant tables from around the shed in the other yard to the front and back porch. That was because of the Japanese Beetles.

So, in alphabetical order…

In the above photo, the Echinacea purpurea, which may be the cultivar called ‘Magnus’, is now flowering up a storm. The bank in town has a HUGE patch of them I have been meaning to photograph. The Purple Coneflower is one of my favorite plants. GEEZ! I can’t believe I said that because I try not to have favorites! I like the way the petals droop and like the feeling of the cones. Echinacea purpurea is a very beneficial plant in many ways.

 

Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ on 7-4-19, #598-2.

Out in the shade bed, several of the Hosta are starting to flower. The Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ has a lot of buds but they haven’t peeked their way through the foliage yet. Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ has been an awesome performer over the past at least eight summers. I bought it while in Mississippi at the mansion and the first photo was taken on April 15, 2012, but it seems like I had it longer. I really like its dark green, puckered, and corrugated leaves. The clump had gotten very large and has been the best performer of all the Hosta in my collection.

 

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ on 7-4-19, #598-3.

Even though I just brought the Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ home last June 7, it has become quite a show-stopper. Very bight and cheery for sure and starting to flower.

 

Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ on 7-4-19, #598-4.

The Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ is always a dazzler. Its leaves change color with age which just adds to its interest. It isn’t a big plant, but it puts on a big show!

 

Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora on 7-4-19, #598-5.

I purchased the two Ledebouria socialis (Silver Squill) varieties last October and have really enjoyed them as companions. The above photo is of the Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora which used to be Ledebouria pauciflora. I like the silvery leaves with the small green flecks.

 

Ledebouria socialis var. violacea on 7-4-19, #598-7.

The Ledebouria socialis var. violacea is really growing well. It had many more bulbs than the other one when they arrived. This one was the species Ledebouria violacea but the name changed also.

 

Ledebouria socialis var. violacea new growth on 7-4-19, #598-9.

The Ledebouria socialis var. violacea also seems to be a bit more of a spreader. These plants are VERY, VERY easy to grow even through the winter in the house. You don’t even need to water them through the winter, in fact, it is best if you don’t.

I am STILL waiting for the two new cultivars to arrive… I think he is a bit behind.

Hmmm… My computer just notified me I have a new memory from summer 2017. Weird… Now I am wondering how it came up with that idea. 🙂

 

Mammillaria hahniana on 7-4-19, #598-10.

The Mammillaria hahniana (Old Lady Cactus) is starting to bud again. It isn’t looking like its normal fuzzy self because it is wet from the rain. This is our fourth summer as companions.

 

Mammillaria pringlei on 7-4-19, #598-11.

The Mammillaria pringlei (Rainbow Pincushion) is also starting to flower. This is our third summer together.

I took photos of all the cactus and succulents several days ago but they haven’t made it to a post yet.

 

Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’ on 7-4-19, #598-12.

I was delighted to see a flower on the Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’. I was amazed that it even returned this spring as it seems most perennials I have bought have not, especially in the north bed.

Let me see… How many perennials have not returned here? I don’t even want to think about it. I have amended the soil with “the good stuff”, added new soil with LOTS of “the good stuff”, raised the whole area only to have it sink during the winter.

 

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ on 7-4-19, #598-13.

Hmmm… While the Rudbeckia hirta (the native species) have been flowering for a while now, the Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ is STILL in bud!

 

Schizura ipomaeae (Morning Glory Prominent)

I took the above photo this moth a few mornings ago but wanted to share it with you. It was just sitting there trying to blend in with the porch raining. Later I found out is it the Morning Glory Prominent (Schizura ipomaeae). It reminded me of a post called Rainy Season from June 4 on the SKYEENT blog. The second photo on the post is of the Buff Tipped Moth which looks exactly like a decaying birch twig. I find many moth species camouflage very fascinating.

A lot of insects do some very interesting things. There is a small wasp that fills the windchimes on the back porch with grass. It was kind of funny, actually. I had noticed the grass in the wind chimes but didn’t say anything to mom and dad about it. I just kind of ignored it as weird. There is a lot of weird around here sometimes. Anyway, one day dad and I were on the back porch and this small wasp comes flying in with a piece of dry grass about a foot long and somehow manages to put the whole thing in one of the tubes. Dad said it always does that and sometimes the wasp drops the grass and has to get another one. I didn’t notice the wasp last summer and a lot of the grass has fallen out by now. I have been hoping it would return so I can take photos. 🙂

OK, I am finished now. It is 12:35 AM and it is now the 5th of July. It is raining and thundering which will make for a good night sleep (hopefully).

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, be thankful and GET DIRTY if you can.

 

Rescue Japanese Beetle Trap #2 Video

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. I bought another Japanese Beetle trap Tuesday afternoon. Within three seconds the first beetle was in the trap. I looked out into the yard north of the shade bed and I could see Japanese Beetles coming out of the grass and heading toward the trap.

I decided to make this video…

 

 

The first trap hasn’t been getting as much activity since I put up the second one. Most of the beetles were coming from that area in the first place because of the Chinese Elms.

Wednesday morning a man came to recharge the AC and he wanted to see the traps. So, I showed him the first one then we went to the new one. Beetles were coming from everywhere but there weren’t that many in the trap yet.

Then at 2:30 Wednesday afternoon…

 

HOLY COW!!!! THE TRAP IS FULL!

 

I went to get a bag to empty the trap, but on my way, I stopped to check the first bag…

 

Hmmm… No wonder there weren’t many beetles in the trap. There is a hole in the bottom! That’s weird! So, I taped the bottom with packing tape.

 

I went to the new bag, opened the zipper and emptied the trap. Then, when I closed the zipper, there was a tear all away across the bottom. The zipper makes a rip all across the bottom above the zipper! How’s that for a design flaw?!?! The bag is supposed to reusable!

 

So, I had to put tape all across the bottom of the bag. I guess it is still reusable as long as you use tape.

I am now going to send an email to the company. Did I miss something in the instructions perhaps? There are videos online about this product, like how to use it… It shows a different way to open and close, you just pull it apart and seal it shut like a ziplock bag (without a zipper). Mine is new and it isn’t made to open it that way. It has a ZIPPER!

While it is true the trap works, which I definitely can’t complain about, why does the bag rip when it is supposed to be reusable? Maybe most people don’t have as many beetles, but I highly doubt I am that unique. I did see some traps on Ebay that didn’t use bags…

Well, that’s it for now. Until next time, be safe, stay positive and always be thankful… Even if your Japanese Beetle trap springs a leak. 🙂

UPDATE!

I did send the company an email with a link to this post. The email was promptly replied. The customer rep said she was glad to see the number of beetles I had caught but was sorry to hear about the problem with the bag ripping. She said that because of customer feedback with the same issue they redesigned the bag (like the one in the video I watched). She said they would send me two new traps to try and review. 🙂 Now, I will go to the Farmers Co-op and tell them the news. LOL!

Trying Out A Japanese Beetle Trap

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. Last week when I bought chicken feed, I noticed they had Japanese Beetle traps. I asked if they work and the guy said, “Yes, but you don’t want to be around it or put it close to where you are sitting or working.” So, I decided I would bring it home and give it a try.

A couple of days ago when I was mowing next to the Canna bed, I noticed something was eating the leaves. It was Japanese Beetles.

 

I checked the roses behind the house and sure enough, they were eating the roses, too. Then I noticed the Miniature Hollyhock had fallen victim to something and there were no leaves or flowers left on the plant. There was a dead caterpillar stuck to one of the bare stems, though. So, I guess that is it for the Malva sylvestris unless it grows new leaves.

I didn’t get the beetle trap set up until Sunday afternoon. I attached it to the support wire to the light pole about 20′ away from the Canna bed. This morning, Monday, I checked the trap when I was getting water for the chickens. There was already about 2″ beetles trapped in the bottom of the bag.

 

I checked the trap early Monday evening when I was about ready to start mowing again. The trap was already half full and the beetles were flying around it. Good thing it is reusable…

The trees in the background are Chinese Elms which are the main reason the Japanese Beetles are so bad here. There are five trees in “the other back yard” and near the chicken house, two or three behind the chicken house, and two by the pond. By the time the beetles are finished, there will be no more shade under those trees. The shade bed where the Hosta are growing is under two Chinese Elms and a Maple.

 

Setting the trap up is simple and the “attractant” slips into place on the top. There are no harmful chemicals.

 

The bottom of the trap snaps into place and acts as a funnel. Beetles aren’t the most coordinated fliers and they can’t figure out how to fly out of the trap. I’m not sure how full the bag should get before I empty it…

I can easily say the beetle trap works. I put it close to the Cannas because I want to get the beetles away from them. I may need to get another trap to put by the shade bed. Depending on how fast they fill up, I may need several…

The Japanese Beetles feed on more than 300 species of plants. They only live for a few weeks, but the females lay more eggs every day. The eggs become grubs which feed on plant roots and can cause a lot of damage to turf grass. Around the first part of June, the grubs become a pupa and emerge from the soil in late June. That’s what it says online, but that could vary from location I’m sure. I have been watching for them, and it was like they weren’t here, then the next day they were. They have just gotten started and have barely even begun on the Chinese Elms. Even though I catch thousands over a few weeks, I am anxious to see the end result. Will I catch enough in time to still have leaves on the Elms, or will enough not get caught they will destroy the shade anyway? We shall see… I suppose the more traps I have the more effective they will be.

I had the Calla Lily on the back porch and it was doing really GREAT there. This evening I noticed the Japanese Beetles were eating its leaves so I chased them off and moved the pot to the front porch. There is nothing in the front yard to attract them, so I have no issues there. They found the Calla on the back porch because it is close to the roses. The sad thing is, the Calla was flowering nicely but now it doesn’t look so good. The damage was done in just a few hours time.

I am getting about ready to write my first review for Thor, the mole repeller. One seems to be working better than the other, but I really have no complaints. Of course, the moles are bad in certain areas because of the Japanese Beetle eggs and grubs. The worse thing about the moles is they tunnel under plants, pushing them up or leaving a hole under the plants where the roots should be growing. When watering, the water also runs down into the mole tunnels.

*ADDITIONAL INFO ADDED THE NEXT DAY:

  1. The bottom of the bag has a zip-lock feature that makes emptying the bag easy. Just be ready for the beetles in the bag to drop into another container you can close quickly. I used a plastic shopping bag and tied it in a knot. You will lose a few but I am sure they will go back in the trap.
  2. Do not place the trap close to where plants are they may be attracted to. The beetles will come from a pretty good distance and may be attracted to plants instead of going into the trap. Place the trap at least 30-40 feet away from where they are feeding to lure the beetles away from them.

Tuesday morning when I went to dump the trap there were beetles swarming around it. I could see them flying from the “other yard” where the elm trees are. Being empty at noon, I will be able to see how many have accumulated by 6 PM. I am not sure how full the bag can get before it should be dumped. It was a little over half full when I dumped it.

To be honest with you, I don’t like harming any type of nature. Even when I spray and dig thistles and feel bad about it in a way. Like the Japanese Beetles, the thistles are not native but so many other plants aren’t either. But they are living beings (or plants, which all have a spirit). Most invasive plants and critters are not native. Most native species are not invasive because nature has made away to control the native populations. Hmmm… I better stop with that… Well, my family is not Native American either but we are all native to the planet. Then again, so are invasive species. OK, I better stop thinking about that or I will go take down the beetle traps.

My plans for writing a post a day went by the wayside, even though I took photos. I am not very good when it comes to making a schedule. It is just in my head. 🙂

Until next time, whenever that may be, be safe and stay positive. The heat is upon us with no rain in the forecast, so be careful. I suppose that depends on where you live. But, regardless of where you live, be safe and always stay positive. Always be thankful for your many blessings. I better stop with that and also say I hope you GET DIRTY (in a clean way). 🙂

Another Flower For The Echinopsis Mirabilis

Echinopsis mirabilis on 6-22-19.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. I have been watching the Echinopsis mirabilis (Flower of Prayer) pretty closely for the past few days because it had two buds getting close to opening. Earlier this afternoon, around 4:30, I checked on it and both buds were standing up like they were going to flower once it was dark.

Echinopsis mirabilis at 7:46 PM on 10-26-19.

Then at 7:46, the buds looked like this… Hmmm… One was drooping! Now, how did that happen? Why is one drooping when it was standing up around 4:30? Somehow I must have goofed and maybe it flowered the night before…

 

Echinopsis mirabilis at 10:20 PM on 6-26-19.

Then at 10:20 PM I went out and saw the flower had opened.

 

Echinopsis mirabilis at 10:21 PM on 6-26-19.

It is quite exciting when the Echinopsis mirabilis flowers!

I know I say this a lot, but I have taken more photos and I am behind posting. A few days ago (maybe it was last week), I mentioned I was going to try and post every day I take photos, which is about every day. Well, as you can see that didn’t happen. Here it is 1 AM as I am finishing this post.

Sooooo… That’s it for now! Be safe, stay positive and always be thankful.

Twenty Inches In Twenty Days!!!

Amorphophallus sp. on 6-22-19, #593-4.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. I took a lot of photos yesterday and many plants have grown A LOT in the past week. None as fast as the Amorphophallus (Voodoo Lily), though. I was almost speechless when I saw them as was taking photos on the front porch on June 22. It was just shy of 20″ tall! Twenty days after I noticed it peeking through the soil on June 3. What is even more amazing is…

 

Amorphophallus sp. on 6-16-19, #591-5.

It was only around 6″ tall on June 16. So, in only SIX DAYS it grew approximately 14″. Last year, one of the bigger plants came up several days before the other. This year, they came up at the same time.

 

Amorphophallus sp. baby on 6-22-19, #593-5.

Last year there were nine offsets and so far only one this year… I am sure there will be more.

Next spring I think I may separate the two bigger bulbs. I am especially curious to see how big they are.

You can read about my journey with the Amorphophallus by clicking HERE.

Debbie Lansdown, a faithful reader and friend from the UK, sent a link to the Amorphophallus titanum (Titan Arum) now in flower and on display at the Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh.

One of the worlds biggest and smelliest blooms… They stayed open until 10 PM on Sunday so people could visit this AWESOME plant.

Amorphophallus titanum has the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world and is a native of Sumatra and can grow around 10′ tall. The corms produce a single petiole and give rise to a single tri-branched leaf which produces many leaflets. Plants can grow to around 20′ tall and the leaf structure can grow to around 16′ wide.

Of course, such a HUGE plant must be from a HUGE corm. The worlds record is from a plant at the Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh weighing 339 pounds (153.9 kilograms). It reached that massive size in only seven years starting from the size of an orange.

I read that information from the Wikipedia page about the Amorphophallus titanum.

Until next time… Be safe, stay positive, and remember to be thankful. GET DIRTY when you can. We had rain AGAIN, so more delays for working on the south bed. I may just have to do it in the mud. 🙂

 

Sunday Photos on Wednesday

Amorphophallus sp. on 6-16-19, #591-5.

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you well. The Robins are singing this morning, giving thanks for being the early bird who gets the worms. I remember walking to catch a ride for work at 4:30 AM and they were already hopping about singing. It was quite a chorus! I am just going to post a few highlights of the photos I took on Sunday.

Of all the plants budding and flowering, it is always AWESOME to see the Amorphophallus (Voodoo Lily) when it starts coming up. I stuck my finger down to where the corm was and noticed it was sending up a petiole, but it wasn’t until the 6th of June that it peeked through the soil. Then I noticed on Sunday the leaves were starting to emerge. It is pretty neat! Almost reminds me of a squid. Last year I was gradually rewarded with a lot of babies, so I am wondering how many there will be this year. Of course, it is has been three days since I took the above photo.

 

Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’ on the front porch on 6-16-19, #591-2.

This Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’ on the front porch is doing great now. It spent the winter in my bedroom but was very glad to get back outside.

 

Aloe juvenna on 6-16-19, #591-3.

The Aloe juvenna (Tiger Tooth Aloe) is quite an interesting Aloe. It needs bright light or the leaves will stretch. In full sun, the leaves will take on a reddish color and too much will burn their leaves. I don’t like my Aloe leaves to burn and at times it hasn’t had enough sun. So, the leaves on this cluster, some being short and some longer, reflect when it has had different periods of light.

 

xAlworthia ‘Black Gem’ on 6-16-19, #591-4.

I don’t know much about the xAlworthia ‘Black Gem’ since I haven’t had it very long. I still need to check its roots to see if there is a plug wrapping around them… I am curious because I can see the plug wrapping around the Gasteria ‘Little Warty’…

 

Aristaloe aristata on 6-16-19, #591-6.

The Aristaloe aristata (Lace Aloe) and family are doing very well. I am wondering if it will flower? It is a very nice plant and I am thankful to have found it. You just never know what rarities you will find.

 

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 6-16-19, #591-7.

The Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ is STILL flowering. This is a very nice plant and if you haven’t tried one and have the chance to bring one home, I suggest you do.

 

The left side of the north bed on 6-16-19, #591-8.

OK, I have to admit the north bed is driving me crazy. That even made me laugh! First of all, the Achillea millefolium is NOT supposed to be there. I try to pretend they aren’t there but the taller they get the harder that becomes. There are actually two there, but one decided to lay down on the job. I suppose it thinks if it lays down it is hiding. I moved the mother clump to the barn last year then these came up this spring along with several others closer to the house. I “intended” to move them to the south bed, so hopefully, I can get that done this week when I “hopefully” have a chance to work there. They need to be moved because the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ is hidden behind them. So is the Echinacea ‘Cherry Pops’ that miraculously returned unexpectedly. Oh, yeah I almost forgot… The two Conoclinum coelestinum that decided so come up are under it. You never know if, when or where they will pop up. I also planted the Xanthosoma robustum to the right of the Astilbe but apparently, it rotted. A friend from Alabama is sending me a Xanthosoma sagittifolium so it will go somewhere between the Astilbe and the Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant.

 

Right side of the north bed on 6-16-19, #591-9.

The right side of the north bed… OK, a series of things… First off, I wanted to extend the north bed out farther. Since my son and his friend are here, and they “said they would help out”, I told them they could extend the bed. I showed Chris what I wanted him to do, in detail. When they said they were finished, they had just dug one strip from the end of the gutter to where it joined with the left curve. It was not even straight. 🙂 I had told him to turn over everywhere there wasn’t plants and to remove the grass. He said, “Oh, I thought you wanted a ditch.” Now, why would I want a ditch? Needless to say, I went ahead and planted the Colocasia esculenta rhizomes and Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’.

Trust me, this bed is normally neat and tidy but this spring has been officially weird. It has rained off and on then the soil stays damp here. Then sometimes when I have time to work here the soil is damp or the grass and weeds are kind of wet. I do not like working in damp soil because it can make it hard. I don’t like working in damp grass and weeds because the chiggers seem to be worse. I rate chiggers at the top of the “do not like” list with poison ivy, thorns (Roses), flat tires, dead batteries, and mosquitos. Eventually, this bed will look great.

 

The northeast corner bed on 6-16-19, #591-10.

The northeast corner bed looks pretty good especially since Thor seems to be doing a pretty good job keeping the moles away. The only plant you can’t see is the small mound of Achillea tomentosa ‘LoGrow Goldie’. Ummm… It is now under the Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’. So, I guess I need to move it. Maybe to the left of Thor in front of the Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’. There are a few Conoclinum coelestinum in this bed now, too. One next to Thor and a few that have recently came up under the Salvia. This is a small area but I have a tendency to pack plants in it anyway. It looked really good last year.

 

Begonias on the front porch on 6-16-19, #591-13.

Three of the Begonias are doing well but ‘Brazilian Lady’, which is normally looking great, is a pitiful sight. Normally, I keep them in the basement over the winter where they do fine but I kept them in the front bedroom this year. ‘Brazilian Lady’ didn’t approve…

 

Miniature Begonia on 6-16-19, #591-12.

The unnamed miniature Begonia did fine during the winter but half rotted when I moved the plants outside. Now I need to re-pot it.

Well, the deadline for naming this post “Sunday Photos on Tuesday” has past. I just looked at the time at it is 1:11 AM Wednesday… SO, I suppose that means I should go to bed and finish later. That screws up my next post and hoping to write a post a day. 🙂 I had to change the title of this post to “Sunday Photos on Wednesday”.

—-

OK, now I am back working on the post at 4:22 PM when I really want to take a nap. I have been digging thistles for about 3 hours.

Euphorbia mammillaris (Indian Corn Cob) on 6-16-19, #591-15.

The Euphorbia mammillaris (Indian Corn Cob) is going GREAT although it looks pretty much like it did the last time I took photos. I think maybe the leaves have grown a little. 🙂

 

Gasteria obliqua (Ox Tongue) on 6-16-19, #591-18.

This Gasteria has remained unnamed for a while so I have resorted to making a decision to call it Gasteria obliqua. Most Gasteria species of this type have rough leaves and very few are smooth like this one. Since those species are all now synonyms of G. obliqua, I guess that narrows my choice down to one. Unless it is a cultivar or a hybrid… I posted photos on a few Facebook groups twice but only got a few “likes” and no suggestions. One lady said it could be ‘Little Warty’ but that would be impossible. I clearly said it has smooth leaves and ‘Little Warty’ has warts. So, for now, it is Gasteria obliqua.

Gasteria obliqua has 39 synonyms!

 

Haworthiopsis limifolia (Faries Washboard) on 6-16-19, #591-20.

The Haworthiopsis limifolia (Faries Washboard, File Leafed Haworthia) is a pretty neat plant. There is a strange issue, however, with the species. Well, maybe not an issue, just issues. Apparently, there are several “varieties” which can get a little confusing when you do a little research about Haworthiopsis limifolia. You have to dig a little deeper. There are many photos online of Haworthiopsis limifolia (Syn. Haworthia limifolia) that look nothing like this plant. That is because they are not using the “variety” name. Then there are MANY websites that have the spelling completely wrong by using the name Haworthiopsis limafolia… The many “varieties” made me wonder if the name “Faries Washboard” was a common name or cultivar name. Well, the straight species is known as Fairies Washboard or File Leafed Haworthia. Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) says, “It obtained its name “limifolia” (File Leafed) from the distinctive, dark brownish-green leaves, with transverse ridges of raised, horny, tubercles which resemble those of a coarse file and give it such a distinctive appearance.” Hmmm… Dave’s Garden says limifolia = From the Latin limes (file), referring to the acicular or linear leaves.

 

Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ on 6-16-19, #591-22.

The Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ is STILL in the pot I brought it home in. I have not decided where I want to put it to spread and pop up here and there. It seems I already have enough plants that pop up unexpectedly, but maybe for this one it would be OK. It is just the re-seeders that take their sweet time coming up that throw me a curve. Most perennials can be moved here early enough in the spring. But, from my past experience with this one in Mississippi, no telling where it will show up. I am not going to talk about the Equisetum hyemale (Horsetail) in this post. I promise. 🙂

 

Ledebouria socialis var. violacea on 6-16-19, #591-30.

One of the most important discoveries of late was the bud on the Ledebouria socialis var. violacea (Silver Squill) on June 8. Then I noticed it had another one on the 16th.

 

Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora on 6-16-19, #591-28.

Then when I went to take a photo of the Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora, it had one, too! NICE! I am beginning to really like these plants. My plant friend from Alabama is going to send two more and a Drimiopsis maculata, which is similar.

 

Stapelia gigantea on 6-16-19, #591-41.

The Stapelia gigantea is doing very well and growing. I can hardly wait until it flowers. It is in the same group of plants as the Huernia schneideriana. It is a Carrion Plant, too, whose common name is Zulu Giant or Toad Plant. 🙂 I bought this plant from a seller on Ebay last fall and he sent SIX rooted cuttings which I put in the same pot. Hmmm…

Well, I think I am going to close this post before I have to change the title again. I was distracted earlier by a nap, then I started re-arranging the potting table on the back porch. Then I had to re-pot a couple of cactus. I need to eat dinner, but I wanted to get this post finished first. Now it is already 9:07 PM!

Until next time, be safe, stay positive and always be thankful. If you have time, GET DIRTY!

Monday Catch Up Post… Photos From Last Week

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. You will notice right off the bat I am a day late with this post. The photos on this post were taken from the 12 through the 16th. I am going to “attempt” to write a new post each day I take photos, even if I only take photos of one plant. Ummm… I took photos every day but one last week and 44 on Sunday. So, I think what I will do with this post is kind of catch up with the highlights of the past week through the 16th. Well, maybe I will think about it and have it figured out by the end of this post.

When I was mowing last Tuesday, I spotted this tiny toad running for his life in front of the garage door. I stopped the mower and picked it up so I could move it to a safer location. Over the years I have seen many baby toads, but this one is the smallest yet.

 

Mammillaria decipiens on 6-12-19, #587-2.

The Mammillaria decipiens has even more buds now. They are probably opening by now but may be closed up by the time I take photos.

 

Zantedeschia elliottiana (Golden Calla Lily) on 6-12-19, #587-5.

The Golden Calla Lily (Zantedeschia elliottiana) is now starting to flower. It didn’t flower last year so I did something different when I replanted the bulbs this spring. I read the instructions. 🙂 You are supposed to leave the upper half of the bulb exposed. I guess it must have worked since they are starting to flower.

Driving down a street today I saw a HUGE cluster of white Calla Lilies in front of a house. They were very tall and LOADED with flowers. Since I have passed by this house nearly every day and this is the first time I saw them, I guess they are newly planted there. I couldn’t tell, but they may be in a pot.

I am looking at the photo folders for each day… I already posted about the new bed at the church and new plants, so I can skip the 13th.

 

Achillea millefolium in front of the chicken house on 6-14-19, #589-1.

The Achillea millefolium in front of the chicken house are really doing well this year. I think I already posted about them before but I wanted to do it again. I know they are just a Yarrow and you can see them all over the countryside.

 

Achillea millefolium flowers on 6-14-19, #589-2.

But, I love their flowers!

 

Alocasia ‘Calidora’ on 6-14-19, #589-3.

I’m not sure how tall this oldest Alocasia ‘Calidora’ is, but it is taller than me. I am 8′ tall, so the plant is pretty big.

 

Alocasia ‘Calidora’ on 6-14-19, #589-4.

The other two Alocasia ‘Calidora’ are looking very good, too. I gave a lot of Alocasia to Wagler’s last summer so I am down to just a few pots. Of course, this is not all of them…

 

Alocasia ‘Portora’ on 6-14-19, #589-5.

Alocasia ‘Portora’ is one of the nicest looking with their darker stems and ruffled leaves. I purchased the great grandmother of these plants from Wellspring Gardens 10 YEARS AGO! She was almost 8 feet tall when I left her behind with a friend when I moved back to Missouri in 2013. I didn’t realize I could have just cut the leaves off and brought it.

I keep forgetting I need to re-pot the Alocasia gageana AGAIN. They are behind a shed I walk by every day when I feed the chickens, where all the plants on the front and back porch used to be. Every time I walk by, I say “I need to get those girls re-potted.” I need to take their photos, too!

 

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ bud on 6-14-19, #589-6.

As I was looking at the plants in the shade bed, I noticed the buds on the Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ are different than the buds on the other Hosta. Strange I never noticed that before… Isn’t it odd how we can be around something so often and not notice certain details that make them unique?

 

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ bud on 6-14-19, #589-7.

Most Hosta buds look similar to this one on Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’.

 

Rudbeckia hirta, left, and Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ on 6-14-19, #589-8.

Somehow I think allowing the native Rudbeckia hirta to have its way in this bed was not really a good idea. I moved the Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ to this spot from the north bed a few years ago to see how it would do in more sun. At that time, there was only one Rudbeckia hirta in the bed… Ummm… This bed is along the northeast corner of the old foundation of my grandparent’s old house. The house I moved to after my grandfather passed away in 1981. This was my first Hosta bed back then. When I moved back here in 2013, dad and I planted some rhubarb and horseradish we got from a friend, Ross Hampton, in this bed. Ross was the former foreman at Marti Poultry Farm. There were a lot of surviving old Iris along the north side of the foundation, which I didn’t put there in the 80’s, that dad was mowing over. I moved them to the corner of this bed… I had the Marigold ‘Brocade’ in this bed for a couple of years, too.

 

Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ on 6-14-19, #589-10.

I must admit the change in the Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ has been a transforming experience. We are are here to learn from our experiences and this plant has taught me a lot. When we are down and almost to the point of giving up we have to realize the power we really have and what we are really capable of. Who we really are and what we can do. We can give up, or we can choose to live! A few years ago, this plant was down to just a few stems and now it is AMAZING! It didn’t give up!

 

Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum on 6-14-19, #589-11.

One thing you might notice is the color of the flowers now. In previous posts, they were yellow… Actually, the yellow petals have fallen off and these will become seed pods. Notice the swollen clusters at the top of the photo. This is a new experience for me.

On to June Saturday, June 15…

 

Aloe maculata bud on 6-15-19, #590-2.

The Aloe maculata is very happy and is sprouting it’s first but for 2019. NICE! The Aloe maculata and I have a long history dating back to 2009 in Mississippi when a good friend brought me an offset from his grandmother’s plant. So, this is our 10th Year Anniversary along with Alocasia ‘Portora’…

Hmmm… Maybe I should do a 10th Anniversary post. I actually started blogging in 2009.

 

Malva sylvestris on 6-15-19, #590-13.

The Malva sylvestris seems to like it in this neglected spot. I have planted a few things in this area that have never taken off. I have even amended the soil with “the Good Stuff” and nothing worked. It looks like this version of the miniature Hollyhock is going to work… Hmmm… This could be a spreader if it likes it here well enough. Time will tell.

 

The south bed on 6-15-19, #590-18.

Now I have my work cut out for me… Now that the Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ seedlings are ready to transplant in their proper places. I usually put them in two rows along the wall but I may do something a little different. I’m not sure yet…

 

Possibly Rudbeckia hirta ‘Denver Daisy’ on 6-15-19, #590-14.

I’m not 100% sure, but the “missing” Rudbeckia hirta ‘Denver Daisy’ seedlings may be mostly in the yard along the bed… I will dig them up and transplant them to the bed and see what happens. It would have been nice of them to come up in the bed but… They came up much earlier last spring and were actually beginning to bud on June 3. Here it is June 15 in this photo!

 

Southeast corner bed on 6-15-19, #590-19.

I am not really happy with the looks of the southeast corner bed either. The Centaurea flowers are really neat but they are a bit sprawly. The Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ is still wondering why I relocated it, even though I told it why. I think it needs some fertilizer. If it doesn’t do well here, it may not return in 2020 and I have had this plant since 2013. It is nice to see the Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) flowering. The Echinacea purpurea on the left has done quite well and the flowers are beginning to open. I didn’t know the cultivar, but while I was writing captions on the photos the name ‘Magnus’ appeared in my mind. I thought, “‘Magnus’? Where did that come from?” I did a search for Echinacea ‘Magnus’ and sure enough it is a cultivar. I guess “someone” is helping me out. I guess I better listen and conclude this cultivar of Echinacea purpurea is ‘Magnus’.

I have done several things with this bed over the past three years that have worked well. I must admit, it certainly doesn’t have much PIZAZZ this year. YET… I would have bought more Angelonia ‘Perfectly Pink’ for this spot, but they were not to be found this year. You never know what will be available from one year to the next…

I think I will stop here since there are 44 photos in the next folder from Sunday, June 16… I will make another post for them then try doing a post a day. GEEZ! Once I catch up. It is Monday already but at least I didn’t take any new photos today… So, I will catch up with the next post, Sunday Photos on Tuesday. Oh, heck, it is already 12:12 AM on Tuesday.

I know I have been very bad about reading your posts for the past, ummm… Well, it has been a while. I have managed to read your new posts over the past few days and I will try to make time every day to stay caught up. I do have to make a post about an issue I am having with WordPress. I had a chat with customer service and explained the issue and he somehow got on my blog, in the reader. I copied and pasted the home page of one of the blogs I follow to show him the issue. His reply was, “That’s weird.” I told him I was thinking about writing a post about it but I wanted to see if it could be fixed before I did that. He agreed posting about it would be a good idea and said he would look into the problem further and email me what be figured out. It has been a couple of weeks and I have heard nothing and the issue still persists. SO, I will be posting about it this week. I hate to complain and I have really enjoyed using WordPress for the past 10 years.

Until next time, take care, stay positive, have fun and be thankful.

New Bed At Church & Six New Plants For Me

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well and getting dirty! I am glad I was asked to help with the bed in front of the church steps. Well, maybe it was kind of my fault in a way that it needed re-planted in the first place. There has been Malva sylvestris (French Hollyhock) growing in the front bed and a couple of daylilies for several years. Two falls ago, after the “F”, I was asked to clean out the bed but I explained I usually do it in the spring (in my own beds). This spring, before I had a chance to do it, someone else did (not to mention names) and they pulled everything up instead of cutting the dead stems. Then “he” asked if I would go with “him” to the greenhouse and find some plants to put in the bed. Well, I needed a good reason to go to the greenhouses, as if I needed a reason at all. So, we made plans and went on Wednesday (the 12th). I took “him” to all four but we just brought back plants from three. I had a few ideas in my head before we went from what I knew was available at Wildwood. We stopped at Wagler’s first but I didn’t see anything that caught my eye. Mrs. Wagler wasn’t there so we didn’t get a chance to visit. Kind of late in the season anyway. Then we went to Wildwood… So, I had this image in my head with what we initially bought from Wildwood, but I wanted to go to Muddy Creek to see what they had. They were almost completely sold out but I found two plants that completely rearranged my initial plan. Then we stopped at Masts and I decided the Purple Fountain Grass would look good on both ends of the bed. Once we came back to the church and I laid all the pots out, I decided we needed more plants. Everything we bought first went on one side so I needed more plants to duplicate the same thing on the other side. 🙂 To be quite honest, the Coleus were not part of the plan but they somehow made their way to the counter and to the church…

From left to right… 1 Purple Fountain Grass, 3 Rudbeckia hirta ‘Becky Cinnamon Bicolor’, 3 Gazinia ‘Arizona Apricot’, 1 Dracaena indivisa (Spikes), 3 Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy, 1 Veronica longifolia ‘Very Van Gogh’, another Dracaena, 1 Achillea ‘Sassy Summer Silver’, another Dracaena, another Veronica longifolia ‘Very Van Gogh, another Dracaena, 3 more Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy… WAIT A MINUTE… Something is weird. Skip the last Dracaena and put here. Then 3 more Gaillardia, umm, ‘Arizona Apricot’, 3 more Rudbeckia ‘Becky Cinnamon Bicolor’, 3 more, no, 1 Purple Fountain Grass. Then, of course, the Coleus, three somewhere in the middle when it is an odd number. OH CRAP! I need another one, or maybe just take cuttings from them all and put them here and there. Hmmm… Now maybe some mulch would be a good idea. 🙂

While we were at Wildwood and Muddy Creek, I saw I needed to go back… So, on Thursday the 13th, I decided I would take them some plants as a good reason to go. I potted up a few Coleus argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ and Jewels of Opar (Talinum paniculatum) from the south bed both of them (since I have thousands to spare). I had promised the owners of Muddy Creek some Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip (Bugleweed) so I took them as well…

 

Achillea ‘Sassy Summer Silver’.

Well, what can I say? I had been wanting an Achillea ‘Moonshine’ for many years but Achillea just isn’t something you often see at the local garden centers and greenhouses. In fact, Muddy Creek didn’t have these Achillea ‘Sassy Summer Silver’ when I went before. I picked up one for the church then went back and brought one home the next day. It will go in the south bed and it will grow 26-30″ tall.

 

Flowers of the Achillea ‘Sassy Summer Silver’

The flowers are very interesting with very tight, coarse, stiff, almost hard clusters. Zooming in or getting closer made it a little too blurry but I’ll get a good one later. 🙂

 

Silvery-green leaves of the Achillea 'Sassy Summer Silver'.

There is no species name on the label, but the leaves look similar to Achillea tomentosa. I checked online, and a few websites say it is Achillea millefolium ‘Sassy Summer Silver’. Ummm… The leaves are NOT Achillea millefolium leaves! So, I went to the source and sent Andrew Jager from Walters Gardens an email. He says Achillea ‘Sassy Summer Silver’ is a complex hybrid with multiple species in the background. One of the parents is Achillea ‘Moonshine’ and the other “unnamed” cultivar is also a complex hybrid. He also said one of the unifying species for the Sassy Summer Series is Achillea sibirica*. He went on to say he could not confirm there was any Achillea tomentosa… Other members of the Sassy Summer Collection have lemon yellow, red, pink, and orange flowers.

From previous research for the Achillea ‘Moondust’ page, which is a “chance” seedling from Achillea ‘Moonshine’ (which is open-pollinated), it is believed Achillea ‘Moonshine’s’ parents are Achillea clypeolata and A. taygetea (in a roundabout way). Achillea ‘Moonshine’ was introduced by Alan Bloom in the 1950’s.

*Ummm… According to Plants of the World Online, Achillea sibirica is NOW a synonym of Achillea alpina. GEEZ!

 

Veronica longifolia ‘Very Van Gogh’.

PREVIOUSLY, when I made the planters for a friend, I used three Veronica spicata ‘Royal Candles’ I found at Muddy Creek. This time, they had Veronica ‘Very Van Gogh’ and no ‘Royal Candles’. So, I picked out one for the church and then went back AGAIN and got another one. Of course, when I went back the next day I decided to bring one home which I will also try in the south bed. According to the internet, it is a cultivar of Veronica longiflolia, and according to POWO, it is a current and accepted species. 🙂 Of course, it could be a “complex” hybrid and the internet is wrong. Didn’t that happen before? OH, NO! Veronica ‘Very Van Gogh’ is also an introduction of Walters Gardens. I just noticed that or I could have quizzed Andrew about it, too… OK, when he replies to my last reply, I will reply about this one.

Veronica ‘Very Van Gogh’ grows 18-20″ tall x 20-24″ wide. I have grown several Veronica cultivars but I have difficulty getting to return the following year.

 

xMangave ‘Pineapple Express’ after I brought it home on 6-13-19, #588-4.

While I was waiting for someone to show up at Muddy Creek, I noticed A LOT of this xMangave ‘Pineapple Express’ in a greenhouse by themselves. I have always wanted to try an xMangave or Manfreda, so this was my chance. Most of the plants they had had longer leaves, but I selected one that was wider and more compact. xMangave is a cross between Agave and Manfreda. xMangave ‘Pineapple Express’ is the result of a cross between xMangave ‘Bloodspot’ and xMangave ‘Jaguar’. Ummm… It was also introduced by Walters Gardens as part of their Mad About Mangave Collection.

I checked with Plants of the World Online, and they said xMangave is a synonym of Agave… Of course, so is the genus Manfreda. So, according to them, this would be an Agave ‘Pineapple Express’. So, should I mention to Andrew that Walters Gardens Mad About Mangave Collection is all screwed up? Somehow I think my next reply to him won’t be met with much enthusiasm… Well, you have to admit, the plant in the above photo does look like an Agave

 

Rosette of the xMangave ‘Pineapple Express’.

OK, so let’s be sensible… Agave species and cultivars always have solid or striped leaves, right? All but a few of the Manfreda species and cultivars I have seen have “spotted” leaves with a few being solid green. Some have very wavy leaves and some of their leaves are fairly narrow and they are spineless. Manfreda also differs from Agave in being herbaceous AND bulbous as is the genus Polianthes and Prochnyanthes. POWO says Polianthes and Prochnyanthes are also synonyms of Agave now.

As it turns out, testing has revealed that ManfredaPolianthes, and Prochnyanthes are Agave… It’s complicated. Most of the species from the three genera have retained their species names while a few were already synonymous with other Agave species. Now, what do you think of that? I learn something every day!

While back at Wildwood…

Sempervivum ‘Cosmic Candy’.

Mr. Yoder and I always talk A LOT about plants in a serious way. He is trying to learn the scientific names. 🙂 He gets A LOT of succulents from a distributor of ChickCharms which specializes in Sempervivum. I really like Sempervivum but there are SOOOOO many cultivars that are exactly the same and have the same parents. It is REALLY whacky! To make it worse, many plants are often mislabeled and customers and employees of garden centers can’t tell the difference. Wildwood had several Sempervivum labeled ‘Berry Bomb’ that are actually ChickCharms cultivar called ‘Cosmic Candy’. ‘Cosmic Candy’ is a cultivar of or a hybrid involving Sempervivum arachnoideum that have all the hairs. S. arachnoideum is commonly known as the Cobweb Houseleek.

 

A closer look at the Sempervivum ‘Cosmic Candy’ from ChickCharms.

The Sempervivum arachnoideum are typically green with the cobwebs and the rosettes are fairly smaller and tight. Sempervivum arachnoideum subsp. tomentosum have broader and more open rosettes and have the reddish color in the spring and early summer. More than likely, ‘Cosmic Candy’ is a hybrid of the cobwebs would be longer instead of just looking a bit hairy. Maybe they will get longer with time. We shall see. It is a very beautiful Semp!

 

Tradescantia zebrina from Wildwood.

He has quite a collection of Tradescantia species and he said he would like to have them all. I gave him the species names and he admires how the leaves are so different on some plants. He is really intrigued with the Tradescantia fluminensis var. variegata and how some of their leaves are pure white, striped, and even solid green on the same plant and sometimes on the same stem. I brought this Tradescantia zebrina home because the plant(s) I have leaves with more refined stripes while this one is less refined, more streaked. Weird… I still need to take him a pot of Tradescantia sillamontana (White Gossamer Plant). Last time I was there I took him several Tradescantia pallida (Purple Heart) cuttings and a pot of Billbergia nutans.

 

Zantedeschia sp. from Wildwood.

While I was at Wildwood before, I noticed several pots of Calla Lily sitting on the floor next to the counter. I looked them over but I didn’t bring any home. We got to talking about them and he said he grew them from seed he found in one of his catalogs. He planted, even outside, and they came up, but he said they don’t look right. Although the tag in the pot says Zantedeschia aethiopica, he said it was just a generic tag he found from a supplier. Strange, though, the photo on the tag shows a Calla with green leaves and white flowers. Ummm… Zantedeschia aethiopica have spotted leaves. This plant’s leaves are more heart-shaped (cordate) while my Zantedeschia aethiopica stand straight up and has more… Anyway, he gave me a pot to see what I could do with it. I put it in a different pot with different soil so we shall see what happens.

Well, I think that is it for this post. I still have more photos I have taken over the past week to post. This week went by so fast and I can’t hardly believe it is Saturday ALREADY! I started out the week attempting to write a post a day with the photos I took every day but that didn’t happen. GEEZ! Maybe I can do better this coming week…

Until then… Be safe and stay positive! Don’t forget to be thankful and GET DIRTY!

The Usual Joys & “Are You Serious?”

Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum (Elephant Garlic) on 6-9-19, #585-1.

Hello, everyone! I hope this post finds you well. It happens every year… Some perennials come up earlier than others and some you have to wonder about. Then there are the re-seeders you have to wait on to see if they are going to come up at all. You are ready to get the beds tidied up and make decisions about what you are going to do with the beds. You go plant shopping to see what is available and bring home new plants. Some plants you liked the year before aren’t available so you get to try new cultivars and new plants.

The Elephant Garlic (Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum) in the above photo is now flowering in the south bed. A great example of having your cake and eating it, too.

 

Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’ on 6-9-19, #585-2.

A few of the older Alocasia went dormant and this Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’ is FINALLY waking up. Two others are still thinking about it.

 

Hmmm… Last spring I bought a Siberian Bugloss, Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’. It did very well and was a beautiful plant. Once the Japanese Beetles really set in on the Chinese Elm tree and changed its environment, it started ailing. By the end of July, it was completely dead. I didn’t see anything online about this species going dormant so early, so I just contributed its demise was because of the heat and increased light. I left the label in place just in case it returned in the spring because you never know. I always say, “Just because it is dead doesn’t mean it is dead.” I have been surprised many times. Well, there is a plant coming up beside the label but there is a weed with similar leaves, which I haven’t bothered to ID. So, this is either the Bugloss returning or a weed trying to fool me… Most likely, the latter is the case. But, I am keeping an eye on it. 🙂

By the time I am finished with this post, which is likely to take several days, maybe we can tell what is really going on here.

 

Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ on 6-9-19, #585-6.

Waiting and waiting… Then all the sudden, “OH, CRAP!” Almost time to transplant the Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ and Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar).

 

Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar) seedlings on 6-9-19, #585-22.

It happens every spring… It seems I need to work on the south bed but I always think I have to wait for the Celosia and Jewels of Opar to come up. Last spring the Rudbeckia hirta ‘Denver Daisy’ came up in abundance from self-sown seed but barely any came up this spring. In fact, I am not so sure any did and I was beginning to wonder about the Celosia. But when they did come up, they really came up! I think I am pretty safe if I don’t even worry if they will come up and just go ahead and do whatever I want with the south bed when I am in the mood. The Celosia and Jewels of Opar will come up when they are ready and it doesn’t matter where I dig. I will still have more than enough.

 

Colocasia esculenta on 6-9-19, #585-7.

The Colocasia esculenta are finally coming up in the north bed. I didn’t post photos, but something terrible happened with the BIG rhizomes… The biggest ones had crown rot but the majority of the rhizome was OK. It just made the smaller eyes come up around the rhizomes instead of the main one from the center. Hard to explain but maybe you get the picture… It was unusual, but the small Colocasia esculenta I planted in the front of the Canna bed overwintered with leaf mulch and came up long before the rhizomes I planted… I don’t know what the Xanthosoma robustum is going to do because it sort of had the same problem only in a different way. It rotted from the bottom instead of the top. Last time I checked, the top sprout had broken off but there is some kind of activity on the remainder of the rhizome… Time will tell. The temps have been weird and the soil has remained cool and damp which they don’t like…

 

Conoclinum coelestinum ‘Aunt Inez’ on 6-9-19, #585-8.

TRIPLE GEEZ! The Conoclinum coelestinum (Blue Mist Flower) I call ‘Aunt Inez’ always comes up so late. It is a perennial or sorts but these always come up from seed. Supposedly, they are an herbaceous perennial that “spreads aggressively” by rhizomes and self-seeding. Dad got his start from Aunt Inez (his mother’s sister) many years ago. They were in a good-sized group on both sides of the steps but they have declined, which may be partly my fault. I have been panting other plants where they grow which had led to their seeds being lost or not being able to come up. It was kind of tiresome waiting for them to come up then having to move them around a bit. (GEEZ! That is like in the south bed!). Then after I get the beds planted, a few come up… I am not complaining at all, and I am thankful that at least a few have made an appearance. I have tried to relocate a few in the past, but they never return the next spring. As far as them spreading “aggressively” by rhizome, I have never had that happen and it would be a good thing if they even tried. They are a nice plant with neat flowers. The worse thing about their seedlings is that one might think they are a weed and pull them up by accident. My dad used to keep an eye on me and was quick to point them out. He would say, “that’s one of those flowers. You have to be careful not to pull them up.” 🙂

 

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Cone Flower) on 6-9-19, #585-9.

The Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) “are” now budding. They have done very well and are getting very tall. I am so thankful I have these now! I failed to dig up a few of the Echinacea paradoxa (Yellow Coneflower) along a back road which I wanted to plant somewhere on the farm.

Grammarly thinks “are” should be “is”. I had to remind it “are” is a present and plural form of “be” and “is” the singular present form. 🙂 We are at a stalemate and it is thinking about it.

 

Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ on 6-9-19, #585-10.

The Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ is looking MUCH better now. I was beginning to wonder for a while if it would make it.

 

Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ on 6-9-19, #585-11.

The very nice Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ is going to bless us with its first flowers this year. It’s first!

 

Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ wannabe on 6-9-19, #585-12.

Hmmm… The Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ wannabe is getting a little bigger. It is driving me NUTS not knowing the true cultivar name. I am going to turn the label around so it can read that it says “Hosta ‘Blue Angel’.” I am sure it will tell me, “Yes, I am blue (well kind of) and I am an angel. But I am NOT Hosta ‘Blue Angel’.” 🙂

 

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ on 6-9-19, #585-13.

The Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ definitely has no identity crisis. Its flowers are just as compact, neat and tidy as the whole clump.

 

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ on 6-9-13, #585-14.

The always glowing Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ is further dazzling us with buds.

 

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ on 6-9-19, #585-15.

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ is looking especially AWESOME this year and flowering right on schedule. I took photos of the Hosta on 6-9-2018 and it didn’t have buds, but it did on the 14th. So, we are pretty much right on schedule.

 

Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’ on 6-9-19, #585-16.

SURPRISE, SURPRISE! I had almost forgotten about the Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’ (Bee Balm)! I saw it had sprouted a while back, but the Creeping Jenny had completely covered it it. When I was taking photos on Sunday, it said “HERE I AM! DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME!” I smelled its leaves to make sure it was really it. 🙂 I am very thankful it came up. Now, we’ll see if it flowers.

 

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia Creeper) on 6-9-19, #585-17.

The Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is one of those “I fooled you” plants when they are very young. You can easily mistake it for a Viola and not pull it up. Sometimes their second set of leaves may even resemble Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), which fooled me for several years at this stage. I had plenty of both in Mississippi and was always getting a little rash after pulling weeds in the back yard even though I didn’t see any poison ivy where I was working. Then one day I noticed the Violets I didn’t pull had three leaves so I thought Poison Ivy started out looking like Violets. Well, that is not the case. Small Poison Ivy starts out with leaves of three while the Virginia Creeper starts out looking like Viola species. By the second or third set of leaves, you can clearly see the five-leaved Virginia Creeper.  Some people break out in a rash similar to Poison Ivy from the sap of the Virginia Creeper as well.

One interesting thing about Poison Ivy is that it is not an Ivy at all. Believe it or not, it is in the family Anacardiaceae with Cashews, Mangos, Pistachios, and many other ornamental trees that produce “fruit” that are drupes. Many of the plants in this family produce sap with urushiol which is what causes the rash. Virginia Creeper (or Woodbine) is in the family Vitaceae along with grapes. These plants produce raphides (crystals of calcium oxalate) which can also cause irritation by puncturing the skin of sensitive people. Umm… I mean people with sensitive skin.

 

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ buds on 6-9-19, #585-19.

The Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ is starting to bud now. There will be A LOT of flowers because they really like it where the biggest patch is now.

 

Rudbeckia hirta buds on 6-9-19, #585-19.

I think buds are especially neat on some plants. Here the native Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) buds resemble brown balls wrapped in golden-yellow petals.

 

Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ on 6-9-19, #585-20.

The Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ seems to be having some difficulty expressing itself this spring. It was like it couldn’t speak for a while and was always looking over its shoulder. Then I realized maybe it is the Elephant Garlic… The Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ in the other end of the bed had the same difficulty until I removed the garlic next to it. This year it has gone bananananas! Maybe the smell of the garlic and the scent of the Salvia don’t mix well. Chemical reaction. LOL!

 

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ears) on 6-9-19, #585-21.

The Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina) are blooming once again. They seem to like this spot and I am going to attempt something… I have a plan… Top secret. 🙂

 

Vitex agnus-castus ‘Shoal Creek’ (Chaste Tree) on 6-9-19, #585-23.

The beautiful Chaste Tree, Vitex agnus-castus ‘Shoal Creek’, is looking great and starting to flower. I really like this shrub but it can be weird sometimes. It made it through the winter like a deciduous shrub instead of having to come up from the bottom like a perennial. It has been a few years since it did that. There are a few advantages to that including their stems are much stronger. Last spring it came up from the ground and next thing you know all the stems were flat as a pancake and growing horizontally because the stems were weak. I have photos to prove it. 🙂 So, I am very thankful it growing normal this year.

That’s all for this post. Until next time, be safe, stay positive, be thankful and you know the rest.

 

June 1-8 Update

Linnaea (Abelia) x grandiflora on 6-1-19, #580-1.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. It looks like we are going to have a few days with no rain in the forecast. I have taken quite a few photos over the past week but have been kind of tardy writing posts. Nothing quite as exciting as the Echinopsis mirabilis flower, though. There have been a few surprises, I must admit, which will be in this post… I took a few photos on a friends farm (and along a highway) of a few wildflowers I don’t have here.

I am starting this post with photos I took on June 1 and proceeding through June 8. Some of the photos I took earlier in the week are already out of date and new photos had to be taken throughout the week. Buds become flowers within a few days. 🙂

The Linnaea x grandiflora (syn. Abelia x grandiflora) is flowering up a storm. It was getting very tall so I cut it in half (down to about 5′) in 2017. I am calling this shrub an Abelia x grandiflora, I mean Linnaea x grandiflora, although I am not 100% sure. The photos that “were” on the Missouri Botanic Plant Finder looked like this shrub. Well, I checked again when I made this post and their photos have changed… Hmmm… They are still calling it an Abelia while Plants of the World Online by Kew have changed the name to Linnaea. SO, WHAT IS IT REALLY? The name change wasn’t that recent either!

 

Linnaea x grandiflora flowers on 6-1-19, #580-2.

There are several cultivars of Abelia/Linnaea x grandiflora, but presently, the only flowers online that look the shrub in my yard are the ones from this blog. GEEZ!!! I guess I will have to go further research AGAIN, because now this shrub doesn’t appear to be what I thought it was in the first place… 🙂 On the bright side, if it isn’t an Abelia or Linnaea, I don’t have to worry about wondering which name I am supposed to use. Any ideas?

(My thanks to Jean Molnar for suggesting this shrub may be a Deutzia scabra ‘Plena’. I believe we have a winner! The cultivar name may not be correct because this shrub is likely to be close to 60 years old.)

 

Catalpa speciosa on 6-1-19, #580-6.

One of my favorite trees is the Catalpa. I love its huge leaves and its beautiful flowers. There are quite a few HUGE Catalpa in town and they are AWESOME this time of the year. I found this tree growing in the old foundation, maybe in 2017, so I removed it and planted it in the yard. It has grown incredibly FAST!

 

Catalpa speciosa flowers on 6-1-19, #580-7.

Here again, I was presented with a problem. There are two species of Catalpa that are nearly identical, Catalpa speciosa (Northern Catalpa) and Catalpa bignoniodes (Southern Catalpa). Supposedly, Catalpa speciosa has slightly larger leaves and flowers but it hard to tell unless you have both to compare. Both are present in Missouri and their range varies from one website to another. I believe the tree I planted in the yard is the Northern Catalpa because they grow taller than the Southern Catalpa. The larger trees in town easily exceed 60′ tall.

 

Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’ on 6-1-19, #580-10.

Ummm… My first experience with the gold-leaved Creeping Jenny began with my plant friend, Walley Morse, giving me a start in 2010 when I lived at the mansion in Mississippi. I didn’t bring any with me when I left Mississippi in 2013, but I found ‘Goldilocks’ at Lowe’s in 2014. I put in the center of the bed on the north side of the house, which is mostly shaded, as a groundcover. Although the Creeping Jenny does flower, mine did not for all these years. Most of the Creeping Jenny I have seen in people’s flower beds are growing in the shade. As I have mentioned in earlier posts this year, this Creeping Jenny has found the sun. On June 1, as I was staring up the steps, I almost fell because the Creeping Jenny was LOADED with flowers… Strangely, only the plants in the sun have flowers… While gold-leaved plants brighten a shady area, many of them do quite well in full sun. They make a bright area glow even more.

Then on June 3…

Carduus nutans (Musk Thistle) on 6-1-19, #581-2.

I have been spraying and digging the thistles on a friends farm and it has been very interesting. There were so many it was hard to tell which ones I sprayed and which ones I didn’t. Sometimes I knew I sprayed certain groups and they remained alive and well so I sprayed again. Then the next day they would still be perfectly fine. I finally won when I just dug them up. At home, I have the thistles under control and there were only a few this year. When I say “a few” I mean maybe 20 or so. While I have only had a few Musk Thistle here (two a few years ago and two this year in a different location I never had thistles before), my friend’s farm is LOADED with them. It is like a nightmare! I think the thistles here are mainly Bull Thistle, Cirsium vulgare, but several species look so much alike it is hard to tell, especially from photos. I am NOT a fan of spraying, believe me, and I have controlled the thistles here mainly by digging down about 2″ in the soil and cutting their stem. But, when there are HUNDREDS of them, spraying is the best option. I still plan on writing a post about the thistles but I need to make sure I have the correct ID. Sad to say, thistles are beautiful plants with awesome flowers. Ummm… All parts are edible and apparently loaded with vitamins. You can prepare the buds like artichokes. Nope, I haven’t tried it… Nor have I tried artichokes.

 

Verbascum blattaria f. albiflora (Moth Mullein) on 6-3-19, #581-16.

While working on his farm I noticed these neat flowers growing here and there. They were not growing in colonies, but rather 1-4 spaced several feet apart and only in a couple of areas. I easily identified them later as Verbascum blattaria f. albiflora whose common name is Moth Mullein.

 

Verbascum blattaria f. albiflora (Moth Mullein) on 6-3-19, #581-17.

There are several colors of Verbascum blattaria, but the f. albiflora is particularly nice.

 

Penstemon tubaeflorus (White Wand Beardtongue) on 6-3-19, #581-12.

I had been noticing several large groups of flowers along the highway so I got out and took some photos. I later identified them as Penstemon tubaeflorus, commonly known as White Wand Beardtongue.

 

Penstemon tubaeflorus on 6-3-19, #581-13.

They have particularly interesting flowers with three lower lips and two upper lips with deep throats. The flowers are a pure, glistening white.

I have been keeping an eye on the pink Achillea millefolium I mentioned in an earlier post. Unfortunately, it disappeared. Maybe a cow ate it…

Later in the afternoon…

Amorphophallus sp. on 6-3-19, #581-1.

The Amorphophallus has finally pushed through the soil! I stuck my fingers into the soil a few weeks ago to make sure the two plants in this pot were going to come up. They were slowly working on it… I would really like to know how big their corms are by now but I guess I won’t venture to check.

 

x Gasteraloe ‘Flow’ on 6-3-19, #581-6.

After having the x Gasteraloe ‘Flow’ as a companion since 2016, it is going to flower for the first time. AWESOME!

 

Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora on 6-4-19, #582-18.

I finally re-arranged the Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora (Silver Squill) because I was tired of it leaning. This plant is doing very well and SOMEDAY it will start spreading!

 

Ledebouria socialis var. violacea on 6-4-19, #582-24.

I also re-potted the Ledebouria socialis var. violacea and put it in a larger pot because it is having no problems multiplying. I removed a bulb for a friend in Alabama while I was at it. OUCH! Well, he is sending several new plants that I am trading for a few he doesn’t have. So, I agreed to send him one of these since he is sending a couple cultivars of Ledebouria. Ledebouria are pretty neat plants you may want to give a try and they seem very undemanding.

 

Achillea millefolium in front of the chicken house on 6-5-19, #583-1.

The Achillea millefolium in front of the chicken house is doing incredibly well this year. They have struggled the past few years because they apparently didn’t have enough sun. I guess all the limbs that fell during the ice storm provided more light for them. They are still inching their way around the corner of the chicken house. The clump I moved in front of the barn last year are doing OK but still haven’t quite gotten with the program. I need to do some research on “older” cultivars that were popular many years ago because this one has been around for a while. My start came from a friend in Mississippi who’s start was given to her by someone else many years earlier. I know it is a cultivar because they grow much different than the Achillea millefolium growing in the pasture and along roadsides.

 

Group of Alocasia on 6-5-19, #583-3.

The Alocasia are beginning to look much better after a winter in the basement. The biggest Alocasia ‘Calidora’ (on the other side of the barrel) is MUCH taller than I am. Several of the older plants went dormant over the winter and have yet to come to life. GEEZ! Once they go dormant it seems to take a very long time for them to come back to life. Normally, the bigger plants don’t go dormant in the basement over the winter…

 

Aloe maculata on 6-5-19, # 583-4.

The Aloe maculata is doing very well after being in the house over the winter. I usually keep it in the basement during the winter, but this year I let it stay in the dining room. As you can see, it has several pups that need to be in their own pots. It will start flowering soon. 🙂

 

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 6-5-19, #583-5.

The Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ is strutting its stuff!

 

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ on 6-5-19, #583-19.

The Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ is starting to flower…

 

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ on 6-5-19, #583-20.

And so is Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’. I need to do some work on the shade beds but the mosquitos are crazy there right now.

 

Equisetum hyemale on 6-5-19, #583-17.

The Horsetail is… Strange how I am at a loss for words. I… Ummm… For the most part I really like the Equisetum hyemale because I don’t ever have to worry about it. It survives and grows no matter what. The only issues are duriing the winter when the cold and wind causes the stems to fall over. Some stand back up, but some do not. Once I get in the mood, I will pull the weeds and grass around and among the Horsetail and cut off the stems laying on the ground. Believe me, there is plenty of new growth, even in the yard 10-15 feet away. But that is no problem for the lawn mower. Nothing distracts the Horsetail’s mission to grow, thrive, and be happy.

The area in front of the chicken house gets neglected quite a lot even though I had plans here originally. The soil is good but the moles work in this area more than I do. The light in this area is also weird. I have put various plants in front of the chicken house over the years and nothing seems to work well. Nothing except for the Horsetail and sometimes the Achillea millefolium at the other corner. I do have a NICE colony of Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ growing along the northeast side that has always done very well, although also neglected.

 

Malva sylvestris on 6-5-19, #583-22.

When I saw these plants at Wagler’s Greenhouse they were unlabeled. I asked what they were and she said, “she said they were Miniature Hollyhock.” That sounds weird. She didn’t say who “she” was and I didn’t ask. ANYWAY, being unlabeled always gives one side of my brain a red light and the other side a green light. At first the red light wins and I pass by. Then the negotiation between the two sides begins and the green light wins. Yeah, that is a very good way to explain my insanity when it comes to bringing home unlabeled plants. It gives me an opportunity to do research and learn. That can lead to confusion especially when there are several genera in the Malvaceae family that are similar and have similar leaves and flowers. So, you have to wait until they flower. Ummm… The flowers are similar for several genus and species, but fortunately, the flowers of Malva sylvestris are unmistakable. THANK GOODNESS!

 

Oenothera biennis (Evening Primrose) on 6-5-19, #583-24.

This is another “Ummm…” plant. The Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) is a Missouri native (and the rest of central and the eastern part of North America). It somehow thought growing in a crack in the concrete floor would be a good idea (what was the back porch of my grandparent’s old house). I first noticed it when I moved back in 2013, and although I never saw an Evening Primrose, I somehow knew what it was. I didn’t pull it out of the crack so I guess it thought I liked it. Now they come up everywhere they think it is OK along the back of the old foundation.

The Evening Primrose is an interesting plant that only lives for two years. The first year’s leaves grow in a tight rosette and spirally on the stem the second year. The flowers open in the evening and, if you are lucky, last until around noon the following day. I have RARELY seen their flowers… Of course, this is the plant Evening Primrose oil comes from.

 

Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ on 6-5-19, #583-31.

The Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ is an awesome Salvia. Well, in my book, all Salvia are AWESOME! I deadheaded these two plants on May 19 and they started right back blooming again. Last summer I neglected to deadhead once and they didn’t flower for quite a while. I haven’t made that mistake yet this summer. OH, summer has just begun… 🙂

Then finally on June 8…

Amorphophallus sp. on 6-8-19, #584-1.

The Dragon’s Tongue, Voodoo Lily, or whatever you choose to call it has tripled in size since June 3. I won’t really know what the species is until they flower, but I suspect Amorphophallus konjac is the likely candidate. Out of 223 accepted species on Plants of the World Online (as of now), there are only a few that are commonly available that would be passed along at a local greenhouse fairly inexpensive. Actually, maybe just one. Well, maybe we can even narrow that down to zero but that would leave me back where I started. Even though Amorphophallus konjac is a common Voodoo Lily, you probably won’t find it at Lowe’s or Wal-Mart.

Passalong plants are plants that reliably come up and multiply. Plants that everyone has but seldom buys. Plants you usually wind up with so many you have no idea what to do with are sometimes considered passalong plants. Plants that are very nice and you like really well that you hate to pull up and throw on the compost pile because you have so many. Then they will start coming up in and around the compost pile. Plants that you would sometimes like to go to another town and leave on people’s doorstep and run away. Never in your own small hometown because their neighbors may recognize you. 🙂 Believe me, the thought has crossed my mind. Passalong plants are great to trade with people at plant swaps because there are always people that come and have no idea what they are getting into.

Moving right along…

Aptenia cordifolia/Mesembryanthemum cordifolium f. variegata on 6-8-19, #584-3.

The Aptenia cordifolium f. variegata, or Mesembryanthemum cordifolium f. variegata, is doing very well. While I am getting used to typing Mesembryanthemum without checking the spelling my computer wants to spell variegata wrong. It seems to think it should be variegate. GEEZ! I am just reluctant to change the name from Aptenia to Mesembryanthemum because I think it will change back again. The neat little flowers are a challenge to photograph because they close in the afternoon before I normally take photos.

 

Aptenia cordifolia/Mesembryanthemum cordifolium f. variegata on 6-8-19, #584-2.

Ummm… Yes, this is an “ummm” plant. I am not going to say anything else. Just think of the first thing that comes into your mind. Ummm… Now you see what I mean? What are we thinking? This is a plant and how the bud starts!

It is times like this I wonder if the Angels are reading my mind. How does what we think affect our Karma?  I am just glad we can use the excuse, “I am just human.” After all, the Creator of the Universe and all the divine beings have a sense of humor and probably are thinking the same thing. Nature can be humorous and this is one of those times.

 

Ledebouria socialis var. violacea on 6-8-19, #584-6.

Well, isn’t that amazing?!?! I just repotted this plant on June 4 and now it has its first bud. That is, it’s first since I have had it here. I have no idea how old as these bulbs (corms or whatever you call them) are. I am very thankful I get to experience the Silver Squill flowering. I think this will be a WOW moment not because they are rare or seldom flower, but because I have never seen one in person. Supposedly you have to be careful how you overwinter these plants or they won’t flower. You have to ignore the heck out of them and don’t give them any water during the winter months. I had to keep them in a room I seldom went in most of the winter to accomplish this. Once I put them in my bedroom in April, I had to give them a little water. For some reason, and I have no idea why, some consider Ledebouria a succulent. They are very popular plants with succulent enthusiasts, too.

No, I didn’t plan using the last two photos in sequence…

I am almost finished…

Ferocactus wislizeni on 6-8-19, #584-4.

I had a photo in the last post showing the red spines of this Ferocactus wislizeni (Fishhook Barrel Cactus). When I was looking at the cactus on June 8 I noticed something very strange… The “apex” of the cactus is where the new spines are formed… How come there are three now? I didn’t notice this earlier perhaps because of the hot glue stuck in its spines. I am very glad the hot glue slid off when I was taking this photo without doing any damage. 🙂 Anyway, information on Llifle says, Ferrocactus wislizeni is “a barrel-shaped or columnar cactus that stay usually a single column; rare specimens may be multiple…” Hmmm… This cactus is only approximately 1 3/4″ tall and it is already doing weird things… I have only had this cactus as a companion since March 30, so it could get interesting. We shall see…

 

Mammillaria decipiens on 6-8-19, #584-7.

The always witty Mammillaria decipiens (possibly subsp. camptotricha) is starting to flower again. It freely flowers most of the summer and I am thankful they are white instead of pink. This is a neat cactus!

OK, now I am finished for now.

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, and always be thankful. Get as dirty as you can and enjoy!

 

GOT IT! Echinopsis mirabilis Flower!

Echinopsis mirabilis on 6-3-19, #581-4.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. I have been keeping an eye on the Echinopsis mirabilis (Flower of Prayer) since I missed the last flower. On June 3, when I took the above photo and the one below, I knew it was getting close.

 

Echinopsis mirabilis bud on 6-3-19, #581-5.

If you missed the previous post about this plant, I had missed the last time it flowered. Plus, it was the first flower to open after I had brought it home from Lowe’s in March (2019 … Well, I had forgotten this plant flowers at night and only one night. So, when I got up to check the morning after, it was to late.

 

Echinopsis mirabilis at 7:20 PM on 6-4-19, #582-1.

At about 7:20 PM Tuesday evening, I thought I better go check on this plant to see what the bud looked like.

 

Echinopsis mirabilis bud at 7:20 PM on 6-4-19, #582-2.

The twisted appearance is pretty neat. Kind of like it is unwinding. 🙂

THEN, AT 10:30 PM…

Echinopsis mirabilis flower at 10:34 PM on 6-4-19, #582-3.

Echinopsis mirabilis

THE FLOWER OF PRAYER!

WOW! AMAZING! BEAUTIFUL! I was nearly speechless! There have been a few times in my life I have seen something so amazing I was speechless! A miracle of nature right before my eyes! I ran back inside to grab the camera…

 

Echinopsis mirabilis flower at 10:35 PM on 6-4-19, #582-4.

It’s like everything, every movement, every breath, every thought stopped when I was looking at this flower. Everything except taking photos.

 

Echinopsis mirabilis flower at 10:35 PM on 6-4-19, #582-5.

The flower is so HUGE in comparison to the size of the plant itself!

 

Echinopsis mirabilis flower at 10:35 PM on 6-4-19, #582-6.

It’s like the love of your life looking you right in your eyes for the first time. Her smile, the twinkle in her eyes as she peered into your very soul! (Then you meet her for the first time after 36 years shopping in Wal-Mart and you strike up a conversation. Then she says, “Who are you?”).

 

Echinopsis mirabilis flower at 10:35 PM on 6-4-19, #582-7.

So beautiful and amazing! I took a whiff to see what it smelled like. It was weird. Barely any scent at all… Good thing it is self polinating. 🙂

This is the second time I have witnessed a night blooming plant… Last summer I went to my cousins home where they have this HUGE Night Blooming Cereus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) I wrote a post about it and you can view by clicking HERE. It was an amazing thing to see!

We had our family reunion recently and she (my cousins wife) asked me if I wanted it. She said they hadn’t even moved it outside. Well, of course, it is very hard to refuse but it is HUGE! How do I even get it home? You know what they say, “Where there is a will, there is a way.”

Nature is an amazing thing and we are blessed to have so many miracles around is. Life in itself is a miracle and we are so blessed to live on this amazing planet called Earth. Take time to be aware of the miracles around you, how nature and life unfolds right in front of you.

What miracles of nature have you witnessed?

That’s it for now! Until next time, be safe, stay positive, be thankful and GET DIRTY!

 

Surprise Pink Achillea and Green-Leaved Milkweed

Achillea millefolium with pink flowers on 5-30-19, #578-1.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. I have been working on the thistles at a friends farm and have noticed a few wildflowers I don’t have here. It only takes seconds to take a few photos. Sometimes it is good to have proof of what you saw when it is unusual. I remember a few years ago I found a HUGE Morel growing in the chicken yard in February. I took a photo with my cell phone but had no way of getting it into my computer. I sent the photo to a few people, but now I don’t even have the cell phone. That was probably a once in a lifetime event and a fluke of nature to have a Morel in February.

Well, a few days ago, I was surprised to see a single Achillea millefolium with pink flowers. Achillea millefolium in the wild typically have white flowers and I have seen hundreds, and most likely you have, too. They can be seen growing along highways, back roads, in pastures, along trails, in fence rows, etc. There are many cultivars of Achillea in several different colors but to see an Achillea millefolium, other than white, in nature is a rare find. I feel very blessed and am thankful for witnessing this plant. I am very tempted to dig it up and bring it home so a cow won’t eat it or step on it.

 

Asclepias viridis (Green-Flowered Milkweed) on 5-30-19, #578-2.

Another wildflower on his farm that I don’t have growing here is the Asclepias viridis (Green-Flowered Milkweed). The Missouri Botanical Garden website says they are commonly found in the Missouri Ozarks and the southeastern corner of the state as well as several other states.

 

Asclepias viridis (Green-Flowered Milkweed) flowers on 5-30-19, #578-3.

The nectar from the flowers are a source of food for many butterfly species.

 

Asclepias viridis (Green-Flowered Milkweed) leaves on 5-30-19, #578-5.

The leaves are a source of food for Monarch Butterfly larvae (caterpillars). This milkweed also goes by several other common names. It is known as the Spider Milkweed because the White Crab Spider lives on this plant and Green Antelope Horn because the seed pods resemble an Antelopes horn.

 

Carduus nutans (Musk Thistle) on 5-30-19, #578-7.

Ummm…  This stately plant may look AWESOME and it does have beautiful flowers. But, if you see these in your yard or garden, take photos and admire the plant then get rid of it. This is the terribly agressive and invasive Carduus nutans commonly known as the Musk Thistle and Nodding Thistle. A few years ago I had a couple of these growing next to the south side of the barn. It was different than the other thistles with its beautiful silvery leaves. I let it grow until it flowered so I could take photos then sprayed it. Then, this spring, I saw a couple more growing next to the hay lot.

 

Carduus nutans (Musk Thistle on 5-30-19, #578-8.

The wickedly beautiful leaves are lined with very sharp spines.

 

Carduus nutans (Musk Thistle) flower on 5-30-19, #578-9.

The flowers are really neat on the Carduus nutans but they are different than the “common” thistle. Most thistles are very invasive and NOT native to this country.

When I first did my research on the species of Thistles growing on the farm, I could NOT find this plant. I was looking in the Cirsium genus. I really hadn’t gotten into Thistles for a few good reasons, and concentrated mainly on other wildflower species I have been identyfing on the farm. But, since I have been working on the Thistles on my friends farm, I noticed a few different species so I did some investigating.

He told me about the app from the Missouri Sate University that can be downloaded and used for plant ID. Well, I don’t have a cell phone but I did get on their website. I looked at the many species in the Cirsium genus but could NOT ID this Thistle. I noticed one of the links was redirecting to the wrong plant so I sent an email to Pam Trewatha to tell her about it. Of course, I sent her a photo of this thistle as well as the Achillea millefolium with the pink flowers. She correctly ID’d the thistle and thanked me for bring the error to her attention.

She also said she would be happy to help ID any other mystery plants. Hmmm… I have several so she will be hearing from me again. I have one in particular that comes to mind. 🙂

I will be writing a post on Thistles soon which should be pretty interesting. They aren’t all created equal and, believe it or not, they are edible and nutritious.

Until next time, be thankful, be safe and stay positive. This is a nice sunny day, so I think I will do some mowing and trimming. Of course, I will GET DIRTY. Care to join me?

Neat Flowers! Centaurea & Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’

The yellow flowered Centaurea on 5-30-19.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. We made it through a day without any precipitation so far. I thought it was going to rain around 7 PM when I was working in the northeast corner flower bed, though. I noticed a mole had been working the bed over so I had to work it over, too.

That brings me to a message I found in my blog spam… I hardly ever look at the spam comments but I decided I would a couple of weeks ago. There were two comments asking me to try out their products and write reviews. One was for this neat garden planner and the other was for a solar-powered pest repellant for the yard. They both came but I haven’t written a review yet. Since I had the mole issue, I decided to put the new gizmo to work and see what happens. They sent me two, so I will put the other one somewhere between the shade bed and chicken house. I will take photos and write my first review when I set the next one up. I must admit, the quality seems pretty good… Now let’s see if it works as good as it looks.

The yellow flowered Centaurea is still blooming and now the other two have started.

 

Purple flowered Centaurea on 5-28-19.

OK, I must admit I was expecting something a little different. The tag, written in pencil said Centaurea and purple.

 

Red flowered Centaurea on 5-28-19.

Ummm… The label with this one said Centaurea and red. Well, the photo isn’t quite as dark as in real life and I must admit the flowers are pretty neat.

 

Leaves of the Centaurea that has the purple flowers on 5-28-19.

All three of the Centaurea have different leaves but the “red” and “purple” seem to have the same growing habit.

 

Leaves of the Centaurea who’s label says “red” on 5-28-19.

The leaves of the one with the red label are somewhat larger than the one labeled purple.

 

Leaves of the Centaurea with the yellow flowers on 5-28-19.

The one with the yellow flowers has much smaller leaves and they are paler green. The plant also has somewhat of a different growth habit.

 

Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’ on 5-28-19.

NOW THAT IS NEAT! Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue” is definitely black and blue! It was pretty funny when they started budding and they were solid black. On the morning of May 28, I was greeted with the first two sets of blue flowers on two of the plants. One of the plants is a little behind and is just now beginning to bud.

 

Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’ on 5-28-19, #577-8.

I really like Salvia in general. They have really neat flowers and unmistakeable scented leaves. I have grown 13 different Salvia species and I have enjoyed them all. Currently, I still have four species growing and the Salvia coccinea (Scarlet Sage) seedlings haven’t come up for 2019. They reseed and a few have come up every year since 2014. I think I should do a post dedicated to past and present Salvia.

OH, wait a minute… I almost forgot I should have said 15 different Salvia. Rosemary is now in the Salvia genus (Salvia rosmarinus). I grew the Rosemary in 2017 and a variegated cultivar maybe in 2014 or 2015.

I did take a few photos of a few wildflowers at a friend’s farm that I don’t have here. I found the pink-flowered Achillea millefolium. I am so tempted to try and transplant it here. I also took photos of a different Milkweed which I identified with no problem.

Until next time, be safe and stay positive! Of course, you know by now to GET DIRTY!

Working On It…

Achillea ‘Moondust’ on 5-25-19.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. I am well, but we have gotten a lot of rain in the past few weeks. It is hard to mow, keep up with the weeds and try and work on the beds when it is raining or wet. The plants I did put in the ground were done so in a hurry without much thought or amending the soil. I did put in some composted cow manure with the Colocasia bulbs, but cow manure only provides so much. There is a lot more to it and some plants need more of this and that. I think I need to write a post about plant requirements as I learn and experiment.

I always feel a little strange when people compliment me about my skills as a gardener and talk about my green thumb. Seriously, there are many great gardeners whos plants and flower beds look much better than mine. I have plants I think should be doing better while others do so well it is shocking. What is worse is to bring home a plant that is supposed to perform a certain way and it doesn’t. Then I realize it was labeled wrong and isn’t even the plant I thought it was. So, how does it perform like so when it isn’t even supposed to? 🙂 Sometimes it takes many years to even realize “this isn’t even the right plant!”

Hmmm… I can sense something about to happen with this post but I am trying to avoid it…

 

Achillea ‘Moondust’ on 5-25-19.

We have had a lot of rain, as I mentioned, and wind and some plants are beginning to lean. The Achillea ‘Moondust’ isn’t that tall, but I noticed it leaning as I took its photo. When this happens, you need to put a rock or something next to their stems or firn the soil a little. Otherwise, they can start growing crooked. I staked almost everything when I was living in Mississippi but I don’t have to do that here. That’s a good thing and I am thankful. I am thankful for the rain even though we have gotten plenty for now. But you know, it is always that way this time of the year.

One thing I have realized is to be thankful for everything. The good, the bad, and the ugly. We have so much to be thankful for and take so much for granted. We should spend our day saying “thank you” for every experience and everything we encounter, everything we use, the air we breathe, our abilities, running water, the food we eat, friends and family, a bed to sleep in, the clothes we wear… One thank you can just lead to another because one thing leads to another. One thought leads to another. One action leads to another and so on.

 

Achillea tomentosa ‘LoGrow™ Goldie’ on 5-25-19.

The Achillea tomentosa ‘LowGrow™ Goldie” is doing well and looking a little shaggy. I haven’t noticed any buds yet but I am thankful it is doing well.

****

I have hesitated to talk about certain things because this is a blog about gardening and plants. There is more to my life than gardening and plants. I think I need to work on opening up about other things like my spiritual journey. I know so many people struggle with the same problems and issues I have. We are all unique in our needs and life’s journey, which means we struggle with the same issues.

 

Agave univittata var. lophantha on 5-25-19.

Well, this is supposedly an Agave univittata var. lophantha (Center Stripe Agave). It looked much different when I brought it home, unlabeled, and did research to find out what it was. When it was just a pup, its leaves were shorter and broad now they are long and narrow. Maybe it is because it hasn’t had enough sun in the past so this summer it gets FULL sun… I am sure it will be thankful, too.

****

I was brought up in a Christian home and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was young. My mom made sure us kids were in Sunday school every week no matter what. She would drive past the speed limit going down the street to get there on time, but we were always late anyway. I had the same questions about the bible many of us do and was given the same answers many us were told… “There are things we don’t know, but we have to believe and live by faith that what it says is true.”

 

Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum (Elephant Garlic) on 5-25-19.

I have a lot of Elephant Garlic in the south flower bed and they make neat plants and have these beautiful flowers. My start was given to me by my neighbor in Leland, Mississippi 8-10 years ago and they always do well and spread.

****

We get into this rut believing things we still question. Sometimes when we believe in something, we close our minds to other possibilities. Then, when the truth comes, you don’t believe it. Therefore, I have always had an open mind and have always believed there is more to life than what the Bible teaches. And to think I have been nominated to be an elder at the church I attend. I used to call myself a “progressive Christian” until I recently found that there is already a movement by that name. Now I have to come up with another name because I am not involved with Progressive Christianity. I am just me.

I always say, “the truth is the truth whether you believe it or not.”

So, if we believe and accept what the Bible says, if it isn’t exactly true, we will believe many other things that aren’t exactly true as well. And we have.

 

Amoracia rusticana (Horseradish) on 5-25-19.

The Horseradish is looking awesomely well! I took a photo of it in full bloom on May 5.

 

Armoracia rusticana (Horseradish) flowers on 5-5-19.

I took a close-up but it turned out a little blurry. Most members of the Brassica family of plants have yellow flowers and interesting seed pods. Horseradish is different…

****

As we humans get older, we naturally have a few physical issues to deal with. It is like we are fine one day and the next we have new pains. Our joints get somewhat stiff, sometimes our digestion gets out of whack, we have weird sleep patterns, and so on. Not to mention getting bald on the top of our heads while the hair on our ears and eyebrows seems to need trimmed daily. We try this and that to feel better but barely anything works (usually because we are fine already). I am still healthy and fully functional, but sometimes a little extra energy would help. Some of go on this health kick, hopefully, and learn that we need to eat better. We realize the importance of reading labels and try to avoid GMO’s… Eating out, especially fast foods, is a no-no. But, sometimes we revert back to our old ways for one reason or another. Next thing you know, we are back to eating out and still taking our natural supplements. We think maybe if we just go ahead and eat whatever we want, take natural supplements, get plenty of exercise and do a cleanse every 6 months or so… Hmmm… We need to eat healthy for our physical body, mental focus, and our spiritual growth.

 

Aptenia cordifolia/Mesembryanthemum cordifolium f. variegata on 5-25-19.

The Heartleaf Ice Plant is looking much better now. It was one long branched stem so I took cuttings and put them in the same pot. I am patiently waiting for more flowers now.

****

Ummm… I deleted A LOT of paragraphs and have started over more than once. I have a lot to talk about but I am not sure how to go about it…

I feel like as we are growing up we are spinning around in a funnel as we learn. We are taught about the theory of evolution in school and the Biblical theory of creation in Sunday school. Once we accept Christ, we fall through the hole in the bottom of the funnel and into a bottle with all the other believers. The glass bottle is dirty and you can’t see out… Kind of like the scripture, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face…” (1 Corinthians 12:13 ESV). Well, maybe that isn’t what the scripture pertains to, but it reminds me of it anyway. That bottle is like a tiny speck of dust floating around in the Universe. I climbed out of the bottle and funnel and peered into the Universe in December 2016…

 

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ and Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ on 5-25-19.

The Astilbe x arendsii and Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ next to the porch in bed on the north side of the house are making great companions. I bought the Astilbe last spring and it is the third year for the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’. Both are very impressive plants that make a bold statement. Of course, the gold-leaved Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’) also makes a bold statement as well. It is like a living mulch that knows no boundaries in the right conditions. I thought it preferred a more shady area, but let me tell you, it has gone really wild in more sun. With the rain and lingering cool temps, the Chickweed in the north bed has been a challenge. The plant in the lower right corner of the photo is a Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ (‘Goldstrum’).

****

Deleted and started over more…

As I mentioned, we are taught the theory of evolution in school, but we have been taught it is wrong in Sunday school. Everyone knows most everything has gone through a process of evolution, even the people that tell you it is wrong.

 

Baptisia australis seed pods on 5-25-19.

The beautiful flowers of the Baptisia australis (Wild Blue Indigo, Blue False Indigo) have been replaced by these HUGE seed pods. While the flowers were beautiful, the plant doesn’t flower long enough. Deadheading doesn’t encourage more flowers as it does with a lot of annuals and perennials. After flowering, the Baptisia have these huge seed pods which turn black when mature that can be used in flower arrangements.

****

Since December 2016, I have enjoyed watching documentaries about ancient origins, ancient civilizations, new discoveries both in archaeology and science, and so on. It just fascinates me what has been found. Since modern scientists have said, “who are we”, the Universe has answered. Archeology and science are coming together more and more, but religious leaders and theologians are still stuck in old beliefs for the most part. They cannot admit the truth, even though so many know the truth. I think it is because they didn’t know the truth and believed what they were taught, even though it couldn’t be explained. Very little in the Bible can actually be backed up with physical proof. One reason is because the names of cities and people in the Bible are different than the actual names. Even names change from time periods and cultures. Their “gods” were given different names even though they were the same “gods”. Notice I wrote it with a small “g”. I could not figure out why the name Sumer wasn’t mentioned in the Bible when several Sumerian cities are. Then I realized the Bible calls it Shinar. Ur, a Sumerian city, was the birthplace of Abraham and his father and grandfather were high priests to the Sumerian “god” Enlil. Most people in the early part of the Bible were Samarians including Noah, although his name was different. One reason some things cannot be backed up is that they are myths. GEEZ! Like I said, I am supposed to be an elder, but I am just saying what most Christians believe but won’t admit to. Christianity is a multi-billion dollar “industry”.

To make it worse, many sacred documents that have been discovered are hidden or have been destroyed because they contradict what was written in the Bible.

I am not going to get into the Sumerian tablets. Maybe later. I do have the entire set of The Earth Chronicles by Zacharia Stitchin even though I haven’t even made it through the first book. In the first book, The 12th Planet, Mr. Stitchin has done a great job comparing old testament scriptures with the Sumerian tablets. Umm… Even though it is “controversial”.

I am not going to get into the Moses controversy…

 

Most of the cactus collection on 5-25-19.

Most of the cactus collection is on the back porch while most of the succulents are on the front porch. If there were more room on the back porch… All are doing well for the most part and some need re-potting. Experimenting with pumice will continue.

 

Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ and Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar) seedlings on 5-25-19.

Patiently waiting for the Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ to come up can be a real pain. I need to get the south bed planted so it will look good, but I have to wait for the re-seeders to come up. The Rudbeckia hirta ‘Denver Daisy’ came up first last spring but they haven’t made an appearance yet. So, likely they will not come up at all. USUALLY, the Jewels of Opar (Talinum paniculatum) come up after the Celosia but this year they came up first… By the thousands!

 

Canna and Colocasia esculenta along the garage on 5-25-19.

Something weird happened. Last year I dug all along the south side of the garage and spread out the Cannas. Then, I planted several of the smaller Colocasia esculenta rhizomes in front of the Cannas. The Colocasia didn’t do all that great here probably because I didn’t water them enough. After the “F” zapped everything in the fall, I removed the dead and mulched the bed with leaves. I did not dig up the Colocasia and take them to the basement because I already had plenty. Technically, not even the Cannas are supposed to survive the winter here, but mine are not the only ones in town that do. What was surprising, though, was that the Colocasia also survived the winter in the ground with the leaves on them. I often wondered what would happen if I tried that but never did. I wouldn’t try it with the bigger Colocasia rhizomes because that would be a disaster if they rotted in the ground because I neglected to dig and store them.

 

Cylindropuntia imbricata on 5-25-19.

The flowers are on the Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ but this photo is supposed to be about the Tree Cholla (Cylindropuntia imbricata) next to it. Since the Sedum is doing so well, it is hard to take a photo of the Tree Cholla without the Sedum being in it, too. The Tree Cholla does weird things in the spring and early summer, growing leaves and new branches and is very interesting to watch. The drawback of this plant is its thorns that just seem to reach out and grab you… The Chickweed seems to like growing in it perhaps because it thinks it is protected. Hmmm…

 

Euphorbia mammillaris on 5-25-19.

As tempted as I am to do something different with this Euphorbia mammillaris, I am going to leave it alone and see what happens. I really like this plant and it is going to be fun to watch grow.

****

What I would like to really talk about is meditation. Meditation can be awesome for you for many reasons. The problem for me was understanding how to do it. If you have been brought up as a Christian, meditation is something we don’t even practice and is barely ever mentioned. How can something so important and valuable not be taught in Christian churches? I don’t get it… I think I understand why, but I still don’t get it.

 

Ferocactus wislizeni on 5-25-19.

When I was taking photos, I noticed a red glow on the Ferocactus wislizeni. Apparently, the new spines emerge red from a tuft of cotton. NICE! Ummm… the glob in the photo are the remains of a strawflower that was hot glued to this plant. The hot glue is stuck to a few of the spines and won’t come off yet.

****

I tried and tried to meditate and it seemed like nothing was working. I read this and that, watched videos, and I would always wind up giving up. Well, I prayed about it… Next thing I know, I had a new follower on my blog who made a comment. I always check out new follower’s blogs and it was good I looked at hers. I sent her an email and she sent a link to DailyOM. Since then, I have taken many courses on DailyOM and have learned A LOT. The courses on the Archangels, meditation, manifestation, and so on have helped a lot. Masha’s blog is called A Sweeter Life…

 

Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’ on 5-25-19.

The Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’ is really glowing now. I had to remove some Chickweed to get a good photo and noticed something interesting…

 

Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’ flowers on 5-25-19.

It has the tiniest flowers I have ever seen on any of the other Heuchera. I almost pulled it off with the Chickweed!

****

Most of the courses I have taken on DailyOM have been very good, but there have been a couple I couldn’t sink my teeth into. Before DailyOM, I had difficulty meditating because of various reasons. Some say you have to quiet your mind and sit like so. Getting your mind to stop thinking is like getting your heart to stop beating. It is impossible… One said to count your breaths in order to stop thinking… Count one on the inhale, two on the exhale, and so on until you get to seven then start over. Sometimes I would be on 23 before I realized I was thinking about not thinking…

 

Matricaria discoidea (Pineapple Weed) on 5-25-19.

One of the neatest plants on the farm is the Matricaria discoidea also known as Pineapple Weed, May Flower, Wild Chamomile, Etc. It is a cousin to Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla with 48 synonyms)

 

Matricaria discoidea flowers.

The flowers look like little yellow balls and the plant’s bloom all summer. The only place they grow here is in and along the driveway. I have tried moving a few to the flower bed to see how tall they would get if they weren’t mowed off all the time. Information online says they grow from 2-16″ tall. As one of their common names implies, they have a nice pineapple scent which fills the air when I mow. You can make tea with their leaves and flowers and also use them in salads. The Wikipedia says their leaves may become bitter by the time they flower… I have never tried them even though there are hundreds of plants.

****

Then there were the ones that said you need to “be present” but wouldn’t explain what that even meant. Well, with DailyOM, I figured it out. You can take guided meditation courses that lead you through the whole process and it works… You eventually get the hang of it.

Then, on Gaia.com, I watched an interview with Belinda Womac (Open Minds, season 7 episode 12). I had taken courses about the Archangels on DailyOM, but then I bought Belinda’s book titled Lessons from the 12 Archangels. It is very good! My favorite course about the Archangels on DailyOM is titled Angelic Infusions: Live the Truth of Who You Are by Mark Mezadourian.

While it is interesting to know about our past, knowing how much truth has been lost, hidden and destroyed and why can be a little upsetting at first. To realize how we have been deceived will only lead you to watch more documentaries and reading more about the deception. This will lead you to watch and read any and everything, a lot of which is deceptive in itself. Many authors and people on YouTube don’t agree either which can be even more confusing.

I think the most important thing is to realize who we are, what we are, how to have what we want and need, how to get it, advance spiritually and know why that is necessary. Most of all, we are to love one another, encourage one another, learn about awareness and teach others along this journey. We all have gifts, even though we may not realize it now, to use to help others.

 

Spirea flowers on 5-25-19.

The Spirea is LOADED with flowers as always this time of the year. When I lived on the farm in the early 1980’s, this Spirea was in front of the house with the Junipers. I moved it between the back porch and basement steps so it would have a better chance. Well, after all these years, it has survived. Dad removed the old Juniper shrubs in front of the old foundation and now there are Iris in the area… PLUS several of this Spirea that came up from the roots left behind. They don’t do well, though, because they are in full shade.

I took more photos on May 25 but they are mainly for updates on the plant pages to the right of the blog.

I think I am going to work on something different along with sharing photos and information about plants and gardening… I tried it with this post but wound up deleting and re-writing MANY paragraphs. I have a lot to talk about but I am just not sure how to go about it…

SOOOOO, for now, I will close this post before I go back and delete everything again and start over. I have photos for the next post already so I better get it posted before they become outdated. OH, I found some NEW wildflowers on another farm I need to photograph and post about. I even found an Achillea millefolium with pink flowers. I have seen HUNDREDS of Achillea millefolium but NEVER one with pink flowers! Now I need to find it again before disappears.

Until next time, be safe, stay well, stay positive be thankful AND GET DIRTY!

 

 

Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’-NOT!

BLUE WILD INDIGO

Baptisia australis

Hello everyone! I bought this Baptisia labeled ‘Lunar Eclipse’ from the Green Street Market in Clinton in 2017. There were several pots of ‘Lunar Eclipse’ flowering but they were pretty pricy so I settled for one in a smaller pot that wasn’t flowering. The label clearly says Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ which has beautiful bi-color flowers. It flowered a little for the first time last year but they were NOT like ‘Lunar Eclipse’. I thought maybe the flowers were whacky their first year so I still had hope for this year. I didn’t want to admit it was incorrectly labeled from the grower that supplies Green Street Market.

 

While still very impressive, it just feels weird waiting for something to happen and not getting what you expect.

 

Instead of being cultivar Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’, it is actually Baptisia australis commonly known as Blue False Indigo or Blue Wild Indigo. Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ was a combination of many species. Since the label is incorrect I don’t know if this is just the species or a different cultivar. SO, what can I do? I have to go back to this plant’s page and change the whole thing. At least the mystery is solved and I am also happy for that.

I am not complaining that much because it is a very beautiful plant but it isn’t what I paid for. I told the owner of the Green Street Market about it a couple of weeks ago. Of course, I didn’t expect a refund or anything because I have had the plant since 2017. It isn’t her fault the grower labeled them wrong and I did take a risk in paying a lesser cost for plants that weren’t flowering in the first place. You just never know and that is part of gardening…

I still have a lot of photos taken over the past couple of weeks, but they are mainly out of date now. So, this next week I will probably take more and HOPEFULLY make another post or two. I am STILL working on plant pages, updating and adding new ones. It is always a work in progress just like life.

Until next time, Be safe, stay positive and GET DIRTY!

Echinopsis mirabilis-Flower of Prayer

Echinopsis mirabilis on March 30, 2019.

Hello folks! I wanted to make a post highlighting the Echinopsis mirabilis whos common name is the Flower of Prayer. The past few days has been an exciting time for this plant. I brought it home from Lowe’s on March 29 because I thought it was really neat. It is a very dark green, almost black which was one of the things I found very interesting.

 

There were several wooly looking appendages sticking out of it and an old flower stem. Well, of course, I had to bring it home.

 

Echinopsis mirabilis with a new flower stem on 5-5-19, #566-23.

On May 5 I noticed it was about to flower. WOW! I got pretty excited! This was going to be a whole new experience!

 

Echinopsis mirabilis on 5-15-19, #572-1.

I almost forgot all about it until May 15 when I took the above photo. I thought how neat this was going to be for this plant to flower.

 

Echinopsis mirabilis on 5-18-19, #574-5.

It was getting about time and even more exciting on May 18…

Then…

 

Echinopsis mirabilis on 5-19-19, #575-2.

On Sunday afternoon I went to check and it looked like this…

 

Hmmm… I had forgotten one important thing. It flowers at night and only lasts for one night.

 

On the bright side, there is another one starting to grow. I am wondering if all those other fuzzy appendages are past flowers or where new flowers will be.

The sad thing is that this species is monocarpic and will die after it is finished flowering at some point. The good news is that the flowers are self-fertile and produce 100’s of viable seeds. That would be really interesting if their seeds came up.

I will be watching this plant like a hawk during the day and like an owl at night when the next bud starts to open! I will NOT miss it the second time. 🙂

New Plants Update

Achillea tomentosa ‘LoGro™ Goldie’ on 5-16-19, #573-2.

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is doing well. I haven’t posted since April 28, so I thought I better make an appearance so you know I am still alive and well. I have been busy doing this and that because there is always plenty to do. The grass is growing nonstop now.

I wanted to share my new plants with you. I haven’t brought home very many yet and I haven’t even started on the south side of the house. I am waiting for the re-seeding annuals to come up and so far there is no sign. The Jewels of Opar are coming up but the Denver Daisy has been a no show. The Celosia ‘Cramer’s Amazon and ‘Brocade Marigolds SHOULD be coming up.

So, here are the new plants since the last post, in alphabetical order…

The top photo is the Achillea tomentosa (Wooly Yarrow). The tag says the cultivar is ‘LoGro™ Goldie’. I don’t know where the “LoGro™” is trademarked from at the moment but the cultivar ‘Goldie’ has been around for a few years. When I checked to see if the species name was still “accepted”, I ran into a little difficulty. Ummm…

If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty of it, there “were” five Achillea tomentosa with different authors abbreviations. All are synonyms of other species now. Achillea tomentosa Friv. ex Nyman=Achillea coarctata Poir., Achillea tomentosa Fraas ex Nyman=Achillea holosericea Sm., Achillea tomentosa L.=Achillea millefolium L., Achillea tomentosa Pursh=Achillea millefolium var. occidentalis DC.=Achillea millefolium L., Achillea tomentosa Pall. ex Ledeb.=Achillea leptophylla M.Bieb. (Actually, there are two different Achillea leptophylla. Achillea leptophylla K.Koch. ex Nyman=Achillea crithmifolia Waldst. & Kit.). All the authors who named and wrote the descriptions we all describing different plants with the same name. 

So, what is the species of this plant anyway? I did image searches online of the possibilities and many of the photos look the same with the same type of leaves and flowers. Yes, some were different, but nothing really conclusive. No database or website other than Plants of the World Online mentions anything about the name Achillea tomentosa now being a synonym. It must have been a recent change. Looks like another email to Rafael Goverts from Kew is in order… Watch him tell me the change isn’t definite yet. I agree if there are more than one scientific names of the same plant the mystery should be solved. After all, Achillea millefolium has 133 synonyms and that number will probably grow.

ANYWAY! This plant I brought home from Wagler’s Greenhouse on May 1. The plant labeled Achillea tomentosa ‘LoGro™ Goldie’, is supposed to grow to ONLY 6-8″ tall. That is smaller than “Goldie’, ‘King Edward’ or ‘Aurea’ which are also popular cultivars of Achillea tomentosa.

Moving right along…

 

Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ after I brought it home on 5-9-19, #570-1.

I had been working on planters for a friend so I “had to” go to the four local greenhouses on more than one occasion. Wagler’s has a few succulents but Mast’s and Wildwood have more. Sometimes I find something new at Mast’s but Wildwood normally has the best selection. Wildwood Greenhouse is smaller than the other three but their plants are AWESOME. Well, I suppose I shouldn’t rate one higher than the rest because all their plants are of high quality. Business was booming the first couple of times I went to the greenhouses, but I did get to visit with Mr. Yoder at Wildwood at length on the 8th and 9th. We talked plants in general. Anyway, one of the succulents I picked up was this nice x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ which was unlabeled. I posted the photo on a Facebook group and was told it looked like x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’. I looked it up on Llifle and Google and decided the member was right or close enough to give it a name. x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ is an intergeneric cross between Aloe speciosa and Haworthia cymbiformis. Interestingly, one website used the term bigeneric which was a new one for me but bigeneric and intergeneric mean the same thing. Maybe they couldn’t think of the word intergeneric. I like the thick dark green leaves.

 

Mesembryanthemum cordifolium f. variegata after I brought it home on 5-1-19, #564-2.

Walking through back greenhouse at Wagler’s I noticed this neat plant with a flower that looked similar to an Ice plant. There were A LOT of them but they were all unlabeled. I asked Mrs. Wagler what it was and she said it was an Ice Plant. Hmmm… When I think of an Ice plant I think of Delosperma cooperi which I have grown several times. “This is no Ice Plant”, I thought to myself. So, I brought it home mainly to figure it out.

 

By the time I arrived home to take photos the flower was closed up. It was pretty neat how the flower just kind of sticks out of the end of the plant.

Anyway, I went to my computer later and typed in “variegated Ice Plant” and came up with the name Aptenia cordifolia “Variegata”. Which would be written correctly as Aptenia cordifolia f. variegata. Unfortunately, Plants of the World Online says Aptenia cordifolia ONCE AGAIN is a synonym of Mesembryanthemum cordifolium. Ummm… Botanists agreed this species was Aptenia cordifolia when the name was changed by Martin Heinrich Gustav Schwantes in Gartenflora in 1928. The genus Aptenia was named in 1925 but the species were returned to the Mesembryanthemum genus in 2007. Then in 2009, several authors proposed this move be reversed. So far, no luck.

 

On May 6 I was finally able to get a photo of the flower. Like members of other Mesembryanthemum and Delosperma genera, the flowers of “Aptenia cordifolia” are only open during the day and close up in the late afternoon. The common name “Ice Plant” belongs to Delosperma cooperi. Aptenia cordifolia is the Heart-Leaved Ice Plant and Dew Plant *among others). The common name for Mesembryanthemum cordifolium is Baby Sun Rose. To make it a little more confusing, there is a hybrid cultivar floating around by Proven Winners called ‘Mezoo Trailing Red’ and they call it a Livingstone Daisy. It is likely a hybrid between Aptenia cordata x Aptenia haeckeliana, I mean Mesembryanthemum cordifolium x M. haeckelianum. The hybrids are found in the wild and produce red flowers while the true, whatever you call it, produce bright magenta-rose (pinkish) flowers.

All of the local greenhouses had many combination hanging baskets with these plants in them. I used them when I did the planters for a friend as well.

 

Callisia repens (Bolivian Jew) on 5-19-19, #575-1.

I also had to have this neat little plant. I look at the label and it was a Bolivian Jew and the species name was Callisia navicularis. I was pretty happy when Plants of the World Online said that was a legit and accepted name! BUT, when I was talking to a friend and sent him a photo, he promptly said it was a Callisia repens. I said, “WHAT!?!?!” I hadn’t looked online myself yet to make sure of that but he immediately knew that a Bolivian Jew was a Callisia repens and not what the label said. I checked for myself and sure enough, he was right. I met this guy through a Facebook group and he knows a lot about plants!

 

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ after I brought it home on 5-8-19, #569-1.

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ has been on my wishlist for a long time, so when I saw several at Muddy Creek Greenhouse on May 8 I didn’t hesitate to bring one home. I have grown both Colocasia ‘Tea Cup’ and Bikini Tini’ when I lived at the mansion in Mississippi but haven’t since I have been back in Missouri. Many believe Colocasia ‘Tea Cup’ is the same as ‘Coffee Cups’. Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ was discovered in the wild by Indonesian botanist Gregory Hambali and brought to the US by aroid specialist Alan Galloway.

 

I put it in the ground on the right side of the steps on the north side of the house. Two Achillea millefolium came up in this spot but I haven’t moved them yet. I just put the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ behind them. Hmmm… Two different species with completely different moisture requirements in the same spot. How’s that for garden planning? The Achillea are MUCH taller now but C. ‘Coffee Cups’ can grow 5-6′ tall.

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ and ‘Tea Cup’ are commonly advertised as a cultivar of Colocasia esculenta. In my opinion, and other growers of the ears, that is nearly impossible. It has many characteristics of Colocasia fontanesii including the dark petioles and smaller olive-green leaves. Colocasia ‘Black Stem’, which I have also grown in the past, is a Colocasia fontanesii.

 

Wagler’s also had a lot of very nice Gazinia so I had to bring one home for the northeast corner bed. I haven’t grown any of these for a few years but I always liked them. Their flowers start folding up in the late afternoon and open in the morning. GEEZ! I take most of my photos in the late afternoon!

 

Gasteria ‘Little Warty’ after I brought it home on 5-8-19, #569-2.

When I was out at Wildwood Greenhouse for the second time, I picked up one of the Gasteria ‘Little Warty’. It was unlabeled but I knew what it was from previous research about the Gasteria species. It is a cross between Gasteria batesiana x Gasteria ‘Old Man Silver’ from the Australian hybridizer David Cumming. Gasteria species seem to be easy to grow and are worth giving a try if you haven’t. They prefer light shade to shade over full sun so they also do well inside.

 

Haworthiopsis limifolia (Fairy Washboard) on 5-9-19, #570-3.

Wildwood Greenhouse had several of these Haworthiopsis limifolia (Fairy Washboard) which were also unlabeled. This species was first named Haworthia limifolia by Hermann Wilhelm Rudolf Marloth in 1910 then changed to Haworthiopsis limifolia by Gordon Douglas Rowley in 2013. A distinguishing feature of Haworthia species is their “two-lipped” flowers. After further research, three separate genera were discovered within the Haworthia genus. Now we have Haworthia, Haworthiopsis, and Tulista all with “two-lipped” flowers. Hmmm…

 

Malva sylvestris (French Hollyhock) on 5-19-19, #575-2.

Wagler’s had several unlabeled pots of these plants with nice HUGE dark green leaves that were unlabeled. Again, I had to ask what they were. Mrs. Wagler said they were Miniature Hollyhocks and thats all she knew. It is likely Malva sylvestris. Common names include French Hollyhock, and Tall or High Mallow.

I am not necessarily a Hollyhock fan because I had a friend, now deceased, who had them growing all along his garage. They spread A LOT over the years so I have been hesitant. I thought since these were miniatures they might do well between the basement steps and back porch so I brought one home. I planted it but I keep forgetting about it when I am taking photos. Hopefully, it won’t have pink flowers…

I think that’s it for the new plants this year so far. I didn’t find any new Hosta to bring home for myself but I did find three for a friend (the one I did the planters for). They are all different than mine so I can take photos of his. 🙂

Now I have to work on an update. I have to show you what the Echinopsis mirabilis is doing and photos of the Baptisia that was labeled ‘Lunar Eclipse’. It is LOADED with flowers this year but it is definitely NOT a ‘Lunar Eclipse’. Of course, the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ is always photo worthy and hasn’t even slowed down.

Until next time, be safe and stay positive!

 

 

 

 

 

NEW PLANTS-APRIL 27…

Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ on 4-27-19, #563-6.

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you well. Spring is the time of year us gardeners get itchy fingers and the only cure is to get out hands in the dirt. And, of course, the only treatment for a plantaholic is more plants. Every year I think about doing something a little different with the north side of the house. The problem is space. The “Elephant Ears” do very well on the north side of the house, much better than anywhere else. That leads to a complicated problem with only two ways to solve it. For now, I am going to extend the bed farther away from the house even with the gutter on one end and curving it slightly to meet the area next to the steps. As I mentioned earlier, the larger Xanthosoma robustum rhizome rotted but I still have an offset from it. I am also getting a Xanthosoma sagittifolium from a fellow plant collector. The Xanthosoma grow wider than the Colocasia so they take up a lot of space. Then,  of course, there was the wanting another Leucocasia (Syn. Colocasia) gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’. But, there were the two VERY LARGE Colocasia esculenta that I have grown on the north side of the house for several years. The two multiplied, as Colocasia esculenta do, but I will still only put two of the largest on the north side of the house. I already ran out of room before I started…

 

My son, Nathan, and his friend, Chris, are here now and Nathan said they would help out on the farm doing whatever I needed them to do. Umm… Chris seems more eager to help than Nathan so I explained to him what I wanted to do with the bed. A few days ago, while I was taking a nap in the afternoon, they started. I heard them talking outside so I got up to see what they were doing. I walked out the door and probably had a very blank look on my face. He completely misunderstood and dug one strip from the end of the gutter to the other side of the bed instead of digging everywhere there were no plants. The strip he dug was crooked, which he pointed out. I reminded him again what the idea was and he said he thought I wanted to dig a ditch. GEEZ!!!! A DITCH! Needless to say, they have yet to finish their project so I guess I will do it myself as initially planned. Then when I am finished I will hear them say, “We were going to do that…”

So, yesterday I decided to go to the greenhouses to see what they had available. I was going to go to Wagler’s but I needed to go to Wildwood first to see if he had another Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’. If you remember, in 2017  I found one there but the rhizome rotted a month before time to plant it in 2018. So, I ordered a “bulb” (as they called it) from a seller on Ebay. When it arrived it looked like a white sweet potato and it turned out to be the Xanthosoma robustum

ANYWAY! Wildwood did have several Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ plants, which were formerly Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’. They were actually Leucocasia gigantea in the first place. Being that phylogenetic testing proved they were more closely related to Alocasia than Colocasia, the Leucocasia genus was revived and the Leucocasia gigantea is there all by its lonesome. Of course, the label still says Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’. I think I am getting a brainache… So, of course, I picked one out to bring home.

 

Colocasia esculenta ‘Distant Memory’ (PPAF) on 4-27-19, #563-2.

When most people think of an Elephant Ear, it is usually the Colocasia esculenta that comes to mind. Over the years I have grown several different species and cultivars and would like to start doing that again. I have a wish list with several but they are unavailable locally so I would have to order. I did find a black-leaved cultivar at Wildwood labeled Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’. It was released by Walters Gardens in memory of Harriet Walters who they say was the lifeblood of the family business. Photos on their website show a plant with very dark and puckered leaves but the leaves on the plants I saw at Wildwood are not puckered. Maybe that will come with age. I have grown Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’ a few times in the past so this new version will be a new experience. The label says they grow 4-4 1/2′ tall and prefer at least 4 hours of sun. I know from experience the more light they are in the better the leaf color. I think I will probably put this plant on the left side of the porch where it will get plenty of light and attention.

You can read about it on the Walters Gardens website by clicking HERE.

I looked at the other plants at Wildwood in their front greenhouse and drooled over some of their succulents but I did not even dare pick up a single pot. They also had some very nice Veronica which tempted me… They had some VERY NICE pots of Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’ like I bought from them last year, but I refrained…

Then I ventured to the second greenhouse… The back left-hand corner is where they usually have their selection of Hosta. They had several nice cultivars I didn’t have including several VERY NICE Hosta ‘Humpback Whale’ and the prices weren’t bad at $8.00 per pot. But, I took only $20 because I had a limit…

The truth is, I had already spotted several pots of a plant I thought I would NEVER see available and I HAD to bring one home.

 

Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ after I brought it home 4-27-19, #563-3.

Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon‘!!! I was given several of these by a friend, Mary Botler, when I lived at the mansion in Leland, Mississippi. She gave me the start in 2010 and by the time I left in February 2013 they had spread quite a bit. Personally, I thought they were a very delightful plant and you just never knew where they would pop up. The scent of the leaves kind of reminded me of fish lemon pepper. While Plants of the World Online continue to include Houttuynia cordata as the only species in the genus, there are two chemotypes. POWO says the Japanese type has an orange scent and the Chinese type has a scent resembling coriander. Hmmm…

Common names for this plant include Bishop’s Weed, Fish Mint, Fish Leaf, Rainbow Plant, Chameleon Plant, Heart Leaf, Fist Wort, and Chinese Lizard’s Tail. It is used in cooking, as a salad, as well as herbal medicine. You can read more online about this plant on the Wikipedia page HERE, visit my page about it by clicking on its name (above). I have several links included on its page for further reading. The Wikipedia lists another species, but POWO says it is a synonym of H. cordata. There are several cultivars also available.

 

Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ on 4-27-19, #563-4.

One interesting thing about this plant was the color of the leaves. Some are a colorful combination of chartreuse and dark green and some with some having reddish highlights.

 

Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ on 4-27-19, 563-5.

Other leaves were a solid dark green and sometimes on the same plant. No two leaves are alike. The color of the leaves also varies by degrees of light which also changes throughout the season.

I was very happy to have found this plant locally. It is supposed to be hardy in USDA zones 4-10 so hopefully, it will thrive. Actually, I am not sure how well I want it to thrive because this plant can become invasive. I have grown many perennials that are supposed to be cold hardy here that have done well during the summer but didn’t return the next spring. So, we shall see…

I only had $21 in cash and some change and I didn’t know how much the Houttuynia was. It had been with the Hosta which were $8.00 a pot. If it were $8.00 I was going to have to put something back. Amish only take cash or checks here because they have no electricity and no debit card readers. When I was checking out, he said, “Let me see. How much are those?” I told him I didn’t know but they were with the Hosta that are $8.00. The total came to $21.14. 🙂

After I left Wildwood I went to Mast’s Greenhouse to check on the Hosta. I mainly went to see if they had Hosta like the Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ I brought home last year. As I have mentioned several times, the Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ is NOT a ‘Blue Angel’. I was hoping to find pots that were correctly labeled. While they did have several Hosta available, the only pot like the one I bought was apparently one left over from last year… Incorrectly labeled. I was going to quiz Mr. Mast about where they get their Hosta but there were a lot of people there and he was very busy. They did have several nice Hosta including a gold-leaved cultivar but it looked very similar to Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ which I already have. If I am going to buy another gold-leaved Hosta, it has to be different than what I already have.

So,  I headed back to town to go to Wagler’s on the other side of town. Just to look to see what was available. That’s why I stopped at the bank to withdraw another $20.00.

 

Centaurea sp. on 4-27-19, #563-1.

Wagler’s was also very busy so I went through their second door unnoticed. Normally, we visit a little but she was busy with customers at the counter. So, I ventured through one greenhouse then to another, then back up to another to get to the greenhouse with the perennials. The plants all looked very good. Once again, even at Waglers, the selection of Coleus was almost nothing. In the past I have planted Coleus between the Colocasia in the north bed, but last year I grew none. GEEZ! What is life without Coleus? Anyway, in the greenhouse with the perennials, the bright yellow flower on the Centaurea caught my eye. I walked past them then returned. Along the front of the table were pots with handwritten labels that said Centaurea red and some that said Centaurea purple. The pot with the yellow flowers had no labels. I also noticed the leaves of the yellow flowered plants were different and they had reddish colored main stems. I picked up one of each anyway. GEEZ! For the northeast corner bed or perhaps the southeast corner bed.

 

Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’ on 4-27-19, #563-7.

I walked around the perennial greenhouse more and saw some NICE peach colored Foxglove which I decided to pass. Then I spotted several nice pots of Salvia labeled Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’. Salvia ‘Black and Blue’ have been on my wishlist for MANY years so I had to pick out three. Salvia guaranitica is a synonym of Salvia coerulea now… Well, it has been for many years but the industry still labels them as Salvia guaranitica.

By the time I was finished browsing, the crowd had thinned out somewhat. I went to the counter and a lady had come and was asking her daughter or granddaughter (GEEZ!) about “Voodoo” plants. She told her there were a few pots that “Lonnie” brought last year under the table that hadn’t come up yet. The girl brought up a pot and Mrs. Wagler asked me something about it coming up. I stuck my finger in the pot and told her the bulb was sprouting. Then, she told the lady I was the one that brought the other Bromeliads. Come to find out, this lady was the one who brought Mrs. Wagler all the other Bromeliads last year from Florida. I had noticed the Bromeliads late last summer when I took plants to her and they were looking very good. So far, she has only been able to get one start from one of them.

The lady from Florida said she was somewhere in Florida and this guy just started pulling off offsets from all these Bromeliads and giving them to her. She put them in her suitcase and brought them to Mrs. Wagler to see if she could have any luck getting offsets from them. I am not sure how many there are, but there are MANY and all are different.

When I went to pay for the six plants I had found, Mrs. Wagler quietly told me I didn’t owe her anything. 🙂 It is so great to be able to go to a greenhouse and not have to pay for plants. I am also grateful to be able to have a place to take plants that multiply where I can trade for plants I want.

I would like to start working on the north bed, but a thunderstorm is approaching. Rain is in the forecast all week. GEEZ!

I hope you are having a great and joyous spring. Be safe and stay positive.

Heuchera and Hosta Update

Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’ on 4-23-19, #562-4.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. The Heuchera and Hosta are all doing good for the most part. We have been having cool temps this week but nothing serious.  Some of the perennials are growing like weeds now while others are casually taking their time. If you grow several different Hosta cultivars from different size groups, you will find the larger cultivars grow at a much faster rate than the miniatures. At least that is the way it is here.

You can click on the names of the Heuchera and Hosta to visit their own pages.

The Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’ in the above photo was a little off at first but it seems to be doing much better now.

 

Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ on 4-23-19, #562-5.

The Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ is being weird again this spring. I don’t understand how some plants can do great their first year and then go downhill after that. I dug it up, checked its roots, made sure there wasn’t a mole tunnel under it, amended the soil with cow manure, then put it back in the ground at the proper depth. So far it is still being weird!

Heuchera (Coral Bells) don’t have a lot of rules to keep them going. They need well-draining soil, kind of lose and loamy like most plants. They can go for short dry periods but they prefer consistently damp soil, but not to damp. During dry periods they like at least an inch of water per week or they begin to feel neglected. Although they don’t seem to mind Oxalis and Clover to a point, they consider most weedy companions as intruders. They don’t seem to like the pushy Chickweed or Lamium purpureum (Deadnettle) and always ask if I can remove them. Company is one thing, but enough is enough!

 

Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ on 4-23-19, #562-6.

The bigger Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ continues to do very well. The smaller plant next to this one is doing very well also. This plant handed me a “to-do list” reminding me to keep the Virginia Creeper (lower left corner) in check.

 

Heuchera ‘Venus’ on 4-23-19, #562-7.

The Heuchera ‘Venus’… They say a photo is worth a thousand words, but I can honestly tell you this Heuchera looks even better in person. It seems to like its Red Clover companion. That’s good because I can’t remove it. Its stem is right next to the Heuchera with much deeper roots. Heuchera ‘Venus’ is looking better than ever so I don’t think I need to bother it.

Heuchera always looks good this time of the year through most of May. Once the heat of summer sets in and the Japanese Beetles arrive… I have plenty of leaves for mulch that I am going to put on the shade bed, and maybe in the bed in the north side of the house. That will help keep the soil cool and retain some moisture.

Now for the Hosta…

 

Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ on 4-23-19, #562-8.

The Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ is taking its time making sure the coast is clear. She keeps reminding me how I couldn’t find her earlier because I was looking in the wrong place. Then she giggles so I know she is just kidding around. I was looking behind the label instead of in front of it… Anyway, the Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ is alive and well. 🙂

 

Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ ? on 4-23-19, #562-9.

If this is a Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ I will really be surprised. It survived the winter and started leafing out faster than the rest of the Hosta. I have looked at its label several times to verify to myself, and to the plant, that it says Hosta ‘Blue Angel’. The label hasn’t changed and that is exactly what it says… This clump looks like a very nice and healthy miniature Hosta, which Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ is not… Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ grows to a mature size of 36″ tall. Its leaves also do not match Hosta ‘Blue Angel’. So, I need to find out the source of this plant from Mast’s Greenhouse to see what miniature Hosta they have available… I WILL figure it out! I am certainly not unhappy with the plant because it is very good. It just needs to have its proper name.

 

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ on 4-23-19, #562-10.

It seems to take a long time for the Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ leaves to unfurl. I looked back at last years photos and it seems to actually be a little ahead. Patience is a virtue…

 

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ on 4-23-19, #562-11.

What a glowing beauty! The Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ is definitely a winner! Sometimes I go outside in the dark to check on something, like measure a plant (yes, I really do that). If I shine my light toward the Hosta this one lights up like it is saying, “I am here!” I have had several gold-leaved Hosta on my wishlist for many years but there are never any available locally. I was fortunate to have found this one at Muddy Creek Greenhouse in 2017.

 

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ on 4-25-19, #562-12.

The Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ has grown by leaps and bounds. It wasn’t the first to emerge, but once it did and the temps warmed up it took off and grew faster than any other Hosta here. I have taken several photos of it already that I haven’t posted because by the time a post is finished it has grown more. Then I forgot to take its photo on the 23rd with the other Hosta which is why this one was taken on the 25th (even though it is in the same folder). Currently, it is already 30″ wide and it just the last part of April!

 

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ on 4-23-19, #562-13.

The Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ is looking very good now.

 

Hosta ‘Guacamole’ on 4-23-19, #562-14.

The Hosta ‘Guacamole’ is doing very good now. I am going to like it much better with it all on the same location.

 

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ on 4-23-19, #562-15.

The Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ is one of my all-time favorite Hosta. I like the color and their vase-shaped habit.

 

Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ on 4-23-19, #562-16.

The Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ is an amazing Hosta for sure. It just does its thing and that is growing and looking beautiful! Beautiful large dark green corrugated leaves!

 

Hosta ‘Red October’ on 4-23-19, #562-17.

Talk about a miraculous recovery! I thought the Hosta ‘Red October’ was completely gone. Each time I checked on the Hosta and took photos of them coming up, Hosta ‘Red October’ was nowhere to be seen. The clump had struggled last spring because of a mole tunnel under the roots, so I dug it up. There were only two plants left in the clump so I put them beside two separate Chinese Elm trees. They didn’t do well all summer but they did survive. This spring they were gone. I dug into the soil where I had planted them and nothing was to be found. Then one day, with no camera, I saw they had both came up. Not just a sprout, but the whole plant! It had only been a couple of days since I took photos and they were not there. It was a pleasant surprise for sure! So, I took both plants and put them where The Hosta ‘Rainforest Sunrise’ had been (where one of the ‘H. ‘Guacamole’ had been last year).

 

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ on 4-23-19, #562-18.

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ is looking GREAT and getting bigger every time I check. This is going to be a great specimen in time.

 

Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ on 4-23-19, #562-19.

Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ is definitely one of those delightful and entertaining Hosta. Emerging in bright colors in the spring then darkening as the season progresses.

 

Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’ on 4-23-19, #562-20.

All of the Hosta are doing very well except for the Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’. This will be our 11th summer together and it has always been AWESOME and has never had a lick of trouble until now. Apparently, with the up and down temps this past winter, its roots heaved up exposing some of the roots. Even with leaves as a mulch, it didn’t help that much because leaves blow off. I dug up the clump and dug the hole deeper, amended the soil with cow manure, then replanted what was left of the clump. Some of the roots are sticking upward which is a little weird… Hopefully, it will get back to its old self and start growing better.

Well, that’s it for the Heuchera and Hosta update. It took five days to finish this post! Today I went to three greenhouses to see what was available. I needed to see if Wildwood Greenhouse had another Leucocasia (Colocasia) gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ and see what else was available. I went to Mast’s because they were in the neighborhood but I didn’t go to Muddy Creek. Then, of course, I had to check with Wagler’s… So, the next post will be about the new plants which I will start on NOW…

Until next time… Be safe and stay positive. I hope you are getting dirty!

April 24 Update

A few of the plants on the front porch on 4-22-19, #561-9.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all doing well. I took most of the photos for this post on April 20 then more on April 22. I did manage to get the plants on the front porch but the cactus are still in the house. Many of the perennials are growing very fast now but some are still slow because of lingering cool temperatures. The Hosta have been slow except for a few such as the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ and H. Potomac Pride’. I will have to take new photos of the Hosta and make a separate update for the Heuchera and Hosta. I am planning a garden this year but the wind and then more rain has delayed that plan. I am also planning on extending the bed on the north side of the house… I want to add another Xanthosoma and find another Leococasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’. Of course, the larger Colocasia esculenta will also go in the north bed. Well, maybe I need to make the bed even larger than planned. I also moved the Alocasia outside but they aren’t exactly photo ready yet. 🙂

I met a new friend and fellow plant collector and we will be trading a few plants. No telling what I might wind up with but it will be very good!

 

Achillea ‘Moondust’ on 4-20-19, #560-1.

The Achillea ‘Moondust’ is well on its way to having a great summer. This is only the second cultivar of Achillea I have bought. The other was a selection of Achillea millefolium called ‘Strawberry Seduction’ which I purchased from Lowe’s in Greenville, Mississippi in 2012. I brought it to Missouri with me in 2013 but it fizzled out in 2014.

 

Achillea ‘Moondust’ on 4-22-19, #561-2.

Two days after the previous photo was taken, the Achillea ‘Moondust’ it has two buds…

 

Achillea millefolium on 4-20-19, #560-2.

The Achillea millefolium have been amusing plants (plural because I have SEVERAL clumps now). I have been calling this a Fern-Leaf Yarrow, but that common name belongs to the Achillea filipendulina (which has yellow flowers). The common names for the Achillea millefolium include Milfoil, Yarrow or Common Yarrow, Allheal, Thousand-Leaf, Bloodwort, Carpenter’s Grass, Cammock, Green Arrow, Sneezeweed, Nosebleed, Green Adder’s Mouth, Soldier’s Woundwort, Dog Daisy, Old-Man’s-Pepper and probably more. What is amusing to me is the way it travels by underground roots to where it would rather be. I initially brought two clumps with me when I moved back here from Mississippi in 2013. A friend of mine gave me quite a few plants from her yard that she had for MANY years. She said another gardening friend had given a start to her and she didn’t know the cultivar name. She just started yanking up plants because they had spread way out into her yard. Since I had several to experiment with, I put them here and there in both full sun and shady areas. The plants in too much shade just kind of fizzled out but the two mostly sun thrived. I brought two clumps with me when I came back here and put them in the bed on the south side of the house. In 2014 I moved one to the front of the chicken house and one on the north side of the house. I also put a few along the basement steps (in full sun). The one in front of the chicken house has just done so-so and that is where I thought it would spread the most. But, not so. It only did well there for a couple of years then the clump became smaller and has even tried moving around the corner. The plants along the basement steps, in full sun, only lasted a couple of years then they didn’t return one spring. On the north side of the house, where they received the least amount of sun, they have done much better and multiplied. I took one of the larger clumps and put them in front of the barn last spring in full sun. One clump on the north side of the house is only a couple of feet from the foundation and seems to like it there even though it is in the shade. The clump I moved to the barn was the traveler… It moved about 3 feet from where I initially planted it in three years to get to more sun. It has also left behind 4-5 offspring, two of which popped up this spring next to the steps. The other 2 or 3 are still in the shadier part of the bed. Supposedly, according to some, the Achillea millefolium will spread like wildfire but I haven’t had that problem. The native Achillea millefolium on one part of the Katy Trail nearby has flourished beyond comprehension. Here on the farm, I guess the cows have kept in check because there aren’t that many. You can see Achillea millefolium on a lot of back roads as well, sometimes in very large colonies. There are several nice cultivars available in several colors and sizes that do not spread.

 

Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ on 4-20-19, #560-3.

A few patches of the Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ are beginning to flower while some are still in bud. I really like this cultivar even though they spread like their life depends on it. Well, I guess their life does depend on it, huh? I originally brought the Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ home from Lowe’s in 2010 when I was living at the mansion in Leland, Mississippi. They multiply to form a thick mat so some of the plants need to be removed every year or so to avoid crown rot. They root easily so you can put them here and there. They have fairly shallow roots so they make a nice living mulch.

 

Astilbe cv. ‘?’ on 4-20-19, #560-4.

The Astilbe are getting with it now. They aren’t among the first perennials to emerge in the spring, but they are close behind them. Once they start they grow nonstop until they reach their size. The one in the above photo, Astilbe cv. ‘?’, is the one I brought home with the wrong label. I checked over the plant quality in many pots and didn’t notice it was mislabeled until I brought it home. GEEZ! It is a smaller plant so it is likely Astilbe ‘Visions’ or ‘Rheinland’. I guess I should take measurements of the mature height with and without the flowers so I can give ita proper name besides ‘?’…

 

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 4-20-19, #460-5.

No mistaking this is an Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ because it has the correct label. 🙂 This cultivar is somewhat taller than the other one and has dark leaves and red flowers. Astilbe are great in a shady area and prefer somewhat moist soil and they both like it on the north side of the house. Some cultivars grow to around 30″ or taller.

 

Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ ? on 4-20-19, #560-6.

The Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ wannabe has grown A LOT since I took the last photos on April 7.  I had to make a decision to move this plant to the southeast corner bed because it shades the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ too much. At least I think so although the Phlomis wasn’t complaining. ANYWAY, Saturday afternoon I took the shovel and stuck it in all the way around the clump to loosen the soil… Ummm… Baptisia has deep taproots and doesn’t like to be disturbed so I was going to be very careful to get as much soil and as deep as I could. It would not budge! I thought I was going to break the shovel handle. So, I decided I would move the Phlomis to the southeast corner bed instead. It was not happy about that decision… I will write about that down farther… So, for now, I guess the Baptisia stays put.

 

Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ on 4-22-19, #561-4.

On April 22, only two days after the previous photo was taken, the Baptisia wannabe ‘Lunar Eclipse’ has MANY buds… Now I have to watch it closely!

 

Cydonia sp. on 4-20-19, #560-7.

The Quince has more flowers on it this year than I have ever seen before. Maybe it will bear fruit. 🙂 This probably the most annoying shrub, besides the Crap Myrtle, on the farm. Well, I suppose that depends on how you look at it. I don’t trim it very often and it has spread into the patch of Iris next to it which I am not happy about. Other trees like to hide in it and there is also some Poison Ivy in it. My grandparents planted it here so it has been around for a long time. I have noticed other Quince’s around town that are also LOADED!

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 4-20-19, #560-27.

Like I mentioned earlier, I had to make a decision about moving the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ since I couldn’t budge the Baptisia…

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ roots on 4-20-19, #560-28.

I looked it over pretty good and thought, “Hmmm… I can make two out of it.” It actually had two tap roots, which were growing crooked because the soil was so hard.

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 4-20-19, #560-31.

After I replanted them and gave them a good soaking I continued taking more photos. Then I thought how I didn’t like the same plants in more than one location, even though they are within a few feet of each other. After all, I had just put the Hosta ‘Guacamole’ back together again for the same reason. I have to keep comparing the two plants and take two photos instead of one.

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 4-22-19, #561-13.

So, on the 22nd, I put them back together again. It wasn’t very happy I had dug it up and moved it in the first place let alone completely disturbing its roots. It will be in more sun where it is now, which is supposed to be OK. I will just have to keep an eye on it. GEEZ! It probably thinks I have flipped!

*On April 24 it has forgiven me and looks MUCH better.

 

Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ on 4-20-19, #560-32.

The Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ continues to do well. These are a great Salvia is you need a plant that stays pretty compact. This is our third season together and it has always done well. It will start budding shortly.

 

Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ on 4-20-19, #560-33.

I was very glad to see the Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ survived the winter. This will be our second season and it is already getting off to a good start. One plant is larger than the other, but the smaller one flowered first. 🙂 At one point last summer the smaller one almost fizzled out but it came back to life and survived the winter. This Salvia has the neatest flowers which you can see if you go to its page. Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ is part of the FASHIONISTA™ Collection introduced by Walters Gardens. Maybe I can find another one so there will be three. I used to only buy one of each plant, but last year I started buying at least three to make a bigger group. That’s OK as long as I plant them all together. 🙂

 

Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ on 4-22-19, #561-15.

The Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ (or ‘May Night’) has really taken off this spring! Last year, if you remember, it took a vacation and barely did anything. It stayed small and barely flowered. I am glad its vacation is over! This will be our seventh season and is one of the first perennials I panted here in 2013. It has been in this same spot.

 

Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ on 4-20-19, #560-36.

The Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ is growing really well now and

 

Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ buds on 4-20-19 #560-37.

It appears to have a few buds already!

 

Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ on 4-20-19, #560-38.

Even the stem with more yellow variegation has returned. Maybe I can take a cutting this year.

 

Sedum kamtschaticum on 4-20-19, #560-39.

The Sedam kamtschaticum is also doing very good. Last year it sprawled out and the stems touching the soil rooted. That’s good so now the clump will be bigger. 🙂

 

Tradescantia fluminensis flower on 4-20-19, #560-40.

When I took the plants to the front porch on April 20, I noticed the Tradescantia fluminensis had a flower. NICE. It did pretty well over the winter. Hmmm… I don’t have a page for this plant yet.

 

Zantedeschia elliottiana on 4-22-19, #561-16.

The Zantedeschia elliottiana (Golden Calla Lily) bulbs had started sprouting but the bulbs had sunk deeper into the soil. So, I gave the pot some fresh potting soil and re-planted the bulbs. They are a bit more crowded than recommended if you plant them in the ground but this is a pot… The top 1/4 of the bulbs need to be above the soil but that didn’t out so well. There is a big cluster in the center and when I watered most became covered with potting soil. Hmmm… They didn’t flower last year, so I am hoping for blooms. Hmmm… I don’t have a page for the Calla either and I have had them since 2017! How could that be? 🙂

I had to do some repotting and take a few cuttings when I moved the plants outside which can be expected when they have been inside.

I took photos of the Hosta on April 20, but some are growing so fast the photos are out of date. So, I will take photos again and do a separate Heuchera and Hosta update. Of course, there will be a cactus update once I move them back outside.

Until next time, be safe and stay positive and GET DIRTY!

 

April 7 & 10 Update

Achillea ‘Moondust’

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well and excited. Excited that spring seems to have finally sprung. I started mowing the yard(s) a few days ago and hopefully, I can till the garden this week. I see the rain is now out of the forecast. Saturday night weather radar showed a thunderstorm heading our way but somehow it never came. Then all the rain forecasted for the week was kind of removed. I was talking to a friend from Mississippi and she said they have had A LOT of rain and more to come. You just never know. It seems some times of the year the weather is hard to predict.

The plants inside want out BAD but I told them later this week lows in the 30’s are predicted. Most of them smiled like they were saying they wouldn’t mind. Others had a different opinion which was kind of like mine. They decided to take a vote and strangely enough, it was unanimous they go outside now. I had to veto… Hmmm… Is it possible to veto a vote? Is that legal? They said the grass is green and growing and so are the plants outside already. I told them they may be coming up but only some were growing good. The overnight lows are still cool so most of the perennials are just sitting there waiting for warmer temperatures. I told the cactus that sometimes cooler temperatures can scar them. Well, they didn’t especially like that idea so they agreed to stay inside, for now, would be OK.

The above photo is the Achillea ‘Moondust’ I bought last spring. It hadn’t appeared yet when I took photos on March 30. I thought it may have not made it through the winter so I was glad to see it.

 

Achillea millefolium by the barn…

All the Achillea millefolium in the beds are up and running as is the one I put in front of the barn last summer. I am sure the “wild” Achillea millefolium are up as well but I haven’t checked.

 

Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’…

All the Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ are going nuts now. I see they are starting to bud, too.

 

The unknown Astilbe cultivar…

The Astilbe have come up this past week. I never did figure out the cultivar name of the one brought home from Lowe’s in 2013. I had checked several pots to find the one I wanted, but when I came home I saw it had a wrong label in the pot. It was for a completely different plant…

 

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’…

The Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ I brought home last spring has also come up this past week. NICE! Grammarly thinks it should be called final…

 

Wanna be Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’…

The Baptisia labeled ‘Lunar Eclipse’ I brought home from the garden center in Clinton in 2017 is growing well. There were two sizes available and the plants in the larger pots were blooming but very expensive The smaller pots were still not cheap but agreeable. However, they weren’t flowering and they didn’t until last year. The flowers were all blue instead of the color of ‘Lunar Eclipse’. While it is true their flowers do turn blue, they start out yellow. It is possible I missed the yellow phase but I highly doubt it. When I make a trip to the garden center within a few weeks I will take a photo of the flowers and show the owner. I know it isn’t her fault but she may be interested to know. I am somewhat acquainted with the breeder, too.

 

Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla)…

The Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla) hasn’t started doing anything weird yet. I had to pull out some chickweed in the planter and she was nice this time. Normally she bites! This plant reminds me of the Delaware hens when I gather eggs. I do not put my hands under the Delaware hens when they are on the nest and I do my best not to touch this cactus. Both are very grabby.

 

Echinacea purpurea cv. ‘?’…

The Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), whatever cultivar they may be, are doing quite well. I have a notion to dig some of the wild species up and plant them on the farm. I know where I can privately dig three species. 🙂

 

Heuchera ‘Lime Ricky’…

The Heuchera ‘Lime Ricky’ is all aglow and already brightening up its southeast area of the shade bed. It seems a lit stunted so I will need to check the soil under its roots. Darn moles!

 

Heuchera ‘Obsidian’…

I am glad to see the Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ getting off to a good start. Last year as it was starting to look good, the deer sampled its leaves. It didn’t do well all summer after that. So far, no deer have nibbled anything this spring yet.

 

Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’…

The Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ is doing amazingly well. I am glad it’s happy.

 

Heuchera ‘Venus’…

The Heuchera ‘Venus’ is doing AWESOMELY well but she is complaining about bulbs growing in her space. I found a lot of small bulbs growing in this area when I dug this bed in 2017. I removed as many as I could see then replanted them later. Some of the bulbs were so small I guess I missed them. I attempted to identify the bulbs once they flowered again but I still haven’t decided what they are.

 

Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’…

The Hosta, for the most part, are slowly coming to life. They have come up but they haven’t made up their mind to get up and go. Kind of like I am when I need to get out of bed in the morning. I guess it is because low’s have still been fairly cool so the soil has remained cool for the most part.

The Hosta ‘Abique Drinking Gourd’ came up and now is thinking about it. She is wondering if it is safe to unfurl or if there is still an “F” around the corner.

 

Hosta ‘Blue Angel’…

Hmmm… I don’t know what to think about the supposed-to-be Hosta ‘Blue Angel’. It is going to be weird! It is supposed to be a fairly large Hosta but it remained so small last summer. Here it is, leaves unfurling, while all the other Hosta’s leaves are still tucked up. I am not a Hosta expert and probably need to brush up on Hosta terminology. With larger Hosta, the clump spreads over time and the “new plants” are spread out somewhat. With this plant, as with the H. ‘Blue Mouse Ears’, the cluster is fairly compact with lots of shoots in a small area. That is one reason I believe this plant is not a Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ at all.

 

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’…

As you can see with this miniature Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’, the cluster is tight and tidy. Ummm… You know what I mean. 🙂

 

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’…

The Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ pretty much looks like it did a week ago.

 

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’…

The Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ has taken off like it is being paid. I think she really wants to dazzle us this summer and show us what she’s made of. Supposed to be the world’s largest Hosta but I would say there are a few grow equally as large or close such as Hosta ‘Gentle Giant’, ‘Big John’, ‘Sagae’, and so on. It really depends on which website you look at. This will be this Hosta ‘Empress Wu’s’ third summer here so she still a couple of years to reach maturity.

*Several days have passed since the above photo was taken on April 7. It is easy to notice how much it grows because it is next to the side entrance of the house. It seems like it grows a couple of inches every day.

 

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’…

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ is doing better. It felt rejected because I thought it had fallen into a collapsed mole tunnel. It wondered why I didn’t dig into the soil and look for it if I was concerned. Hmmm… Now, what do you say about something like that? I told it I wasn’t really sure what happened at the time and then later I did realize I was looking in the wrong spot. I also reminded it that I DID scrape off the top inch or so of the soil when I found it was OK. Three of the Hosta somehow got covered with more soil and this was one of them.

 

Hosta ‘Guacamole’…

I put the Hosta ‘Guacamole’ #1 and 2 back together again as I was taking photos. Now, that’s better… I like keeping the Hosta cultivars together even if I divide. I moved one part of it last spring to fill the vacancy left behind by Hosta ‘Rainforest Sunrise’. Now I need to find another variegated Hosta for that spot.

 

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’…

One of the Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ clumps took off a little faster than the other two and it has spread a little. NICE!

 

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’…

The Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ in the previous photo is on the right side of the above photo. There is another group in the top center, and the other is where my finger is pointing. At least I can get them all in the same photo.

 

Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’…

The Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ has REALLY done well and its clump has grown to a massive size! Even the moles seem to be scared of it!

 

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’…

This Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ I put here last spring will someday be very impressive. One of the most popular of the larger Hosta, it will grow to above 2′ tall x about 4-5′ wide within a few years.

 

Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’…

I have no clue what is going on with the Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’. It almost appears its roots have been pushed up from freezing and thawing. I need to have a closer look and perhaps bury is a little deeper. Maybe put some soil on top of it… Maybe a mole pushed it up.

 

Hosta ‘Whirlwind’…

I had to uncover the Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ because it is one that somehow had o much soil on top of it. I think they all need somewhat elevated in this particular bed.

 

Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’…

The Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) is looking awesomely well. It has not spread hardly at all but it will grow into a nice mound around 30″ in diameter.

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’…

The Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ is looking good! I trimmed the old stems and leaves so it could get more sun and look much better. I am hoping for flowers!

 

Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’…

Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ is back again for another round. There is a Red Clover that is invading its space… Hard to remove the Red Clover because it has a tough root system and it is growing right in the Salvia!

 

Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’…

I am really glad to see the Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ this spring. I really liked its unique flowers.

 

Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’/’May Night’…

The Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ or ‘May Night’ is really looking good. It took somewhat of a vacation from flowering last summer so hopefully it will get with the program this year. It is getting off to a very good start!

 

Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’…

All of the Sedum are looking better every day. I am especially keeping an eye on the Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’. I am curious why this variegated variety is referred to as a cultivar instead of a variety. Even the way I phrased that makes no sense. Is it a natural mutation or manmade? The International Crassulaceae Network lists a Phedimus kamtschaticus variegatus, which in a roundabout way, is this plant.

 

Sedum kamtschaticum

The Sedum kamtschaticum is looking very good as it always does. Maybe this will be the year I can tell if it is Sedum kamtschaticum or the subspecies Sedum kamtschaticum subsp. ellacombianum. The latter is pretty likely because it a good sized growing plant with fairly large leaves. Of course, there is no “official” subspecies by that name now on POWO and it isn’t even listed as a synonym. Of course, this may be the year the botanists, horticulturalists, etc. decide to break up the Sedum genus AGAIN. In that case, it would probably be Phedimus kamtschaticus or Phedimus kamtschaticus subsp. ellacombianum. Whoops! Maybe Phedimus aizoon. Hmmm… Maybe… I think I better stop because there are a lot of “if’s” involved and a lot of decisions to be made by the folks who are trying to sort through all the thousands of multiple species. They are doing their best.

There are several genera of plants with hundreds of species representing annuals, perennials, trees shrubs, and succulents (i.e. 1,986 species of Euphorbia). Currently, there are 545 accepted species of Sedum which are mainly succulent plants. While most share something in common, or they wouldn’t be in the genus, there are many species that separate them from the rest. Over the years, many groups of Sedum have been moved to other genera only to have them put back again (Phedimus, Hylotelephium, Rhodiola, Orostachys and so on).

 

Sedum spurium cv. ?…

The Sedum spurium ‘?’ is looking good despite its border wall has collapsed. I need to fix that right away.

 

Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’…

The Sedum spurium John Creech’ is off to a rambunctious start. I think it is going to just pick up where it left off and continue invading in neighbors territory.

 

Sempervivum ‘Killer’…

The Sempervivum ‘Killer’ hasn’t changed much since the last time I took photos…

 

Stachys byzantina

The Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ears) are looking great! They really seem to like this spot in the southeast corner bed.

 

Stellaria media (Chickweed)…

It may sound funny, but this is the first year in my life I have noticed the Chickweed (Stellaria media) flowering so much. Normally, I barely even get a glimpse early in the morning and just a few buds or spent flowers. This year they are flowering up a storm everywhere. Ummm… There is A LOT!

So many of us look at Chickweed as a real pain in the neck. The flower beds are LOADED this time of the year. Chickweed is both edible and nutritious and can be included in salads. Chickweed is also used as a herbal remedy.

Chickweed belongs to the Caryophyllaceae Family along with 93 other genera including Dianthus and Gypsophila. The genus Stellaria contains 181 species.

 

Xanthosoma robustum rhizome…

The Xanthosoma robustum, which I have been calling Xanthosoma sagittifolium, has a problem. The rhizome has been fine all winter and then I noticed the old one and one offset has rotted.

 

Xanthosoma robustum rhizome…

Thank goodness there is still one good offset.

 

AS USUAL…

It has taken a few days to finish this post. I finally finished mowing the first round of grass on Monday. Just in time to start over again. 🙂 Tis the season… I took a few more photos on Wednesday (the 10th).

Anyway, it is nothing uncommon in the spring for…

 

Of course, this is a tulip. When I moved to the farm after grandpa passed away in April 1981, there was an old tulip bed in front of the house. One spring after they flowered I decided to move the tulips next to the garden fence so they wouldn’t be in the middle of the front yard. Although I managed to get most of them, there were MANY that I couldn’t find… The stem kept going and going but there were no bulbs. Evening though I was very determined and I had dug down quite a ways, there were several bulbs I could not find because they had gone so deep. That was in the early 1980’s and still, after around 35 years they are STILL coming up in the middle of the front yard.

 

Then on Monday, I saw this one in a completely different location. It has come up about 20 feet from where I planted them along the fence and a good 30 feet from where the bed in the front yard was. Ironically, none of the bulbs I planted long ago along the fence have come up since I have been back here. This is weird… Where did this tulip come from. Makes me wonder how deep its bulb is… Yeah, I am going to see if I can find it.

 

I am not 100% sure, but I think I possibly planted this one from grandmas old bed.

 

While I was mowing I also noticed the old maple tree is LOADED with flowers. I thought this tree was about dead a few years ago, but it keeps on going. This spring it has completely come to life like nobodies business!

 

A few years ago, when I thought it was going to die, it started oozing more sap from way up in the trunk. It started losing leaves and I thought it was a goner for sure. It was late blooming and leafing out the next spring.

 

This photo doesn’t show it well, but most of the trunk is completely black from the sap.

OH, LOOK AT THOSE ORBS! I always take two photos of everything in case one is messed up. Hmmm… The orbs are in both photos in exactly the same spot. Some claim the orbs are from dust, but it was very windy today when I was taking photos. Wouldn’t you think the “dust orbs” would have moved or even been absent in the second photo since it was so windy? 🙂

 

I was waiting for the wind to die down enough to get a few shots of the flowers… The flowers of this maple are a lot different than the others.

 

I have tried on numerous occasions to start new trees from the seed. Even from the one with purple leaves. The trees get a few inches tall then die…

 

The Grape Hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum) are as common around here as grass. I think they are pretty neat and I try and mow around them in the yard. Even the ones I mow off are flowering again in a few days. If I dig their bulb up in the flower beds, I just stick them back in the dirt.

 

Another common sight in my yard, and maybe yours, too… Some of the clumps are smaller than others and some have an oniony smell and others don’t. I have experimented a little and mowed around them to see what happens. There is a HUGE group down by the lagoon like the one in the above photo and these do smell like onions. They are one of nearly 1,000 Allium species (POWO currently says 977, which is almost 1,000). I have not ventured to try and find out the species name.

 

These little Daffodils in front of the chicken house are really neat. I think mom and dad ordered these from Publisher’s Clearing House and I planted them here.

 

A couple of them have white tepals with yellow coronas…